[2015] Matthew Di Carlo: The Turning

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[2015] Matthew Di Carlo: The Turning

SynopsisAfter the death of his mom, sixteen year old Ben Larsson is unwillingly taken to live in England by his estranged father, who hopes that a fresh start could help rebuild their severely damaged relationship. Doubting their relationship will ever change, Ben abruptly finds himself surrounded by abnormal and unexplainable events. He is attacked by a random student on the first day of school. He is being constantly followed by a strange misfit. He finds a wooden figure of himself on his porch. Something ancient and powerful is lurking in the woods nearby. why is this happening? Who is behind it? Will Ben's discovery bring balance into his life once agian, or will it cause him to question everything he belives in?

The Turning

Gillian Chan

Book Cover

"Ben was thrown roughly to the ground. It had felt as if the whole tree had shuddered." (Chan 69)

ConflictThe novel's primary conflict in this novel is individual vs. supernatural. In this instance, our protagonist, Ben Larsson is battling the mysterious mythical creatures inhabiting the forest of Norwich, near his home in England. These creatures, known as the Fey, are faries featured in Celtic folklore. Led by evil king Jazreil, they are attempting to take back the planet from humans, killing anyone in their way, and Ben is the only hope for humanity's survival.

The king of the dark faries/Fey (Jazriel) facing off against a good elf, as depicted in Celtic folklore.

Strategy 1: VisualizingThe first reading strategy I used was visualizing, and it was definetly the most helphul one. I used this strategy during reading my novel, and it has helped me improve as a reader as it continuously makes me understand what I am reading to a better extent. This is because, when I visualize, can physically see what is going on in the novel. When I cannot fully grasp the text's events, I use visuallizing to see what words cannot explain. Using this strategy has helped me organize information that i gain from the novel as I use the visual images from my mind to remember certain key points in the text. For example, I remember the key point when "Jazriel was [defeated and] gone."(Chan 188) by using the visual image of Lars pushing Baz away from the evil Fey king. Therefore, I used visuallizing to summarize the text in a series of images.

Wyliff, a tree-like being known as a Green Man in Celtic folklore, is one of Ben's most helpful friends in the novel, and aids Ben in discovering the truth about the Norwich forest.

Strategy 1: QuestioningThe first reading strategy I used was questioning, and I used it before, during, and after reading my text. This strategy helpes me improve as a reader as it promts me to think more critically upon what the text says, and lets me reflect upon it. This is because whenever I do not understand something in the novel, I ask questions to myself so that I stay focused on the things I am wondering about, so that I may later revisit them. Using this strategy has helped me organize information because by helping me review the aspects of the text that I am struggling with, I can better remember them and the information they bring. For example, I used questioning to ask why Baz "attacked Ben"(Chan 11). I reviewed this question and when I read the text further, I found the answer (because I remembered my question), giving me a better understanding of the characters, and the reasons for the actions they commit. Not only this, but the use of questioning here helps me reflect more on the text, leading to connections and inferences I may make, developing me as a reader.

"Some crazy kid decided to take a swing at me, [but] I've never seen him before!"(Chan 32)

SymbolismWyliff's character, being part tree, symbolizes nature, and the good it brings to people, as Wyliff choses to sacrifice himself, and save Ben (to beat the Fey) for the sake of humanity.

ThemeThe novel's theme is primarily mystery, as the protagonist, Ben, is faced with many unexplainable events, and having no idea who is behind them. For example, a mysterious doll-like figure of Ben is mysteriously placed on his doorstep.

"All was once again right with his world, but now there was promise here. The boy could be useful."(Chan 24)

Glog by: Matthew Di Carlo


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