Hound Dog True: Part 4

I am spending the month of December talking about one of my favorite 2011 books, Hound Dog True, with my friend Jen from Teach Mentor Texts.

Hound Dog True: Part 1

Hound Dog True: Part 2

Hound Dog True: Part 3

Jen and I had this conversation in a Google Doc. Her text is pink and mine is black.

This next part I am so excited to talk about! Mattie is starting to become friends with Quincy and since she is so super shy, it’s really hard for her to open up and trust someone. Earlier in the school year, I learned about three essential elements to trust: sincerity, reliability, and competency. Since then, I have thought about people who I trust and how these three elements are present in relationships with people I trust. I’ve also been able to examine relationships with people I don’t trust and realize where the breakdown is.

Mattie is just starting to trust Quincy when she comes home and finds her notebook out on her bed. She thinks Quincy read her notebook and she’s so upset. At the same time, Quincy sneaks out with her aunt and when her aunt asks if they should invite Mattie along, Quincy doesn’t say anything but they leave and Mattie realizes that means Quincy didn’t want her along.

Trust is such a complicated feeling. I think it’s so hard to trust someone and at the same time so easy to lose trust in someone’s trust once you have given it…and even harder yet to be able to trust a person once they have betrayed your trust.

Poor Mattie is finally taking steps toward making a friend and then she finds out she can’t really trust Quincy. She can’t rely on her not to go through her things and read her notebook and she realizes Quincy doesn’t sincerely want to be her friend if she doesn’t want to invite Mattie to go with her and her aunt.

In general, I’m a very trusting person. I think I give people my trust easily until they do something to cause me to start to distrust them. Have you ever had someone betray your trust? How did you deal with it?

I wouldn’t say that I have had anyone blatantly betray my trust. My circle of people that I trust and let in is very small, so I don’t give many people the opportunity to hurt me. I wouldn’t say that I have a lot of people that I call my friends, but the people that are my friends tend to be very close friends.

Some of the best advice my father ever gave me was that it is better to have a couple of really close friends, than to have lots of “kind of” friends. He modeled this for me growing up, by keeping his circle small and close.  He is one of the happiest people that I have ever met, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he gives his time to people that he loves and trusts completely.

It was very interesting for me to meet you and some of our other Twitter friends at NCTE. I did not have the issues that I usually have with letting people into my circle. Surrounding myself at NCTE with people that love teaching, kids, and books made it so much easier to connect than it is for me in my normal world.

It was really cool to see how people who are friends on Twitter could so easily translate to being friends in real life. It wasn’t awkward at all, it just seemed normal at NCTE. Honestly, it felt like a reunion of friends from college. Even though we were meeting for the first time, it was like we had known each other and had been friends for years. I don’t think all online relationships can work this way since you don’t always officially know who is on the other side of that screen name, but so many of my friends on Twitter had actually met each other in real life so it was easy to feel safe with these people.


5 thoughts on “Hound Dog True: Part 4

  1. Love the end where you talk about NCTE. I have a lot of acquaintances but my list of true friends is much smaller. Colby, I love what you say about your dad. What a lesson that is. And I have a student reading the part of Hound Dog True you two are at. When I conferenced with her she told me the following: She identified with Mattie because they both find it hard to open up. She felt Mattie was brave and she was proud of her. Loved that!


  2. I know Colby has already read this entire book and not sure if Jen has or not so ATTENTION SPOILER!!!! I can relate to Mattie and her mistrust of Quincy only to find out that Quincy really didn’t abuse her trust nor did she not want Mattie to go with them-all of it being very “explainable” later on. It’s easy to take something at face value (especially when you are already vulnerable), only to learn later the true circumstances. Does that make sense?

    I ended up being so thankful for Quincy coming into Mattie’s life!



  3. I am a high school language arts instructional coach in SD. I have not read the above-mentioned book, but it sounds lovely. I love the dialogue between Jen and Colby. This would be great for any of us, but especially our students. Cool! Write on!


  4. Colby & Jen – Thanks for sharing your dialogue with us. I love the way this is developing. And I love this book. I can think of so many children that need to read the story of Mattie. I just want to buy a dozen copies and pass them out.

    And yay for NCTE…I think it was the first conference that I felt completely at home because I was surrounded by so many twitter friends that it truly felt like a reunion or a gathering of friends. Thanks for being part of that circle.


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