Before i die. By Jenny Downham

What i know before i die is about.

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Discussion Director- BY GOL0005

  • How did you feel about Tessa being sick?
  • What were you thinking about when Tessa was in the market?
  • What do you think Tessa was thinking about when she was put into some stressful situation she was put in?
  • How did you feel when Tessa and Zoey fought?
  • What do you think will happen next in the story?
Connecter-BY GOL0005
Before I die reminds me of the book Losing It because they are both about teenage girls who are dying. I also connect to losing because they are both struggling with what they are going though. Both girls have been in hospital.

I also can connect “Before I die” to my life because the girls around my age. They are both teenage girls. I can also connect it to my life because my best friends name is Tessa. Before i die also connects to my life because i know of people who have died from cancer.

Artist-BY GOL0005

Pp: 1 to 326

1: Zoey and Tessa nightclubbing rip.png
2: in her bed room
3: at the park
4: in the hospital bed/ room
5: Tombstone when she dies.

Literary lumnary- BY GOL0005

Passage 1- pg-51-52 from I sat to with anyone else.
I sat down in the waiting area and let them get on with it. The usual suspects are here the hat gang in the corner plugged into their portable chemo and talking about diarrhoea and vomiting; a boy clutching his mum’s hand, his fragile new hair at the same stage as mine; and a girl with no eyebrows pretending to read a book. She’s pencilled fake eyebrows in above the line of her glasses. She sees me staring and smiles, but I’m not having any of that. It’s a rule of mine not to get involved with dying people. They’re bad news. I made friends with a girl here once. Her name was Angela and we e-mailed each other every day, then one day she stooped. Eventually her mum phoned my dad and told him Angela has died. Dead. Just like that, without even telling me. I decided not to bother with anyone else.
I found this passage important and thought provoking because it was a thought that she had that seem to be a very important part of how she turned out to be like at the end of the book. It made me think that if she hadn’t been friends with Angela and if Angela had told her that she was dying if it would have changed Tessa view about being friends with people dying.

Passage 2- pg.53 from dad tyring to a tissue
Dad’s trying unsuccessfully not to cry. What happens now? He asks, and big silent tears fall out of his eyes and plonks into his lap. The doctor hands him a tissue.
I choose to do this short passage because I found it to be serious and sad and a fairly big part of the book. Even though it is only a short passage it is important because it leads to bigger things in the book. It is a very touching passage and it makes me think about how Tessa’s dad feels.

Passage 3- pg. 324 from maybe you to love her
‘Maybe you should say goodbye, Cal’
‘It might be important.’
‘It might make her die.’
‘Nothing you say can make her die. She wants to know you love her.’

This passage came to my attention when I was reading this page because it was a passage that shows true emotion and sadness and seriousness all mixed together. I found it to be a pretty significant in the ending of the book. Her little brother having to say goodbye to her, as much as he didn’t want to because he was afraid she would die if she heard him, I found that pretty sad.

Word list definitons- BY GOL0005

Vindicated- Clear someone of blame or suspicion.
Intrathecal- Occurring within or administered into the spinal theca.
Transfusion- An act of transfusing donated blood.
Extraordinary- Extraordinary thing is an exceptional, better than normal thing.
Obliged- make someone legally or morally bound to do something.

Character profile- BY GOL0005

Trivia questions- BY GOL0005

letters to loved ones- BY GOL0005

Diary entry- BY GOL0005

Jenny Downham biography

Jenny Downham is the author of before I die and many other remarkable books. Jenny was a full time actress before she considered using her amazing writing skills full time. Jenny lives in London with her 2 sons. Jenny was born in 1964. She gave acting when her second son was born, she had always been a writer but at that point she decided to pursue it more.

Jenny had been working with a community theatre company based in London. They found a way to get stories to young people who couldn’t normally have access to them like those who were in hospitals, prison and housing estates things like that.

‘Before I die’ was Jenny debut novel, it was critically acclaimed and was shortlisted. It was shortlisted for so many different awards including the 2007 Guardian Award, the 2008 Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year. It was nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Medal and also the 2008 Booktrust teenage prize. Before I die won the 2008 Branford Boase Award.

Jenny had a bit of a risk when she was writing ‘Before I die.’ Because she had to run the risk of losing reader because they knew how the story would end. Here is a snippet of an interview explaining her risk. ‘I wanted to write for and about teenagers because they are on the cusp of adulthood and that interest me. I didn’t know Tessa was dying when I began writing. I just had this idea about two friends who were very different from each other and I started with their voices. It became apparent after only a few weeks that Tessa was ill. I knew if she was terminally ill that it would increase the narrative drive, but I knew I also risked losing tension because readers would know from the beginning how the story would end. So the challenge became how to make the book interesting when everyone knew what was going to happen. That’s where the ‘before I die’ list came in.’

