Wednesday, January 9, 2019

January Grades 3-4 Book Club: Bob

For January's Book Club, we read Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead. Caitlin, Isaac, Kailynn, Mark, Mira and Tannen were present. This is what we talked about.

What do we learn about Livy in chapter one? Why is she upset when she’s unable to remember her first visit to her grandmother’s house?

-Livy thought that her mom and grandma were upset that she couldn't remember Australia
-She was upset about not remembering Bob

What do we learn about Bob in chapter two? How were the five years they were apart different for him than they were for Livy?

-He thinks he's a zombie who is dressed up as a chicken
-He thinks his foot is unattached to his body
-Bob spent 5 years in the closet
-Bob was disappointed because he remembered Livy and Livy forgot him
-He built a Lego ship in the dark
-He played chess against a Lego monkey and lost most of the time
-He cried twice every day for the first year
-He thought of all of the reasons why Livy might not have come back to him
-Livy was just living her life
-Livy's mom just had a baby

Why do you think Bob is so upset that Livy can’t remember his name? Why is this so important to him?

-Because it's really mean to not remember someone's name
-He spent so much time thinking about her and she never thought of him

How does Livy feel about her mother leaving her with her grandmother for a few days? Why does this make her want to find Bob’s home even more?

-Livy doesn't like sleepovers
-Her mom will be away for 6 nights
-She wants Bob to be happy and she's a little unhappy right now with her mom gone

What clues do Livy and Bob find in their search for Bob’s home?  

-When Danny gets lost in the woods, Bob and Livy find him. He's sitting by the well that seems familiar to them.
-When Bob went into Danny's room, he saw the picture on the wall of the well that had green fingers coming out of it

Why does Livy think Bob is magic? How does she think his magic protects him?

-As soon as she left Australia, she forgot about Bob
-It protects him from well hunters who might be searching for well dwellers
-Even just leaving the house makes Livy forget about Bob

Bob tells Livy that in chess, the pawn is the key to the game. Who could be a pawn in this story?

-Bob could be the pawn because he's hte main character
-Danny, because he shows them where Bob lives
-Livy, because she wouldn't have been able to take Bob out safely to his home
-Gram because, without her there wouldn't have been a visit to Australia and, thus, Bob

Why is finding out his identity so important to Bob?

-Because he wants to know who his mom is
-Bob gets mad at Livy for forgetting him. Bob forgets his mom and she doesn't get mad at him.
-Everyone wants to know who they are and what they are

How do the searches for Danny and the book of folktales lead to the same place?

-Danny has the fairy/folk tale book

What do you think caused the drought? What ends it?

-Because Bob was missing from the wells. His family missed him so much and cried so much that they didn't have tears/water for the earth

Memories come and go for Livy and Bob. What helps Livy to remember her times with Bob? What does Bob need in order to remember his past?

-For Livy, she needs the pawn
-For Bob, it's the tutu because it reminds him of Livy

Why does Bob’s mom take the pawn away from Livy? Why does Bob return it to her?

-Because Bob wants Livy to remember him. Bob's mom thinks that Livy shouldn't remember Bob because it could be dangerous to the well-dwellers.

What does Bob mean when he talks about “Old Livy” and “New Livy”? What does he learn about her and all people at the end?

-Old Livy was smaller, five, and was friends was Bob
-When Livy is 10 1/2, the New Livy, he thinks she's not as nice
-By the end, New Livy and Old Livy are actually the same person

Please rate this book, with 1 being one of the worst books you've read and 5 being one of the best.

3- One
4- Four
5- One

For February's Book Club, we will be reading Sweep by Jonathan Auxier.  

It's been five years since the Sweep disappeared. Orphaned and alone, Nan Sparrow had no other choice but to work for a ruthless chimney sweep named Wilkie Crudd. She spends her days sweeping out chimneys. The job is dangerous and thankless, but with her wits and will, Nan has managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.
When Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, she fears the end has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself unharmed in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature—a golem—made from soot and ash.
Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a new life—saving each other in the process. 

We will be meeting on Wednesday, February 13 at 3:00 p.m. Please be sure to register for Book Club and pick up your copy of the book at the Circulation Desk.

Monday, January 7, 2019

February's Grades 3-4 Book Club Suggestions

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani   

Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.

Sweep by Jonathan Auxier

In nineteenth-century England, after her father's disappearance Nan Sparrow, ten, works as a "climbing boy," aiding chimney sweeps, but when her most treasured possessions end up in a fireplace, she unwittingly creates a golem.

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

Orphan Elizabeth Somers’s malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms―most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family. But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she is somehow connected to Winterhouse. As fate would have it, Elizabeth is the only person who can break the hotel’s curse and solve the mystery. But will it be at the cost of losing the people she has come to care for, and even Winterhouse itself?

Friday, December 14, 2018

December Grades 3-4 Book Club: Wishtree

For December's Book Club, we read Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. Claire and Mark were present. Here's some of what we talked about. We were guided by questions posed on the Wishtree website.

Discuss Red's comment: "Making others feel safe is a fine way to spend your days" (p. 26). How does the tree make others feel safe? What does this comment tell you about the personality of the tree?

