Response to Literature: The Graduation of Jake Moon

For an assignment in Language Arts, we had to read a book and write a response to it.

Your Grandpa just got Alzheimer’s disease and he is now ruining your social life. In The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park, a boy named Jake has a perfect life until his grandpa Skelly gets Alzheimer’s disease. You need to be kind for those who need help. First Skelly gets Alzheimer’s, which basically starts the whole problem. Secondly, Skelly breaks both of his wrists when he tries to bring a table down the stairs by himself. Instead of being kind to Skelly, Jake feels embarrassed that Skelly is this grandfather. Third, Jake starts sixth grade and he runs for class treasurer but then he drops out because he is scared that the kids might find out about Skelly. Instead of being kind to Skelly, Jake just gives up and hopes that no one finds out about his grandpa. Fourth, Skelly goes missing because he is left alone and everyone is looking for him. This is when Jake begins to realize that he should have some compassion for his “disabled” grandpa. Last, at Jake’s graduation, logs of people come but one doesn’t so everyone goes outside to look, except Skelly. Skelly should not be left alone. He starts to climb up the stage. Jake helps him and that is when he finally realizes that he just needs to be kind and everything will be ok. Everyone should learn that you need to be kind for those who need help.

You need to be kind to those who need help. When Skelly got Alzheimer’s, he lost his car keys once and blamed it on Jake. Instead of helping Skelly look for them, Jake just yelled and he was not being kind to Skelly. Jake just ended up crying in frustration. This proves that you need to be kind to those who need help. If Jake would have been kind to Skelly and not yelled at him, things would have turned out ok; without crying.
Another example is when Skelly goes missing. Jake at one point thinks that Skelly left because Jake yelled at him in the morning and he took away Skelly’s Cheerios. If Jake had been kinder and not taken away Skelly’s Cheerios in the morning, Jake would have not felt guilty for the disappearance of Skelly. At the end everyone finds out that Skelly left because he was left alone. This is when Jake realized that Skelly could have also left because of the Cheerio incident. He sees that he needs to be kinder. Everyone needs to be kind to those who need help.
My last example is at Jake’s graduation. Skelly is left alone while an invited guest that didn’t come. Skelly climbs up the stage in the middle of the ceremony. Jake starts to feel embarrassed, but then he cools down and remembers that he should be kind. Jake kindly walks over to Skelly and helps him down the stairs and back to his seat. This is the moment when Jake realizes that all you need is kindness and everything will be ok. You need to be kind to those who need help.
In conclusion, you need to be kind to those who need help is the theme of the story. If Jake had realized that before, a lot of his life would have been easier when dealing with Skelly. I think the author wants us to learn that we need to be kind to people who need help, like Skelly.