Jenny has only written a few books but they have been great books! She has written ‘Before I die’ and ‘You against me’. Both books have a fairly strong theme to them ‘Before I die’ is about a young girl dying. Which is a pretty serious topic I think then there is ‘You against me’ which touches with a serious topic also it touches with sexual assault. In an interview Jenny was ask which was harder to write about and this was her answer. “Writing Tessa’s death in BEFORE I DIE was the most emotionally draining writing I’ve ever done. I’d been inhabiting her head for over two years and suddenly she was gone. That was difficult.However, the workings of the legal system and the ramifications a charge of sexual assault can have on individuals and their families was incredibly challenging to research, so I would say that writing YOU AGAINST ME was harder overall. I interviewed criminal lawyers, social workers, family support workers and police officers. I watched court cases and read lots of books. I often felt overwhelmed with responsibility. I didn’t want any girl or young woman to pick up my book and think after reading it that they shouldn't bother reporting an assault, and yet I wanted the novel to accurately reflect the very difficult realities of prosecuting a case such as this.I tried not to let my fear inform the writing. The danger was that I would hold back on tackling anything too difficult in case I offended anyone. When the first draft was finished, every single one of the people who helped me with research read it and gave feedback. I wanted any gender bias or prejudice to come from the characters, not from the author. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t perpetuating any myths or stereotypes around sexual assault.”

Jenny Downham is very successful and she gets looked to by many teenagers including me, she gets many letters from family members who are affected by someone having cancer looking for advice. She is an amazing writer!

Before I die book review- BY GOL0005

Written by: Jenny Downham
‘Before I die’ was written by Jenny Downham. ‘Before I die’ was published in 2007 by ‘Random House Children’s Books.’ It is a very touching and powerful book. Tessa is the main character in the book. There are other important characters in the book. There is Zoey who is Tessa’s best friend. Cal is Tessa little brother and no one can forget Tessa’s Mum and Dad. Tessa is a 16 year old girl who is dying from cancer. Tessa has made a bucket list, there are 10 things on her list that she wants to do. There is a bit of drama throughout the story. Jenny Downham lets the reader feel like they are right there with her and also lets you experience the pain Tessa goes though on an everyday basis. The main setting that the story is set in is the hospital because of how sick Tessa is.

Here are some of my options on ‘Before I die’. I love this book so much it would have to be my favourite book of all time. This story is so touching and moving. This book really helped reality kick in about that anyone can be sick and have things like cancer, because stereotypically cancer is associated with adults rather than children. Before I die also makes me appreciate how good my life is compared to some peoples. It really does make me appreciate everything I have, even though there will all ways be people who are much better off than me, there will be people who are a lot less fortunate then I am.

There are so many good parts to this book! I like the moving and intense parts. These parts made me feel like I was there with Tessa experiencing it all with her were my favourite parts. May I mention that is practically all the book, I could say so much more but I don’t want to be a spoiler. So you will have to read the story to find out why it is such a good book. I honestly don’t think there is any bad part in the story line. I would only say it was bad that it made me cry which is just me not wanting to cry but it is an emotional story so you are meant to cry.

I would recommend this book for sure. It is an amazing book. I would recommend this book to any teenage girl who loves to feel the pain and suffering of others. It is very much a book that is written to be read by women of any age.

I honestly think Jenny Downham wrote ‘Before I die’ because she wants to tell people Tessa’s story. Jenny is writing this story to let the reader feel the pain and the suffering of the story and to be a part of it to. It is meant to be a strong and touching and beautiful story. In 2012 there was a movie made that was based on 'Before i die' called 'Now is good' it was a british teen drama film.

If you like stories like ‘Losing it’ by Sandy McKay or ‘The fault in our stars’ by John Green, you will love ‘Before I die!’ I don’t honestly think that this book was written for a particular age group, I think Jenny Downham wasn’t aiming for a age group but I think young adults are the group that is most likely to read it.
If I had to give it a star rating I would give it 10 out of 10. Personally i think book has no faults.

Text response essay ‘Before I die’ Jenny Downham,

‘Before I die’ by Jenny Downham is an exhilarating yet a sad story also. There are many characters in the text, a few are main characters and others are only minor characters. Tessa is the main character but alongside her is another main character Zoey Tessa’s best friend. A confronting setting in the story ‘Before I die’ would have to be one of the first things done. The sex setting comes in to the text fairly early, it is one of the first things you read which can be pretty confronting. The hospital scene was very well described in the story. Tessa’s house and bedroom would be the main settings in the text. Downham explains that Tessa’s room is pretty bland with white walls and a window that overlooks the garden.

