- Is this novel a good candidate for the Global Issues Novel Study? Why, or why not?
- Yes. I believe that this is good because it explores different issues that people have through different years and stories/scenarios.
- Is this novel a good read? Why, or why not?
- Even though he did 3 different stories in 1 book, he still manages to give information and set up the characters and setting.
- A reason I found it interesting is because Alan Gratz found a way to connect the characters in different ways, so its always fun to figure out how
- Would you recommend this novel to others?
- If yes, what kind of a reader would most enjoy this novel? In other words, what made it good?
- It isn’t very intense so better for younger kids or people who don’t like that
- Its somewhat suspenseful for Isabel b/c we didn’t know If Isabel would make it or not
- It is really sad near the end cause one of the characters dies.
- Also it does talk about concentration camps sometimes so not entirely suitable for younger kids
- This book is mainly good for young adult or adult readers and for people who don’t really like overly intense books or somewhat suspenseful books
- Have you read other books that should be added to this novel study? If so, list them.
- there's a book that would be good for the study i just don't remember what it's called. Its about a boy in Nazi Germany who is telling secrets to the British and he gets caught.
Monday, 15 January 2018
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Choice 1 - Isabel
She was finally counting Clave
Throughout the whole book and her life, Isabel is trying to count clave, but she is never able to, whenever she is close to hearing it something happens. She is finally able to in Miami
Choice 2 - Josef
“Today,” Josef said, “I am a man.”
Throughout the rest of the book, Josef’s decisions are governed by the fact that he is a “man” and he must be mature. In the end of the book, he sacrifices himself for his family because he views himself as having to be a man
Choice 3 - Mahmoud
As long as he was invisible he was safe
Mahmoud figures as long as he's invisible he stays safe, like in Aleppo and the Hungarian prison they don't hurt him when he stays invisible, but at the end of the book, he realizes he needs to be visible in order to survive and actually live. He realizes that being invisible had hurt them just as much as being visible had.
Passport = Reisepass
Federal Republic of Germany = Bundersreblik Deutschland
Sex = Sex
Surname = Nachname
Given Name = Vorname
Nationality = Staatsangehorigkeit
Date and Place of Birth = Geburtstag Und-ort
Date of Issue = Ausgebedatum
Date of Expiry = Ablaufdatum
Germany = Deutschland
The J is for Jewish. During the Holocaust all Jews had a J stamped on all their papers so the Nazis would know that they’re Jews.
Passport = Pasaporte
Republic of Cuba = Republica De Cuba
Type = Tipo
Sex = Sexo
Surname = Apellidos
Given Name = Nombres
Nationality = Nacionacidad
Date of Birth = Fech De Nacimiento
Place of Birth = Lugar De Nacimiento
Date of Issue = Fech De Expedicion
Date of Expiry = Fech De Vencimento
Place of Issue = Lugar De Expedicoin
Cuba = Cubana
Havana City = La Habana
Havana City, Cuba = Cuidad Habana City
Passport = Jawaz Safar
Syrian Arab Republic = Aljumhariat Aiearabiat Alsuniaria
Sex = Juns
Surname = Laqab
Given name = Alaism Almaetaa
Nationality = Jinsia
Date and place of birth = Tarika Wamakan Almiled
Date of Issue = Tarika Aimasala
Date of Expiry = Tarika Aiaintian’
Syria = Suria
Sunday, 7 January 2018
Disclaimer: I own none of Refugee or Isabel, all of it is Alan Gratz
I noticed Isabel crouching at the bottom of the pink cinder-block house, holding a scrawny looking cat eating some beans from her other hand. As I came up to her I said: “Hey, Isabel!” Making her jump and the cat skittered away under the house.
I plopped down onto the dusty ground beside Isabel and adjusted my Industriales baseball cap.
I had just come from a walk on the beach and I had found a dead fish on the beach, which had probably been there for a little while because it smelled really bad. “Look! I found a bit of dead fish on the beach for the cat.” I offered the bit of dead fish to Isabel and the cat.
