Planning for 2.1 written essay

Question 4. Analyse how language features revealed the writer’s purpose in the written text(s).

The significance of the books in the text revealed the Maturation of Liesel.

Everytime Liesel steals a book she matures more and more

  • Stealing the first book the ” grave diggers hand book” From the beginning Liesel is shown to be very innocent. She knows her family are running away but she doesn’t understand the danger she was in. Her brother dies and she keeps the book that is left by his grave. This is the first book she has ever read so she matures by becoming more independent, she learns how to read and loses her family so she feels the need to fight for herself.  It is something that she keeps with her all the time to feel close to her brother as she is all alone moving to the hubermanns house so the book gives her a sense of being closer to her brother through the book. We know as the readers that death is always with her. It represents the Connection she has with her brother, The connection she has with death, the first book she has as a thief.  “The book thief had struck for the first time- the beginning of an illustrious career.” The first book she steals promotes the loss of Liesels innocencence as she learns that death is very real and around her all of the time.


  • The Liesel then gets a book called the shoulder shrug.  The shoulder shrug is the second book the Liesel takes for a burning pile of NAZI books. Her Innocence is dying as she understands that Hitler’s ideals don’t like her mother as she is communist. She doesn’t like the way they are burning books she can read. Liesel is starting to become rebellious because she is willing to against NAZI Germany rules and steal propaganda books. “Beneath her shirt, a book was eating her up”

Fourth book response- The blind side

The Blind side movie

Directed by John Lee Hancock

The Blind side is a drama film written about a black teenager who is homeless, Michael gets accepted into a US college due to his amazing athletic ability. He is adopted into a white high class family. This Film is very dramatic with many messages about family, friendship, kindness and wealth. John Lee Hancock uses many techniques to portray these ideas to the reader. Michael overcomes many obstacles when the world seems very against him, he is lucky to be accepted into a kind and loving family that accepts him for who he is. This is a very good Film that teenagers will enjoy and learn about social diversity from.  

One idea that is portrayed in the film is family. Michael the main character comes from a family with a mother who has a drug addiction and a father that has passed years earlier. Michael has been placed in foster care but continually runs away till he is enrolled in a college due to his athleticism. He then is accepted into the Tuohys family, A white family from a nice background and environment. They accept him immediately treating Michael as one of their own even though they are not related. Michael has never had a real close family so it is amazing for him to have this relationship. The Director used editing to show this idea to the viewer. Through flashbacks we see Michael get taken away from his mother and into his new happier lifestyle. I thought it was satisfying how the director used flashbacks as it helped to connect the whole story together giving more information about Michaels troubled childhood. The idea of family in this text showed me that even though some people come from bad backgrounds we should still accept them as friends or family because they are still good people. At the start of the film Michal is very shy and under confident because he is scared of society. Throughout the text we see Michael start to become more self confident as he is accepted into the white family. They show him love an affection which helps him feel ok when showing his real personality to the Tuohys and the community around him. “He was ignorant, but a lot of people mistook ignorance for stupidity, and knowingness for intelligence.” this is a quote from the blind side which tells the viewer that Michael was not understood by anyone in society at the beginning of the text. Because of a family accepting him into their home when people tried to get to know him they understood he was much more intelligent than he appeared. This helped me to understand the statement “ Don’t judge a book by its cover” as some people may appear to be something they are not eg Stupid. When in reality you must try to get to know them in order to understand their true personality and character.  

One idea that made me upset in the text was the racial discrimination that Michael received  in his social situation/ status, his lifestyle, his background and sporting career. Apon Michaels arrival into the white neighbourhood and white wingate christian school he is automatically judged due to his black American appearance. People were quick to judge Michael and speak nasty things behind his back. One white women with a very high social status says “He looks so big compared to you like Jessica Lange right next to King Kong” This quote showed me that straight away women who didn’t like the look of Michael referred to him as king kong. This made me think that they believed he was out of place in their society and would rather refer to him as a gorilla rather than a human being. They didn’t like the way one of their own white women was accepting Michael into her home and helping him with his journey through the college. A Lot of the people in the white community were scared for the children with Michael around as they believed he might hurt them. I thought this was a strong judgment as before they had even talked to Michael or go to know him they assumed that he was a threat to their community and families. This made me feel sad about racial judgment and prejudice. We see this alot in society when people are quick to jump to conclusions on someone’s personality before getting to know them.“Aren’t you afraid for your daughter with him sleeping there?” This is another quote from Mrs Tuohy’s friends who believe that Michael is a danger to her family. Racial discrimination is a huge issue in today’s society and the Blind side addressed the issue very well showing that most people will judge someone on colour, race and background whereas some families and individuals such as the tuohys were willing to accept michael for who he was and look past his background. It gave me a sense of sadness because of the separation between individuals. There was a Common view from the public is that the people from Michael‟s neighbourhood were dropouts of school, they sell drugs, steal and rob from other people, join gangs, beat people up, break laws, carry guns, and even kill people.This was what they associated with Michael, not looking at him for his sporting or intelligence capabilities. These ideas were shown through camera shots such as panning and tracking shots. These shots showed images of American youngster hanging out, getting into trouble, police officers in the neighbourhood and basically lazing around. I made me think of what a lot of white people stereotype some mixed racial areas to be like. This is sad because it treats mixed races as not equal. Therefore it gave people the idea that all the kids from this area are bad people and will cause trouble. This gives them a unfair chance in the world when compared to people with who come from privileged backgrounds. This is because any bad ideas developed instantly make it hard for a mixed race person from a bad neighbourhood to have an equal chance in jobs, school and sport when compared to a white privileged person.

Michael also received a lot of racial abuse when playing the NFL. In the middle of the story the Tuohy family encourage and teach michael to play NFL because he is very athletic and well built for his age. He is a natural football player but takes awhile to understand the rules as well as the strategies. Due to his rough background he has a strong protective instinct making him perfect for a back player. A lot of people such as the coach give up on Michael at the beginning because he can’t understand how to play. Michael grabs players and doesnt let them go as well as dump tackling them which is illegal in the game. Some white people watched him from the side lines and made racial comments against him such as he was too dumb to play because he was from a bad neighbourhood.  Or he wouldn’t be as good as the other white players because he was black. When Michael starts to play against other teams the players are afraid of the size of him so he receives a lot of nasty comments from them such as “ They got a big ol, black bear playing for them” they are referring to the size of Michael which is just not kind because he is a big player but they feel the need to treat him badly as they are scared of him. Another comment he receives from an opposition is “ Black piece of crap” I think this comment is really hurtful because it is out of fear that Michael is going to be better than the player. It is unnecessary and unsportsmanlike to say these things, the player doesn’t know michael’s background of the struggles he has overcome. The player doesn’t understand that Michael is actually a very kind person and he doesn’t need to be so rude to Michael. I felt this part of the text very offensive and I was glad that he got red carded. I think the reason so many people were nasty to Michael was because they are scared of him and what he is capable of. They are jealous that someone from such a  hard background could be such a great athlete, kind and daring. A lot of the white people have this idea in there head that all black people from his neighbourhood are bad but in reality each individual is different. This happens in today’s society when people from privileged backgrounds see non privileged people and believe they are better than them. I think that if we were more accepting of everybody’s race and background then we would prevent a lot of hurt that it caused.

