Topic: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

Nobody's Boy by far, from the chapter I've read, is going to be a book with a lot of ups and downs moments in it. The main character Remi is a very strong and forgiving person. Remi was a founding until he got adopted by his foster parents. By the age of 8, Remi considered life really normal because his mom would praise him, tuck him in bed, and would used to rock him in the rocking chair until he had no more tears in his eyes.. It gave me a flashback of when I was little and I used to have these moments with my mom all the time. Remi's mom, Mother Barberin, was not a single mom but her husband is a stone-cutter in Paris and hasn't returned to the village since Remi was a baby. It made me wonder, what would it feel like to know that you have a father but not knowing what he looks like and never had really met him. One day a man stopped by their house with a letter from Barberin ( Remi’s foster dad ) and that is he is terribly injured by a falling scaffold. The builder knew Barberin had no business to be near the area and so he refused to pay an indemnity. I understand that he has no business to be near the scaffold area, but this part really got to me because, the person is injured and you can at least pay for an indemnity.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

As I continue to read on, Mother Barberin knew she needed to sue the builder. The next morning, Remi and her went to consult the priest and he wrote a letter to the hospital where Barberin was sent to. They received a letter from the hospital saying that she needed to send a certain sum of money to Barberin because he was going to sue the builder whose works he had met with the accident. As the days and weeks go by, the letters just kept coming in asking for more and more money. If it got to the point where they had no more money the that meant their cows must be sold to procure the amount. Finally Barberin was sent home and Mother Barberin ran and dragged Remi along with her.Mother Barberin said " here's your father Remi. I got really excited and the book released Barberin's real name which is Jerome. Mother Barberin kissed Jerome and Remi tried to too but instead got pushed away by Jeromes cane he was holding. Remi was staring at a man who was about fifty years old. I can sort of tell that Jerome seems like a grumpy, sterm, and straight forward person

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

While they were eating supper together, Remi quickly took notice that Mother Barberin did whatever she was told to please Jerome. Jerome send Remi off to get to bed early meanwhile they talked. Jerome confirmed that the case was lost. All the money that Mother Barberin invested in the law suit was gone. In this chapter, I've learn about more about Remi's foster parents. Remi was found on a step on the Avenue de Breuteuil in Paris and the reason Jerome took Remi in was because he was wrapped in a nice and rich looking blanket. Based on that, he assumed Remi had come from a rich family and that they would pay Jerome lots for taking care of him. Mother Barberin was glad to take him in and in fact, she had lost her own baby who was only 3 months old. This made her grew more fond of Remi and wasn't willing to let go of him. Remi grew up with lot's of illnesses and when he was better, another came right after. Jerome was convinced that he needed to take Remi to the foundling home because they lot their money from the lawsuit. Remi heard what they were saying and Jeromes harsh words. This part made me feel so bad for Remi and I wanted to give Remi a big hug. He begged and begged Mother Barberin not to allow Jerome to take him to the foundlings home.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

When the next morning came, Remi had just woken up from a nightmare of being brought to the foundlings home. After breakfast, Jerome made a signal to Remi to follow him. Remi was scared but Mother Barberin told him that there's nothing to be worry about and just follow him. He followed Jerome to this place and met up with Signor Vitalis ( a senior ). Jerome demanded that Remi to sit down so he won't hear the conversation.They chatted and in the end, Signor Vitalis had agreed to pay 30 Francs to Jerome for Remi to stay by his side and keep him company. It was a done deal and I could just imagine little Remi sitting there not knowing what was going on. When they got home, Jerome made it clear to Remi to not to mention a thing about the place they went to today. Remi agreed to not say a thing.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

The next morning, Mother Barberin told Remi to stay with Jerome because she had to visit one of her relatives in another village. After she left, Signor came in with his 2 dogs and Jerome brought Remi towards the door and said " here the kid and the sac of clothes. The sac of clothes only consisted of 1 shirt and 2 pants and Jerome told Remi that he be accompanying Signor. Jerome received the 30 Francs and push them right out the door. They started walking up this hill and almost every couple of seconds, Remi turned his head to look at the village. Signor made it clear to Remi that if he tried to run away, his dog will find him. When the sun started to set, they have settled down in a room at a village. Before going to bed, Remi thought is this going to be my life forever, no mother's love, half of a bread for supper, and using hay as a blanket. This also made me wonder, what is next for remi now that he is with Signor and not Mother Barberin. The next bright and early morning, Signor brought Remi to a store and bought him a velvet blue coat, a pair of trousers, along with a felt hat. Remi was sure that signor was the best man in the world and super generous. I felt relief that at least Remi is being taken care of by a good hearted person.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