Isabel recoiled at the smell, but the kitten came running back, eating greedily from my hand.
I realized that the cat didn't have a name, I liked to name everything-the stray dogs who wandered the town, my bicycle[Carlos], even my baseball glove[Pedro] and my hat[Agustín]. “She needs a name,” I said, I thought of some Industriales players that names might suit the cat. “How about Jorge/ Or Javier? Or Lázaro?”
“Those are all boys names!” Isabel said.
“Yes, but they are all players for the Lions, and she’s a little lion!? The Lions was the nickname of the Industriales.
“Ivan!” my Father called from next door. “I need your help in the shed.” My Father and I were working on building a boat in the shed. A boat to sail to the United States, but since anyone caught leaving for El Norte was thrown in jail, we had to do it in private. I had to tell her some lie.
I climbed to my feet. “I have to go. We’re building…” I quickly thought up an excuse. “a dog house,” I said thinking I was rather sneaky, before sprinting away towards the shed to help with the boat.
My Father noticed Isabel before I did. “Well if it isn't Hurricane Isabel,” Father said.
“You have to take us with you!” Isabel said.
“No, we don't,” Father said. “ Ivan, nail.”
I handed him a nail
“People are rioting in Havana!” Isabel cried
“Tell me something I don't know,” Father said. We had heard about riots from some of my father's friends. “Ivan, nail.”
I handed him another nail.
“My father was almost arrested,” Isabel said. “If you don't take us with you, they’ll through him in prison.”
Senor Castillo paused his hammering for a moment, then shook his head. “There's no room. And we don't need a fugitive aboard.”
I gave my Father a look but he didn't see it. We were only taking up half the space in the boat, there was definitely enough space for her and her family.
“We don't have any gasoline anyway,” I told Isabel. I put a hand on the motorcycle motor We’d mounted inside the boat. “We’re not going anywhere soon.”
“I can fix that,” she yelled as she ran off.
Ivan struggled to carry the heavy boat through the gravel road and the sand dunes to the sea. Isabel and I were holding the middle of the boat with my father and Senor Fernandez behind me and Isabel’s Lito and my mother in front of me. Then he heard a commotion behind him, there were people on the beach!
Then I heard Isabel cry out and let go of the boat. Then my Mother staggered and lost her grip too, then the front of the boat slammed into the sand.
Next, to Isabel, there was a blinding light and a television camera. “You’re on CNN,” a woman said in Spanish “Can you tell us what made you decide to leave?”
“Quickly!” Father called from behind me. “Pick it back up! We’re almost to the water!”
I started to pick up the boat
“I-” Isabel said, frozen in the bright light of the camera.
“Do you have any relatives back in Miami that you want to send a message to?” the reporter asked.
“Isabel! The boat!” Senor Fernandez called.
The others and I had already lifted the boat up and out of the sand and were lurching toward the sound of the crashing waves. The bright lights of the camera swung away from our boat and lit up what looked like a party on the beach. More than half their village was on the sand, clapping, waving, and cheering on the many boats.
And there were so many boats. My family and I had worked in secret all night with the Fernandezes, worried that someone might hear them, but apparently, everybody else had been doing the same thing. There were inflatable rafts. Canoes with homemade outriggers. Rafts made of inner tubes tied together. Boats built out of styrofoam and oil drums.
A rickety-looking raft made out of wooden shipping pallets and inner tubes raised a bedsheet sail, and when it caught the wind, the villagers on the beach cheered. When another raft made out of an old refrigerator sank, everybody laughed.
We put the boat in the water as Isabel was staring off at the beach, and I helped Senora Fernandez and my father into the boat and Senor Fernandez helped me climb up.
We were still waiting for Luis and his friend to come find us.
“Chabela!” Senora Fernandez called. “Chabela, come on!”
Isabel started to wade into the water, the waves lapping up to the bottom of her shorts. She was almost in reach of Senor Fernandez outstretched arms when he pulled back crying “No-no! They're coming for me!” And he scrambled over the edge leaving Isabel in the water.
I just noticed that two of the policemen had broken from the group and were running toward the water. It must be Luis and his friend I decided.