I thought that the Blind side was a great text that developed many ideas around racial awareness. I though that teenagers could learn a lot about privileges, wealth, sportsmanship and racial discrimination from watching the movie. I would highly recommend this text to an individual because it made me feel lucky for what I have and helped me to understand to treat everyone the same. I learnt that it is easy to judge a book by its cover but most of the time our judgements are incorrect and that we need to get a full understanding of a individual before making comments about a character.  I enjoyed watching the movie and I thought the way the director used film techniques helped to bring the story together. 

Maturation of Liesel Meminger


list significant changes that occur in the character and life of liesel meminger

begin this response by outlining liesel’s circumstances of the text. continue by explaining how living in molching with the hubermanns affects Liesel and changes her circumstances/ character. lastly complete your response by explaining how 3 events significantly affect Liesel. eg Jesse owens incident, stealing from farmers, standing up to Frau hermann, hiding max, Rudy’s death, Max leaving.

Liesel is a 9 year old girl at the start of the text who is on a train with her mother and brother to a foster family. She is naive to most death and conflict. She starts to develop some understanding as her brother dies on the train while they travel along. When she arrives at the Hubermanns she is insecure and will not leave the car, she feels alone in the world without her mother and brother around. She has no family, friends or relationships around her.

1) I would think that a thief would be someone who knows that they are doing something wrong to hurt someone else or empower themselves. I thought that it would be someone who is a bad/ evil person that likes trouble. Liesel differs from this because she is very innocent taking books to develop her understanding of the world and learn how to read like everyone else. The reason she does it is to become smarter and enjoy the words of other people.

2) Liesel’s early experiences would have effected her as a child as she had to grow up and become independent fast. She had to learn to be mature as her mother left her and her brother died so she needed to be able to fend for herself. These early events cause her to act shy and independent later on in the text as she finds it hard to trust anyone due to her family leaving her alone. Because she understands that in some ways she must fight for herself it causes her to develop goals such as running away to find her mother alone and then later being independent and picking up washing from strangers houses for Rosa. As she matures she has difficulty making friends as she is reserved and finds it hard to let anyone get to know her. She doesn’t want to be hurt again by people leaving her or letting her down so she tends to be slightly selfish by pushing people away.

3) Books are so good for Liesel because they are a way for to escape everyday problems. Liesel has a lot of horror in her life such as her brothers death, her mother leaving her and the war going on books are a way for liesel to take her mind off these everyday difficulties and let her learn about a different world. They are also a way for her to develop a connection with Hans because he is teaching her to read and this makes her feel success. Liesel learns that words can be used for good and evil as she uses them for good to learn how to read and see happy endings. They can also be used for bad as she has to steal the books from people around her and some bad ideas such as death are developed in the text. Also the burning of books by the Nazi party of propaganda they don’t like.

4) Liesel vows to never to kiss Rudy because she sees him as a best friend. I think she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship by kissing him as she thinks it will make it awkward between them. Liesel also won’t kiss Rudy as she is not attracted to him in that way she thinks of him as a naughty best friend instead. The friendship of Liesel and Rudy represents the trust that too people can have with each other due to war. They have each others back no matter what and will never let one or another down. They tell each other everything and help them to get through the war. The relationship helps Liesel to be able to trust people again after feeling alone. Rudys bold character gets Liesel out of her shell and helps her to show her true personality.

5) Maxs experience in the war alters Liesel’s view as she understands that his struggle in war is much harder than her own. She becomes thankful to be able to walk outside anyday and learn in school. Max is trapped in the dark basement so Liesel understands that she is lucky to be able to see people on a daily basis. Max is constantly under threat of being caught by the Nazis were as Liesel is lucky to not be wanted by the Nazis. Max also gets sent to the concentration camps which is torture. Liesel understands that her own circumstances are much better than the way Max is having to live his life in horror.

6)Liesel’s book thieving is an important act to her as it shows her value of books. Liesel feels the need to steal books to read just to cope with everyday life. It gives her something to put her mind too during the horror of war. Stealing the books is exciting for her and reading them helps her to escape the sadness of the war. It serves a purpose as it shows that Liesel is very daring by having more desire to steal books than be worried about getting caught and in trouble. She is innocent to her crimes. Any adult would know that they are doing something wrong but Liesel is innocent to any wrong doing. She does it to feed her reading addiction.

7) I think Liesel fills her life as best as possible under the circumstances that she has. She does a lot to help and impact other people’s lives under the sad circumstances that she grows up in. She is kind to the people around her like Max. She has no reason to be so open and generous to many people due to the miss treatment she has had as a child but continues to show her kindness. She teaches us in the Novel how someone who comes from such a tough background can grow and develop to a strong independent women. She gives bread to the Jews and reads books in to the people in the shelters when really she has no reason to help anyone out. This shows that just because she could have had the easy life by following Hitler’s rules she decides to follow her heart and go against his ideas. By understanding the wrong doing Hitler has had on her life she puts herself in danger by doing acts that rebel against him showing her independence and strong characteristics.

Characterisation of Rudy


At the beginning of the text he is a 10 year old boy.

He is the perfect aryan race boy. With light blonde hair, blue eyes and reasonable height. His appearance is the Nazi ideal.

His personality is very cheeky and daring. He is constantly wanting to test the rules as such eg painting himself black and pretending to be Jesse Owens. Rudy hopes to be a great athlete always wanting Liesel to race him down the street. Rudy constantly is hungry so does daring acts such as stealing food from a boy dropping it at the church. He also steals things from people’s houses and farms. Rudy is also very confident within himself as he constantly tries his luck asking Liesel for a kiss. On the first day he meets her he says if he wins a running race against her he gets a kiss. Rudy is very caring though trying to protect Liesel from bullies at school and helping her steal books from the mayor’s house. He is very trustworthy when Liesel tell him about hiding max, a jew he doesn’t tell anyone and keeps it a secret for her.

Rudy’s Likes include- Football, food, running, Jesse Owens, Liesel

Rudy has a desire to kiss Liesel as he likes her, He has a desire to be an athlete like Jesse Owens, at the end of the story he has a desire to help some Jews and he also has a desire to kill Hitler.