Remi transformed from a French boy in the morning and a Italian boy at night. It would have been really interesting to see the before and after transformation of him. The next morning, Remi was asked by Signor to get dressed up in his brand new clothes because Remi was going to be in a performance. In the play, Remi must play his part with signors two dogs and Pretty-Heart. He didn't know how to response to the big surprise and in fact, Remi had all of these thoughts of "I've never been in a play before and I don't know how to act." After reading this part, deyja vu happened for me. It reminded me of a time when I was in 1st grade and the teacher wanted me to read out loud for everyone. I froze and didn't know how to respond because at that time, I have been only adjusting to English let alone reading. Signor knew what Remi was thinking and told him not to worry because he is going to teach him along the way. I felt a connection because my teacher ended up helping me and guiding me on the words instead of doing it alone.

7 (edited by ziqiong.shen 2018-10-12 13:48:23)

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

Signor had the play named “Mr Pretty Heart’s Servant.” They ran the play again and again and Remi was shocked on how patient Signor wad. Until finally, Signor stood up and clapped saying “bravo, bravo that was perfect.” He even compliment Remi saying that he was a natural at performing and proud of how far he had come. From a shy country boy to acting is amazing. I actually felt proud of Remi because I know it’s hard to jump out of your comfort zone. Later that evening, people tables filled up the tables to watch the play. Remi was so nervous because he didn’t want to make a fool of himself or disappoint Signor. I’ve have experience moments like this multiple times because before I go on stage at a dance competition. I always want to please my teacher and of course the audience. When the play started, it wasn’t really long because it only lasted 20 minutes. On the way back to the inn, Signor was overall very pleased with Remi’s dedication and hard work on the play. After finishing the chapter, this made me wonder, why did signor wanted Remi to do a play? What did signor wanted remi to become?

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

During this chapter, I've notice Remi learning a lot more than he thought he was capable of. Signor asked Remi " do you know how to read?'' Remi had never learn to read before and Signor was shocked to hear that. He thought it was going to be impossible for him and so Signor wanted to teach Remi a lesson. He compared Remi’s reading skill to his dogs saying that his dogs know how to read their own names and spell it. This made me think, why is Signor being so rude? Is he trying to prove Remi right about how dumb he was? Remi felt upset with what he said and then I realised, Signor was saying that to try to motivate Remi into thinking, “ I need to be a better reader and writer than the dogs are." Fast forward to a few days later and he had finally learn how to read, write, and sing. Signor and Remi was getting ready for another play and while they were arranging everything, a police walked in with an annoyed face. This made me nervous on what was going to happen next and why he had an annoyed face. Was it because of Signor's dogs? The fact that they were holding a play?

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

As the book continues, the police man ended up throwing a big punch on Remi knocking him down to the floor. This made me wonder how could a police man do that to an innocent little boy. Signor couldn't take no more and so he stood up to the police man by grabbing him by his uniform. He made it clear that if the police man touch Remi one more time, the consequence won't be pretty. The police wasn't of being afraid, instead he laughed it off and said, "who is this little boy to you anyways?" Signor replied, " I adopted him but grown to love him like my own son." I was very touched at this moment because even though they haven't been together for long, but Signor all ready sees Remi as his son. Remi was very amazed at what this old man could do because he was strong and fearless. The man ended up touching Remi one more time and so Signor threw a punch back at the police officer. Signor in the end was arrested and then next day was brought to court. Signor ask Remi to go to court tomorrow so he can learn a life lesson. Remi couldn't be anymore scare and hid behind a desk almost the entire part of court. The end result was Signor is sentenced to two months in jail and the bail price is 100 Francs. From my point of view, Signor shouldn't have gone to jail, instead it should have been the officer. The officer threw 2 punches at Remi and so he should have been charged for child abuse. Now what is Remi going to do without having Signor by his side?

