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Shadow Spinner. A Jackdaw Presentation by Lindsay. CONTENTS. Concept 1: Title Object: A spider web with stories in it Concept 2: Setting Object: A silk scarf Concept 3: Favorite Character Object: A 2 pound exercise weight

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shadow spinner
Shadow Spinner

A Jackdaw Presentation by Lindsay



Concept 1: Title Object: A spider web with stories in it

Concept 2: Setting Object: A silk scarf

Concept 3: Favorite Character Object: A 2 pound exercise weight

Concept 4: Character Similarities Object: A miniature fabric heart

Concept 5: Character Differences Object: A handmade friendship bracelet

Concept 6: Key Event #1 in the Plot Object: A blindfold

Concept 7: Key Event #2 in the Plot Object: A Beanie-Baby bridal doll

Concept 8: Book Connections Object: A container of Cool/Hot gel


Concept 1: Title Lindsay

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher Period 3/4

Object: A spider web with stories in it 9/13/04

The title of the book that I’ve chosen is Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher. This title got my attention because it sounds mysterious. I love mysterious things that have some eeriness in them. Shadow Spinner is based on The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night written by Richard F. Burton. Burton’s book is based on one of the world’s greatest collections of Arabic, Indian, and Persian folktales known as “The Thousand and One Nights”. The title Shadow Spinner makes me think of shadows, which seem sneaky and silent. When I hear the word spin, spinning, or spinner, I think of spiders because they spin their webs. Spiders also seem mysterious and sneaky, which goes along with the word shadow. When I saw the title, I thought this book was going to be about spiders. I discovered, however, that it wasn’t about spiders orspinning webs, but it was about spinning stories. To represent the title Shadow Spinner, I chose a web filled with stories.


Concept 2: Setting Lindsay

Object: A silk scarf Period 3/4


Most of this story took place in the Sultan’s harem in Persia. At times the characters did leave the harem into the outside world. Therefore there are many different settings, but the harem is the main one. This story took place during ancient times. I chose a piece of silk to represent the Sultan’s harem because it was a royal home and the Sultan was a royal man who could afford fine fabrics.


Concept 3: Favorite Character Lindsay

Object: A 2 pound exercise weight Period 3/4


My favorite character in Shadow Spinner is Marjan. Marjan is a young girl about 12 years old. She first came to the harem with her aunt to sell goods to the women who lived there. While she was there, she told a wonderful story to some of the children who lived in the harem also. The queen’s sister overheard Marjan telling the tale. She took Marjan to meet her sister, Shahrazad, the queen, who commanded her to come and live in the palace. I chose Marjan as my favorite character because she is valiant and is a true hero. She can wriggle her way through almost anything and is a wonderful role model to look up to. I also chose Marjan because she is strong. Though she is crippled, she doesn’t give up and she always has hope. Marjan makes wise choices, and knows whom the right people to hang out with are. I really respect her decisions, which is another element that makes her my favorite character. I chose a 2-pound weight as a symbol of strength to represent this concept because you use weights to lift to get strong. Marjan is a very strong girl. Though Marjan is strong, she is not what you would think of as a he-woman with bulky muscles. She is strong in her heart.


Concept 4: Similarities between a character and me Lindsay

Object: A miniature fabric heart Period 3/4


I see similarities between Shahrazad and me. Shahrazad is the queen and is married to the Sultan. Long ago, the Sultan was married to a woman he loved very much. One day he found out that his wife was seeing another man. This devastating news tore the Sultan’s heart to pieces. He was so hurt that he slew his wife and all her servants. From then on, he married a woman every night, and killed her the next morning because he did not want to suffer the pain again. Shahrazad decided she would marry the Sultan and try to stay alive. So she asked if she could tell a story to her sister when it was time for bed. While she told the story, the Sultan, acting like he didn’t enjoy the stories, was really intrigued by the beauty of literature and the way Shahrazad could weave the words to make them sound perfect. The trick was that she wouldn’t finish the story that night. But she would complete it the next night, then start a new story. Because she wouldn’t finish the story the same night, the Sultan let her live to hear the rest of it. This went on for 3 years.

I am like Shahrazad in that she and I both know that though some people may be evil and have cold hearts, there is still some good in everybody, though they may not show it. Shahrazad saw that there was some good in the king. To represent this, I chose a miniature heart. The heart shows that we both know there is some good in everybody’s heart.


Concept 5: Differences between a character and me Lindsay

Object: A handmade friendship bracelet Period 3/4 9/13/04

Dunyazad, Shahrazad’s sister, and I are different because she doesn’t trust anyone. I suppose she has a good reason because her sister’s life is in danger and many others are working against Shahrazad. I guess she figures that you can’t be too careful, and I fully understand. It is just that I put my faith and trust into anyone. That might not always be a smart thing to do, but it does make others feel good to be told a secret and to know the other person trusts you. To represent our differences, I chose to use a friendship bracelet because it is a symbol of trust, which Dunyazad lacks but which I have.