Rudy is a character that likes to be involved in everything but also has a strong desire to stand up for what he believes is right. Rudy stands up for Tommy Muller in the Hitler youth camps because he gets in trouble for not listening to commands due to him being deaf in one ear. Rudy stands up for Tommy telling him he has a hearing problem only causing him to get himself in trouble and have to run six laps of the field.

Rudy also shows bravery and stupidity in the text as when he tries to steal food he goes for the biggest and most daring acts. Rudy tries to steal the biggest potato from the local grocer only to be caught by the grocer but manage to get himself out of trouble by lying about how poor he is. Rudy is so against hitler and the youth camps he pretends to forget hitler’s birthday when a Youth leader asks him so he has to run laps. Then a few days later he throws rocks at the youth leader showing his stupidity ending in a black eye, cracked ribs and a terrible haircut. Rudy ends up skipping Hitler youth meetings all together causing people to become suspicious and send letters home to his parents getting him in even more trouble for standing up for what he believed in.

Rudy was also determined as he trained very hard in order to win his running races. He would run lots of laps around the fields and up and down the streets to be the best he could be. He was determined to win all his running races at the carnival. This showed his commitment to being the best out of everyone

Rudy’s dislikes include- Hitler, People who bully Liesel, being hungry, war, Nazis, The youth camps.

Rudy has some frustrations these include- Hitler taking his friends in war, being bossed around at the youth camps, Liesel not wanting to kiss him, not being able to complete at the olympics or dress like Jesse Owens.

Rudy has many hobbies which include- Running, stealing due to his hunger, Football, chasing Liesel around.

What does Rudy represent- Rudy represents innocenece in the story. He is Hitler’s ideal race with Blonde hair blue eyes perfect aryan. But Rudy shows us how a child who is the perfect idea in Hitler’s morals can struggle due to hunger and his father being taken away due to war. He also shows us that a child who has everything going for him can develop their own morals that he hates what Hitler is doing, will put himself in danger to give bread to the Jews and go against Nazi camps. In Hitlers eyes Rudy is an example of who is the ideal German child who is sporty, intelligent and perfect looking but spiritually he follows his heart and doesn’t believe everything that Hitler tells him. Rudy has morals which are very strong as he could have picked the easy life and gone along with Hitler but instead he is willing to be daring and challenge his leader. At the end of the text Rudy also represents that a child who is the perfect German will still get killed due to his leaders actions as he is bombed and killed.

But in Rudy’s families eyes he is not the perfect child. He is living in a time of poverty and danger when at anytime he could be killed due to bombing and warfare.  Rudy’s family are constantly afraid of what will become of them due to the war as his father becomes taken away, and Rudy can be taken away due to his perfect German looks and sporting ability. They wish that rudy had not been alive at this time as they love him but he is in constant danger. They are scared for him because they know his personality is outgoing and he will paint himself black. This makes them worried as he is vulnerable to the Nazis as he will go against there ideals and they dont want him to become caught.

Significance of books

The significance of books


“The gravedigger’s handbook” – This text is significant in the book thief as it is the first book that Liesel steals. It is dropped at the side of her brothers grave by a gravedigger who is covering Liesel’s dead brothers body. This is a starting point for Liesel the “book Thief” as this is her first time stealing which leads her onto stealing more books. It is also the first book she has ever read with Hans Hubermann (the foster father). It becomes a special book to Liesel as it is the last thing she has to remember her brother. It is something that she keeps with her all the time to feel close to her brother as she is all alone moving to the hubermanns house so the book gives her a sense of being closer to her brother through the book. We know as the readers that death is always with her. It represents the Connection she has with her brother, The connection she has with death, the first book she has as a thief. 


“The shoulder shrug”- This text is significant in the book thief because Liesel steals it from a burning pile of books at a nazi burning. She waits till everyone has left the ceremony and grabs the book which is slightly burning. She hides it in her Jacket in the cold of the night. Liesel is willing to get burns on her body to have a book to read. The name of this book is significant as it shows that Liesel is not worried about going against the nazi party by stealing a book which is against their policies. This is the second book Liesel steals which she learns to read. This book represents her willingness to put herself in danger ie getting caught going against the Nazis to have book which she can read. It represents the way Lisel is going against the Nazi party, The idea that she is willing to do what’s right rather than follow the Nazis and the way she lets bad things just roll over her without letting it affect her that much.


“The standover man” – This text in the book is significant as it represents an idea that each character has a standover man or someone that influences them to mature physically, emotionally, mentally or socially without any recognition of them physically or mentally influencing them. Liesel’s main standover man I believe is Death, even though she doesn’t know he is there. This book is written by Max himself therefore it is held close to Liesel’s heart. These sentimental things generally hold really close to people and you generally cherish this as when they are gone this is what’s left of them. I believe from Liesel’s other standover man Hans hubermann impacts her positively and causes her to mature, therefore I believe Liesel is developed enough to appreciate the time, effort and meaning Max out into this book. This represents the way death stands over everyone, how Max, Hans and Rudy look out for Lisel and how Hitler is standing over everyone in germany. 


“The Dream Carrier”- This text appears in the novel when Liesel steals the book from Frau Hermann’s library. This text is of significance because Liesel steals the book as it reminds her of Max and his dreams as well as her own dreams. The book may be seen to represent the strong bond/ friendship that Liesel and Max both share and their dreams they share. By Stealing this book it may connect Liesel to her brother, because when she began stealing was on the event of her brothers death. This represents the dreams that Lisel has for a happy family, for peace in Germany, to have Max safe and for her and Rudy to have a relationship with Liesel. 


“Mein Kampf,” This text is significant as it firstly represents safety. This safety is to blend in with the crowd and the bandwagon of hitler, this book gives Hans almost a shell of protection. This book full of lies created by hitler is used to create the standover man. This signifies that Max still has hope, painting the pages of mein kampf white is highlighting Max innocence. Mein kampf has very one sided opinionated words that are trying to influence people. This book is used as a safety as even though people may not believe in it all, you blend in with what was seen to be right. Mein kampf mean my fight in english and shows how opinionated the country was at the time, talking about his fight in past tense like he has now achieved what he has wanted all along. It represents Hitlers control, The influence that he has over Germany, The fright that it gives the country and their people, the influence he has on the Jews, the horror that he shares in his story. 


“A song in the dark”,  represents Liesel’s independence and confidence as this is the first book she steals on her own.  This book represents the hope that Liesel has for the war to be over, for Max to be safe. It could also represent the happiness she gets from borrowing books, Getting food with Rudy, The way she has happiness playing football with the boys. It also is the good feeling that she gets from being able to read books. Max also represents light in the dark as he gives Liesel happiness but is stuck in a dark basement. 

