Monday, April 1, 2013

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett Journal Entry

Dear Mr. W,

In Hold Fast I see three main parts in the story. There is a family that is homeless, the missing person mystery, and the diamond mystery. All of them connect in some way. For example if Dash, the dad in the family, hadn't disappeared then the family wouldn't be homeless. And somehow Dash has been connected to the missing diamonds, which makes no sense to me, but there it is. Finally, because of the Dash-diamond connection, maybe Dash can’t come back to his family, which makes them stay homeless.

I've learned that there are many ways a family might become homeless. Losing a family member is one. Dash disappeared, which left his family with no money and they lost their home. In the Helping Hands shelter, Early also meets a family who had a house fire where kids died. The mom is very depressed and has a hard time keeping a job. One person even became homeless by helping others. Most of the story is set in a homeless shelter. Sum, the mother, has a hard time getting a job. She can’t take the kids to an interview, but doesn't have money to pay for childcare, but can’t get money without a job.

Another big part of the story is a missing person. Dash disappears after a car accident, but when the police arrive all they find is his bike and his journal. Much of the book is about the family’s desire and efforts to get him back. Some people think he’s dead, but they refuse to believe it. Early dreams about him and imagines that he is giving her advice. She is even doing research to try and get him back. They constantly say things like, “Stay strong for Dash,” and “Hold fast to dreams. For Dash.”

More and more the diamond mystery comes into the story. When the the police tell Early and her family about the diamond found in their apartment, they learn that there’s a warrant for Dash’s arrest. They agreed not to talk about the missing diamonds, but Early does. “Sometimes Early felt kind of queasy about having lied, disobeying her mother about sharing the diamond news. First, one version . . . and then the truth . . . but both felt necessary.” The diamonds have caused Early to disobey by telling the truth about the diamonds and to twist the truth into a lie to someone else.

Brian Sixth Grader