Guide When the Whistle Blows (Original Fiction in Paperback S)

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You get the thrill of the secret Society's weird, slightly off and scary way to honor a recently deceased member; you get the Halloween prank gone awry; you get the blood-pumping, almost heart-stopping football game actions; and you get the deat Judging by the somewhat muted and sleepy cover, I thought I was going to read a "pensive, quiet" coming-of-age, historical fiction. You get the thrill of the secret Society's weird, slightly off and scary way to honor a recently deceased member; you get the Halloween prank gone awry; you get the blood-pumping, almost heart-stopping football game actions; and you get the death and danger working on the steam-engined trains.

It is an entirely "male" book, glaringly so -- you hardly see a female character and they hardly have even a speaking turn. It's all And so much humor and humorous wisdom. I am not ashamed to say that I cried hard at the end of the tale View all 4 comments. Jan 13, Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it Shelves: rural-farm-country-life , history , family , fiction , middle-grade. Set in the 's, a time of both great progress yet great despair, this novel gives readers a vivid and powerful view on the life of a boy trying to be a kid while being surrounded by adult problems.

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Jul 07, Kristin rated it really liked it Shelves: childrens-middle , hard-copy. Closer to 3. Some parts needed better editing, other points I wish were expanded or just left out. I can see how this is an ode to the author's family, but there is more to this coal town than a nostalgia trip. Overall I was surprised by it's emotional depth. I did not expect it to have such a strong message of growth, empathy, and altruism.


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Which was another great surprise. Feb 18, Diane R. Chen rated it it was amazing Shelves: coming-of-age. Posted on SLJ's blog today: When the Whistle Blows is a surprising first-novel that will especially appeal to your boys and young men. It is a growing up novel that includes scenes reminiscent of Richard Peck's Long Way from Chicago and has a classical mannerism that will steam its way on to state award lists all over the country.

Rituals at midnight. Launching cabbages at the enemy. Eerie cemetery scenes. Families joining together to thwart the tyrants in charge. The joys of livin Posted on SLJ's blog today: When the Whistle Blows is a surprising first-novel that will especially appeal to your boys and young men. The joys of living in the Appalachians especially hunting, swimming, and being outdoors. Looming changes hanging over your head as you are growing up. I particularly love the way author Fran Cannon Slayton incorporates changes in technology from steam engines to diesel train engines to show how all of life in a community is impacted.

This will lead to a great discussion of how economies are impacted when "improvements" occur. Students who are facing the question "what will you do when you graduate? Each chapter begins on All Hallow's Eve which happens to be Jimmy's father's birthday. Starting in and ending in Fran Cannon Slayton shares not only growing up, but also the intensity of a father-son relationship that changes as Jimmy becomes a man. The tension grows throughout as you, the reader, realize Jimmy's father is ailing.

You want to warn Jimmy to appreciate every moment, each year, but you rejoice as you see him growing and becoming his own man. This novel is fresh, smart, witty, warm, well-written, funny -- all those great adjectives you want to see and that help tip you over the purchasing edge. I love that. It is something to embrace and to not be ashamed. There is drama and there is football. It is a celebration of living with each new "birth"day chapter, but it is also a recognition of the part of death in our lives. Death is a mystery, a crossing point, a cry, a laugh, a letting-go, a grieving, and a ritual part of living.

Sometimes you don't realize how much a book impacts you until someone else asks you what you thought of it. I read it in one sitting and could not put it down. I thought about it and thought about how to review it, but kept putting it off to think.


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  8. Then, another librarian asked me if it was any good. Any good? This is an amazing novel. You won't get to see it until June, , but you will want to go ahead and pre-order it. To the Teachers at my school who read over my shoulder, I am sorry but you cannot have my advanced reading copy. I like it so much that I actually wrote in it, dog-eared pages, and flagged some of my favorite scenes.

    Do I want you showing students that sometimes these sacred library books become more than clean pages to glance over and preserve? Do I want you showing students that fictional novels can become an important part of determining who you are? Do I want students to know that books are worthy of study, thinking, and re-reading? Well, maybe I'll let you borrow it but only until I can get the final hardcover. You will definitely want to check out Fran's website. She includes teaching information for librarians and teachers plus the extras we want to see in this ever connected world.

    Be sure to read about Fran's secret dream when she was writing When the Whistle Blows. There are some wonderful advance reviews out which made it hard for me. I wanted to purely read and develop my own opinion so any gushing on my part is purely involuntary and not just "me-too"ing. You'll be happy to note that Betsy Bird of AFuse 8 has reviewed this, also.