Third Book response – The War Horse

The War horse

Written by Michael Morpurgo

“When noble creatures such as these are forced to become beasts of burden, the world has gone mad.” This is a strong quote from the novel War Horse which relates to how horses, which are innocent creatures, are subject to man’s stupidity and violence. The novel is about a young colt named Joey who lives with his mother. He is then bought by a young man called Albert who instantly falls in love with the horse. Albert teaches him to plow the fields, but Albert’s father is not pleased by the horse. Joey is sold to the army by Albert’s father which breaks his heart. Albert joins the army in search of Joey throughout the war. The book is an emotional rollercoaster with many highs and lows as the two brave characters, man and horse experience the tragic war.

The relationship between Joey and Albert helped me to understand the love they had for one another. Joey and Albert had a very strong bond from the start of the text. Albert was very kind to Joey making sure he was always warm enough and well fed under his ownership. He was also very gentle when teaching Joey to learn how to plow fields when Albert’s father was telling him to whip the horse to make him work. This helped me to understand the respect Albert had for Joey as he was very generous when making sure that Joey was ok. Joey showed his love for Albert by always trusting him. Joey is blindfolded by Albert and told to walk, he trusts Albert’s voice enough to follow him along the fields with the plow on his back. This shows the strong bond that they have for one another and the trust that has developed.

Albert has so much love for Joey the horse that he tries to join the war when he is under age to go with the horse. He is denied access but won’t give up so easily. He waits until he is the right age and then joins the Army so that he can try to find Joey who could be anywhere in the world.  “Wherever you are, I will find you and I will bring you home” this is a quote which proved how desperate Albert was to find Joey. This showed me that Albert was so moved by the special horse that he was willing to put his safety and life on the line to be with Joey. I could relate to the strong bond between human and animal as I have a dog whom I love dearly. The dog follows me wherever I go and is always trying to please me. In turn I am very loyal to my dog and talk him for walks, feed him and make sure I give him a lot of love because we are very close and have a strong relationship with one another.

 Another area of the text which shows the strong bond between man and pet is when Albert finds Joey. Once Albert recognises Joey he is overwhelmed with emotion for the horse who is in a bad condition. He does everything he can to keep Joey alive and stays up with him at night till he recovers. Albert and the men from the army put all their money together to buy Joey at an auction which is against Army rules. This is another part which helps us to understand the love that Albert has for Joey as he is willing to get himself in trouble with the Army manager to keep Joey. The two characters are inseparable when they are reunited. There relationship is very strong and will not be broken through war or any other things that life throws at them.  The idea that is developed here is that Soldiers in war quite often feel the need to have an animal to help get them through the war as a horse will always be reliable, trustworthy and forgiving no matter what humans do. 

I enjoyed the way the Author portrayed Joey as a human character with human qualities. Michael Morpurgo gives Joey the horse human qualities in the novel and even has him telling the story throughout his journey in war. He talks about his experiences as a horse and his own emotions and feelings. This helped me as the reader to develop a good understanding of how the events that occured affected Joey and what he thought about the humans around him. “But try as I might, I never got to eat any of her pastries, and do you know, she never even offered me one.” This quote showed me that Joey was very human like wanting to steal and eat delicious pastries. He had the same desire to eat treats put out they same way any man would. Joey’s story mimics that of many human soldiers from the time. Joey experiences his friends both humans and horses die around him in war. He has the same feelings of despair that any human would have seeing a friend die. “I had lost my best and dearest friend.” Joey loses one of his best friends, a horse named Topthorn who dies in the struggle of war. He has deep feelings of sorrow and despair, the same feelings of sadness that any human has when losing a best friend. Joey knows that he may see his dearest human friend Albert again but we know death brings the chance of reunion between the two horses to zero.

This made me feel very upset for Joey as Topthorn was a horse which was helping him to be able to cope through the war giving him company and hope. His death however deeply effects Joey as he feels alone in the world losing him which makes the horrible war even darker for dear Joey. Throughout the book Joey experiences many human emotions when Joey finally finds Albert he is overjoyed and expresses this by saying “his heart leapt with joy”. Finding Albert gives him hope. I think as a reader, the way Joey expressed his feeling as if he was a human helped me to feel better connected to him a as character. I felt that I could relate to each one of his emotions in a situation because they were explained in a way a human would experience. When Joey lost Topthorn I felt a connection with his feeling, as when I lost a pet I felt a deep sadness because I missed their company. Joey’s human instincts lead him to be a understandable character which was relatable for the reader and their own emotions.  

This book made me question the use of animals in the war. We see throughout the story that horses are used for many different things such as pulling carts with the wounded and dead,  being part of the cavalry and transportation of men and military equipment. I thought that it was sad in many cases because the horses were being overworked when they were pulling the carts to the point of exhaustion and then death. I believe that it is men’s fault they are going to war and the horses should not have been used for their own selfish purposes as many of them were dying. The horses have done nothing wrong so they have no reason to die as a result of man’s foolishness and need to battle.

The horses were also being used on the front line to run at the enemy which ended up in so many deaths as they got shot and cut by swords. “Blind terror drove me on, with my flying stirrups whipping me into a frenzy. With no rider to carry I reached the kneeling riflemen first and they scattered as I came upon them.” When Joey was put on the front line his rider was killed which frightened him as he had no control. This is unfair to all horses as they are willing to put their lives on the line to do what man says but its the fault of humans that they are dying for nothing. I think this also helped me as a reader to develop a sense of respect for the horses as they are willing to do what men says even if it is foolish. This shows horses as very noble creatures as they are loyal to the men even though they don’t know what they are dying for. Eight million horses died during world war one which shows the significant impact that the war had on these amazing beasts.

In the War Horse novel Joey gets captured at one point and is used for his enemy country. He doesn’t understand the difference between the two battling sides and therefore continues on fighting for man’s causes. I thought that this showed his loyalty to the human race as all he wanted to do was please. No matter what was asked of him and how tired and beaten down he was, he continuously worked his hardest for all men. The novel made me question why we should use animals in war because it is for our own selfish benefit. The animals are not treated well and die for us but we just replace them with another forgetting the ones who put their heart and soul into helping us win a battle. They are all subject to man’s stupidity which is sad because they have done nothing wrong to die is such extreme conditions from exhaustion, starvation and shooting. “I wandered now through the mists until my good legs could drag me no farther.” Joey pushed himself to the point of breaking when pulling the carts as he knew the men counted on him to be able to get the wounded back for medical support.  This showed me the determination that an animal has to please his commander.

I didn’t like the character of Albert’s father because he was a drunken old man who sells Joey to the army for his own selfish benefit. Albert’s father tried to whip Joey, shoot him and sell him for a very low price to the army. He is the one who bought Joey in the first place but thinks they are stupid creatures. He says to Albert that he believes they are,  “Obstinate and stupid.” In the beginning of the text, as the reader, it was easy to develop the opinion that Albert’s father saw horses as pieces of equipment that should do as he says. Many time he goes into the stable drunk and tries to work Joey which frightens the horse causing him to lash out at the drunken man. These actions only cause Albert’s father to dislike Joey even more finally leading to him selling joey to the army for some extra money. In the story he says the reason he sells joey to the army is because he needs money for food and rent but I believed that he was most likely to use the money for more alcohol to feed his addiction.

