Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May Grades 5-6 Book Club: The Girl Who Drank the Moon

For May's Book Club, we read The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Cadence, Grace, Michaela and Sophia were present. We based our discussion on questions from the Algonquin Young Readers guide.




1. “The Witch—that is, the belief in her—made for a frightened people, a subdued people, a compliant people, who lived their lives in a saddened haze . . .” Why do the Elders spread the story of the Witch to the townspeople? Why might the idea of a Witch be as powerful as, or more powerful than, the actual Witch? 

-The idea of a witch might be more powerful because no one really knows who the witch is
-Love is stronger than power




2. Who is the speaker of the italicized chapters, and who is the child listening to the stories? What clues led you to your answer? Why might the author have chosen to tell parts of the story through those chapters?

-The speaker telling the story is the Sorrow Eater. The listener is Grand Elder Gherland
- Ethyne was the listener and her mom was the teller.





3. Antain desperately wants to visit the libraries in the Tower of the Sisters of the Star when he is young, but the Sisters refuse to let him in. What do they hope to accomplish by hoarding their knowledge? Is it right? Why or why not? 

-It is wrong. They are hoarding it accomplish ultimate power.
-Share knowledge.

4. Xan insists that sorrow is dangerous. Do you agree? What does Xan learn about sorrow by the end of the novel? How are hope and sorrow connected? 

-Sorrow is beautiful.
-Sorrow can be helpful because when you figure it out, it helps you to overcome the sad things in life. You start to appreciate more the good things in life.

5. When Luna’s magic grows out of control, Xan decides to seal it away in Luna’s mind until she turns thirteen. What are the consequences of that decision? Was Xan right to seal off her magic? What would you have done? 

-Luna would be too dangerous with her magic
-At an older age, she would be more responsible.
-When she used the magic, she was more of a danger
-I don't think she should have sealed the magic because Xan knew she would die when it was unsealed
   


6. Many types of birds appear in the novel: the madwoman’s paper birds, the sparrow Xan transforms into when she needs to travel, even the crow Luna befriends. Why do you think the author chose to feature birds? 

-Birds are intelligent
-Birds are a symbol of grace
-Birds have the ability to fly and they can go anywhere


7. The madwoman is distraught when she realizes she cannot remember her own name. What is the danger of forgetting? What are some other examples of memory loss and its effects in the story? How do those compare to the madwoman’s experience?

-If you forget, you can forget yourself. If you forget yourself, that is you and your life.
-People can control you if you forget who you are
-Xan and Luna both forget stuff due to spells 
-The Sorrow Eater has forgotten her past 


8. Xan and Luna’s relationship changes once they start keeping secrets from each other. How do the lies they both tell influence their relationship? Why do they decide to keep those secrets? 

-It influences their relationship because they start to judge each other, knowing each is telling secrets. This crumbles their relationship.
-Sometimes keeping secrets is for the better good. That's what some people think.



 
9. Fyrian thinks he’s a Simply Enormous Dragon, but everyone else thinks he’s a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Who is right? How does Fyrian’s perspective affect his view of the world? What other examples from the story illustrate how a character’s perspective of a particular event changed the way he or she understood the world? 

-They are both right
-He thinks he is a Simply Enormous Dragon and lives in a land of giants. That is the truth.
-It is a matter of perspective. 
-An ant thinks we're giants.


10. Why does the Sorrow Eater feed on people’s sorrow? Why does she choose to wall off her heart? What are the similarities and differences in the ways Xan and the Sorrow Eater use their magic? 

-She walled off her heart because if she unwalled it, she would be eaten by her sorrow.
-They use their magic to make themselves happy
-Their magic is not similar in that Xan uses her magic for good and the Sorrow Eater for bad.
-The Sorrow Eater's magic is used for bad
   

11. When Antain begins asking about the Witch’s nature and the Elders’ deceptions, he calls his questions “revolutionary.” Is asking questions important? How can questions be revolutionary? 