    It'll take hours for our clothes to drip-dry as we sit and talk on the bridge, but we don't mind. We've got no place to go. We've got nothing but time. It'd be okay by me if this night just went on and on forever. And my father will never know. I'm sharing that quote because it shows throughout this page novel the beautifully written language that sneaks into this story of life, death, change, and growing up in West Virginia. Yet at the same time, it brings us back to growing up and the impact this father has had on the main character.

    Jan 01, Scope rated it it was amazing Shelves: Monday, Jan. It looks like it might be for a slightly older reader than my comfort zone includes. I grab When the Whistle, figurin Monday, Jan. I grab When the Whistle, figuring now is as good a time as any to give it a go. I read the first chapter and keep on going. James Jimmy Cannon and his older brother Mike sneak out in the middle of the night and witness the meeting of a secret society. Jessie is surprised to find that both his father and oldest brother, Bill, are members.

    Bill has already followed their father to work for the local rail company, and Mike has his sights set on the same plan.

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    Not that any of this flatters old Mr. Monday, Feb. In fact, the author even has a quote inside the front cover - not a bad endorsement. The format is very Peck-esque. Each chapter takes place on Halloween or All Hallows Eve , jumping ahead one year each time. Each chapter works as a short story, but the larger story arc runs throughout.

    Others, like when Bill is believed to be on a wrecked train, pack a more weighty punch. All of them are well written, absorbing, and memorable. Turns out Mr. Cannon was right - Rowlesburg is withering as new diesel trains make many old rail jobs obsolete. Jimmy, his heart set on the family profession, is at a loss for what to do next. A major event results in a meeting of The Society - this time with a new member. Then I get an idea: make the review like the book. Small parts, adding to a conclusion.

    Jan 25, Laura rated it liked it Shelves: mt-bookpile , old-reads. Told through a series of stories about All Hallow's Eve in Rowlesburg WV, James Cannon's life appears to be set: he'll leave school and start working in the railyard, just like his older brothers, his father, his uncles and his forebears.

    By the time he's a senior in high school, though, diesel engines have replaced steam ones, and the railyard has closed down. The other constant in his life is The Society, a mysterious group that he longs to join. In the last section, he's inducted - it's his fa Told through a series of stories about All Hallow's Eve in Rowlesburg WV, James Cannon's life appears to be set: he'll leave school and start working in the railyard, just like his older brothers, his father, his uncles and his forebears. In the last section, he's inducted - it's his father's funeral, and he's helping Do Unto His Father.

    Problem is, the stories the other members are telling seem like they're about someone completely different, and James wishes he had stories to tell. Then he realizes that the past years, the past All Hallow's Eves, have been his stories. I liked this - the simplicity of the stories and the relationships between James, his brothers, his father and his friends all worked. And the historical fiction part wasn't heavy handed, just a natural part of a tale that wouldn't have been easy to tell any other way. Aug 01, Suzanne Kerfin rated it really liked it Shelves: , 8-young-adult.

    Beautifully written book great voice and word choices in the form of vignettes which tell what happened in a small Virginia town in the life of the main character who is a young boy. Each chapter chronicles Halloween day and night the boy's father's birthday in the 's. Main themes are family and the coming of age of this boy, as well as the steam engine railroader's life in a changing time. I didn't really connect with some of the vignette stories maybe too male or too related to the ra Beautifully written book great voice and word choices in the form of vignettes which tell what happened in a small Virginia town in the life of the main character who is a young boy.

    I didn't really connect with some of the vignette stories maybe too male or too related to the railroad , but I definitely cried in some touching parts of the book and appreciated the history aspect of "The Society. Aug 26, Abby Johnson rated it it was amazing Shelves: blogged. Told in vignettes set on All Hallow's Eve , this is the story of Jimmy Cannon, a boy determined to follow in his father's footsteps and be a railroad man in a small West Virginia town.

    Beautiful writing brought the setting to life and I fell in love with the characters. I didn't think I liked vignettes, but I couldn't put this book down. Highly recommended, especially for fans of Richard Peck. View 1 comment.

    Unputdownable: 17 books I read in 24 hours or less (because they were just that good)

    Jan 05, Shelley rated it really liked it Shelves: youth , historical. I like the set up of this - seven vignettes, each set on Halloween between and It was really interesting to see Jimmy mature from chapter to chapter, and the resulting growth of the characters around him as he learns to see them differently. I think it was well done. I realized afterward that she basically wrote her father's teenage years - didn't even change his name or town or ending.

    That somehow seems a bit like cheating, even though I know it's not really. Jan 15, Jan marked it as to-read. Allison recommends: Such a wonderful book- warm and full of heart. You would think the vignette format would make this easy to put down between chapters, but I just couldn't stop reading. The sense of nostalgia for youth in a bygone era may be appreciated more by adults than teens, but there is enough humor and action to capture a younger reader's interest.