The theme that stands out in the text is the theme of compassion and friendship. Compassion and friendship are shown in many parts of the novel. Zoey shows Tessa a lot of friendship even when they were fighting. Tessa’s father showed a lot of compassion toward his daughter. When Cal and his father said “maybe you should say good bye Cal” “no” “it might be important” “it might make her die” “nothing you say can make her die. She wants to know you love her.” This quote is really important because it is touching and shows the amount of love and friendship he had with his sister. Downham has written about the themes compassion, friendship and love to make the readers think about showing these three things is important to do all the time because you don’t know how long you have to live. There are other important themes to ‘Before I die’ including family and growing up. Tessa has to grow up very quickly when she finds out about her cancer being terminal. The other theme family is shown well in the text because it brought Tessa’s family back together after her parents had split previously. Downham wrote these themes in her text to make people be thankful for things that people take for granted.

Downham shows and uses many literary devices in ‘Before I die’. One literary device in the text is description and also metaphors. Downham shows description very well in ‘Before I die’. The reader knows that description is being used because Downham does it in great detail and does it often. The technique description is used to help the reader better connect with the story line and the current setting. Downham also uses metaphors in ‘Before I die’. The reader knows when Downham is using metaphors in the story because it gives a sense of strong ideas compared to another objet or thing. Metaphors are used for a reason it gets the reader to make comparisons between the two also the similarities. Downham uses fewer words and lets the reader work it out. A common thing used in writing novels.

Downham made ‘Before I die’ a story with many events both good and bad. The most depressing event that happened in the text would have had to been when Tessa passes away in the end of the text. This event happening makes the reader think about what it is like when you are so close to passing away and also how it affects close family and friends. Tessa’s family and friends would have felt guttered, sad and would have been very fragile when Tessa passed away. The way Tessa’s parents and brother would have become a lot stronger as a family, there bond would grow stronger, knowing they will not be around forever. Tessa passing away made Cal act like he never had before, he was so caring like he wasn’t that close to Tessa before she became sick then he realised he loved his sister, so he acted very different after that. It would have been better if Cal had realised that he valued his sister earlier in the novel. Cal saying goodbye to Tessa the final time would of let Tessa know that he did love her

‘Before I die’ let’s any reader really connect with the characters in the novel also the reader can make connections with real life experiences. A connection that many readers could connect to is a person who is close to them passing away from illness. A clever connection that some readers may pick up on is the setting where the text is set may be somewhere they know. Recognizing connections between ‘Before I die’ and the3 real world is important because ‘Before I die’ is a novel that is very realistic and the themes are the themes that most people experience. ‘Before I die’ is a sad but an amazing read. Recommendations to everybody.

Student: ste0031
Crew: saving will Grayson before I die

Text title: Before I die
Author: Jenny Dawnham

Words and images of things I believe the text will relate to.
A girl
List of things to do
Bucket list

Discussion Director Pg. 52
1 Does Tessa have to die?
2 What sort of cancer does Tessa have?
3 What sort of Treatment does tessa get?
4 Why does mum come home and look after Tessa?
5 What do you think will happen to Tessa?
Artist pg.1-10
1.Tessa in bed sick
2.Brainstorm of the characters related to Tessa that the readers meet in these pages.
3.Quotes from text posters.
4.Cal watching xfactor
5. Tessa’s dad watching Xfactor and eating food

The book Before I Die reminds me of the book My Sisters Keeper because the girl died in the book, she had cancer. The books I have read from the same Author books like, You Against Me, Now is good. A similar event or experience I have a similar event my nan had the something as Tessa did and my nan died from cancer.

Literary Luminary
Im not sure . I think I am. I sound like those woman on the telly when their entire family gets wiped out. I sound like an animal gnawing its own foot off.
I sit up and switch on the bedside light. There’s a pen, but no paper, so on the wall behind me I write, I want to feel the weight of a boy on the top of me. Then lie back down and look out at the sky. It’s gone a funny colour –red and charcoal all at once, like the day is bleeding out.
When I look at myself in the mirror, its great how different I look-big-eyed and dangerous. Its exciting , as if anything is possible. Even my hair looks good, dramatically shaved rather than only just growing.
There are two doctors and a nurse in the room, although I cant see them because they’re behind me. One of the doctors is a student. She doesn’t say much, but I guess shes watching as the other one finds right place on my and marks the spot with a pen.he prepares my skin with antiseptic solution.
I Chose these there passage because I didn’t know what the words mean.