-he's wise and old and cares about other people; not so much about himself
-he lets animals burrow in him and protects them in the hollows
-giving shade to the animals

-I like the way that the author named the animals (nice smelling things for skunk names, the opossums were named after things that scared them, the raccoons were named "You" "You" and "You" and the owls were distinguished names).

Why do the animals feel comfortable with Samar? Why does Bongo give her gifts? What qualities of her nature make the animals trust her? Why do these qualities make it harder for her to make friends with other children?

-Because she's quiet and shy.
-She's calm.
-Because she's nice.
-It's harder for her to make friends because she's so quiet

Red compares the neighborhood to a garden, "wild and tangled and colorful" (p. 54). Why does the tree compare the people in the area to a garden? Why is the neighborhood not welcoming to Samar's family?

-their not nice
-because Samar's family is Muslim

Describe the boy who carves a word in the tree. What does the author tell you about him and what assumptions can you make about his character? What kind of effect does this word have on those who see it?

-he was weird
-he seemed to be careless
-he didn't care about anyone else but himself
-they're mad

Why does Francesca want to cut the tree down? What do the police officers, Max and Sandy, think on her reasons? 

-she doesn't want to deal with it anymore
-the underwear in the tree on Wishing Day and the daily plumbing issues from the roots

Discuss Red's question, "How does friendship happen?" (p. 82). What is Bongo's answer? What makes Red and Bongo special to each other? What qualities do you look for in a friend? 

-they have stuff in common
-they're both somewhat quiet
-Bongo is kind of reckless and she doesn't want wise old sayings; she wants action
-they complement each other very well

Why does Red decide to speak to the children? How does this act change their relationship to the tree and to each other? 

-it surprises them because they're like "are you talking to me??!!"
-it gives them something in common: is this a dream? This is really happening
-he decided to speak to them because they're nice people and probably won't tell anyone

How does Stephen help to make a difference in the neighborhood on Wishing Day? What is the message the children deliver with their wishes? What makes Francesca change her mind about cutting down the tree?

-be nice
-it was part of the family
-the tree had been there for generations

Discuss Red's statement: "I wanted to make a difference, just a little difference, before I left this lovely world" (p. 126). What difference does Red make by talking to Stephen and Samar? What do you think you can do to make a difference in this world?

-I can help people by mowing their lawns
-I can help animals

Rate from 1-5

-4 1/2

For December's Book Club, we will be reading Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead. We will be meeting on Wednesday, January 9 at 3:00 p.m.
"An old red oak tree tells how he and his crow friend, Bongo, help their human neighbors get along after a threat against an immigrant family is carved into the tree's trunk."-summary
Please be sure to register for Book Club and pick up your library copy of the book at the Circulation Desk!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

January Grades 3-4 Book Club Suggestions

Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.
It turns out she’s right.
Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who―or what―he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball.

They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

Louie doesn't have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he's determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army.
Everyone worries that Winslow won't survive, especially Louie’s quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie's bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

November Grades 3-4 Book Club: Stef Soto, Taco Queen

For November's Book Club, we read Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres. Hunter was present. Here's some of what we talked about.

Has your family ever saved up money for a special trip or project? 

Stef thought it was easier to draw her thoughts than to write about them. How do you best express your thoughts? Do you do this easily?
-I like to keep a lot of my thoughts to myself. I sometimes find it hard to express myself to people.

Stef and Amanda are best friends. What was unusual about how they met? How did you meet one of your friends? What made you realize that you thought of each other as friends?
-Stef broke Amanda's arm! I met one of my friends at school. He helped me a lot. We keep moving away from each other. We'll always be friends. We Facetime. We will probably go back to the same class/school at some point. 

Stef felt like her parents “hovered” and never let her feel any independence. Give evidence of this. How do the grownupin your family treat you? Give an example.
-A bit. Since I'm the youngest. But they are not nearly as bad as Stef's parents.

Stef really wanted to go to the concert. How do you feel about Stef’s parents not letting her go? Have you ever wanted to go or do something that your grownups didn’t want you to do? How did you try to change their minds? Were you successful?
-Sad. They probably shouldn't have let her go, though, because concerts are crowded and they wouldn't notice if she got kidnapped. I'm sometimes successful in changing their minds. 

Stef’s family usually ate breakfast together on Sunday mornings at Suzy’s. What does your family do together every week? Explain.
-Sometimes we go to breakfast at Slice of Heaven on Sundays.

Here's where we ran out of time (we went on a few tangents) but here were other things that we could have talked about:

Stef helped Papi with the family taco truck business. How would you feel working with your family in a business? What do you think Stef liked least about working with her dad?

When Stef was in the commissary and she had time to look at all the food trucks, she thought that the trucks were just like canvases. Do you pay attention to the designs painted on trucks? Why or why not? Do you remember a favorite design?

Papi sometimes struggled to understand English. Have you lived in a country where you didn’t speak the main language? If yes, how was that? If no, would you be willing to move to a country where you had to learn a new language? Explain.