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

Now that Signor is in prison for two whole months, what is going to happen to Remi? Signor last words to Remi was to take care of yourself and the dogs. I have a strong feeling that Remi more than likely going to be homeless along with the dogs. It can never sink in to me that an 8 year old is homeless. He started to wander around and know that the first step is finding a job. He ended up not being able to find one and at night, he decided to skip supper and save his 3 sous for his breakfast. When the next morning arrive, he searched for a bakery to buy a piece of bread. He only manage to get one slice of bread with 3 sous and he was still hungry afterwards. They continued to stroll down the street and Remi figured out that one of the dogs, Zerbino, was not walking beside him. This moment made me nervous because I actually thought that Zerbino was missing and never going to come back. He then saw Zerbino running downing towards him with a packet of meat. Behind Zerbino was a crowd saying “thief, thief!” After hearing those words Remi and the dogs all ran together for about 2 miles until the crowd stopped and in my head I was thinking about how chaotic it must have been. I kept thinking about Remi running faster and I was nervous that he might end up in jail as well.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

Another day without Signor and Remi knew he isn’t going to be able to survive long continuing to live like this. He remember that he had an instrument that he could use to perform on the streets with. I thought Remi was very brave and smart to think about performing in the streets with the dogs. Remi played the instrument and the dogs and Pretty-heart danced to it. If that were me, FOR SURE I would have not been brave enough to. He noticed that a mother and a boy about his age was standing there watching him. At the end of the performance, the mother and son applause and chanted “bravo,bravo.” The mom started to question Remi about why is he out alone in the streets. After a little story telling, Mrs. Milligan ( the mom ) and her son wanted Remi to live with them! Remi was ecstatic and couldn’t say no to the amazing offer. I was very happy when reading this part and knew that Remi is going to get back on his feet one day. Mrs. Milligan lived on a really nice boat and gave Remi his own cabin. Remi was for sure grateful and excited about his new little room. The next morning, Mrs Milligan walked in to check on Remi and made sure he had a good night sleep. She fed him and the dogs a delightful breakfast and made sure he was stuffed. Mrs. Milligan reminded me alot like Mother Barberin, kind, caring, and warm. It sorted made me have this thought like she is already treating him like Remi is her own child.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

Another day without Signor and Remi knew he isn’t going to be able to survive long continuing to live like this. He remember that he had an instrument that he could use to perform on the streets with. I thought Remi was very brave and smart to think about performing in the streets with the dogs. Remi played the instrument and the dogs and Pretty-heart danced to it. If that were me, FOR SURE I would have not been brave enough to. He noticed that a mother and a boy about his age was standing there watching him. At the end of the performance, the mother and son applause and chanted “bravo,bravo.” The mom started to question Remi about why is he out alone in the streets. After a little story telling, Mrs. Milligan ( the mom ) and her son wanted Remi to live with them! Remi was ecstatic and couldn’t say no to the amazing offer. I was very happy when reading this part and knew that Remi is going to get back on his feet one day. Mrs. Milligan lived on a really nice boat and gave Remi his own cabin. Remi was for sure grateful and excited about his new little room. I think this is the start of Remi's new life.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

One afternoon, Remi and Arthur ( Mrs. Milligan’s son ) was left alone in the cabin. Remi decided to teach Arthur how to read, sing, and play an instrument but Arthur knew it would be impossible for him. This reminded me of when Signor taught Remi these things and he thought that it would be impossible as well. When Mrs. Milligan came back, Arthur performed what he had learn from Remi in front of his mom. She started to get very emotional and was super grateful for Remi being apart of their lives. While they were having a mother and son moment together, Remi felt really envious because he always wish to have a mother that gives unconditional love and having a little brother. I started to have a stronger feeling that Mrs. Milligan might be his mom! Fast forward to two months and Remi asked if he could go meet Signor when he comes out of jail. When he got to the jail, Remi was glad to see Signor but was also sad because he is going to have to leave Mrs. Milligan and Arthur. Remi said his goodbyes and showed his gratitude then left them. Every second he turned to see if their boat is still visible in sight. This is seems like round 2 for Remi, 1 with Mother Barberin and now its Mrs. Milligan along with Arthur. I can tell that Remi is strong because he had gone through this process many time and still survived. If I were to have gone through his process twice, it would be extremely hard and I would have multiple breakdowns.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