Albert’s father had a serious alcohol addiction coming home most nights drunk and angry. I felt sad for Albert, Joey and his wife to have to deal with him in his drunken state as he would say horrible remarks and trying to hurt Joey, multiple times. This made me feel a lot of disrespect for Alberts fathers character as he was very untrustworthy and striking out at everyone due to his alcohol addiction. I think it was easy to relate to the way Albert felt around his father when he was drunk because I have experienced being around drunk rowdy people which made me very uncomfortable. When people are intoxicated they become unpredictable which can be very frightening. I thought that Albert’s father should have tried to develop a better relationship with his son and the horse and would have been a more respected character.  

I thought that The War Horse was a very well written tale which I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought that the writer did an amazing job of portraying the view of Joey, a horse. It was an interesting story which teenagers can learn about the hardships of war for both man and beast. It helped me to develop the opinion that horses were what gave soldiers hope during the war as they developed strong connections and relationships with one another. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the loyalty and nobility of animals in war.

Characterisation in the book thief

In the opening sections of the text the reader learns many things about the main characters.


Lisel is brought into the Novel at the  beginning . We learn about Lisels situation when she is on the train with her mother and brother, when her brother passes away. She seems to have no fears at the start as they go along she sings a german song. She is devastated when she realises her brother has died and shows her unstability as she is now alone arriving at her foster parents. We can understand that she is mentally strong because she doesn’t break down and start crying when meeting her foster parents and leaving her mother. We also know she is resilient as she doesn’t want to leave the car to go inside. Lisel is undernourished on her arrival as the writer states she has “wire like shins”  We know that Lisel and her family are fearful of the war as they are having to leave there home and flee somewhere else. As a reader we learn that Lisel has decided to be a strong young women because she is forced to leave her mother and her brother dies but she goes with her foster parents. She doesn’t understand fully why her mother is making her leave which makes her think her mother doesn’t love her any more. She is 9 years old. When her brother dies she steals a book that is dropped near his grave. Lisel has never learnt to read which makes her very frustrated.  Lisel likes to be competitive as she meets Rudy her best friend and does lots of running races against him. I believe that all of these were included by the writer as he is trying to explain Lisels resilience to horrible events through a thorough description. She is a strong person and this is developed at the start of the novel to help the reader to understand her personality of a independent women. This helps set the scene in what is to come as we know that Lisel has already learnt to cope with tough sistuations.


Hans is a middle aged man who lives with his bossy wife Rosa. From the beginning of the text we know that he is kind natured as when Lisel arrives she is scared to get out of the car. Rosa is yelling at her to get out but Hans goes over and gives Lisel his hand coaxing her out of the car. He teaches Lisel many things including how to read and roll a cigar. Hans was a painter by trade and plays the piano accordion. Hand loves to play his accordion as he is very good at it he does some busking on the streets to make money. The writer describes Hans as barley visible. His eyes are described or being made of kindness. He is very kind continually helping Lisel as he is super friendly. He reads a story to Lisel doing his best which again helps the reader he does a lot to please. Hans even comforts Lisel every night that she has bad dreams and falls asleep in the chair in the corner of his room. Throughout the text we can understand that Hans will put the people he loves  before himself as he is so loyal and kind. Hans is Liesel’s foster father, her Papa. He is a very tall man who walks upright and has silver eyes. His quiet, gentle nature is what wins Liesel over, and Death tells us that he is the one Liesel loves most. Hans doesn’t agree with the acts of the Nazi Party, but applies for membership to keep up the appearance of loyalty so that he can protect his family. Hans doesn’t like the Nazi party as he had a best friend who was a Jew. This shapes his opinion against the party which makes some people not like him. The writer includes this as it helps us to understand Hans acceptance of everyone.


Rosa Hubermann is Liesel’s foster mother, her Mama and She is married to Hans Hubermann. She is a squat woman with a rough exterior, who calls Liesel a Saumensch, a female swine, and Hans a Saukerl, the male equivalent. . She does the washing and ironing for many of Molching’s wealthy inhabitants. Rosa often insults both Liesel and Hans for their uselessness around the house. When Liesel disobeys or upsets Rosa, Rosa is quick to give her a beating. Death, however, tells us that Rosa, surprisingly, has a very big heart, and does, in fact, deeply loves both Hans and Liesel. She is also known to be able to straighten all of the children that she has adopted out of their rambunctious behavior. The story reveals through her treatment of Liesel and willingness to take in Max, however, that beneath her tough exterior she is in fact kind and caring. “Saumensch. You call me Mama when you talk to me.”


Rudy is one of six children and Liesel’s best friend. He starts off in the novel as a ten-year-old boy with “bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes, and hair the color of a lemon”.  He is known for painting himself black like Jesse Owens after the 1936 Olympics and running the track at Hubert Oval. Rudy identifies with Owens because of the shared love of athletics, which cuts across racial, ethnic, and religious lines, and other lines of difference. For Rudy, difference is not something to be feared or eradicated. Although there’s a war going on, his main interest is usually soccer or winning races He is in love with Liesel and is constantly trying to get her to kiss him. He clearly cares about her, and he often sticks by her side and tries to protect her if necessary. When Viktor Chemmel begins berating Liesel, Rudy tells him to leave her alone, and when Viktor tosses Liesel’s book in the river, Rudy doesn’t hesitate to dive in after it. Rudy is a good student and a great athlete and often sticks up for Liesel, protecting her . Together, they steal apples and potatoes, as well as books from the mayor’s house. He calls Liesel a Saumensch just like Rosa Hubermann does. Liesel calls him a Saukerl, just like Rosa calls Hans.


Max Vandenburg is the Jewish man who hides in the Hubermanns’ basement. At first site, Max is seen as weak and helpless. His father saved Hans’s life during World War I, and later Hans tries to save Max’s life, which puts the Hubermanns’ lives in great danger. In many ways, Max and Liesel are similar. They both have nightmares about their pasts, and they both see Hans Hubermann and his accordion as a source of safety. He feels deeply guilty for leaving his family to save himself, an act he sees as a choice rather than a necessity to survive.  Max writes books for Liesel about all that she has done for him and about how her words and her tears are able to save him and give him strength.  He and Liesel become great friends during their time together. He is often conflicted between staying alive and his wish to make life easier for the Hubermanns by leaving, but he knows leaving would likely mean his death.  As he lives isolated in the Hubermann’s basement, he imagines literally fighting Hitler and countless Germans. The only time Max seems not to be fighting is when he is with Liesel. In those instances he is suddenly very soft and kind.




