Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Letters My Mother Never Read

When her mother died in a fire, eight-year-old Jerri thought life couldn’t get worse. She was wrong. Sent to live with people who didn’t want her, Jerri was powerless to stop her once-happy childhood from becoming a nightmare of cruelty and neglect. Only a stubborn belief in her own worth and a fierce will to live allowed her to reach adulthood physically and emotionally intact. This is a book that will inspire not only those who have been orphans or foster children, but anyone who has known the pain of being unwanted.

Reading Assignments:
Thursday 12-2............Distribute Books
Thursday 12-9............Discuss Pages 1-52
Thursday 12-16...........Discuss Pages 53-102
Thursday 1-6..............Discuss Pages 103-199

Discussion Questions: Use these prompts to leave comments about this book.
1. What is your opinion of the foster care system as it is presented in this book? Cite examples from the text to support your opinions. Be sure to include your thoughts on the idea of accepting children into a foster home "on a trial basis." Is this a good idea, a bad idea, or a little of both?
2. Discuss the events leading up to Jerri's decision to stay at the orphanage rather than accept another foster home placement. Do you agree or disagree with Jerri's reasoning? Explain your thinking.
3. Discuss Jerri's strategy for survival as it appears on pages 98-101 of the text. Do you think it is a realistic or unrealistic strategy? Explain your reasoning.
4. Discuss the rules Jerri is given before going to a host or foster family's home. Are these rules reasonable or unreasonable? Explain your thinking.


Mercedez Montgomery said...

My comments about this book is that it is very said ,because the mom dies and she had just said she would come back. And then her second husband's parents hate the other five kids because she hates their mom. She doesn't even care if they die from living in the coal shelter.Also Jerri is confused because she didn't beleive she was dead but, why didn't they stay with the other grandparent.

mercedez M said...

P.S I can't wait til I can read on because this is a wonderful book.
And I can't believe I am the first person to make a comment.

Vanessa Apira said...

Poor little girl she has to deal with kids making fun of her and now she has to deal with her HEART LESS grandmother.
I can already tell this is going to be a SAD story!!!

Selena Knight said...

Mercedez and Vanessa,
I agree with both of you. This book makes me want to cry for Jerri. She was such a sweet little girl and through no fault of her own was severely mistreated by the adults in her life. I can not even begin to fathom how the grandmother could behave the way she did toward Jerry and her siblings, and I was even more appalled that her adoptive father allowed the treatment to go on then abandoned them at the orphanage. This story makes me want to take in foster children to show then that there are loving, caring adults in the world who cherish children. The book is very easy to read, and it was hard to put it down.

I'm thinking that as a project for this book club session, we should write letters to the author of this book. Remember that this is an autobiography, so everything you are reading actually happened to the author of this book...which makes it even more tragic and sad.

lauryn said...

this story is so sad the mom dies in a house fire and the grandma is so mean . The police is like when you hit her make sure, its
invisible marks. thats so mean if i was their i would beat the grandma with a bat ,
but its still sad

Audra Hicks said...

This story is very sad. Why was the grandma being so mean!!! And the dads not doing anything!!! The uncle sounds nicer then him! Makes me wanna cry.. And why did they have to seperate there family it's better to keep them together!

walter warren said...

the story is so sad her mom died and a fire and her dad does'nt even care how the grandma is treating her

KAREN PEREZ:) said...

This story made me cry,its so horrible . The step dad dosn't even do any thing about the way his mother treats them . I would have ran away or some thing , because I wouldn't let any one treat me like trash!!!!!!

Michelle medina said...

This is the best book i have ever read!

lauryn said...

the story is getting really sad every chapter .Ms.wesson does not even want the girl and its sad enough she's loosing weight ,and only will have her eating samwhich and a glass of milk,shame on her at least she keeping her head up and not down you go girl great job .But i think they should give her a little bit more love than what their giving her its really sad.

Selena Knight said...

I'm so glad to see you all posting your comments about the book. Remember to look back at our discussion questions and think about how this book depicts the foster care system. Can you relate to Jerri and her struggles? Do you blame her for not wanting to go to another foster family after the first two she experienced?

Also, let's remember to use proper grammar and sentence structure. Make sure to proofread your work and type as if this is an essay you are turning in for your teacher. You have great ideas and insight, and we want to showcase those ideas in the best possible way. Your voice is heard more clearly and has more impact if your writing is more formal and correct.

Keep reading and blogging. I am proud of all of you!

Mercedez Montgomery said...

I feel so sorry for her and her brother's because they got seperated.At least they don't have to be with there crazy grandma. And the grandma sounds like she smokes.I wonder if they will make a movie.

Rebecca Martinez said...

I'm sorry I haven't typed in yet. I mean I've put this off for so lng already it's just, this is the most saddest and tragic book I have ever read.I was trying to delay tell the last minute because it's so sad. I mean come on, this girl never gets a break. She has to grow up all alone. She had to grow up with a grandparent who depised every breath she took, and a father who wouldn't say a thing. She believed every word from their mouths, causing her to grow up thinking she was a freak who shouldn't have existed. At least her older brother stood up for them. But I was at least happy she found her comfort in school and books. She went to college got a degree and found herself. She met some very nice friends to help her later in life. Most importantly at the end of the book she got to talk to the people that accuatlly cared for her.why does such a sweet girl like Jerri have to be put through such misery? At least she found her calling and became a teacher. I was glad when she finally found out what was going in her other brother's lives when she got older. But I hated how they seprated the two twins I don't think that was right!!! But I must admitt I cried. But it still tops my top ten list. What I am sad about is that this is a ture story. How can parents do these things to kids? Even more so with how old they are! How can people be so cruel to innocent children who have seen so much terrible things in their short lives? I had to take a pause every now and then because it waas so heart breaking.

Sara Martinez said...

This is the most sadest book I have ever read! How can people be so cruel to children who have barly lived at all. The grandparents and the lady in charge at the orphanage. The father and her mother's family. All the foster parents. It's horrilbe. I am so happy that she found people that love her and understand her. She had such a horrilbe life, but grow up into something wonderful. She took her own life into her own hands and turned it into something. I applaude her for that! I am also happy to see she found her brothers. This may be the sadest book I have ever read, but it was a really good one!

Mercedez Montgomery said...

I can't believe that lady slapped her

MercedezMontgomery said...

Mrs.Wesson is just like her step-dads grandma. Except grandma reshuba let her go to school.