Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Reading Response - Dear Jo

Hi. This is one of my better reading responses that I completed earlier in the year for English. This is the first of a few posts that are school-related. I'm not gonna jinx myself again (about whether or not I'll blog consistently) and will only focus on the now.

Title: Dear Jo
Author: Christina Kilbourne
Text type: Novel

Summary: This story is set in America and is based around a teenage girl named Max. She and her best friend Leah used to chat with this guy online. Leah meets this guy in person, and she disappears. Her body is found a few months later. Max along with many other people are saddened by the news. Under police supervision, Max chats with the boy that is suspected in Leah’s death, and plans to meet up with him. During the setup, the police intervene and arrest the guy (who turns out to be a grown man). Finally, Max is relieved.
Opinion one: I thought the climax of the text was satisfying.

I thought this because Max had finally found some relief after months of grief and sadness from the news of Leah’s disappearance to Leah’s death discovery. Max had endured fear that the guy who took Leah was still out in public, and was possibly talking to more girls online. She was right, since she (under supervision by police) went back to chatting with the guy in a plan to capture and arrest him. Towards the end, the plan involved Max telling the guy to meet her in the local mall. At the mall, police would be undercover and a fair distance away from Max, so they could see the suspect and get him. Max encountered a grown man who claimed to be the father of the guy, and said that the guy couldn’t make it to their meetup, and that he would like to drop her off to meet him “at his soccer game”. Once they moved, the police tackled the man down and he was taken away. The climax was satisfying because the guy responsible for Leah’s death, a terrible crime, and done with such a dark method (luring her through the internet, then abducting her in person) was caught and finally some reassurance had risen. She wrote down that she’d imagined Leah looking and smiling down on her.

Opinion two: An important thing I took away from this text was the dangers of chatting with strangers online. 

I took this away from the text and I find it important because the author showed off the dark side of the internet - Leah met with a guy she only knew through the computer screen, and she was never seen again. The author taught the reader about the dangers of chatting with strangers online because they may pose as one thing and turn out to be completely different in person. Meeting an online stranger in public having only known them in text sounds petrifying, and in some cases, dangerous. In the story, Max reveals other girls who were targeted and faced the consequences of chatting with and meeting strangers, and one thing they all had (including Leah) in common was that they were teenagers, or had just become teenagers. The author went as far as to outline the consequences of meeting online strangers in person - one would be abducted and taken away, never to be seen again, which would then affect the people that knew that person, including friends and family.

Recommendation: I would recommend this text to 13-15 year olds. I choose this age group because I feel this text could help them understand that chatting to strangers is dangerous, and the book raises awareness about internet safety.

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