Brent - Riverside Secondary School

Paul Fleishman
Cassie Curtis
Anna Eremenko
Nick Mizen
Patricia Sarroca
Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City
Time – July, 1995.
Cultural setting – Upper class,
white society, Chicago.
The main places in Chicago is the
house where the part is at, and
Brent’s house.
Confused, depressed, alone
Teenage boy living in Chicago
New to his school
Kills Lea in a car crash, her mother
asks him to build whirligigs in every
corner of the united states
Mrs.Zamora (Lea’s mother)
 The girl Brent killed in the
 Motivated Brent throughout his
 The reason for his trip
 Honour student, student
council, sports, music
 Kind, understanding
 Thinks that asking Brent to
make the whirligigs will help
him and others know how
bright Lea was
Brent's parents
 Father is an older man, grumpy and tired
 Mother is a regular house wife
 Both are very worried when Brent has to travel around the country
 Main significance of the book was about whirligigs
 Brent’s goal was to put out whirligigs at the corners of America
 Each whirligig in the book had its own story
 “I was actually trying to kill myself. I killed her instead , by accident”
 His adventure with building whirligigs started because he was trying to kill
The complication
 Brent was humiliated at a
party where he was
drinking, so he left early .
 He was thinking suicidal
thoughts as he was
driving so he shut his
 He killed another driving
instead of himself after
swerving into the other
Brent vs. Himself
 Brent sees suicide as an
easy way to escape his
 He struggles with the fact
that he killed someone
Brent vs. School peer’s
 Brent cannot build
relationships because he
is always moving
 He is an outcast to the
other students
 Brent cannot seem to fit
in with their interests
The sunny
morning made
anything seem
possible. -Brent
He didn’t remember the actual impact. He
did recall the ambulance lights, the
policeman asking how he felt, the
discovery that he’d escaped with only
cuts and a minor head injury. The came
the alcohol test. Then the drive to the
police station, being booked for drunk
driving, the photographs and
fingerprints-registering his new birth, the
thought now. Then the realization that
the ambulance at the scene had been
tending someone else, that he’d hit
another car. -Brent
This passage is very similar to what
happens right now. Drunk driving
happens so often and just like in the
book and in this passage, Brent killed
someone else in the accident and the
person was innocent. But Brent wanted
to commit suicide and that is what he
was trying to do in the novel. Instead he
killed an innocent girl.
Weeksboro, Maine
New England
Brent – 1995
Alexandra & Steph
Winter - 1997
Alexandra and Steph
 The girls who find the
whirligig in Maine
 Alexandra is vain,
popularity obsessed, chatty,
a dreamer
 Steph is humble, doesn't
really caring what other
people think, quiet
 Alexandra thinks Steph
needs a boyfriend to be
Alexandra vs. Social
 Alexandra is being
pressured by her friend
to get a boy friend.
 She is told that
choosing German over
French to learn is not
 Her friend makes
comments about her
lack of height and the
size of her breasts.
from Maine
 Brent opened up about the
accident-they had a very strong
 Her house was where Brent
decided to put the last
 Gave Brent someone to talk to
while staying anonymous
 Weeksboro, Maine
 To imagine or picture something
 In the chapter, Steph and her friend Alexandra had to visualize Steph in her own little world
She pointed to the flashing whirligig.
“You can’t see the wind, but look what
it can do. It’s invisible but powerful.
Like thoughts. One brings a bunch of
junk to life. The other brings desires to
life. And it’s better if you broadcast
your thoughts outside. I did a
visualization in this exact spot about
acing an algebra test, and it worked. I’m
sure it’s because of the whirligig. It
symbolizes all unseen forces.”
But just in case unseen
forces do exist, I pay my
respects to them by
keeping the whirligig
painted and repaired. I
checked it after every
winter. Sometimes
Alexandra helped. -Steph
Miami, Florida
South Beaches
Brent - 1995
Spanish man - 2000
Miami, Florida man
 Treated poorly growing upcouldn’t speak English
 Works as a street sweeper
 Sees the marching band
 He believe people are never
alone-like the whirligig- Brent
thinks he is alone, but people
are never alone, they're always
in groups
 Dedicated, determined, hard
Spanish Man vs. Family
 The Spanish man and his
wife have a baby who dies
from illness.
 They have another baby but
his wife is over protective
and just worries.
 Her grandparents move in
and are over controlling.
 His cousin moves in, and is
too loud.
 He is laid of his job and
struggles to supply enough
money for the family.