“The Prologue: Colour imagery”

White pages 7-9

In these pages white represents the colour of snow that was falling. In these pages white shows how cold it is on the train and outside as the whole area is covered by white snow. In this part of the text the white is creating and atmosphere of despair as Lieslel’s brother has died on the train. The white colour also represents the exposure that she feel outside when her brother is being buried in the snow.  “Tears were frozen to the book thief’s face” was a quote in the book which represents the cold that she feels, the sadness that she has from her brothers death and the white colour cause by the cold. The colours make me think of a cold winters day. When you are exposed to the cold and the feeling of being wrapped up in scarfs and beanies and warm jackets.

Black pages 10-12

Black the colour I believe represents darkness and death. In this part of the text black is representing the darkness and horror of death when it arrives to early. I understand this to mean that sometimes people die at a very young age before they should due to sad circumstances. In this story this happens to Liseils brother as he dies very young.   ” It was the darkest moment before dawn” This is one quote from the text which represents the colour black as the day is at its darkest. When all is gloomy and depressing which can be compared to the colour black. In this part of the text the atmosphere that is created is sadness and horror as death kills Liesel’s brother and some heroic people who died before their time. The events that occur in these two pages are sad and heartbreaking which is a good representation of what the colour black can be referred too. When everything is dark most things feel scarier which helps me to understand that black is almost an evil creepy colour.  The colour black makes me think of really dark nights when you are scared and alone. It makes me think of all the creepy bugs and nasty things that could be out there. It also makes me think of depression when people feel consumed by darkness with no way out. The depression can be caused by sadness. This means that sadness can also be represented by the colour of black.

Red 13-15

Red in these pages of the book represent the colour of blood caused by bombs and injury as well as the colour of the sky from explosion. Red in the pages 13-15 also show the bombings happening and the catastrophic events taking place like the planes fighting and the continuous fires from bombings on houses. This colour gives a feeling of anger between some and the feeling that there is an emergency. When I personally think of this colour I think of furiousness or anger, or even sometimes racing for example in this case racing to the underground basements do give these innocent families a slight chance of surviving as this is exactly what the scene is setting. “the sky was like soup, boiling and stirring.” I believe this references to Liesel’s emotions as she has just experienced something catastrophic, which is pathetic fallacy. Rage is going to impact Liesel throughout the text and it shows that she might experience a lot of this redness of rage around her throughout the book.  “The streets were ruptured veins,” Death describes the street as a vein itself burst and destroyed by the bombs, bleeding rubble.  

2) Red is part of the Nazi flag; this means that it hangs like a moving cloud of death over the war. The flag is represented in the 3 colours red, black and white. Through out the text we learn that white represents death and cold, black represents death, depression and horror, Red represents blood, anxiety and anger. Throughout the text Lesiel experiences all of these emotions due to her family members dying and the cold of winter as well as anxiety and anger from war. Her brother dies and she is left in the cold of white. She experiences a lot of blackness through depression from death, Horror through seeing many family members die and disappear. She experiences red through the anger of war and the blood that has been spilled due to Hitler. 


3)  Extended examples of the colour black throughout the text

In one area of the text Rudy paints himself black with charcoal. This occurs in pages 58-63. Rudy decides to paint himself black with charcoal because he has an idol , Jesse Owens the Olympic medal winner. Rudy wants to be like Jesse so he feels in order to go and run fast around the track he needs to paint himself the same colour. Rudy gets in extreme trouble with his father for doing this, he drags him home and scrubs him raw. The black in this area of the text represents peoples judgement. Rudy believes the colour black will cause him to be a fast runner and maybe go to the Olympics. Rudy’s father hated the colour black on Rudy as it made him unsafe as if the Nazi party were to catch him they would take him away. Black is representing the the attitude that people have to colour diversity and the hatred the Nazi Germans had for black people. ” You shouldn’t want to be black people or Jewish people. This showed me that black could cause someone to be taken away.  Black gave the idea that it was a colour that causes trouble and anger in people. The Nazis had a lot of anger towards mixed race people so therefore it caused Rudys dad to have anger at Rudy for wanting to be the colour black. This could be because he doesn’t want his son to be taken away due to black.


White: description of the Mayor’s wife, Frau Hermann

“Chalky hand and wrist…she reached out, cold-fingered….long, light eyelashes.” p.144 

The colour reference of white in this area of text shows us the whiteness within someone. The Mayors wife had chalky coloured wrists and the description of cold is used with her hands which gives us an example of white as well. When we think of white the image of snow and ice which is cold come into head so he hands must be really deathly cold. Her eye lashes are light which could be another description of white as it is often described as a light colour.


Throughout the text red is a colour related to the rise of naziisem in Germany and is often seen in scenes of immense grief and anger. When Liesel’s brother dies he heart was “slippery and hot” and gives the reader of a bright red heart beating faster and faster. Red could describe liesel’s burning anger towards Hitler, when Hans tells her that he could take them away and her. Red is also used by death to describe the day when liesel’s home and loved ones were torn from her, as the streets were like ruptured veins which would leak dark red blood across the road. It shows how devastated and destroyed Liesel’s life is as the bright hopeful fire in her heart has burnt out and the red is now spilt all around her, in the sky and in the ground beneath her feet. This could also reflect the blood of Germany that day as they know they have lost to the bombs of the allies. The colour red also quite obviously appears when blood is shed, at the end of the book after liesel’s town was bombed, blood of her loved ones flooded the street, evidently death saw boiling thick red skies everywhere 

“You see, people may tell you that Nazi Germany was built on anti-Semitism, a somewhat over-zealous leader and a nation of hate-fed bigots, but it would all have come to nothing had the Germans not loved one particular activity – to burn. The Germans loved to burn things. Shops, synagogues, Reichstags, houses, personal items, slain people and, of course books.” p. 90 

This gives us the imagery of red due to the burning. This gives the impression of anger as burning red can be associated with torches and riots when things are lit of fire due to anger. The burning is due to the hatred towards the Jews and so they burn there shops and belongings which represents the colour red.

Second book response

Second book response  

Sophie Pascoe

Published by Tony Smith


“Stroke of fate”  


“ I believe I can be an inspiration to the challenges that athletes face rather than the disability” This is a quote in the Novel “ Stroke of fate” spoken by the inspiring Sophie Pascoe. “Stroke of fate” written by Tony Smith is a novel about the life of 9 time Paralympic champion Sophie Pascoe. The biography shows the bravery and determination of Sophie Pascoe as she learns to cope with one leg from the age of 2. This story is a book that all New Zealand teenagers should read to develop some respect for our athletes courage. Throughout the story Sophie’s life is told from when she loses her left leg to when she wins her first gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. Struggling throughout her journey, Sophie shows the reader how hard work and determination is rewarding when she starts to become world champion.

