Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Grades 5-6 Book Club: Anne of Green Gables

For November's Book Club, we chose to read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Madison, Maida and Reagan were present. Here is some of what we discussed.

In chapter 2, when Matthew is driving Anne back to Green Gables, she asks him: “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive” (p. 16). Given her tragic childhood, how do you think Anne is able to maintain such a positive attitude?

-She has an opportunity in front of her with new people and she's hoping it will be good
-She wants to think about what's in front of her
-She wants to forget her past

From the moment she arrives in Avonlea, Anne is insistent on renaming places and inanimate things. Barry’s Pond, for example, becomes “The Lake of Shining Waters” and Marilla’s geranium becomes “Bonny.” Why do you think she does this? 

-Because she feels that they are living things that deserve to have names
-They should have names that are interesting
-She thinks that a lot of names are too plain

Marilla gives several reasons for finally deciding to keep Anne. What reason do you think most changed her mind? 

-She is so passionate
-She proved herself
-She helps them and respects their family

Anne has a fascination with imagination and with helping others develop a vivid one.  How is her imagination a benefit to her?  How does it cause her problems?

-Her imagination keeps her occupied. She can imagine things that she wants to be (puffy sleeves)
-Amethyst brooch: she tries to make things interesting but then things can get out of hand
-Playing Elaine, she gets into trouble

Why is it important to Anne that everyone spell her name with an "e" ?  What does this mean to her?

-She thinks it makes it sound more sophisticated
-She thinks "Ann" is too common

Good behavior is very important to Marilla and very difficult for Anne. From where do you think each derives her moral code? How do both characters change, when it comes to behavior? Think, in particular, of Anne’s confessions. 

-Anne tries to make the best of life
-Marilla might be happy with being so rigid in how she does things and thinks of things
-Having Anne become a part of the family allowed Marilla to become more flexible

Throughout the novel, Anne often compares her clothing to that of her friends and other people in town.  What does fashion represent to Anne and why is it so important to her?

-So she can fit in. She doesn't fit in with the red hair and freckles. 
-So she can feel more comfortable
-She came to town in rags and so she's happy to forget that person she was

Anne is a remarkably compassionate child and is able to forgive even those who have judged her unfairly, such as Mrs. Rachel Lynde or Mrs. Barry. Why, then, do you think she holds such a grudge against Gilbert Blythe? 

-He insulted her
-She liked him and she was pushed down by her crush more than she was by Mrs. Lynde
-I agree with Reagan but it could be anything. Gilbert is 11 when he made fun of Anne and she's less forgiving of him. Mrs. Rachel Lynde is older and, even though she should know better, she is trustworthy and should be forgiven.

Discuss Anne’s reaction to Matthew’s death. How do you think it shows her maturation? How, if at all, do you think she was prepared for it? 

-I don't think she was prepared for it at all
-She was in shock and couldn't cry
-She almost thought it was a nightmare
-She was trying to be grown-up

At the end of the book, Rachel Lynde tells Marilla, “There’s a good deal of the child about her yet in some ways,” and Marilla responds by saying, “There’s a good deal more of the woman about her in others” (p. 285). What do you make of her comment? How has Anne changed during her time at Green Gables? How has she stayed the same?

-She got better at holding her tongue. Her creativity and imagination have stayed the same
-She didn't outgrow her imagination
-She's learned more responsibility
-She has learned not to make as many mistakes
-She doesn't talk as much

Anne of Green Gables was written over a century ago, yet it continues to capture the hearts of children of all ages.  What qualities in the writing style or story explain the timeless, universal appeal of this novel?

-The descriptions are so good
-It's great
-There are a lot of similes and sayings
-It's about friendship and growing up
-It's about kindred spirits and bosom friends

Did you enjoy the book?  Why or why not?

-I loved it
-I loved it
-I loved it

Have you seen a movie version of Anne of Green Gables?  How does it compare?

-We're just watching it right now
-It's a little boring

For December's Book Club, we will be reading The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

The next book club will be meeting on Wednesday, December 20 at 3:00 p.m. Please pick up your library copies of the book, and register, at the Circulation Desk so that Miss Lisa knows how many readers to expect!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October Grades 5-6 Book Club: The Candymakers

For October's Book Club, we read The Candymakers by Wendy Mass. Anthony, Claire, Emma, Madison, Maida and Reagan were present. Here's a little bit of what we discussed.