How would you respond to this writing prompt from Stef’s teacher – “Imagine that you can time travel, but your parents don’t believe you. How would you convince them?”

If you were in a club that wanted to raise money, what project or projects would you suggest? What part would you want to help with – making signs, asking for donations, or creating blurbs for morning announcements or something else? Do you have a special talent in one of these areas? Explain.

Respond to another one of Stef’s teacher’s writing prompts – “If you had to live inside a book for two weeks, which book would you choose?” Explain.

At first Stef didn’t want to talk to the City Council on behalf of the food trucks, but she did. How much do you think her speech influenced the Council’s decisions?

How do you think Stef handled the situation when her classmates assumed she knew Viviana Vega well enough to get her to perform at their school dance?

Stef describes her two friends’ anger – “Amanda boils over and cools right back down. Arthur’s different. His anger is more like a slow, steady simmer”. How does your anger compare with these two descriptions? Explain.

Julia and Stef used to be best friends but then things changed and they both blamed each other. Have you ever had a best friend who then became someone else’s best friend? What did it feel like? Was the situation like how Julia treated Stef?

How well do you think you would you fit in with Stef’s family and friends? Give examples to support your answer.

When Julia and Stef arrived at the art supplies fundraiser dance, everything was going wrong – no electricity, no power, no food. Julia tried to call her mom and then stomped off screaming. Stef stayed and devised another option. If you had been at the dance, how would you have responded to the disaster?

Stef wanted her Papi to sell his food truck and get a different job. Were you surprised then that she persuaded Julia to help her paint the truck? Why do you think she did that?

-Good food. Sometimes it was free. And she realized that they all worked very hard on buying and then keeping Tia Perla.

For December's Book Club, we will be reading Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. 
"An old red oak tree tells how he and his crow friend, Bongo, help their human neighbors get along after a threat against an immigrant family is carved into the tree's trunk."-summary
Please be sure to register for Book Club and pick up your library copy of the book at the Circulation Desk!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

December Grades 3-4 Book Club Suggestions

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she’ll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn’t ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. Soon, she doesn’t want to fade into the background—and it’s a good thing, because her director has more big plans for Julia!

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all. 
Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October Grades 3-4 Book Club: Bat and the Waiting Game

For October's Grades 3-4 Book Club, we read Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold. This is a sequel to A Boy Called Bat, which we read for last month's book club. Hunter, Isaac and Mark were present for today's discussion. Here's a little of what we talked about.

Please use one word to describe your first impression of Bat at the beginning of this book:


Who was your favorite character in Bat and the Waiting Game? Least favorite? Why?:

-Lawrence was my favorite from A Boy Called Bat.
-I liked the skunk the most (Thor). 
-I disliked Israel the most.
-I disliked Cornelia. She was just going along with Janie at that point.

What's your favorite scene of the story?:

-When the skunk sprayed the auditorium. The face that Janie made was great.
-Ditto. It was really funny.
-When Bat was working with the clay.
-I liked the scene with Babycakes.

Have you ever felt like Bat did when he first visited Israel's house: anxious about all of the new sights, tastes and sounds? How did you deal with your feelings?:

-Breathe in, breathe out.
-If I started to do something new, I'd feel like trying it.

Would you have been able to forgive Bat if you were Janie and Bat and Thor ruined your school play?:

-Yes, because I don't like school plays.
-If I was forced to be in a play, I would hope this would happen.

Bat often has to wait for things, ie. his mother's decision about Thor, for Israel to get to school, for Janie's play to be over so things can go back to "normal." Do you think all of this waiting teaches Bat about patience and other people's feelings?:

-That waiting is annoying.
-He also had to wait at the baseball game. He learned about baseball.
-It was a lesson in that LIFE IS WAITING.
-He learned about being nicer to people.

How does Bat change by the end of the story? Is he a different person than when it started?:

-He learned to be patient. Don't do stupid stuff (like bringing a skunk to a play).

Do you think that there was a message in this book, beyond the story it told? What might the message be?:

-Be nice and patient.
-To be understanding of people different from you.

Please use one word to describe your last impression of Bat:


What did you think about the ending of the book? Do you think there will be a sequel?: 

-Yes, because it ends with the play at home. There's a bunch of stuff they still need to tell us about.

There is a sequel! Will you be reading it?:

-I'm kind of done with his story.

Quote from Book Club today: What do you think that is? A rug wall???

For November's Book Club, we will be reading Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres: 

"Seventh grader Estefania "Stef" Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family's taco truck. She wants nothing more than for her dad to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be put out to pasture. It's no fun being known as the "Taco Queen" at school. But just when it looks like Stef is going to get exactly what she wants, and her family's livelihood is threatened, she will have to become the truck's unlikely champion. In this fun and multicultural middle grade novel, Stef will discover what matters the most, and ultimately embrace an identity that even includes old Tia Perla."--Publisher's website.

We will meet on Wednesday, November 14 at 3:00 p.m. Please be sure to register for book club at the Circulation Desk and pick up your copy of November's book!

January Grades 3-4 Book Club: Bob

For January's Book Club, we read Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead. Caitlin, Isaac, Kailynn, Mark, Mira and Tannen were presen...