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
-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.
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
-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
-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
-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!
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