I just finished reading a book called “Swan Town” by Michael J. Ortiz. It is a book written in the point of view of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna.

I think the author wrote this book because he wanted something new and different out there. I don’t think there are many books written from his daughters point of view. You always here about Shakespeare and what a great writer he was, but you don’t really hear or learn anything about his family, or how they lived while he was away in London working. The theme of the book, I think, is really telling what it might be like to be Shakespeare’s daughter. It tells about the way life for her and her family was, about how her little brother died, and the sacrifice her uncle made. Although it may not be exactly correct of how she lived, its a good way to get a feel of it.


In 1916 a young boy, just three years older than me, was murdered.  He was brutally lynched and burned alive by a mob in Waco, Texas.

When I read the story about Jesse Washington, I felt sick and shocked. I knew people did things like this, but I never knew it was to this extent.  For Black History Month, we learn about people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, and I think that is a good thing, but I also think we should be learning about people like Jesse, and what it was like for them. He was only 17 when he was killed.










This is a photo of Jesse after his death. Here is the link for where I got the photo.

The reason for this post is because in school we are not doing anything for Black History Month, and my mom wanted me to do something. Tomorrow I will be looking at accomplishments.

Mom says, let’s read Ann Rinaldi’s story based on the legend of Tempe Wick.

The Revolutionary War is raging. General Wayne’s soldiers are freezing, underpaid, and resentful. Whispers of mutiny abound.   A stone’s throw from the restless camp, Tempe Wick wages her own battle for survival. Despite her efforts, she fears she won’t be able to feed her family, care for her ailing mother, or maintain her farm for long.  As the whispers get louder, the soldiers get bolder. Mutiny is imminent. And Tempe faces a gut-wrenching decision: Should she join the revolt? (review by goodreads)

And answer these questions in a different color.  Entire sentences and correct spelling (does dribbling count in basketball?)

1.  Civil wars divide families.  How has it divided the families in this story?

2.  Abraham tells Mary that compromise is a necessary commodity, but not all the characters agree.  How do Mary, Tempe, and General Wayne feel about compromise?  How do you feel about it?  When should you compromise, and when should you stand firm?

3.  What does Mary mean when she says that everyone is part and parcel of the whole of their life experiences?  In what ways have your life experiences determined who you are now?

4.  Mary tells Henry, “Sometimes it helps to air old ills in the sunlight.”  What does she mean?

5.  Tempe believes that a persons”s motives do not matter as much as their actions.  Do you think one is more important than the other?  Why?

6.  In what ways might Henry’s living as a lunatic make his life easier?  Harder?

7.  Abraham advises Mary that “those closest to the problem cannot see the solution.”  Do you think this is true?  Who can you turn to when you have a problem?

8.  In his letter to Mary, Abraham says,”I choose to look at the past fondly and to the future with hope.”  Why might he choose to see things this way?  How should he handle his unhappy memories?

Think about it.

Many many years ago,

Kids my age sat on this carousel seat,

at the age of one hundred and twenty -three

they would now be.