-questions are important because you will never know
-questions can be the start of a war

12. “A story can tell the truth, she knew, but a story can also lie. Stories can bend and twist and obfuscate. Controlling stories is power indeed.” Why are stories powerful, especially when you control them? On the other hand, what happens when stories are shared? Can you identify an example?

-When stories are shared, they might get exaggerated from the perspective of who is telling the story
-When you play telephone, the story is always different
-You can control stories because people can trick journalists. When journalists are looking for gossip, they look for good gossip. But, when people tell good gossip, it gets around the town and the story can change. 

Rated from 1-5 

-3.5
-4
-4.999
-5 


Favorite parts of Book

-When the Star Children come back to the Protectorate
-Dragons
-I prefer non-fiction but there was magic and dragons
-The moon is interesting
    

All of the members of the different grade book clubs will be meeting together on Wednesday, June 21 at 3:00 p.m. We will not be reading a specific book for this session but will be bringing reading suggestions for the group. Summer Reading is coming up and it would be great to get peer-reviewed books to create a Summer Reading Book List. Once it is completed, Miss Lisa will put it online and print copies out to be found in the library. Have your reading suggestions heard!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April Grades 5-6 Book Discussion: Paper Wishes

For April's Book Club, we read Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban. Cadence, Grace, Lily, Michaela and Sophia were present. This is some of what we discussed.

We first looked at a Paper Wishes classroom guide provided by Macmillan in order to get some historical context on the book that we just read: http://www.loissepahban.com/pdf/PaperWishes-Classroom-Guide.pdf
 



What is Manami’s life like on the island when the story opens?

-it was peaceful and she liked going down to the beach
-she loved her dog and hanging out with her dog
-Yujiin



Manami compares her “not normal” morning to her “normal” morning. What is the difference between the two?

-she wakes up and goes to school in her normal. The not normal is that her grandfather is too sad about the dog and he doesn't take her anywhere.



What details in the story tell you how the islanders feel about Manzanar?

-they want to go back home
-they were miserable and depressed 
-her grandfather didn't want to do anything because he was depressed



What details in the story show you how the family feels about Ron’s arrival? 

-they want him to go back to college because they are concerned that once he is at the camp, he'll have to stay
-they are glad to have him with them but concerned about his safety



What is the author trying to show when Manami goes out to save her mother’s garden?

-she is trying to show that she is excited about the garden
-the garden represents their home because they brought the bulbs and seeds from home. They all work to protect it from the rain.



How does Manami decide to use the paper Miss Rosalie gives her?

-she paints and draws pictures
-and she writes to her dog and sends them in the wind



What do you think happened to the paper wishes Manami sends into the air?

-they got to the other dogs
-they went into the ocean
-they went up to space
-they got stuck in trees



How would you describe the relationship between Manami and Ron? 

-good
-he always tells her the secrets, the things that her family and grandfather won't tell her
-Manami trusts Ron more than anyone in her family
-Manami is sad when she finds out Ron's secret



Describe Mother’s garden in October. Was the garden ultimately successful?

-Manami spent so much time keeping the garden



Why does Grandfather think Manami is ready for a new dog?

-she really misses her old dog
-because she's still not talking
-the garden showed them that she is responsible



How does Manami respond to the bus driver when he tells her no dogs are allowed on the bus?

-she screams "no..no...no!" 
-because she found her voice again



Did you like how the story ended without a “and they lived happily ever after?” We don’t know what happens to the family when they arrive at the next internment camp. Do you think that they are now equipped to do well there after their experiences at Manzanar?

-no because it's a story. Things would not have ended up well.
-I was expecting a real ending to the story with her finding the dog 


How would you rate this book, with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst?

-3+
-4
-5 (lots of details, months as chapters). It was peaceful and I liked the way it was presented.
-almost a 4
-3 1/2


We will meet on Wednesday, May 17 at 3:00 p.m. in order to discuss The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.

 
"Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . ."-amazon.com



Please register and pick up your copy of the book at the Circulation Desk!

May Grades 5-6 Book Suggestions

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Regan Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.
Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don't even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one-of-a-kind.

Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won't be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan, more of a quest, really, to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.