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||Sample Response to Literature
A response to literature, for our purposes, should include 3-5 paragraphs. The first paragraph states the name of the book, the author, gives a short summary, and gives the theme statement. (what is the lesson? what understanding does the author want the reader to come away from the story with?)
The next paragraph or paragraphs should be used to prove the theme. In other words, here is where the writer brings forth examples or proof from the text to support the theme. It is important to note that this is not a retell including all events/facts from the story. Only those events that prove the theme should be included.
The final paragraph is the conclusion. Again the theme is restated in this paragraph.
In the story A Baby Sister for Frances by Russel Hoban, the main character, Francis, is struggling with feeling neglected since the birth of her new sister. In this book we see that feeling sure about their importance in their family is what kids really need.
In the beginning of the story, we find Frances tucked under the sink. Frances is acting strangely. It appears that she wants her parents' attention because she's making a lot of noise and is asking for all kinds of toys to be moved into her bed. Eventually, we learn that Frances is so needy because of the recent arrival of her new baby sister. Her mom now has another youngster to care for, and so Frances is finding that some of the things she expects from her mom are taking more time. Because of the new baby, her mother hasn't had time to iron or go to the grocery store, so Frances must eat cereal with bananas instead of the raisins she wants, and goes off to school in a less than favorite dress. She's so mad about what's going on, she decides to run away.
So she does "run away" to her dining room. As she huddles beneath the table she can hear everything her parents are saying. They obviously have an awareness of Frances' need or reassurance because they go on and on about how great Frances is, allowing her to overhear their conversation, even remarking about some fo Frances' original songs. They don't stop until they have lured her out, at which point they bake a cake.
Frances' parents help her feel very certain about her importance in their family. In the end, she is delighted to be reassured of both her parents' love and her unlimited access to chocolate cake.
*****Note that the response is written in present tense.
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