A Literary Analysis

The Hockey Sweater

Another Literary Analysis by Keenan in grade 8

A. Citation/Bibliography Entry

Carrier, Roch. The Hockey Sweater. New York: Tundra Books, 1984.

B. Reliability

I know this author to be reliable because he is one of Canada’s best-known authors, with more than 30 books to his credit.  He was also the first writer to head the Canada Council, the country’s major arts funding agency. This classic Canadian picture book is based on an original short story that became an animated short film.

C. Category

The category of the story is main character because this story is about a boy who gets the wrong sweater.  All of Roch’s friends have Montreal red, white and blue sweaters, while he has a despised Toronto white and blue sweater.  The reason he does not want to wear the Toronto white and blue sweater is because he lives in Montreal and the Montreal Canadiens always beat the Toronto Maple Leafs.  This story is about a boy named Roch and how he is determined to get rid of that Toronto white and blue sweater.

D. Short Annotation

Roch, a 10 year old boy living in Montreal, has to decide whether to keep his Toronto white and blue sweater or to give it back to Monsieur Eaton.  This 22-page picture book written from the first person point of view, shows that you should appreciate gifts even if you don’t like them.  Recommended for readers 8 years old and up.

E. Point of View: First Person

  • I was crying” (11).
  • So, I had to wear…” (11).
  • When I arrived at the…” (13).

F. Tense: Past

  • We were ten players all wearing the uniform of Montreal…” (3).
  • I was crying” (11).
  • “”there were already five players on the ice.” (15).

G. Literary Excellence       

  • Alliteration:
  • …whenever we…” (5).
  • …worn the red, white…” (9).
  • …want to wear…” (9).
  • …to take…” (11).
  • …captain came…” (11).
  • Repetition:
  • …to write to…” (9).
  • …you try it, you…” (7).
  • …she did what she…” (5).
  • …skating-rink-but our real life was on the skating-rink” (1).
  • “…next hockey game, lay out our next…” (1).
  • Powerful Verbs:
  • “This is persecution!” (15).
  • Short Sentences:
  • “How could we forget that?” (3).
  • “This is persecution!” (15).
  • “That was to much!” (15).
  • “I shouted” (15).
  • “I was crying” (11).
  • Appositives: 
  • “…places – the school, the church and the skating-rink – but…” (1).

H. Connection

My connection to The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier is text to self.

This book reminds me of a time when I was required to wear a baseball uniform and jersey that I did not want to wear.  I was 10 years old and being drafted into the Major Division in my baseball league.  I didn’t want to wear the blue Dodgers uniform and jersey because I knew there was a boy on the team who had bullied me the previous year.  I also did not know how the coaches would be, so I was not happy about the decision to place me on the Dodger team.  I was upset and angry and even considered quitting.  When I told my parents they explained that we could tell the coaches that I did not want to be on the team. However, they added, the next year I might not get the same opportunity.  This made me realize that I should have been thankful I had been drafted by the Dodger team coaches.  Similarily, in the picture book, Roch did not like the Toronto white and blue jersey and wanted to return it to Monsieur Eaton, but he was afraid he might offend him and not get the opportunity for another jersey as a replacement.

A Literary Analysis

The Wager

Another Literary Analysis by Tristan

A.     Citation/Bibliographic Entry

Napoli, Donna Jo. The Wager.  New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.

B.     Reliability

This novel is published by Henry Holt and Company, which began publishing in 1866, so it is one of the oldest publishing companies in the United States.   It is known for publishing books that win awards and are written by famous authors, such as Robert Frost and Robert Louis Stevenson. The author of this book, Donna Jo Napoli, has won at least two literary awards, so I expect to find this novel to be well written.

C.      Category

This novel is an example of a chronological pattern, main character, and problem-solving pattern book.  The events in the story build on each other in a chronological pattern, with events related to each other.  There is a main character, named Don Giovanni, who used to be the richest man in all of Sicily until a tsunami destroyed everything he had.  He made a wager with the devil in order to regain what he had lost.  I’m not sure you can call it person vs. person or person vs. nature, since it is the devil with whom he is wagering.  There is one main problem throughout the story, which is solved at the very end of the book.   Cultural concepts about Italy include continual references to a breakfast of stale bread and milk.

D. Short Annotation

I enjoyed the descriptive language that created clear visualizations that helped me to understand the story.  The story was set in Messima, Italy, and that also grabbed my attention and appealed to me.  I liked the unique struggles that occurred throughout the book.  It was unpredictable and I found that kept my attention.

