A novel is “a long prose narrative that describes fictional characters and events”. A short story is “a piece of prose fiction shorter than a novel”. A novella is “a text of written, fictional narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel”.

   Some similarities between these forms of writing are that novels and short stories are written in prose which is “written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure”. Another is that all three are fictional stories. One difference is that they are all different lengths.

   I like novellas best because it’s not too long like a novel, and it’s not too short like a short story. One example of these forms of writing is “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. This book is a novel and so is “Robin Hood” by Howard Pyle. Some novellas are “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and “The Time Machine” by H. G. Wells. Two examples of short stories are “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, a common nursery rhyme, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories about Sherlock Homes.

   In the book “A Knight of the White Cross”, the main character is Gervaise. Gervaise is a page who is a young male servant who sometimes carried messages for a nobleman. He was assigned to serve on a gally. Even though he was to serve on a galley, he had a plan to keep them from being captured by 4 pirate vessels, and because of this plan, the galley was able to capture the 4 pirate vessels. A galley is a ship which has rowers instead of sails.

   Gervaise eventually got back to the castle at Rhodes and was knighted because of his brave deed. He also decided to learn how to speak Turkish for 9 months. He was put in charge of a ship to take back the Pasha of Syria (which is in Syria because he knows how to speak Turkish. After he succeeds in taking over the Pasha of Syria, he goes to a party in which he sees a mysterious Greek talking to the slave, so he asks to be put on a galley as a slave to figure out a plot. He eventually figures out the plot and stops thousands of slaves from escaping from Rhodes since he could speak and understand Turkish.

   As a reward, he is put in charge of a galley, and all the people working on the galley were younger than Gervaise! He captures two or three of the Corsair fleet. They also burned or captured the entire fleet. when he returned to Rhodes, the Countess’ daughter, Claudia, gave Gervaise a gage at a party. When Gervaise was out at sea again, he gets captured by pirates and they stole the gage Claudia gave to him. He is sold to a kind master, but he escapes and gets his gage back. He returns in a small fishing boat, but almost gets captured by the Turks there waiting to attack the city. When some Turks tried to cross the moat, Gervaise sent fire ships and they destroyed most of the boats trying to cross the moat and the rest retreated. The Grand Master died, but the Knights of the White Cross win. After the battle, Gervaise asks if he can stop being a knight. After his request is granted, he marries Claudia.

   I am half way through reading “A Knight of the White Cross”, by G. A. Henty. It is about when Gervaise started out as a page, then became a knight of the Hospitaller of Saint John.

   The knights are on the island of Rhodes in a castle. The castle has a prison to keep prisoners and make sure that they do not escape. Sometimes when they are not at Rhodes, they are at sea in galleys chasing pirates or fighting enemies or taking a trip to get someplace. Rhodes is in the Mediterranian Sea of the coast of Turkey.

   Gervaise started out as a page, then he became a knight of a galley. After being chased by pirates, he was crashed on an island, but he found a way to escape and get back home. Back at the castle at Rhodes, he was knighted because of his courageous act. After this, for nine months, he studies Turkish and because he could now speak Turkish, he kept thousands of prisoners from escaping because of discovering a plot! You’d expect someone to become a better fighter to become a better knight, but just by learning Turkish, Gervaise became a better knight. See you next time!

White Fang

   I just finished reading “White Fang” by Jack London. I really liked it. It was a very exciting book.

   It was set in the Yukon territory. White Fang’s mother was part of a dog sled team. White Fang’s den and a Native American village are some other settings. None of my other school books I have read this year have any of these settings.

   The book “White Fang” was written from White Fang’s perspective. Whenever something happened in the story that White Fang did not understand, the Author would explain it. In other books, perspective comes from a human.

   There are lots of Themes in White Fang. Some of them are exposure to nature, hardship, curiosity, instinct, and happiness in rest. Some of these themes are in the other books I have been reading. For example, hardship is in Wulf the Saxon, happiness in rest is in all of them, and instinct is in no other book I have read.

   The book talks about White Fang’s whole life from a pup to when he is an adult. Wulf the Saxon is the closest book to that. White Fang also has to learn from trial and error. The people in the other books learn from teachings instead.

   Thomas was born in 1225 A.D. in Italy to a count and countess. At age five, he began school. When Thomas was old enough, he was sent to Naples to attend a university there by his parents. Thomas was influenced greatly by Aristotle’s writings and the Dominicans, a new order of monks.

   When Thomas was 19 years old, he became a member of the Dominicans; however, when he told his parents about this, they were very displeased, so they were kidnapped inside the castle they lived in for two years until Thomas’ mother helped him “escape”.

   After that, he rejoined the Dominican Order of Monks. Thomas’ greatest work is the Summa Theologica. Aristotle had the most influence on Thomas’ life. He died reciting the commentary on the Song of Solomon. He greatly influenced the thinking of the church. He also worked to increase the logical reasoning in the church.

   A project I had to do recently was part of my science. My assignment was to build a radio. I had to watch daily videos on how to build my radio. My dad helped me to order the parts I needed. I had six weeks to complete my project.

   I had to have copper coil, wire, scrap wood, paper, foil, tape, earphones, metal, a paper towel roll, and a toilet paper roll. I was excited to see it finished, and so was my dad. He knows a lot about electrical stuff, so he helped out a lot.

   I had to take a few steps to make sure my project was successful. I had to make sure we got everything correct and in the right spot. I also had to test it out once in a while to make sure it worked correctly. If I got something wrong, we would have to change it and move on.

   It was not really successful because I thought the wire was too short. I was very disappointed when I found out that I failed. I was looking forward to being finished with a real, working radio. We also made a radio transmitter, and that was successful. A radio transmitter can give messages instead of receiving them.

   The crusaders sometimes did their best but did not succeed. I did the same thing with my radio. The Crusaders also sometimes did their best and succeeded. Again, the same thing happened with my radio transmitter. The Crusaders did not even try to succeed in their mission, which usually never happened to me.


   Cathedrals were often big and very beautiful churches. They were made of stone and were often at the center of a town. “Cathedra” is the Greek word for chair, so that means that Cathedrals were the chair of authority for a bishop.

   Cathedrals often took centuries to build. Some people could work on one cathedral and still never see it completed. Romanesque, a type of style made in the 12th century, was the kind of cathedral that was the most common style in history.

   These types of cathedrals have pointed arches, flying buttresses, and very high ceilings. All cathedrals are made in the shape of a cross and are pointed west to east. Flying buttresses are pillars that support the high ceilings. Gargoyles are stone beasts that are sometimes added to the flying buttresses.

   It takes lots of money to build a cathedral, so the church sold indulgences. They said if you bought an indulgence, your sins would be forgiven.