1. A character that really made a huge impact on me was Esther, she shows that she has such a huge heart and maybe cares about the future of these boys (especially Ismael) more than anyone else who is trying to help the kids. Even through all of the attitude and disrespect she gets from the boys she continues to stay patient believe in the children, and help them in anyway she can. It really touches me in the way she cares for Ismael, she seems to have a very special relationship with him and really feels for the suffering for him in a way she doesn't with the others. On page 159-160 this is one of my favorite passages about Esther "When I finished telling the story, she had tears in her eyes and she couldn't decide whether to rub my head or hug me. In the end she did neither, but said, "None of what happened is your fault. You were just a little boy, and anytime you want to tell me anything, I am here to listen." She stared at me, trying to catch my eye so she could assure me of what she just said."
2. I think that Ismael's rehabilitation is going well, the problems that he has experienced are all problems they would have expected. I think that this is a very possible thing to do, it will take time and commitment on both ends (Ismael and staff). There will be unexpected challenges, but both sides with need to compromise and commit to the rehabilitation. I would not want Ismael moving into my neighborhood, not because I don't think he is a good kid or because I don't like him, but merely for the purpose of safety and the comfortability to be in my neighborhood without danger of violence, harassment, assault, etc.
3. The convention (not really a convention more of a strategy) I actually like the most and one that I think is one that people don't pick up on is the fact that he does not title his chapters. I think it gives the audience an opportunity to take their own message and feelings from the chapter and come up with a title that will stand out to them. It leaves room for the audience to interpret the chapter in their own way and feel the different emotions that he felt when writing the book.
4. My favorite passage is at the end of page 166:
"When I was a child, my grandmother told me that the sky speaks to those who look and listen to it. She said, "In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy, and confusion." That night I wanted the sky to talk to me." There is nothing too special about this quote really, but I am a sucker for inspirational, motivational quotes. I found this quote very inspiring and a peace with it something that would stick out in my head through chaos if I had been going through what Ismael had been at the time. The really last part marks the first real turning point that Ismael is hopeful and searching for answers and a solution to his problems, he wants to get better.