“Start the engine!” Senor Fernandez cried
“No, wait for me!” Isabel yelled, spitting seawater. The two policemen-probably Luis-had hit the surf and were running high-legged through the waves. However, the other policemen were running too--and they were all headed for their boat!
I remembered Isabel had not yet gotten into the boat, so I reached down to help get her aboard. As soon as she was on the boat me and my Mother reached down to help my brother and his friend.
“No!” Senor Fernandez cried, scrambling as far away from them as he could.
Pak! A pistol rang out again over the waves, and the crowd on the beach cried out in panic. The pistol fired again--pak!--and--ping!--the hull of our boat rang as the bullet hit it.
The motor coughed to life, and the boat lurched into a wave, spraying everyone with seawater. The villagers on the beach cheered for them, and Father revved the engine, leaving the charging policemen in their wake.
Isabel’s father pitched across the riling boat and grabbed Father by the shirt. “What are you playing at, letting them on board?” he demanded. “What if they follow us? What if they send a navy boat after us? You’ve put us all in danger!”
Father batted Geraldo Fernandez’s arms away. “We didn't ask you to come along!”
“It's our gasoline!” Isabel’s father yelled.
They kept arguing
“I think it's begun.” Senora Fernandez stated.
“What’s begun?” Papi asked Then his eyes went wide. “You mean--you mean the baby’s coming? Here? Now?”
Everyone in the boat perked up, and Isabel and I pulled ourselves up on the side of the boat to see.
“Yes, I think I’ve gone into labor,” Isabel's mother said calmly. “But no, I am not having the baby here and now. The contractions are just starting. It took Isabel another 10 hours to come after my contractions began, remember?”
“What are you going to name him?” I asked, wondering if they would be open to a few suggestions.
Senor and Senora Fernandez looked at each other. “We haven't decided yet,” she said.
“Well, I have some good ideas, if you want some,” I told them, thinking a few Lion names that would suit baby Fernandez well.
“We’re not naming him after Industriales players,” Isabel told me, and I stuck my tongue out at her.
They were all silent for a time.
“Hey, we never named our boat!” I realized
Everyone moaned and laughed.
“What?” I asked, smiling. “ Every good boat needs a name.”
“I think we can all agree this isn't a good boat,” Father said.
“But it's the boat that’s taking us to the States! To freedom!” I said. “It deserves a name.”
“How about Fidel?” Luis joked, kicking up a splash on Castro’s face at the bottom of the boat.
“No, no, no,” Senor Fernandez said. “¡El Ataud Flotante!” The Floating Coffin. Ivan winced at the name, It wasn't funny. Not with Isabel's mother about to give birth on the boat.
“Too close, too close,” Father agreed. “How about Me Piro,” he suggested. It was slang for “I’m out of here” in Cuba.
“¡Chao, pescao!” Senora Fernandez said, and everyone laughed. It literally meant “Goodbye, Fish” but everyone in Cuba said it to each other to say goodbye.
“The St. Louis,” Isabel's grandfather said softly. Everyone was quiet for a moment, trying to figure out the joke, but no one understood.
“How about El Camello?” Luis said. “The Camel” was what they called the ugly hunchbacked buses pulled around by tractors in Havana.
“No, no--I’ve got it!” Amara cried. “¡El Botero!” It was the slang word for the taxis in Havana, but it actually meant “the Boatman.” All the adults laughed and clapped.
But it just didn't feel right. “No, no,” I said, frustrated. “It needs a cool-sounding name, like The--” I didn't finish my thought because something leathery brushed up against my leg in the water.
I jumped in the water a bit, my eyes going wide.
“The what?” Isabel asked. Then she jumped too.
“Shark!” screamed Isabel's grandfather from the other side of the boat. “Shark!”
Then I felt the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my entire life around my right leg, as the water around me became a dark red cloud. As everyone scrambled to pull the others inside the boat I felt myself go limp in the water. Finally, Luis and Mother hauled my body over the edge.