 Flacos wife
 Has a miscarriage, affects her
mental health
 Second baby is born, she is very
protective of him
 Constancia and Flancos second
 Very special to the family
Muy Loco
 Miami, Florida
 A Spanish man moved from many places and stayed in America
 He described the place as different and strange from his first country
 Words in English were very strange to him
Birds don’t live alone, I told
myself. They live in flocks. Like
people. People are always in a
group. Like that little wooden
band. And whenever there’s a
group, there’s fighting. If the
people in a group get along, maybe
they will make good music instead
of arguing. But usually not. That’s
how life is. I stared at that
marching band. Then I got in the
car and drove home. –Puerto
Rican immigrant
When the baby was just one year old, it got a cold. This cold got worse. Then it went
into the baby’s lungs. It kept on coughing and sweating. And then it died. –Miami,
This passage reminded me of the children that live in countries that don’t
provide proper medical care. Babies are born and die shortly after because
there is no medical care to help them from diseases if they get sick.
Bellevue, Washington
Pacific north-west
Brent - 1995
Anthony – 2003
Adopted-from Korean descent
Very strict parents
Forced to play the violin
Passion is baseball
He sees the harp whirligig-his
mother says that he should
always practice just like the
harp player
 Bored, frustrated
Anthony vs. Mother’s
 Anthony’s passion is
baseball, but his mother
thinks it distracts him
from violin.
 His mother pushes him in
academics and violin.
 He is forced to practice
for hours each day.
 Eventually he no longer
wants to play violin.
 Bellevue, Washington
 Anthony had to write about a journal on his summer but had different plans
 During the summer, Anthony spotted a whirligig made by Brent
I hated the guts of whoever put
it there. When no one was
looking I picked up a rock. I’m
good at baseball, especially
pitching. I threw it at the girl. I
hit her. It spun the whole thing
around, but it didn’t break.
San Diego, California
Brent - 1995
Jenny – 2005
Jenny and Grandmother
 Grandmother is very abrupt, knows her
life is going to end quickly
 Grandmother is a holocaust survivor
 Jenny is confused and frustrated with her
 They see the whale and mermaid
Jenny vs.
Grandmother’s Fate
 Jenny hasn’t
acknowledged that her
Grandmother’s time is
running out.
 She didn’t want to be
driving her
Grandmother to
different locations but
then realises that she
wanted to see them for
the last time
 Brent meets him in San
 From Germany
 Tours the city with Brent
 Brent has someone to keep
him company
 San Diego, California
 Jenny and her grandma had a drive around all of the places the grandma had enjoyed
 Jenny learned new things while taking this journey
 They visited places such as: Fox North Park and the grandma’s old home
“What I saw you should never dream.
But I can also tell you that all those
that died want that we should have a
life with laughing. Not sad all the time,
always reading books about Nazis and
men who like killing. They want us to
laugh all the laughs that were taken
away from them.” –Grandma of Jenny
The grandma from the chapter had
cancer and had gone through
Background Information
Drinking & Driving
 Paul Fleischman decided to make the accident a drinking and
driving one.
 Drinking and driving is very dangerous, with 40% of car
accidents by teenagers are caused because of drinking
 Canada has a program called the MADD which helps reduce
car accidents caused by drinking
Background Information
Restorative Justice
 When the offender takes responsibility for his actions
towards a victim
 The offender can apologize, do community service or do
something personal for them
 The offender makes amends to the victim and also do
things to help the community
 Brent did restorative justice for Lea’s mom and did what
she asked him to do
Writer’s Style (narrative)
“he drove on, weaving slightly, aware that every car but his had a
destination. He felt spent, emptied of all will. He was beyond
Told in narrative for Brent’s story
Uses powerful words
Words flow
Creates images
Writer’s Style (first person)
 “when I was fourteen, I got a job in a restaurant when I was supposed
to ne in school. I brought the money home and gave it to my father. I
knew he needed it, for the rent”-Miami, Florida
 Each story has a different way of being written
 All 4 short stories are told in first person
 Over all our group enjoyed the book because the short stories within
the book kept it interesting
 We all agree that reading another book by the author would depend
on what the book was about
 If you are a reader who likes books to keep you interested with a new
story line every other chapter, you would enjoy this book
Setting, Complication and Conflict
Nick Mizen
Illustrator and Character Studies
Cassie Curtis
Passages and Connections
Anna Eremenko
Background information and Key Words
Patricia Sarroca
Writer’s Style and Conclusion
Cassie Curtis
Patricia Sarroca
Anna Eremenko
Nick Mizen
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