By Jordan Sonnenblick


Mazzola Publishing has sent out an all call for creative talent to compete in an upcoming showcase to promote the work of Jordan Sonneblick. You LOVE his work and recognize that you're the one for this job and immediately sign up! The publishing house has established a list of criteria that you check out. What a terrific competition; research the author, talk about the characters, setting, plot, point of view, and theme! You can't wait to begin.

  • Create a 7 slide PowerPoint presentation - Make sure that you are specific and use events from the novel to support your statements or ideas.
    • Title slide
    • Author - Tell us a little about this author.
      Where is he from?
      How old is he?
      What does he do for a living?
      Is he married? Kids?
      Has he written any other books
      What inspires him?
    • Characters - Describe the following characters (use vivid adjectives). (Steven, jeffrey, Mom, Dad, Annette) Are they major or minor? Static or dynamic? Do you like this character? Why or why not? Can you relate to this character? Explain how and why. What kind of problems (conflict) does this character encounter? What kind of emotions do you feel when you read about this character?
      • Characters are either major or minor and either static (unchanging) or dynamic (changing). The character who dominates the story is the major character. Readers can learn about characters in many ways, including: 1.) Physical traits 2.) Dialogue 3.) Actions 4.) Attire 5.) Opinions 6.) Point of view There are no limits on the types of characters who can inhabit a story: male or female, rich or poor, young or old, prince or pauper. What is important is that the characters in a story all have the same set of emotions as the reader: happiness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, joy, and love.
    • Setting - Document the setting(s) from Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.
      Examples of story settings- school, park, mall, home, beach, mountains, etc…
      • Where the action of the story takes place. (HINT-There can be more than one setting!!)
    • Plot - Make a list of important events/interactions (at least 15) from the book. Make sure that your list the events in the order in which they occur in the book. Example from Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie-“Moatmeal Accident”-Jeffrey’s nose bleed- a sign of something worse?? (This would be part of the ‘complication’ piece of the plot.)
      • The plot is what happens in the novel and how the characters interact.

      • Narrative tradition calls for developing stories with particular pieces--plot elements--in place.

      • Exposition is the information needed to understand a story.

      • Complication is the catalyst that begins the major conflict.

      • Climax is the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication.

      • Resolution is the set of events that bring the story to a close.

    • Point of View (POV) - Who is telling the story in Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie? From which POV is the story told? How do you know this?
      • Types of POV: Objective Point of View With the objective point of view, the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the story's action and dialogue. The narrator never discloses anything about what the characters think or feel, remaining a detached observer.
        Third Person Point of View Here the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. We learn about the characters through this outside voice.
        First Person Point of View In the first person point of view, the narrator does participate in the action of the story. When reading stories in the first person, we need to realize that what the narrator is recounting might not be the objective truth. We should question the trustworthiness of the accounting. Look for the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘we’.
        Omniscient and Limited Omniscient Points of View A narrator who knows everything about all the characters is all knowing, or omniscient.
        A narrator whose knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor, has a limited omniscient point of view.
        As you read a piece of fiction think about these things:
        How does the point of view affect your responses to the characters? How is your response influenced by how much the narrator knows and how objective he or she is? First person narrators are not always trustworthy. It is up to you to determine what is the truth and what is not .
    • Theme - What is the theme(s) from Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie?
      • What the novel is really about-the novel’s message. What exactly is this elusive thing called theme?
        The theme of a fable is its moral. The theme of a parable is its teaching. The theme of a piece of fiction is its view about life and how people behave.
        In fiction, the theme is not intended to teach or preach. In fact, it is not presented directly at all. You extract it from the characters, action, and setting that make up the story. In other words, you must figure out the theme yourself.
        The writer's task is to communicate on a common ground with the reader. Although the particulars of your experience may be different from the details of the story, the general underlying truths behind the story may be just the connection that both you and the writer are seeking.

        Here are some ways to uncover the theme in a story: Check out the title. Sometimes it tells you a lot about the theme.
        Notice repeating patterns and symbols. Sometimes these lead you to the theme.
        What allusions are made throughout the story?
        What are the details and particulars in the story? What greater meaning may they have?
        Remember that theme, plot, and structure are inseparable, all helping to inform and reflect back on each other. Also, be aware that a theme we determine from a story never completely explains the story. It is simply one of the elements that make up the whole.

  • Each slide must have
    • at least one picture
    • background color
    • at least one animation

Jordan SonnenblickCharactersSetting

Point of View


created by A. Mazzola and J. Reynolds Oct., 2007