My right leg was a bloody mess. There were small bites all over it, as though a gang of sharks had attacked all at once. Raw, red, gaping wounds exposed the muscle underneath my skin.
I was so shocked I didn't even cry out, didn't speak. My mouth hung open, my eyes had a glazed look and my face grew pale.
“A tourniquet!” Isabel's grandfather cried. “We have to get something around his leg to stop the bleeding!”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Isabel's father ripping off his belt to put around my leg.
“No--NO!” Father cried as the life went out of my eyes.
1 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, pretty much all of Isabel
Thursday, 21 December 2017
Fundamental Freedoms. They definitely don't have the freedom to choose their own religion because they are being treated like subhumans because they are Jewish
Democratic rights. They did originally have the right to vote for a new government but after Hitler was voted in he changed it to a dictatorship
Mobility rights. Josef's family isn't allowed to make a proper living in Germany “You have continued to practice law despite the fact that Jews are forbidden to do so.”5 They’re not really allowed to stay in Germany, they’re being made to leave “But the Nazis had told them to get out of Germany twice now.”6
Legal Rights. They aren't given a fair trial for anything because when his father was taken in “Protective Custody” they didn't give him a fair trial they just took him to a concentration camp. And they don't have the right to be free of imprisonment, search, and seizure. Because at the start of the book and later on the ship the Nazis enter their house/room and trash it without reason for both of them.
Equality Rights. They definitely don't have equality rights because everything that's happening to them from their houses being trashed to his Dad being taken to a concentration camp is because he's Jewish.
Fundamental Freedoms. They don't have the freedom to express an opinion because they’re not allowed to say anything bad about Fidel Castro “People caught criticizing Fidel Castro were thrown in jail and never heard from again.”2 It doesn't mention their religion and whether or not they can choose theirs. It also never mentions whether or not they can have peaceful meetings or demonstrations but they do have a riot which was violent so that's not part of it.
Democratic rights. They don't have the right to vote for a new government because they were in a dictatorship and had the same government for 50 years.
Mobility rights. They don't have the right to enter, stay in, or leave Cuba because no one is allowed to leave and no one stays “If you were caught trying to leave for el norte by boat, Castro would throw you in jail.”3 Although they do have the right to move anywhere within Cuba and earn a living there except there isn't very much money anyway.
Legal Rights. They don't have the right to a fair and quick trial by an impartial court because if you commit a crime or anything “bad” then you're thrown in jail “Castro would throw you in jail.”4
Equality Rights. They have Equality rights because no one seems to be affected by their religion, race or gender.
Fundamental Freedoms. They don't have the right to freedom of speech because “A man… was imprisoned for speaking out against Assad.”7 Although Syrians do have the freedom of religion the majority of people are Sunni Muslims. Although it doesn't mention if it was peaceful or not there was a “demonstration” where Assad started a war “Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets, demanding the release of political prisoners and more freedom for everyone.”9
Democratic rights. They don't have the right to vote for a new government because they’re in a dictatorship with Assad.
Mobility rights. They have mobility rights because no one stops them from leaving and moving around in Syria. His Dad had work where they were living at the start of the book.
Legal Rights. They don't seem to have the right to a fair trial because in the book it says that “A man… was imprisoned for speaking out against Assad”7 and “Some kids.... Were arrested and abused by the police for writing anti-Assad slogans on walls”8 which also means they don't have the right to be free of imprisonment.
Equality Rights. They don't really have equality rights because one of Mahmoud's old friends Khalid was beaten up because he was Shia Muslim and not Sunni Muslim here is the example:
“His hands around his head while the older boys kicked him… “Shai should know their place! This is Syria, not Iran!””10
1 Sommerfeldt, Russ - Ch. 3 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Youtube/PowTube, 2015 (Charter of Rights and Freedoms Video)
2 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Isabel p26
3 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Isabel p10
4 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Isabel p10
5 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Josef p2
6 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Josef p6
7 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Mahmoud p15
8 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Mahmoud p15
9 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Mahmoud p1510 Gratz, Alan - Refugee, Scholastic Press, 2017, Mahmoud p16