Thursday, June 16, 2016

June Book Club Suggestions for All Ages - Perfect for Summer Reading!

The 14 Fibs of Gregory KPincus, Greg. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013. (3+)

The Agency. Lee, Y.S. Candlewick, 2010. Series. (7+)

BlissLittlewood, Kathryn. Katherine Tegen Books, 2012. Series. (3+) 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Boyne, John. David Fickling Books, 2006. (7+)

Cirque du Freak. Shan, Darren. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2002. Series (7+)

Cloak Society. Kraatz, Jeremy. HarperCollins, 2013. Series. (3+)

The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home. Daywalt, Drew and Oliver Jeffers. Philomel Books, 2013. (K+)

Elijah of Buxton. Curtis, Christopher Paul. Scholastic Press, 2007. (3+)

Eragon. Paolini, Christopher. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2005. (7+)

Harriet the Spy. Fitzhugh, Louise. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1964. Series. (3+)

Hatchet. Paulsen, Gary. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1987. Series. (6+) 

His Majesty’s Dragon. Novik, Naomi. Del Rey, 2006. Series. (7+)

Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens. Mata, Julie. Disney-Hyperion, 2014. Series. (4+)

Lost Hero. Riordan, Rick. Disney/Hyperion, 2010. Series. (5+)

Lunch Money. Clements, Andrew and Brian Selznick. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005. (3+)

Mark of the Dragonfly. Johnson, Jaleigh. Yearling, 2015. (5+)

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen Scholastic Press, 2015. Series. (5+)

Nancy Drew. Keene, Carolyn. Grosset + Dunlap, 1930. Series. (3+)

Number the Stars. Lowry, Lois. HMH Books for Young Readers, 1989. (5+)

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Riordan, Rick. Miramax Books/ Hyperion, 2005. Series. (4+)

School of FearDaneshvari, Gitty.  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010. Series. (3+)

Wonder at the Edge of the World. Helget, Nicole. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015. (3+)

WoofQuinn, Spencer. Scholastic Press, 2015. Series. (3+) 

Worst Class Trip Ever. Barry, Dave. Disney-Hyperion, 2015. Series. (3+) 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May Grades 5-6 Book Club: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

For May's book club, we read The Eye of Minds by James Dashner. Andrew, Courtney, Kelsey, Liam, Owen and Rileigh were present. This is some of what we talked about.

What did you think if the VirtNet? Would you be a player and own a coffin?

-Yes, I would spend the rest of my life in the VirtNet.When you die in the game, you would still be alive.
-Yes, I would be a player and own a coffin. If something bad happened to you, I would only feel it in the game but it wouldn't really happen to me.
-Yes because I like virtual reality and Lifeblood Deep seems really good.
-I wouldn't because it seems too real and it would be creepy. If you are so enraptured with it, you would make excuses to be in it. If you got killed, you would actually feel the pain.
-Instead of having a locker, you could have a coffin at school. Avoiding mean teachers, etc.
-I would not go in the VirtNet if the coffin is as it is now. But if there was a better one, I would go in the VirtNet.  

We then talked about reality vs video games and the consequences.

What did you think about the scene on the bridge with Tanya? Did her actions pull you right into the book?

-It pulled me right into the book because it's really dramatic. You don't know anything about the VirtNet yet but you are pulled into the story.
-"What is happening? I need to read more to know what is going on?"
-I was wondering what was going on at first, not realizing that Michael and Tanya were in the VirtNet.
-This book gave me so many graphic images in my head. They were too graphic.
-At first, I thought it was kamikaze. I thought it was about a kid with a dramatic suicide.

Have you played a game like Devil's Destruction? Would you?

-I usually play games like Halo. There's a game called The Crucible, in which you mostly just kill people. It's sci-fi. 
-I have never played a game like this but I probably would. Knowing that you're in the VirtNet and that you don't get brutally killed in real life would be good. 
-You would still see the horror of people getting brutally killed.
-No, I never have. I'm not a big video game person. 
-I have played a game like that called Boarlands.   
-I do not play games like that and I would never play games like that because I don't like killing.
-I would play a game like that although it sounds a little gory. I think it would be fun to go around to different places. I don't understand why they didn't code in a real grenade that could save them.  

What did you think about the Path? Did you think that those scenes were good?

-They were very good. They were so intense. Although, when Michael was flying backwards, I half expected him to slam into the wall.
-I thought it was boring except for the Monk (Gunnar Skale) and his talk about demons.
-I thought that the scenes were good. I liked it when Michael figured out the clock. And the lava.
-It was good.   

Michael knew that something was wrong with him because of his constant headaches. Do you think that he had any idea of his true nature? Do you think his friends did?

-I didn't think he knew because at the end, he was really surprised. I don't think that his friends knew either.
-I think that Michael didn't know but one of his friends might have known. Bryson realized that Kaine was a Tangent and might have done the same with Michael.
-I don't think his friends did. He didn't either. He thought he was just a person. 

Was the ending a surprise or what you expected?

