Monday, December 17, 2007

The Last Holiday Concert - Chapters 17 - 21

Chapter 17: "Accounting"

After the results of the vote are revealed, half the class is still upset about the program. They don't like the acts and songs that won and demand another vote. The class erupts into angry yelling and Hart is helpless to say anything that won't get him in trouble again with his classmates. So he turns to Mr. Meinert for help.

Chapter 18: "Just an Idea"

Mr. Meinert interrupts all the yelling with a question: "Where did the name Winterhope come from?" (p.136) Allison, the girl who came up with the name, explains that it came from the idea of peace. With further discussion, the class decides that peace could be the theme of the concert and that they need to start working together to make the concert happen.

Chapter 19: "Crunch Time"

The chorus, Mr. Meinert and assorted parents all work together to get the program ready, the songs learned and the gym decorated for the big concert. "The road to peace wasn't easy. But thankfully, all the conflict happened within the framework of a fragile, but miraculously effective, sixth grade democracy." (p. 142)

Chapter 20: "Peace"

The holiday concert is performed for parents, friends and relatives. It is a huge success - the sixth graders message of peace is heard loud and clear and their concert is a triumph.

Chapter 21: "Coda"

After the concert, Hart finds Mr. Meinert in the chorus room and thanks him for all his help with the show. He notices that Mr. Meinert is packing up his desk and is upset when he finds out that he has been laid off and won't be back after winter vacation. They say goodbye and Mr. Meinert gives Hart back the rubber band that started it all - "Thanks for letting me have this. It was just what I needed." (p. 166)

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