Reading Log #1Title: Wings of Fire: Moon RisingAuthor: Tui T. SutherlandText Type: Fictional NovelDate Started:  December 19, 2017   Date Completed: December 21, 2017Personal ResponseIn the fictional novel, Wings of Fire: Moon Rising, written by Tui T. Sutherland characterization is used to highlight Moon’s dynamic personality.  For example, in the beginning of the book, Moon makes up reasons to not go to Jade Mountain Academy, ” How was she supposed to learn anything when she might get trampled at any moment by her fellow students? And what if they hated her?”(Sutherland 1). Moon does not want to meet other dragons and would rather stay with her mom than go to school. This shows that Moon is anxious and fears interacting with other dragon tribes. Later on in the story, Moon makes a friend from her winglet, a rainwing named Kinkajou but is afraid that she might find out about her secrets. Moon likes her new friend, but she is still worried since if her secret, of mind reading is let out, everyone would hate her even her best friends. After she fortells the future, about a bomb blowing up, her friends doubt her, and are certain that she is hiding a secret from them. Now, Moon does not want to lose her friends, so she becomes courageous and tells them the truth, “‘Yes,’ Moon confessed. ‘ I can read your minds. I’m sorry'”(Sutherland 191). This brave act makes her friends trust her more instead of  turning on her. They also help her find the culprit together. After they solved the conflict, Moon had a choice to go home but she decides not to. She makes this decision because Moon metaphorically rose above her fears and anxiety about the school, which shows why the author named the book, Wings of Fire: Moon Rising.  Throughout reading this book, I made many predictions about what is going to happen based on what I already know. For example, in the prey center, Moon snatched a scavenger, so it wouldn’t get eaten by Winter, an IceWing, “‘ You have ten seconds to give me back my scavenger,’ he snarled… ‘No,’ Moon said…”(Sutherland 41-43). Moon thought that Winter would eat the scavenger, and Moon did not want to feel the scavenger’s terror as it happened, so she did not give it back. I made a prediction that Winter did not intend to eat the scavenger but to keep it. I made this prediction when Winter told Moon, “‘ That is my scavenger,’ he hissed. ‘My idiot clawmate let it out, but it is mine and I did not bring it all the way here to see it eaten by a lying, smoke-breathing NightWing'”(Sutherland 43). Then I realized that it made no sense to bring it “all the way here” just to eat it, so I guessed that he would’ve brought it to keep it as a pet. Also other clues, like “mine” and “my” also helped me realize why. In the next chapter, Qibli, Winter’s clawmate, tells Moon that the scavenger was Winter’s pet and he accidentally let loose.Title: “The Gift of the Magi”Author: O.HenryText Type: Realistic Fiction Short StoryDate Started:  December 23, 2017   Date Completed: December 23, 2017Praise: “The text is printed on sepia-toned backgrounds that extend the antique flavor of the narrative.”-Kirkus ReviewsPersonal Response”The Gift of the Magi” is a very moving short story by O. Henry. The story is a realistic fiction, which displays an ironical situation between the married couple Jim and his wife, Della. The story brings forth warmth and ironical humor as the characters’ inner thoughts and actions towards each other unfold throughout the story. The theme, ” Love is not just a feeling, it is commitment, and above all, a sacrifice” is shown throughout the story and  the actions of the main characters. At the beginning of the story, the author compares the two character’s possessions to the famous figures, Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, “Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out of the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy” (Porter 2). By comparing these Biblical figures to their possessions, it helps bring out how valuable those two items are to them. This shows that they love each other so much to even give up their prized possesions. Furthermore, the author wants us to think that they are rich, though they show obvious poverty. He wants us to think they are rich because Jim and Della are as rich as Queen of Sheba and King Soloman only that, it is in their love they have towards each other.  Della and Jim give each other the best of all possible gifts, love. It is the love they have dedicate for each other, which turns into their motivation for being willing to give something which can bring happiness to their sweetheart. The gifts are selfless and beautiful at the same time. O. Henry compares Jim and Della to the most famous gift givers of all, the Magis from the Bible. With those priceless presents, they are like the Magis for each other. In using this biblical allusions to the Magi, O. Henry shows his appreciation of Jim and Della. He calls this couple the Magi in the last lines of this short story of all who give and receive gifts as he says, “they are wisest, everywhere they are wisest”(Porter 6). O.Henry appreciates the couple and calls them the Magi. The theme of this story for me is “Love is not just a feeling, it is a commitment, and above all, a sacrifice.” I say this because I think that Jim and Della love each other immensely and would sacrifice anything for one another. One can see expressions of this theme in many lives around, even in my personal life when I think of small and big sacrifices my parents make for me, and or for each other.I liked how the author uses many details to show Jim and Della’s external circumstances in contrast of their rich loving nature. The flat had a malfunctioning mailbox, dead doorbell, worn red carpet, and cheap mirror. O.Henry describes a dreary scene : a “gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard”(Porter 1).  Della uses an “old brown jacket” and an “old brown hat” (Porter 2). All of this imagery creates a contrast between the rich love and affection which Della and Jim create, and the gray, world of work and misery. Their love transforms their old, dreary flat into a whole new world of warmth. Another thing I noticed in the author’s craft is how the author narrates the story to make it seem as if someone was telling the story to you. For instance, he addresses the audience, to make us feel like he is talking to us, “… and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della”(Porter 1).  