E. Point of View

The story is told from the third person, observer point of view. 

  • It was only fair; he’d served that one family for a month-so he’d earned those shoes and cape (59).
  • He headed for the Jewish section of town (143).
  • Pain exhausted him (201).
  • Don Giovanni shook his head vehemently (231).

F. Tense

The story is told in the past tense. 

  • The first thing he saw upon opening his eyes was Ribi, sitting against the wall, staring at him (154).
  • On All Saints and All Souls Day of 1171, Don Giovanni gave the biggest feast that Sicily had ever heard of (170).
  • That afternoon Don Giovanni had his servants buy enormous wagons (196). 

F. Literary Excellence

Sounds of Words

  • alliteration – repeating the beginning consonant sounds in words
  • ·The shards still lay by the rock. Don Giovanni summoned every drop of strength…” (244).
  • ·The room was full, floor to ceiling” (147).
  • From every side sleet slashed like the thinnest knife blades” (153).
  •  “The girl who answered was neither pretty nor plain” (249).
  • assonance – repeating similar sounds, especially vowel sounds
  • “Disrespectful. Disgraceful” (244).

Choice of Words

  • personificationgiving human qualities to nonhuman things
  • “It buffeted him.  It whipped him.  In the end it beat him senseless” (154).
    similecomparing things not alike by using the word ‘like’ or ‘as’
  • “The woman turned around and clasped her arms around the child and stared with a terrified face at Cani and Don Giovanni, as though they were the devil incarnate” (130).
  • vocabulary using precise nouns and verbs to describe scenes/emotions
  • “A recluse in questionable clothing” (85).
  • “They ranged from dirt poor to the king, from raving lunatics naked in the alleys to the most refined scholars and statesmen in their carriages” (128).
  • “Not only was his food delicious, he’d managed to rid Don Giovanni of worms with a week’s regimen of garlic and hot peppers” (149).
  • ” Summer rain was a phenomenon” (152).
  • “The little cloud of flies that had come with the summer’s heat and circled his head right now could be his crown” (159).

Arrangement of Words

  •  appositivesphrases inserted into sentences to add details
  • More than a month later, on Christmas morning, Don Giovanni stretched out on the ground in the center of the courtyard of his villa, surrounded by the porticoed colonnade, and closed his eyes” (148).
  • ·The man threw another orange, thump, at Don Giovanni’s forehead…” (244).
  • length of sentencesdiffering lengths to create a mood
  • “But you don’t dress like my other visitors expect. I get complaints” (84).
  • “You showed up. Empty-handed.  I knew you didn’t have the money” (146).
    repetitionrepeating sounds, words or phrases for effect
  • “Three years, three months, three days” (112).
  • “Rain. Cold rain” (152).
  • “Nonsense.  Just nonsense…” (155).
  • “Stealing is wrong….Stealing is wrong” (247).


G. Connection

This story was more difficult for me to connect with, due to the fact that it is set in the past, in Italy, where I have never been, and that the challenges the character faces are based on a wager with the devil.  I haven’t read any other books with the devil, nor do I know anyone who has wagered with the devil that I can connect text to text, world or self with.  The part that I could connect with was that the agreement Don Giovanni made was a contract. This I have two connections with.  In a text to self connection, I have signed a behaviour contract for school, but also when I attend CISV mini camps and when I went to CISV Village in Fredericton for a month.  I had to follow that contract and if I broke it, I would have consequences – the most severe being sent home from camp.  I didn’t have a problem with following most of the rules, but at times I would have liked to have been able to email home and check my mom was okay.   It wasn’t allowed in the contract, so I had to wait it out, like Don Giovanni had to wait until the time ran out on his wager.

A Literary Analysis

Adventures with Vikings

A Literary Analysis by Madeline

A.  Citation

Bailey, Linda. The Vikings. Toronto: Kids Can Press Ltd, 2001.

B. Reliability

I know that this author is a reliable source because the publisher is Canadian and has an award-winning list of over five hundred fantastic picture books! This book is also part of a series called Good Times Travel Agency

C. Category

This outstanding nonfiction book can be categorized as following a chronological and main character pattern Part of the book is based on a time sequence and the other half is based on courageous characters. For example, “aroundeight hundred AD the people in this area…” or, “ Welcome to theage of the Vikings!!”  “ these are a few examples of the time frame in the book. The main characters – Josh, Emma, Libby, and Julian – go on a vacation to the time of the Vikings and explore the harsh climates, the secrets and the responsibilities of that era.

D. Short Annotation

The amazing non-fiction book is based on true facts about the Vikings and their culture!!