    Oct 12, Gentry rated it really liked it. My main character Jimmy Cannon is a regular 14 year old that gets curious about the night before halloween, and opening season for hunting. But he gets a little nervous when he and his friends causes a problem with the deputy sheriff. But something happens to his uncle that always took him hunting on opening day. Characters: I really liked to watch how jimmy and his friends lived and acted. Jimmy is really curious about how the curious about the sheriff and how his uncle died the night before halloween.

    He usually takes Jimmy hunting on the opening day, jimmy was really upset. Plot: The summary of this book is kind of weird to me because it is not what I thought that's what was going to happen. The author in this book uses a lot of emotion to express the feeling of the characters. The author Fran Cannon Slayton uses the emotion to change the plot and the mood of the characters. The emotion starts to show the plot when jimmey starts to get emotional when his uncle died. Conflict: The conflict in this story was Jimmy and his father. The problem between them were that his dad was keeping secrets from Jimmy.

    Jimmy knew about the secret that his dad was keeping from him, but he wanted to wait to see if he would tell them on their own. Some more things that I learned are that the Jimmy has really good friends because they helped him no matter what. I really do recommend this to any of my friends or family, because it is a really good book. Nov 08, Ms. For several months, Sewell went to work as he normally did. When he came home, he began his second shift, e-mailing spreadsheets and documents to Inman from his Gmail account and then spending hours on the phone with her, explaining what they meant.

    There was a sense of time pressure; if a different Freedom whistle-blower filed a complaint first, Sewell might not be able to participate in the resulting case. On August 17, , he finally filed his complaint with the district court in Tampa, alleging that Freedom was manipulating enrollment rolls. The complaint also alleged that Freedom was engaging in service-area-expansion fraud—misrepresenting the number of health-care providers in its network in certain counties, so that it could expand the areas in which it offered Medicare Advantage.

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    Sewell and Inman filed hundreds of pages of supporting documents, including internal e-mails, spreadsheets, and marketing files. Then they waited for a call from the U. Randy Harwell, the chief of the civil division at the U. Sewell and Inman eventually presented fifty PowerPoint slides of evidence to Harwell and a group of other investigators. It seemed like he knew what he was talking about.

    For more than a year, Sewell led a double life as an undercover agent, helping the government build its case. He became accustomed to a gruelling routine. Before work, he would meet Ed Ortega, the F. Ortega would outfit Sewell with the wire. Then Sewell would go to work and record. It was critical that Sewell not discuss the investigation with anyone; if the seal was broken, Sewell was repeatedly warned, his role would be imperilled and he could get nothing.

    In , while the investigation was under way, Sewell was moved to a different job at Freedom, in the Medicare-revenue-management department, where he reported to an executive named Mital Panara. In his new role, Sewell was exposed to a different side of the business, including the risk-adjustment department, which assigned Medicare Advantage enrollees codes that reflected their diagnoses.

    Certain codes and combinations of codes led to larger reimbursements from the government, and it was simple, with modest computer-programming skills, to figure out how to generate the most profitable codes based on the group of patients you had. Of course, companies were supposed to apply codes only to patients who actually had the corresponding conditions, as determined by a physician who had treated the patient.

    Sometimes, he later alleged, Freedom pressured doctors to schedule unnecessary appointments and to assign additional codes that the internal data miners thought would be more profitable. Poehling grew up in Bloomington, a suburb near Minneapolis. His father was a high-school social-studies teacher who also sold residential real estate, and his mother was a stay-at-home mom.

    He attended a Catholic high school, and the family went to church every Sunday. He began playing golf at an early age, and the game helped shape his moral outlook. No one is policing you. You are writing down your own scores. Poehling graduated from Drake University, in Iowa, in , with a degree in actuarial science and finance, and then joined Arthur Andersen, a multinational accounting firm, as a consultant. In , Arthur Andersen, which was embroiled in the Enron scandal, split apart. Poehling went to work for a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, which had been one of his clients at Arthur Andersen.

    I met with Poehling in Bloomington, where he lives with his wife and three young children. Poehling was disturbed by what he described as a chart-review program at United, in which the company systematically went through hundreds of thousands of medical records, searching for places to increase the diagnosis codes in order to make patients appear sicker. In some cases, legitimate codes had been left out and needed to be added. United had an aggressive internal culture, he said, with bonuses for executives who raised reimbursement numbers.