Whose perspective is The Candymakers told from?


What was your favorite room or what room do you wish the Life is Sweet candy factory had?

-A room where they made caramel popsicles.
-A room of bread.
-A puppy pool party room.
-Nutella and chocolate room. Bread is on the floor.
-I wish it had a chocolate birthday party room. 
-A extended library.
-An animal rescue center.
-A room where it snowed sugar all day (Sugar Globe Room).
-Tropical room was a favorite.

What did each character (Logan, Miles, Daisy, Phillip) submit for the contest?

-Daisy submitted her 3 Gs.
-Logan submitted the chocolate rocket.
-Miles submitted a peach cobbler.
-Alex Gruber submitted ice cream.

What is the “big mystery” in The Candymakers? The small ones? Clues given?

-The big secret is who wins the contest and what is the background of everybody.
-What was the secret ingredient?
-How did Logan get his scars? 
-What was Philip writing in his book?
-I was wondering why Philip was so picky.

What did you think the secret ingredient was?

-I thought it was a mix of dry ingredients.
-I thought it was purple sprinkles.
-I thought they put a little bit of mashed up cocoa beans.
-I thought it could be some kind of thing that isn't real with a crazy name because this seems like that kind of story.

What is each character’s motive for entering the contest? Do their motives change? If so, how?

-Daisy's motive is to get the secret ingredient and get out. Her motive only changed when they got to know each other.
-Logan was trying to carry on the family tradition.
-Miles was entered by the librarian of the town.
-Logan's motive went from winning to losing (so that he could save the factory).
-Philip's motive went from simply just winning to letting others help him so that he could prove his father wrong.

Why does Phillip have to win? If you were Logan, Daisy, or Miles, would you work with Phillip and let him win? Do you think Phillip would have won without their help?

-He has to win because his father will destroy the factory otherwise. 
-If I were one of the other characters, I would probably help him.
-He probably wouldn't have won without their help.
-Philip was almost afraid of what would happen if he ended up being at the front of the pack without other support.

A butterfly appears several times throughout the book. What could the butterfly represent?


If you could create your own candy what would it be called? What ingredients would you use?

-I'm not going to create one.
-The Scream, made out of dark chocolate and grey caramel to look like a movie screen.
-I would call it Bullets, made out of a small layer of caramel coated with dark chocolate (bullet-size) coated with silver edible paint.
-I'd make a flute that works made out of all of the chocolates, caramel, cookies...any form of chocolate and cookies. That might be hard to make the keys move. 
-I would make a gummy-based candy but I'm not sure what it was called.
-I would make a giant piece of candy as big as this room made out of all of the candies in the world.
-Something with a gummy bottom so if you dropped it from the sky for a poor nation, it won't break or hurt them.
-A house made out of candy, like Hansel and Gretel. I would make a Village of Candy with Anthony, The Candymaker, as the mayor.

Why does Henry help Philip so much in the story?

-Because he's a good person.
-Maybe he recognized him from the accident.

The kids all became friends at the end of the book, kind of unexpectedly. Have you ever become friends with those you didn't expect to.

-The kids told their stories.

Who is your favorite character and why?

-Daisy because she's a spy.
-Daisy because she's unexpected.
-Logan because most of his life is pretty much secret, like his scars.
-Daisy because she's a spy and lives in a mansion.
-Daisy because she has spy gadgets.
-Philip because he's Philip and Daisy because she reminds him of my lifelong hero, James Bond.

Favorite/least favorite parts of book
-Favorite: Daisy's whole part. Least favorite: when Philip refuses candy
-Favorite: The whole book because I liked hearing about the creations. Least favorite: I didn't like hearing about the sorrow when Daisy disappeared.
-Favorite: reading about the creations. My least favorite was the candy.
-Favorite: when Daisy revealed that she was a spy. I didn't have a least favorite.
-Favorite: when Logan was sitting on the beach and Philip opened the thing and it was the toy truck. Least favorite when Henry told Philip what really happened.