E. Point of view

This book is written from the second person point of view.

  • You have travelled back a thousand years to a part of northern Europe.”
  • If you have a free moment, drop in on a Viking family.”

F. Tense

The Vikings are in the past, in history, but this book is written in the present tense.

  • “being a jarlis great…”

G. Literary excellence: Alliteration

  •  “ a Vikings is a farmer-with-a-fishing-boat-…” (13).
  •  “… men may…”
  • “… fisherman-with-a-farm” (13).
  • “…-with-fishing-boats-and-farms” (13).
  • “… find a feather…” (15).
  • “… more meat…” (17).
  • “…master and mistress…” (16).

H. Connection

I can connect to this nonfiction book because the family life of the Vikings was much like my own today. The Vikings all helped out to clean, cook, and do the laundry. My family takes turns with household duties, too!

A Literary Analysis

Another Literary Analysis by Maya

Citation: Dixon, Dougal. The Big Book of Dinosaurs. London: Bison Books, 1989.

Reliability: I could tell this nonfiction book on dinosaurs by Dougal Dixon was reliable because the author has written about 25 books on fossils, geology, and dinosaurs, as well as some articles in encyclopedias . He got his education from the University of St. Andrews. He has been nominated for Hugo Award for Best Related Work and Locus Award for Best Non-Fiction.

Category: The Big Book of Dinosaurs follows an informational pattern. This nonfiction book tells all about dinosaurs and what species they evolved into. It explains the different species of dinosaurs and what life was like for them for the 170 million years they were on earth. The book is full of interesting facts about these reptiles along with over 160 photographs to go with them, which is why The Big Book of Dinosaurs is a great book to look in if you are a visual learner.

Short Annotation: Different species of dinosaurs are vividly explained in this book recommended for readers 7 and up.

Point of View: Third Person:

  • “During the 150 million years or so that they existed, the dinosaurs evolved and changed.” (12)
  • “The archosaurs into four main groups.” (23)
  • “They faded away in the early part of the Jurassic period and their places were taken by the sauropods.” (30)

Tense: Past:

  • Camarasaurus was probably the most common of the late Jurassic tree eaters.” (33)
  • “The largest was Triceratops, 30 feet (9 meters) long and weighing 6 tons.” (56)
  • Gallimimus was very similar to the other ostrich mimic dinosaurs, but was somewhat larger.” (74)

Literary Excellence:

  • Appositives: “Take a look at the tropical rain forests, such as those of the Amazon basin, central Africa or the islands of the Far East.” (6)
  • Alliteration: “…the almost continuous canopy of branches and leaves…” (6)
  • “…or else decay into the soil of the forest floor where their substances are taken up and used by the trees once more.” (6)
  • Prosauropods probably lived mainly on all fours and only reached upwards while feeding, supported on sturdy hind legs and tail. (26)
  • “The tail club consisted of a double knob…” (50)
  • “…jutting forward and a smaller spike jutting back.” (51)
  • “…different dinosaur groups actually lived un water.” (89)
  • “…duckbilled dinosaur…” (73).
  • “…where a broken bone had become” (78).
  • “…wallowing about in warm shallow water, diving for waterweed…” (89).
  • “…once thought that these animlas…” (90).
  • “…modern monitor…” (100).
  • Repetition:
  • “But each time and in each area, each animal existed as part of an overall pattern.” (12).
  • “…jutting forward and a smaller spike jutting” (51).
  • “…enormous tyrannosaurid (85).
  • Short Sentences: “It was a lizard eater” (64).
  • “Certainly it was one of the last” (85).
  • “The dinosaur world is full of puzzles like that” (88).
  • “That is as good a theory as any” (94).
  • “Who killed them?” (95).


My connection to The Big Book of Dinosaurs is text to self because it reminds me of when my family and I took a road trip to Drumheller, Alberta, which is also known as the dinosaur capital of the world. My brothers, dad, and I got to visit places like the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology and see the World’s Largest Dinosaur.  While in the museum, I remember seeing many fossils from different dinosaurs and other reptiles. On the way to our destination, we stopped in Revelstoke, Edmonton, Sprucegrove, Calgary, and Kamloops. On the way to Drumheller, we passed the Badlands and Hoo-doos in Alberta, which has soil from 70 million years ago. Some other tourist attractions we got to see were West Edmonton Mall, The Enchanted Forest, Radium Hotsprings, and Banff. I would’ve been 9 or 10 while on that trip but I still remember learning about these “terrible lizards” and what life would’ve been like then. It is fascinating that they were able to live on this planet for so long. The Big Book of Dinosaurs is a great place to look for information on these terrifying, but somehow beautiful, creatures which once roamed our planet.