Concept 6: A Key Event in the Plot Lindsay

Object: A blindfold Period 3/4 9/13/04

One of the key events in the Shadow Spinner is when Marjan sneaks out of the harem for the first time, which was against the rules. Earlier in the story, Shahrazad paid for Marjan to come and live in the harem to teach her stories to tell to the Sultan. When Marjan was younger, she had heard a story at the bazaar. Though she had thought she had heard the whole story, she really hadn’t because she was pulled away by Auntie Chava, her former owner. She told the section of the story that she knew to Shahrazad, who memorized it to tell the Sultan that night. She told the story and then found out that there was more, so Marjan had to figure out the end of the story. To do this, they would have to find the same storyteller who was at the bazaar. The only way to do this was to sneak Marjan out of the harem, which was an offense punishable by death. Shahrazad set up a plan. She scratched a very nice big chest and sent it out to be repaired, with Marjan in it. Once Marjan arrived at the repair shop, she snuck out to the bazaar. She waited and searched all day for the same storyteller, but he was not to be found. In the mid afternoon, she came across a boy who knew where the storyteller was. He was sick that day. The boy led Marjan to the storyteller’s home----blindfolded, and for money. But sure enough, it was the same storyteller she had listened to many years ago. The storyteller began to tell her the story and was getting to the good part when Marjan realized that it was time to go. She went back to the repair shop with the story spinning in her mind, going over it again and again. She again hid in the chest, and when she got back to the harem, she told the next part of the story to Shahrazad, and broke the news that she would have to embark on another perilous journey to get the final part of the story. To represent this key event, I chose a blindfold because when you are blindfolded, you don’t know what problems or troubles you might run into on your journey, and neither did Marjan on her first trip out of the harem.


Concept 7: Another Key Event in the Plot Lindsay

Object: A Beanie-Baby bridal doll Period 3/4

9/13/04 Another key event in the Shadow Spinner is the marriage celebration party at the end of the story. After Marjan’s last trip out of the harem, the Sultan found out, and he was steaming angry. He had all of Marjan’s friends and was going to punish them severely, most likely by death. Marjan would not stand for this, so she decided to do what no other would do in this situation. She would tell a story to the Sultan. She spun a story with all of the events, feelings, and terrible situations that had come to many in the harem after the Sultan was betrayed, but with different characters and in a different setting. This story so touched the Sultan that he declared a celebration of his marriage to Shahrazad. This had never happened before because he figured if he was going to kill a bride the next morning, why go through all the trouble? The story Marjan told him showed him that everything he was doing was terribly wrong and sinful. It showed the Sultan that he could show his feelings without hiding his face in shame. From then on, he let Shahrazad tell stories only when she wanted to, and not for her life. To represent this key event, I chose to use my Beanie-baby bridal doll. This doll can obviously be seen that she is happy. It means that now Shahrazad would not have to live with fear written on her face, and the Sultan wouldn’t always wear a frown. At the marriage celebration, feelings of happiness, love, and joy of two beings united as one filled the palace and the country of Persia. This doll is a symbol of all these feelings. That is why I chose it to represent this concept.


Concept 8: Connecting What You Read Lindsay

Object: A container of Cool/Hot gel Period 3/4


I can connect this book to the story of “Beauty and the Beast,” a folktale by Madame Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. This tale is based on a much longer version published in 1740 by another French writer, Madame de Villeneuve. There are many versions of this story in children’s fairy tale books, but I read Mme de Beaumont’s story in Classics of Children’s Literature, edited by John W. Griffith and Charles H. Frey.

In “Beauty and the Beast,” Beauty loves the beast despite his evil ways. Though he is cruel to her and others, she still knows that there is some good in him---- and she loves that good in him, as well as him too. In Shadow Spinner, Shahrazad loves the Sultan though she has to live in fear and fright because of him. She knows that there is good in him and he really isn’t that bad. He was still just suffering from the hurt he had felt from his first love. It turned out in both stories that there was love and kindness in both of the characters that seemed so cold hearted. To represent this concept, I chose to use a container of Cool/Hot gel. I used this object to represent this concept for when you apply Cool/Hot gel to your skin, it seems cold at first, but then the temperature changes to hot. This is the same in Shadow Spinner and Beauty and the Beast because the hearts of the villains, the Sultan and the Beast, seem cold, but Shahrazad and Beauty help them to release the warmth deep in their hearts.