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Toastmaster

I really liked theĀ parentheticalsĀ in this story that showed when Jeffrey used a word from his vocabulary book or a literary device. They, along with the physical description of Jeffrey, his thoughts about the counselor, and his mother’s conversation with her friend about Jeffrey’s special educational needs, create a strong image of an awkward little kid and make his successful transformation into a toastmaster surprising. Dar’s relationship with Jeffrey seems complicated. She tells people that she is a “mother by choice” and we learn that Jeffrey was born prematurely and has some kind of learning disability, but she pays almost no attention to Jeffrey throughout the dinner, she doesn’t support him performing in the talent show, and Mrs. Hanratty is the one who hugs him when he comes in second. I also liked the first line, “Jeffrey immediately likes the restaurant”, because it established that this restaurant would be important and hinted that something good would happen there.

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