During Reading: The Boy Who Held Back the Sea

Infer: What themes do you think the author is inferring in this book?  What lessons do you think the author wants you to take away as a reader?

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Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm  Comments (7)  
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  1. I think the theme was responsibility. The boy lied and ignored his initial responsibility and was left to deal with a bigger problem. The boy learned a lesson and became more responsible at the end. Pieter’s grandmother told him this story to teach him a lesson although we don’t know what he is in trouble for.

  2. The theme is very similar to The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Grandmother was telling Pieter of a boy from that town who was up to no good most of the time by playing tricks stating that he has seen soldiers, sea serpents etc. People soon learned not to believe him. I got the impression that Pieter was in trouble at the beginning of the story and this was the reason that Grandmother was sharing this.

  3. I think one of the main themes the author was inferring was similar to the boy who cried wolf. After you get in trouble once or lie to someone it is hard to gain their trust back. The character Jan seemed to make stories up, or he would do something that he shouldn’t be.

    I think the author wanted the reader to learn that sometimes you need to trust children, because they could be trying to tell you something that is really important. It is just hard to trust when they have told stories before. It took the townspeople hours before they realized that Jan was being serious and trying to help.

    • Yes, kids need to learn at an early age the importance of trust and how actions sometimes speak louder than words. It was Jan’s actions that would allow people to look at him differently now.

  4. I think the overall theme is, it’s hard to overcome a bad reputation but not impossible.
    People have preconceived notions of a person based on their prior actions. In this book the boy “cried wolf” so many times the constable didn’t believe him when he was telling the truth. The town leaders also didn’t believe the Captain who was a possible pirate and not an outstanding citizen of the town. They arrested him for disorderly conduct. The boy had to prove himself by his actions because he had a reputation for doing wrong.

  5. I think there were a couple of themes…one kind of like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, responsibilities, and about what kind of person you would like to be or perceived as…

    I think the author wants to teach the reader to be honest, responsible, and a good citizen.

  6. I think the author wants us to remember that your actions can affect people’s perceptions of you. No one believed the boy because he had been a trickster in the past and when it came time for a serious problem to be solved he was stuck doing it by himself.


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