Novels can inspire us to be better human beings!
More compassionate and courageous.
Hautzig, Esther. The Endless Steppe. New York: HarperCollins, 1968.
The Endless Steppe has taught me many new things about life and I know see life differently. I, respectfully and admirably, give my honor to the people who had dreadful lives during World War II. When the soldiers told the Rudomin’s they were “capitalists…enemies of the people…you are to be sent to another part…of our country” (12). I learned that it was not only the soldiers fighting but the innocent citizens too. These people, bravely and courageously, dealt with all their problems. Some problems were there being no food, Esther would always say “I’m hungry” (28), and other problems were families being separated. Grandmother Anna was separated from her husband Solomon Rudomin. She pleaded to the cruel Nazi’s screaming “In God’s name let me go with him….I won’t go without him…I beg of you” (20). I had never realized that war dramatically affected people that much. I now know why World War II is such a harmfully historical event in our world today. In all, I learned many new things and I now see life extremely more differently than I ever have. (Bradley in grade eight)
Holm, Anne. I am David. London: Egmont, 1963.
David, the protagonist in I am David is a very patient boy. He is slow to anger and is polite to strangers and does not show anger.. Patience is not my strongest characteristic and I feel I must work on it more. (a boy in grade eight)
I now know [more] about the history of racism against Jews, and I have an idea of how people would have escaped from the camps…. From how David acts in the novel,…I now know to try harder, and not give up. (a boy in grade eight)
…before I read this book, I did not pay much attention to scenery. Now, I look at everything and enjoy its beauty. (a boy in grade eight)
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Shadows on the Wall. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1980.
I now know that some kids have serious family problems in their lives….I will think about [them] when I am sad. Then it would make me think about how fortunate I am, and then I wouldn’t feel so sad and miserable. I would feel really sorry for those people… (a girl in grade eight)
Peterson, P.J. Rising Water. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2002.
The character Tracy, in my novel, showed me that you can get help from the most unlikely people in your life. Some examples are kids you don’t hang with, someone from the opposite gender. (a boy in grade eight)