All journal entries are due on D2L according to the dates indicated on the schedule. Each entry should be ~500-750 words. You may consider any of the text(s) from that week (you may, if you wish, reflect back on previous texts as A well to make cohesive connections). Your journals will be two-part; I will be looking for 1) a synthesis/ response and 2) an analysis/close-reading of a line. For the first part, concentrate on responding to the ideas and issues presented by the texts and making connections among the texts and to your own experiences. The main idea is to reflect on ideas that you find interesting. If you want, you may consider some of the Smart Questions I’ve posted in the ONLINE Discussion for that week or some of the Smart Questions your classmates have shared. For the second part, choose one line from one of the texts and conduct a Close Reading (see the last page of these Course Policies) of that text. choose a passage for Close Reading in the assigned reading for that week (if you did so for Discussion, choose a different one for the Journal). You can certainly connect that passage to your observations or speculations about character development, setting, plot, or your own speculations about what might be happening in the narrative arc of the story. Please be sure to list the page number for the text that you’ve chosen so that I can follow along when I read your entry. For your third Discussion, consider what you think about the way the author ties up the storyline. Like a lot of fiction, there’s a lot of action in this final third that ties up many of the threads that readers thought were dangling. On the other hand, many readers have pointed out that they feel like the story, particularly Kollie’s story, is unfinished. Why do you think Gibney made this choice? What is the significance of Angel’s character tying up the loose ends for us as readers? There is a video. https://minneapolis.learn.minnstate.edu/d2l/le/content/4570144/viewContent/38877114/View St. Catherine University chose this book as its “one read for racial justice” book just last fall. Do you think that these accolades are well-earned? Why or why not? One reason it’s become so important is that there’s not much fiction about this particular identity (Liberian/Liberian-American).
This reviewer writes that “Perhaps shamefully, I managed to make it to 40 without knowing much of anything at all about Liberia,” and I suspect she’s not alone. Here are some of the themes identified by the I’m Your Neighbor Books website: https://www.imyourneighborbooks.org/2019/01/28/dream-country/ Bi-racial Identity Community Cross-Group Friendship Cultural Identity Family Relationships Family Separation Historical Identity Immigration Migrant Life Race Racial Discrimination Refugee Life Repression Survival Trauma For Discussion this week, feel free to discuss one of the themes above or another theme you’ve noticed. If you are feeling stuck, use the Discussion Guide at the end of the book (or attached here for you as a PDF) and consider any of the questions listed there. You may even want to revisit one that you took on during either of your first two Discussion posts. You may also want to look at some of the “Selected Further Reading,” “Selected Video,” or the timeline in the end matter of the book. How does the historical foundation of this novel help you to understand the issues of identity that are brought up in it?