Everything they tried to take care of died. The latest thing they took care of was a plant. The school figured that it should be a part of their education to learn about the root system. There were 30 kids, so there were 30 dead trees in the ground. It was pretty sad; having a bunch of little kids just staring at the ground, wondering what went wrong. It probably had something to do with the soil. But before that it was the snakes. The snakes were left in the school during the strike, and the boiler was turned off, so the kids knew what to expect. Before that was the herb garden. They probably over watered it. Then there was the fish and that was expected. But no one expected a puppy. The Murdoch girl found it under a Gristede truck. She was afraid that the puppy would have been run over by the truck. They named the puppy Edgar, after the teacher. The kids found this amusing and the kept the puppy in the closet. It too also died, but I made sure that the children didn’t see it. I gave it to the custodian. Then there was the Korean orphan that the children adopted through the Help the Children program. But then the child died. His name was Kim and the kids felt pretty bad about it. They felt as thought something was wrong with the school. Then 9 parents passed away and we had the tragedy with Matthew Wein and Tony Mavrogordo. Then one day they asked the teacher, where did they go and he said nobody knows. They said “Is death what gives life meaning?” And he said “no life is that which gives meaning to life.” Then they said “isn’t death, considered as a fundamental datum, the means by which the taken for granted mundanity of the everyday may be transcended in the direction of…..
It was at this point in the story that I came to the realization that these kids might not be normal. With the many deaths surrounding the school, I was with the teacher in the thought that it was just a series of very unfortunate events. But then the children showed an intelligence that wasn’t expected of them. But it never says what grade they are in. Yes, they are called children in the story, but most teachers in grade school call their students children. As a whole the story is morbid, but bot gory or scary. You just get an overall sense that something might be wrong. That the children might be unnatural or advance might throw off the reader. The Author plays with the sense of development, but the children ask questions about death that any child would ask, only with bigger concepts. The reason we find it off putting because they use terms and concepts that they should know and are asked to be show these concepts, like sex. In it’s most basic form, it is the fear of big words in a way.