    In a e-mail provided to the Justice Department, the former C. Lets turn on the gas! What can we do to make sure we are being reimbursed fairly for the members and risk we take on more than what we are currently doing. Poehling said that he briefly considered quitting his job, but decided that that would be unprincipled. He mulled over his other options. He could send an anonymous complaint to the C. The limited C. Filing a qui-tam complaint was personally risky, but at least it insured that the allegations would be investigated.

    Poehling said that the size of the alleged fraud made the matter urgent. This was potentially a multibillion-dollar issue. The scale of it was huge. And this was known for many years at the highest levels at the largest health-care company in this country. Poehling spent the next several months collecting documents and evidence, and, on March 24, , he filed a qui-tam complaint. In the summer of , Freedom hired a nurse and coding specialist to conduct a mock audit of its diagnosis data in order to prepare for a possible audit by the government. Medicare regulations dictate that Freedom should have reported the invalid codes to the government and reimbursed it for millions of dollars in overpayments, but, according to Sewell, the company never did so.

    They kept asking him to get more. He would joke about it, humor was his device. He worried that Freedom would discover his actions and blacklist him in the industry, and that the legal case would fall apart. He also worried that he would implicate innocent or lower-tier employees through his indiscriminate taping. He became increasingly short-tempered and distracted. I saw him every day, and I could tell something was going on.

    Finally, in the spring of , in a bid to move the investigation forward, Ortega decided to approach Panara and attempt to persuade him to flip. The government rushed to send subpoenas to Freedom. Finally, two and a half years after Sewell had launched the case, Freedom executives knew that they were under investigation. The next day, Patel called an emergency meeting and instructed employees not to destroy documents or other evidence.

    Then Freedom launched its own inquiry into the fraud. The law prohibits companies from retaliating against whistle-blowers, but punitive actions are nevertheless common. Company attorneys began interviewing employees. It would have been imprudent for Freedom to fire Sewell, but the revelation that he had become a whistle-blower marked the beginning of a swift and painful series of events.

    Within a few days, according to allegations in his complaint, Sewell was locked out of his office computer. His access was restored, but a few days later he discovered that his personal laptop had disappeared from his bag while he was out of his office for a few minutes. Sewell panicked.

    Anyone in the Freedom office could have taken the computer, which likely contained many of his communications with his lawyers, and also the presentation that he and Inman had given to government prosecutors. The laptop was never recovered. Former colleagues also told Sewell that Freedom executives had claimed that he was responsible for the fraud—that he had filed the whistle-blower complaint to punish the company for failing to promote him.

    It was no surprise, then, when Sewell had trouble finding a new position in the clubby Florida Medicare-insurance industry. Each time he seemed close to getting an offer, the job would suddenly fall through. Sewell resisted the idea of moving out of the state, since he wanted to stay close to his daughter. Everything was on hold.


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    In a paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine , in , a group of researchers studied how the qui-tam process affects whistle-blowers in major health-care-fraud cases. They expressed frustration with how slowly the investigations moved and with how little information prosecutors shared with them. Apparently oblivious to the dead animals, destroyed buildings and scorched, dead vegetation outside their cottage apart from their own garden , they initially remain optimistic.

    However, as they take in the debris of their home, prolonged absence of other human company, lack of food and water, growing radiation sickness , and confusion about the events that have taken place, the couple begins to fall into a state of despair. After a few days, the Bloggs are practically bedridden, and Hilda is despondent when her hair begins to fall out, after vomiting, developing painful sores and lesions and experiencing bleeding gums.

    Either in denial, unaware of the extent of the nuclear holocaust, unable to comprehend it, or trying to comfort Hilda, James is still confident that emergency services will eventually arrive, but they never do. Perhaps this is because they were also presumably destroyed in the attack, or perhaps they are too busy with urban population centres and the Bloggses live in a rural area. The film ends with the dying James and Hilda getting into paper sacks, crawling back into the shelter, and praying.

    James begins with the Lord's Prayer , but, forgetting the lines, then switches to the first lines of " The Charge of the Light Brigade ", whose militaristic and ironic undertones distress the dying Hilda, who weakly asks him not to continue. Finally, James's voice mumbles away into silence as he finishes the line, " Outside the shelter, the smoke and ash-filled sky begins to clear, revealing the sun rising through the gloom.

    At once, the skies clear fully as the fallout fades away, revealing a beautiful blue sky with clean white clouds drifting by. At the very end of the credits, a Morse code signal taps out "MAD", which stands for mutual assured destruction. It was very subtly done but the message more than gets through well".

    He explained that the scenes are "more than touching" and encouraged people to watch it to the very end.

    historical fiction • PMS Library | Piedmont Middle School

    On some versions of the album, the Roger Waters tracks are all put into one song. The lyrics to the closing song, "Folded Flags", feature a reference to the song " Hey Joe " in the lines "Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.