A Literary Analysis

Gregor Mendel

A Literary Analysis by Tristan

A. Citation/Bibiliographic Entry

Bardoe, Cheryl. Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006.


B. Reliability

I believe that this book to be reliable.   I researched the author, and though she’s only written the one book for young adults, she is a writer in her professional life.  She has written articles, press kits, and texts for museum exhibitions. The publishing company, Abrams Books for Young Readers, has been in business for over sixty years and is well known for exceptional books, being the first company to be established for illustrated books.

C. Category

_X___ Chronological Pattern  _X_ Main Character

·     This book, a non-fiction picture book, is written in a chronological pattern.  It teaches us about the important milestones in the life of Gregor, and presents them in a chronological order.  It also focuses on one main character, that of Gregor.   We learn about major events throughout his life and how his choices affected other people.

D.  Short Annotation

I actually quite enjoyed this book, not for the writing but more for the diagrams. The book seemed to make more sense than a video that I watched. I believe the goal of the book is to give glory to the man who discovered genetics.


E.  Point of View

This book is written from the 3rd person point of view.  Rather than saying he, or I, the author refers to the main character by name.

  •  “Surrounded by great thinkers, Gregor plunged into further studies.  He became ‘addicted to nature,’ he later wrote.”
  • Gregor learned how to test such laws with carefully planned experiments.”
  • “Gregor had something else in mind.”


F. Tense

This book was written in the past tense.

  • “Gregor knew that he must choose the plants for his experiment carefully.”
  • “After two years of preparation, Gregor was eager to start breeding his plants to make hybrids.”
  • “Gregor pondered these questions throughout the snowy winter.”


F. Literary Excellence

·     Sounds of Words 

  • 1.  alliteration – repeating the beginning consonant sounds in words
  • ·     “It was time to tell the world.”
  • ·     “His father was a hardworking farmer who hoped his only son would follow in his footsteps.”
    2. assonance – repeating similar sounds, especially vowel sounds
  • ·     “When Gregor retured to the abbey, the abbot asked him to teach science at a nearby school.”
  • ·     “To attend, he would have to eat and sleep there.”
  •  3. consonance – repeating similar consonant sounds, especially at the ends of words, as in lost and past or confess and dismiss.
  • ·     “Students liked Gregor’s clear expectations and lively sense of humor.”
  • ·     “Before beginning the tests,…”
  • ·     “Even when he was sick, Gregor never fell behind in his lessons.”

Choice of Words  

  • 1. litotes – understating for effect; e.g. no small victory; not a bad idea
  • ·     “He chose to feed his mind and go without food to fill his grumbling belly.”
  • ·     “At school, he feasted on his lessons.”
    2.  vocabulary – using precise nouns and verbs to describe scenes/emotions
  • ·     “’…strenuous…’”
  • ·     “’…exertions,’”

Arrangement of Words 

  • 1.  length of sentences – differing lengths to create a mood
  • ·     “Then Gregor waited. He would not remove the sacks until the flowers had been replaced by pea pods filled with seeds.”
    2.  repetition – repeating sounds, words or phrases for effect
  • ·     “…-smooth peas and wrinkled peas, yellow pea pods and green pea pods, smooth pea pods and bumpy pea pods, and so on.”
  • ·     “The yellow pea plants bred with green pea plants had yielded all yellow peas.”
  • ·     “In 1900, three different scientists, in three different countries, stumbed upon the paper that Gregor had published in 1865.”
  • 3.  appositives – inserting a phrase between a set of commas or dashes
  • ·     “Suddenly Gregor was seeing heredity—how parents pass traits down to their children—in an entirely new way.”
  • ·     “In 1900, three different scientists, in three different countries, stumbed upon the paper that Gregor had published in 1865.”

G. Connection
__X__ text to self   ___X__ text to world

My first connection is a text to world connection. This book reminded me of a video that I watched about genetics. In this video the speaker was saying how everybody thought that Aristotle was right about how traits mix; however, when Gregor studied the peas he discovered that the genes didn’t mix but rather one is dominant and one is recessive. Therefore a yellow pea with only yellow genes does not create a green pea. A yellow pea could have a gene to create a possible green pea from previous generations.

My second connection is a text to self connection. This also makes sense to me, none of my dad’s brothers are tall, however his dad is, and already I’m a good three inches taller than my dad. My mom isn’t tall either, so it’s not directly from her that I’m taller than them.