Pascoes life gives an inspirational message to athletes all across the globe. When Sophie was just 2 years of age her father accidentally ran her over in the lawn mower which resulted in both her legs being cut up in the blades. Her left leg had to be amputated and her right leg was left with severe scarring. From the beginning Sophie shows us as readers that losing a leg was not going to stop her from achieving her dreams. She started swimming competitively when she was just 7 years of age. ” From the moment I won my first race I was hooked” This is a statement that Sophie says in her book as she fell in love with swimming after her first race. She was instantly attracted to the feeling of winning. In the novel she shows the reader’s how she is inspiring. When Sophie starts her new school she has to compete in swimming sports, every day prior to this no one at school had seen Sophie’s missing leg. Sophie does swimming sports in front of the whole school beating the able bodied swimmers. This shows the school that just because she is missing a leg doesn’t mean she is any worse at swimming than they are. This part of the story inspired me as when Sophie first started at the school she wore long pants so people didn’t see her impairment. She then decides that people will have to respect her for the way that she is and gets in her togs and does swimming sports this helps to develop her sense of self pride by competing. This part of the story made me feel really motivated and try my best in all areas of my sports that I compete in. It made me feel privileged to be able to compete in fully able bodied sports without anybody passing judgement about what I look like. I think it is inspiring to me that Sophie was willing to put herself out there and fail in front of a whole school in order to prove the point that she can be successful. I felt that I need to be braver in my sport when reading this, as I need to not worry about failing but put my self out there in order to win.  

Another part of the story which was inspiring to me was when Sophie was still a child she knew she wanted to be a Paralympian. When she was around the age of 10 her grandfather passed away to whom she was very close with. The night before he passes away she makes a vow to him to win a gold medal. I think this part of the story is inspirational as she shows that she is determined from a very young age to become a Paralympic Champion. She won her first Paralympic gold medal at the Beijing Olympics and dedicated it to her grandpa. “When the NZ anthem came on I knew he was looking down on me” When she won the medal Sophie felt the presence of her grandfather looking down on her as she stood on the podium with the NZ anthem playing.I felt a lot of respect for Sophie as when depressing times like her grandfathers death could have resulted in her giving up but instead she pushed on making a positive out of the situation showing her mental strength. I think Sophie is mentally strong because she is able to block out emotions and focus on her drive to succeed in swimming. 

One part of the book that made me respect Sophie Pascoe was that she holds no resentment against her father as he was the one who ran her over in the lawn mower. When Sophie’s father ran her over it was by complete accident, her father did everything he could to get Sophie to the hospital and healthy again. Sophie understood this from a child and holds no grudge or anger against her father. In the novel she even goes to say that maybe it was fate or she wouldn’t be doing the things she’s doing now. Her father was much more traumatized by the incident than Sophie was as he says “It still haunts me today”. She has changed a negative situation into a positive situation which made me respect Sophie’s personality to always look on the bright side of life. It would be easy for her to have resentment and think that her father had ruined her life from a young age. Instead she has chosen to take the positive outlook about her incident and embrace the fact that she can compete in the Paralympic games and inspire other disabled and able bodied athletes. This area of the text made me feel humbled by Sophie’s continuous bravery and determination because she had many hardships happen at such a young age including her losing her leg and the grandfather she was so close with. I felt very lucky to have had such a easy start to my life with very little hiccups. It made me contrast with the Michael Phelps book “Beneath the surface” and his start to life as a swimmer. Michael Phelps parents paid for personal coaching and looked after him very well and he had no hardships as a kid. But in Michael Phelps Novel he continually complains to his coach and is rude to his parents about how hard is life is. When comparing these texts it made me feel frustrated that someone so humble as Sophie Pascoe has such little recognition compared to Michael Phelps when she is so much more deserving due to her great attitude.  

Throughout most of the Novel I was very humbled by Sophie pascoes modesty and determination for success. However towards the end of the biography one idea brought me to think that her journey to the Paralympics was slightly selfish. I felt some disrespect to all athletes when reading her life story due to the hardship and amount of pressure that is put on a professional athletes family. From a young age Sophie competes in many swimming events and training which costs her family a lot of money. They are constantly having to pay for her coaches fees, her competition fees and her training equipment. This could put a lot of financial stress on a family for the desires of one person. When Sophie starts to do well at her swimming she begins to start travelling overseas which has to be paid for from her parents. International travel is very expensive so Sophie’s parents have even larger financial stress on them whereas the money could have been used for the whole family to go overseas on holidays. Therefore I believe that all international athletes have to be selfish to put such a financial burden on there families. 

Another reason I developed the opinion that being a international athlete is selfish was how Sophie constantly needed emotional support from her parents when she was having a hard day’s training. When she thought that she didn’t want to swim or that she would never be good enough to win her parents were always by her side encouraging her to keep trying. This would have been emotionally hard on her parents as they had to believe in Sophie that she was gonna make it to the Paralympics and that she was good enough to win. I felt that Sophie would have had to be slightly selfish to be so demanding on her parents. I could relate to this area of the story as I compete at mountain biking events across the country and my family has to pay for my travel. I feel selfish to have to spend so much money to get the enjoyment from competing and doing well. This part of the novel also helped me to develop the idea that Sophie was very lucky to have a supporting family. If She had come from a very poor family which had issues such as divorce or struggle she wouldn’t have been able to compete. When I put myself in Sophie’s shoes I believed she was a privileged child based on the support she had not only from her parents but her grandparents, friends and school. In one area of the book Sophie goes to Beijing to compete in the Paralympics. Her school helps her to fund raise for her travel and when she returns the held a celebration for her and gave her gifts on stage. I felt that she was almost spoilt for the amount of people supporting her. I felt that as a teenager living in a first world country I can relate to being very spoilt for support with my parents encouragement to compete in all my sporting events and my friends embracing my successes with me.  

One Message the Sophie tried to convey through her book was that she didn’t want to be treated as a disabled athlete. Sophie wanted to be treated as a professional athlete and compared with all able bodied athletes This gave me a sense of empowerment when reading her Novel. At the beginning of the text Sophie was nominated for Sports women of the year. This was a big achievement for a disabled athlete to be nominated against able bodied sportsman’s. In her story she talks about how proud she was of this nomination and that she was happy to be compared with all athletes. ” I felt respected and congratulated to be nominated against all NZ athletes” was one remark she had when discussing her nomination. Then two years after this nomination she wins disabled sportswoman of the year. Sophie becomes very disappointed and hurt to not be compared with all athletes. She feels it is unnecessary to have her own category of a disabled athlete and she felt that it demoralized her being an athlete. I agreed with how Sophie felt being categorized as a disabled athlete and not just an athlete. I thought that it was unfair that she should be treated any different to anybody else as her achievements are the same and deserve to be respected. This made me compare to issues we have today as we don’t want to categorize people by ethnicity and rather just as people. If we separated awards for African, Asian and European people this would be racist and hurt full to each race, so why should it be any different for disabled and non disabled athlete? .