The author somewhat, takes a break to tell us who Mrs. James Dillingham Young is. This technique, is mostly used in storytelling to explain more in depth, so others can understand. My mom always does this when reading something to my sister. Since my sister is very young, she would translate a text to something she could understand.Title: “Caged Bird”Author: Maya AngelouText Type: Fast Paced PoemDate Started:  December 27, 2017   Date Completed: December 27, 2017Personal Response”Caged Bird” written by Maya Angelou is a very fast paced poem, which compares the conditions of two birds’ lives. In this particular poem, there are many various hidden messages she tries to convey using the literary device of juxtaposition. A juxtaposition is a literary device that places two elements or words side by side and letting the reader or viewer compare them. Maya Angelou places the two bird’s lives one after another to easily compare the two. In the beginning of the poem, Maya Angelou shows the life of the free bird by using joyful words (positive connotation) like “leap”, “floats”, “dips”(Angelou 1-7). The free bird is a symbol of freedom and these words are very meaningfull since they contain energy. These significant words can show us how the author feels about freedom. Then she goes on to describe the conditions of the caged bird by using words with a negative connotation like,”bars of rage”, “grave”, “fearfull”, “scream”, “shadow”(Angelou 8-30). These menacing words symbolize isolation and are a lot more disturbing and miserable when compared to freedom. These two birds can be clearly distinguished because of the juxtiposition.  The use of a juxtaposition that Maya uses throughout the poem is powerful as it conveys the distinction of the free bird’s life to the life of the caged bird which is a lot worse. I think the author is trying to tell us to value the freedom you have since others suffer a lot worse.As I read, I really had a strong connection to this poem because it reminded me about racism and helped me understand how the people facing it, felt. This poem is simular to racism since we can see that two birds had very different lives; one was free, while the other was confined. The free bird is a symbol of freedom and can do a variety of things such as leaping, floating, and dipping. The bird that is facing “racism” is constraint and can only sing, ” his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing”(Angelou 29-30).  In a movie, called “Hidden Figures”, three African-American women also faced racism in the same way as caged bird. For example, the free bird rises in power, “and he names the sky his own”(Angelou 26), while the caged bird is helpless and cannot do much of what the free bird does. In the movie,  the African American women want to move into a higher position in NASA, but they are always stopped by their race; therefore, it can be similar to the caged bird being helpless. The caged bird is very desperate for freedom and wants to be like the free bird, “For the caged bird sings of freedom”(Angelou 38).Title: Wings of Fire: Moon RisingAuthor: Tui T. SutherlandText Type: Fictional NovelDate Started:  December 19, 2017   Date Completed: December 21, 2017Personal ResponseIn the fictional novel, Wings of Fire: Moon Rising, written by Tui T. Sutherland a lot of imagery is used to convey the external and internal circumstances. Once I used the author’s descriptive details to easily make a prediction at the end of the novel, when Queen Scarlet was with her companion, “‘Oh, this?’ The dragon lifted the ancient scroll into the moonlight, looked up at it, and smiled. ‘Don’t you worry. This is nothing'”(Sutherland 298). From this quote, I predicted that the scroll the dragon has was Darkstalker’s talisman. I can clearly tell since the author gave great details about the talisman so you could easily visualize it.  For example in the book, after Moon earns Darkstalker’s trust, Darkstalker tells Moon the only way to save him, ” You must never forget that my talisman is the most dangerous animus-touched object… it can be used by any dragon who comes across it… You simply write you command”(Sutherland 248). Darkstalker says you write your command and a scroll is something you can write on.  Darkstalker also said that it can be used by any dragon that comes across it, and this dragon, Queen Scarlet’s companion, is very suspicious and is trying to hide the talisman’s power from Scarlet. The two scenes that showed the talisman looked very simular because I could really see the talisman’s power as the dragon held it to the moonlight. As you can see, the imagery used in the book can help visualize many scenes and make predictions.As I read the novel, I made a strong connection that makes me think about my first few days of school. Moon is very nervous and shy, and does not want to go to the Jade Mountain Academy, ” ‘ I really, really don’t want to stay here,’ Moon said again… ‘ I like being wherever you are,’ Moon said.”(Sutherland 2). At first, I thought that Moon was way too anxious and shy, and that nobody would really be that nervous.  Then, after I thought about it, I realized that I was also really shy and nervous on my first day of school. Like Moon, I did not want to leave my parents and was very frightened to meet other students at school. For example, in the beginning of the book, Moon makes up reasons to not go to Jade Mountain Academy, ” She wouldn’t even have to do anything wrong (although that seemed awfully likely to happen anyway). They’d hate her just for being a NightWing; everbody did, except the NightWings, who hated her for not being enough of a NightWing”(Sutherland 1). Throughout the next few days, Moon makes friends and gets used to school and enjoys interesting activities (Sutherland 54). As I grew older, I also got used to school and did not feel shy to make friends. Therefore, you can see that making connections can help you better understand how the character is feeling.