Friday, February 3, 2012

Sample for Historical Fiction Essay

This essay was handed in early -- and received extra credit for that.

The commentary in brackets [  ] is added by the teacher.  I have not corrected the errors in conventions such as punctuation and word usage. 

Informal Citations are highlighted in this color.

The phrases highlighted in this color work as transitions between paragraphs.

Honus and Me
Brit W./A1

            As you may know there are many great ballplayers today, but there may have been even greater ones in the past. In the book Honus and Me I was unsure while reading the book of what was real and what wasn’t real. I asked myself many questions while reading the book such as is Honus Wagner real? Did Honus Wagner really make card printing companies stop printing his card because of the cigarette advertisements on the back of it? Is Ty Cobb real? Did Honus Wagner really hit .354 in 1908 and win the batting title? Is Joe Stoshack real? These things and many more made me wonder what was real and what wasn’t ; but the author “Dan Gutman” really did a great job knowing what he was talking about.  [The rest of the essay will show that Dan Gutman got his historical facts right.]
[Body Paragraphs]
            In Honus and Me the main character, Joe Stoshack, meets Honus Wagner. From a SIRS Discoverer article it has said that Honus Wagner was real. Many call him the Flying Dutchman. Most experts even said he was the all around best ballplayer ever. He was born on February 24, 1874, in what is now Carnegie. His name was John Peter Wagner. He was an outstanding shortstop and he also played other positions such as pitcher.
            I soon found out that when Dan Gutman said that Honus made the card printing companies stop printing his card that he was right. In a Wikipedia article it says that he really did make them stop printing it, and because of this and the fact that he was so great it made the price of the card now much higher. It is currently worth over $451,000. There were only 50 cards printed until he stopped the printing companies.
            In the book when they play in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers Honus faces Ty Cobb or as they say “The Great Cobb.” I found out in the Baseball Almanac Website Ty Cobb is a real person. He was born on Saturday, December 18, 1886, in Narrows, Georgia.  At 18 years old he joined the Detroit Tigers. Ty Cobb played for 24 years with the Tigers.
            I also found out that all the stats in the book were true. In a SIRS Discoverer article Honus Wagner did hit .354 in 1908. He batted .300 or more for 17 seasons in a row. Also he not only won the National  League Batting title one time, but he has gotten it 8 times! Honus also became one of the first five elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
            In the book a boy named Joe Stoshack goes back in time to meet Honus Wagner. Time travel obviously isn’t real but I found that Joe Stoshack is not real either. He was made purely for the benefit of making this book exciting for the reader and an enticing background all making making it historical fiction.
[Concluding Paragraph] 
            This book really taught me a lot that was true. Even though Joe was not real it still taught many lessons and things to me. In this book Honus tells Joe that he has the tools to be a great ballplayer. Later on Joe hits an inside the park homerun in the world series. It showed that it doesn’t matter what you look like you can still do great things you just have to believe you can. Honus also taught that you shouldn’t play baseball for money, but for the love of the game.
 [Brit's concluding paragraph tells about a theme and a topic in the book.  It would be better if he stuck to his idea that the author really did include true historical facts and did a good job mixing them with his fictional story, and leave most of the discussion of theme and other ideas presented in the book to a different essay, or to his assessment on February 9th, when you all will write about theme in your books.  This is still a well-done and very interesting essay! Thanks, Brit!]