Ever since Remi was reunited with Signor, I feel like he is more afraid of Signor than ever. Whatever Signor asked him to do, he did it without hesitation and in fear of making him angry. Later that night, they headed back to Paris so they can perform and make money. Unfortunately, a disaster has occured. Pretty-Heart ( the monkey ) had gone missing and Signor demanded that his dogs go out to in the woods to look for him. After three hours, they dogs still haven’t returned and so they followed their footsteps which lead to wolves, the dogs, and a lot of blood. My heart sank when I read this part because i’m guessing that the dogs were dead! Signor was devastated and didn’t talk, move, or look at anything else for a while. Pretty-Heart returned by himself but Signor rushed him to see a doctor because he saw that something was wrong with his body. The doctor had confirmed Pretty- Heart is ill with a lung disease. Signor and Remi stayed at a hotel for the night and the next morning, the hotel manager said that they still owed her 40 sous. Signor only had 20 sous to pay for the hotel and not only that, he needed to pay for the medical bill for Pretty-Heart. Signor was stress and for Remi, this was the first time he had seen signor talk and stress over money. He demanded Remi that they had to do a performance tonight to earn at least 30 more sous. Remi is in complete shock. The first performance without the dogs. This brought back memories for me when I had a pet Canary and I would always hold a performance on Saturdays with it. When the bird died, that feel of emptiness was not at all a good feeling for me. From this experience, I can fully understand how Remi feels about the dogs.

15 (edited by ziqiong.shen 2018-10-23 09:37:06)

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

During this chapter, I have learned that Signor have 3 dogs in total but 2 of them died in the previous chapter. After their performance, they continued their journey to get to Paris. There, Signor demanded that they had to part with each other to get through this tough period of time of having no money. He was going to teach French and Italian kids how to play the violin so they can perform in the streets. Meanwhile, Remi will go and stay with one of his friends ( Garofoli ), living with other children and playing his harp. Signor didn’t want to torture Remi too much and so he allowed him to try and live one day with Garofoli. When Remi got there, he was told that the rules are very strict and if you break any of them, you’ll starve. First rule is that at the end of each day, you will be expected to have earned at least 40 sous. I don’t know how much is 40 sous in today’s period of time but I would find it hard everyday to earn a consistent amount of money everyday. If you do not get 40 sous, each sous you don’t have, is how much days your going to starve until you return it all. For example you you have 37 sous, you’ll starve 3 days but if the next day you still have 37 sous, you will starve 6 days. I can’t imagine any kid can survive starving for 6 days. The first time you get whipped by a rope and if you cry, you get another one. From my point of view, the olden days have more strict and unnecessary rules towards children.

Re: Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

Signor went to pick up Remi and they walked around Paris for a while. After walking for quite some time, Signor suddenly fell to the ground and couldn't move anymore. Remi dragged him to a nearby garden to examine Signor. Signor told Remi that everything is going to be alright and so they both slept on the floor of the garden until the morning arrived. When Remi woke up, he was in a different bedroom, no sight of Signor or Capi.( the only dog left alive) I really felt nervous when reading this part of the book and didn't wanted to go on because of the devastating possible outcome. Remi was approached by a little 6 year old girl and her family. They made sure that Remi was okay but sad to say that Signor was dead due to starvation, coldness, and that Capi was lost and nowhere to be found. My jaw dropped and i’m starting to understand more why this book is called ´´Nobody's Boy´´ Everytime he gets a new family, it is destined for him to be seperated with them. They offered Remi some food which was a stew soup and Remi finished bowl number 1 in less than 8 seconds. Finished the second bowl in roughly the same amount of time as well. I knew how hungry Remi must have been because in the book, there was never a part where it talked about having supper. They decided to make an offer for Remi to join into their family. Remi will have to get up early every morning to do chores and will have high expectations from them. HIs reward would be a place to sleep, money, and food of course. The family consisted of Lise the youngest daughter, Aquin Pierre the father, two boys, Alexix and Benjamin, and Etiennette the oldest daughter. In Remi’s new family, Etiennette act as the mom because their mom passed away several years ago. Etiennette has to get breakfast ready in the morning, leave school early to prepare supper, and do the dishes afterwards. I was shocked when I read that Etiennette is only 14, the same age I am and I can’t imagine having the same responsibilities as mother at 14.