-It was a total surprise. Kaine's revelation about killing all the people and letting all of the Tangents using their bodies.
-It was not what I expected. I thought it might change perspective to another character because I thought that Michael might have died.
-All of the Tangents seemed bad and Michael didn't seem bad.

It appears that Michael is going to work against Kaine and deny his Tangent inception. Will you continue with the series?

-Almost unanimous "yes"es though one definite no.

What was your favorite scene in the book?

-Where Michael and Sarah jumped into the Portal (after Bryson died).
-When he found out he was a Tangent.
-When he was getting too close to Sarah.
-The part where VNS came in to the castle. And the winter scene.
-When the lightning bolt struck on the rock and I could really imagine the scene.

Would you recommend this book to others or tell them to leave it on the shelf?

-Recommend to ALL of my friends because most of them read this sort of stuff.
-It was alright. I know a bunch of people who would like it.
-I would recommend it to many people except to those who rend my poor soul to dust.
-I would.
-I would recommend it to The Hunger Games lovers.   

We will be meeting on Wednesday, June 15 at 3:00 p.m. in order to discuss books in general. Be prepared to share books that you've loved, books you have been disappointed in and those that you can't wait to read. This discussion time will give us an opportunity to come up with some great books to read during the Summer Reading Program. Snacks will be provided.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May Grades 3-4 Book Club Discussion: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

For May's book club discussion, we read Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Aiden, Cadence, Cameron, Claire, Dylan, Ellie, Isabella, and Maida were present. This is some of what we discussed.

"Thirty-two years before it was made into a movie, Harriet the Spy was a groundbreaking book: its unflinchingly honest portrayal of childhood problems and emotions changed children's literature forever. Happily, it has neither dated nor become obsolete and remains one of the best children's novels ever written. The fascinating story is about an intensely curious and intelligent girl, who literally spies on people and writes about them in her secret notebook, trying to make sense of life's absurdities. When her classmates find her notebook and read her painfully blunt comments about them, Harriet finds herself a lonely outcast. Fitzhugh's writing is astonishingly vivid, real and engaging, and Harriet, by no means a typical, loveable heroine, is one of literature's most unforgettable characters."

Do you know what a spy is?

-They go undercover.
-They can be good or bad and spy on good or bad people.

Do you know any spies? Have you ever spied on someone?

-I spy on my parents when they're talking.
-I spied on Scarlet and Avery.
-My mom and dad had a conversation that we were staying in Jamestown another year. 
-Elly and Claire.
-I spied with my cousins on my sister.
-My brother stole candy. I followed him, climbed a tree and found his hiding spot. Later, I told my mom that he stole the candy. He got in trouble.

Would you like it if someone spied on you?

-No, I'd just find them
-Because it's mean. 
-Because you might be doing something private.
-Because it's not their business.
-Because people might be wrong in what they're thinking about you. 

What is Harriet carrying on the cover of the book? How are these items helpful to spies?

-Notebook and flashlight
-She writes everything down in the notebook and she can use the flashlight if it's dark out

In what city does this story take place? Have you ever been there?

-New York City
-Visited my grandparents
-I went to Manhattan because it's very busy and it smells.

Do you talk about people behind their backs? Would you like it if people talked about you behind your back?

-Yes and no.
-Yes and no.
-Yes and no.
-Sometimes I say nice things and sometimes I say mean things.
-I talk behind my sister's back (some nice and some mean)
-I talk behind Maida's back.

Do you think it is important to get to know people before you judge them?

-Yes because they could be much different than what you thought. You might think they look weird but they're actually nice.
-Yes. That happened to my brother. People won't meet him properly. Just because of how good he is, they don't want to get to know him. 
-My brother told me that, just because he was wearing glasses, kids at school didn't want to hang out with him. That's just about his looks. They assume things about him and think that I'm like him.
-Yes because, even if someone has a strange or something, it's not how they act or who they are.
-Yes, you shouldn't just a person by their "cover".
-If you judge someone before getting to know them, you can start a bad relationship.   

Do you think Harriet was trying to hurt anyone's feelings, or was she just being honest? Does it matter whether or not she meant to hurt people's feelings or not? (The end result is the same...)

-She was being honest because she probably wouldn't have written things that weren't true about people. She never intended for the notebook to be seen.
-I think she's being honest because she would have known that it would hurt people's feelings.
-I don't think that she was trying to hurt anyone's feelings. 
-She didn't feel that bad about people seeing the notebook.
-Instead of apologizing, she just did mean things back to them. She's a brat.   

What would happen if somebody found your private notebook, if you kept one?

-I'd scream and fly to Mars.
-I would apologize.
-Instead of having a diary, I would have a diary with a lock.
In June, the members of all of the Book Clubs (Grades 3-4, Grades 5-6 and Grades 7 and Up) are invited to come discuss their favorite books on Wednesday, June 15 at 3:00 p.m. We will not be reading any specific books during June, July or August, but we will be sharing books that we've read and would like to recommend to others. Or books that we've disliked. Or books that we can't wait to read. It's an open discussion. Snacks will be provided. Get some great ideas for Summer Reading!