Rated from 1-5 

-Two 3s
-Three 4s
-One 5

We will be meeting on Wednesday, November 15 at 3:00 p.m. in order to discuss Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

'Oh, it seems so wonderful that I'm going to live with you and belong to you. I've never belonged to anybody'

When a scrawny, freckled girl with bright red hair arrives on Prince Edward Island, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are taken by surprise; they'd asked for a quiet boy to help with the farm work at Green Gables. But how can you return a friendless child to a grim orphanage when she tells you her life so far has been a 'perfect graveyard of buried hopes'? And so, the beguiling chatterbox stays. Full of dreams, warmth and spirit, it is not long before Anne Shirley wins their

Copies of the next month's book can be picked up at the Circulation Desk a few days after the previous month's discussion. Please be sure to register so that Miss Lisa knows how many snacks to purchase!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

November Grades 5-6 Book Suggestions

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

'Oh, it seems so wonderful that I'm going to live with you and belong to you. I've never belonged to anybody'

When a scrawny, freckled girl with bright red hair arrives on Prince Edward Island, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are taken by surprise; they'd asked for a quiet boy to help with the farm work at Green Gables. But how can you return a friendless child to a grim orphanage when she tells you her life so far has been a 'perfect graveyard of buried hopes'? And so, the beguiling chatterbox stays. Full of dreams, warmth and spirit, it is not long before Anne Shirley wins their hearts.

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. 
Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. 
Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. 
Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common -- but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September Grades 5-6 Book Club: Maniac Magee

For September's Book Club, we read Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.  We based our discussion on questions from

Would Jeffrey have become a legend if his parents had lived? Can legends have parents, or do they have to be orphans? (Think about superheroes—do any of them have living parents?)

-He might not have run away because he would probably have been happy with his parents
-Percius (the Greek myth) has parents
-Harry Potter
-Katniss (single parent)
-Anne of Green Gables
-Secret Garden character
-Series of Unfortunate Events kids


Does Maniac do the right thing in refusing to go to school?

-I think he should have gone to school because he could use some education
-He used other people's books to learn
-He could have learned about stuff about the outside world, like in Social Studies

What would have happened if Grayson had lived?
-They would have lived in the bandshell for a long time and Maniac would have been happier if Grayson had lived
-He would have gotten more butterscotch Krimpets
-Grayson and Maniac were good for each other
-Maniac taught Grayson to read
-Grayson's death made Maniac really sad 

How is Mars Bar different from Big John?
-They are of different races
-Mars Bar is a bully on his own. Big John is more of a leader of a gang.
-Big John accepted Maniac first

Do you think Maniac stays put with the Beales? What happens to him next?
-I think that he stays with the Beales for some time but he sometimes might go back to the buffalo pen
-I think he stays with the Beales but I think he'll have trouble staying with them
-He might go back to the bandshell
-It's up to him what he does next. He's pretty independent.

How would Maniac's story have been different if he were black, instead of white?
-The East and the West would be switched
-It would have been easier for him to stay with the Beales.

What do you think happens to Piper and Russell in the future: do they turn out like their dad?

-I think they might end up in Mexico
-I think that they won't end up like their dad because Mars Bar helps them out
-They hopefully won't end up like their dad
-One of them might start a charity for something and the other might start a business


What do you think Two Mills is like today? Still segregated?
-I think it would not be segregated anymore
-It's called the law. They can't segregate.

Rated from 1-5 


Favorite/least favorite parts of Book

-It was just "meh."
-I liked the running.
-I didn't like when Maniac took Mars Bar to the twins' party and it made Mars Bar feel really awkward.
-I didn't really understand the game that the boys played that got them to the top of the railroad.

We will be meeting on Wednesday, October 18 at 3:00 p.m. in order to discuss The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.

Copies of the next month's book can be picked up at the Circulation Desk a few days after the previous month's discussion. Please be sure to register so that Miss Lisa knows how many snacks to purchase!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

October Grades 5-6 Book Suggestions

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

Book Trailer

When four twelve-year-olds, including Logan, who has grown up never leaving his parents' Life Is Sweet candy factory, compete in the Confectionary Association's annual contest, they unexpectedly become friends and uncover secrets about themselves during the process.

The Giver by Lois Lowry  

Book Trailer

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Book Trailer

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist its ruler, the golden lion Aslan, in defeating the White Witch who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles

Book Trailer
Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible in her family, where grumpy eighteen-year-old Sarah is working at the family restaurant, fourteen-year-old Holden is struggling with school bullies and his emerging homosexuality, and adorable, three-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention, and when tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point.

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 


Favorite parts of Book

-When the Star Children come back to the Protectorate
-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!