I believe Sophie Pascoe does an amazing job with her writer Tony Smith to create a Novel which show the true hardship and success that Sophie has had so far in her sports career. It is a very precious story that New Zealanders need to read so that we can understand how hard it is for one of our own athletes to compete. I think it would be a great Novel for teenagers to read to develop a sense of respect for our disabled athletes. They can learn that disabled athletes are as inspirational as any able bodied athlete. The novel is well written and gives a great understanding of what someone disabled may go through growing up.

Personal response 1 ” To the Summit”

To the Summit

Written by Nick Allen

Published by Massey University press in 2016


“To the Summit” is a novel that shows pure determination as well as physical and mental strength that all teenagers and adults can respect. The biography of Nick Allen tells his true life story of a strong young adult destined to push his physical limits in the outdoors. Nick then becomes wheelchair bound as he develops a severe case of Multiple Sclerosis which not only affects his everyday physical movement but becomes a mental challenge for him to overcome.  Nick is continually knocked back by his disease which causes him to have many mental battles in his mind on why he should continue to live if he can’t do what he loves.


The story is very emotional and heartfelt. As the reader it helped me to understand the restrictions that a disease can have on you not only physically but also mentally when you feel that nothing will ever be the same. Nick was a very fit individual in his youth biking up to 50 km in a day as well as competing in many different events. When he develops Multiple Sclerosis he struggles to even walk between classes at university.  The idea of restriction is portrayed throughout the text as Nick struggles to cope with everyday movements. When Nick was younger these movements didn’t feel like a privilege, but once developing the disease something as simple as walking up 10 stairs feels like a massive accomplishment. At one point in the story Nick is late for a class but is restricted to making it on time as he says “I knew I could not run for more than a few meters”. I understand that being two minutes for a class was a major problem for Nick and someone with Multiple Sclerosis as the physical demand of having to be rushed into running could cause their body to collapse with fatigue. I think the story developed the idea of restriction strongly throughout the text and I imagined how it would impact my everyday activities. If I had Multiple Sclerosis riding my bike to get to school would not be possible as it would cause so much fatigue that I wouldn’t be able to cope with doing school work after.  Also Multiple Sclerosis would prevent me from able to train for my sport as it would be too physically taxing for me to cope with anything else in my day. 


This story made me think how privileged normal functioning humans are. When Nick starts to accept that he is going to have to live with Multiple Sclerosis he is determined to try climbing mountains and become physically fit again. He continually goes to the gym most days working tirelessly to  make the smallest improvement. Many times he is knocked back and must rest for a week from pushing himself to achieve his goals. “My previous experience of gyms was not overly positive but knowing that it would help me to achieve my goals gave me a sense of drive” Nick was initially frightened of the idea of going to the gym knowing the negative impacts it could have on him. I respected the way he put these fears aside in order to  achieve his goals knowing he could fail. This part of the story reminded me of the novel “Wonder” by R.J Palacio. This novel is about a young boy called Auggie with a facial disorder which makes him feel abnormal and unable to go out in public. Like Nick, Auggie has a strong drive to conquer his fears. He doesn’t care what other people think of what he is capable of and goes out and achieves his goals by joining a public school. I think this part of the novel highlights when things go wrong in our lives we think  it is such a massive deal and nobody else has ever dealt with such a tough problem. But in reality there will always be someone worse off than you and we should enjoy and celebrate what we can do.  I felt inspired to try new experiences such as joining a new sports team. It helped me realise it doesn’t matter what other people think of you so long as you try your best because you never know what you may be good at till you try. 


I was able to see that Nick was a slightly privileged individual with the support he had from his family and the media. I feel Nicks’ parents were  supportive of him, encouraging and funding him to overcome the challenges he faced. I can see he was lucky as he had support from others. Nicks parents not only paid for him to have mobility scooter but also were there to pick him up when he was too fatigued to drive home. They were constantly on hand for him to call on when he was feeling down. “ Dad had driven me to the scooter shop I could not handle driving in heavy Auckland traffic anymore. Nick is of NZ European descent, his family had enough money to be able to support the disease and the restrictions it had on Nick. This helped him be mobile and experience a semi-normal life.

It made me consider how someone from a poor background, in a third world country, with no family support could have coped developing Multiple Sclerosis. IThey would have faced even more challenges than Nick and would have struggled to achieve such high goals as he did. This made me question my own background as I am a privileged individual and supported by my family. If I was unlucky and developed such a restrictive disease I would have the support to help me through, but many individuals would not.

I have a strong sense of respect for Nick because he overcomes the mental battle of developing Multiple Sclerosis. He manages to get fitter and mobile in his everyday life. Nick sets a goal for himself to climb Island Peak at an assent of 6,189 m. He achieves it  in four and a half hours, 3 hours faster than the average time.

I respected Nick as he went from being a fit young adult to being wheelchair bound. He develops a strong drive to overcome this disease. The message that is repeated throughout the text is that you can do anything. Nick shows us that nothing is too hard to prevent you from achieving goals. Even if you have to modify or develop new goals. With a bit of hard work and determination which is shown in this novel you can achieve what you put your mind too. I felt overjoyed at Nick’s success as he battled so hard to climb so many mountains. He thought about giving up many times but continued to push on. This determination gave me a sense of pride and made me realise people who have massive restrictions can motivate themselves to accomplish amazing achievements. 


One idea that I found disturbing was the depression that Nick developed when he thought he could never live a happy life again. At one point Nick tries to commit suicide by almost crashing his car into a power pole but he manages to control his mind and pulls the car to safety. This made me feel very sad for Nick and anyone else coping with a disease that restricts their lifestyle as he couldn’t see the point in living any longer so why continue to go on. I thought he showed a strong sense of diligence to be able to look past the restrictions that he had and continue battling to accomplish his goals as well as show the world that anyone can overcome multiple sclerosis. In this scene where Nick is willing to take his life it taught me that it is important to ask for support and help when you need it. Nick was trying to cope with his mental battle with the disease on his own. This caused him to think that there was no way out other than through death but in reality when he asked for support from others around him they were willing to help work through the mental and physical challenges that Nick faced. I thought that many people in the 21st century could relate to this as we try to balance all of our own problems such as money, relationships and sports. I believe that many people are too scared to ask for support in case they get judged for it. For society to keep a healthy balanced life people need to get support when they need it. Somethings such as diseases and relationship problems can’t be dealt with on their own and could easily be fixed with some professional help. 


I think that Nick did an amazing job telling his achievements through the Novel “To the Summit” it was captivating and made me really appreciate what I have in my everyday life. I would definitely recommend reading this novel as I feel everyone can learn something from it and develop some type of motivation to get out there and achieve their own goals.