Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October Book Club: Wonder by RJ Palacio

We had an interesting book discussion about Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Nine participants were present. Thanks to Alba, Amelia, Ava, Charlotte, Claire, Elizabeth, Fiona, Finley, Lauren, and Luna for joining in! Please read some of the comments about the book below, taken from the author's website.


1.  Don’t judge a boy by his face
What do you think of the line ‘Don’t judge a boy by his face’ which appears on the back cover of the book? Did this affect how much you wanted to read the story?

-It made me curious to read the book.

-It would make me intimidated to read.
-It makes sense for that to be on the back of the book because that's what it's about.
-We are all the same on the inside and didn't choose to look that way.
-It would make me wonder what it's about.
-I didn't read the book but I had seem it before and it made me feel nervous about reading it.
-I would think it would be a boring book, just about one thing.
-When I first saw it, before I ever read it, I thought it was called Eye Wonder because of the art of the cover.
 

2.  Auggie’s appearance

·Throughout Wonder, Auggie describes the way that many people react to seeing his face for the first time: by immediately looking away. Have you ever been in a situation where you have responded like this to seeing someone different? Having now read Wonder, how do you feel about this now?

-The author wrote this book because of an incident that happened at a store.

-I've never that way but if I had, I would probably feel bad for what I did and regret it.
-I haven't done that but if I did and then read this book, I would be ashamed of myself.
-I try to get a closer look at them.
-I looked away but now that I know that it would make them feel bad.
-When I went to Disney World and someone was staring at someone else, I made sure not to stare at them.
-Most people look away because they can't help it and it's rude to stare.
-People walking around someone who is handicapped is rude.
-I think it was rude for Julian to say "this is an eraser", saying that he thought Auggie didn't know anything because he looks different, like he's dumb or something.
-Julian asked in front of him in a rude way "did you walk through a fire?"
-When Julian's mom cut Auggie out of the school pictures. That was the worst.
-When the other kids started breaking away from Julian realizing that he's wrong
-When they were on the field trip, I liked that August's friends stood up for him.



·Auggie’s face is not fully described until quite far on in the story, in Via’s chapter ‘August: Through the Peephole’. How close was this description to your own mental picture of Auggie? Did you have a picture of his face in your mind while reading the book? Did this description alter that picture?

-I had a picture of a boy who had a ton of scars on his face and people still teased him. I realized that it wasn't so bad as not to be his friend.

-I imagined that you could see red in his eyes and his nose was crooked.
-The picture in my head was way worse than what I read.
-I imagined his face as droopy. 
-I imagined him something like what they said in the book but I didn't imagine his eyes halfway down his face.
-It said he couldn't hear sell so I imagined his ears just a little smaller.
-I imagined him to be tall and thin and his eyes droopy and mouth droopy. And his eyes halfway closed.
-I thought that maybe didn't have eyelids and wouldn't be able to smile that well because his mouth is straight.



3. Auggie’s personality

·How would you describe Auggie as a person in the first few chapters of the book? What about the final few chapters? Has he changed significantly? Are there any experiences or episodes during the story that you think had a particular effect on him? If so, how?

-The difference isn't in his face, it's in his personality. He changes from being a shy, scared kid to being a brave, nice person.

-In the beginning, he's afraid to meet people because he thinks they'll make fun of him but by the end, he's made friends who support him.
-He's much more bold and brave.
-He was shy and then he turned bold after he met more people.
-He was a kid who put pressure on himself but then began to like himself.
-I think the part that sticks out is that people avoid him and by the end he was someone everyone wanted to know.


4. The astronaut helmet

·In the chapter ‘Costumes,’ Auggie describes the astronaut helmet that he wore constantly as a younger child. We later learn that Miranda was the one to give Auggie the helmet, and is proud of the gift, but that it was Auggie’s father who threw it away. What do you think the helmet signifies to each of these characters and why do you think they all view it so differently?

-I think that Auggie loves the helmet because he wore it everyday and it was his special thing (so that he wouldn't be embarassed in public), his dad was annoyed that people couldn't see his real face and Miranda was happy to have given hi
m something so precious.

-If I were Miranda, I'd want to see Auggie's face.
-Miranda was like a sister to Auggie.
-I think that the dad also because you couldn't see his inner beauty.
-Everyone was fighting over Auggie but in different ways.


We started running out of time here, so we sped up and only had a few of the kids give answers. They were all so into discussing this book, it was hard to tamp down that enthusiasm!

5. Via

·What did you think of Via as a character? Did you empathize with her? Why do you think Via was so angry to learn that Auggie cut off his Padawan braid? Do you think Via’s own attitude towards her brother changes throughout the story?

-I'm not sure why Via is so mad but the book says that sometimes she just is mad. Maybe it's because he took so long to grow it.

-Since August was in the hospital a lot, it was one of the last memories she had of Auggie
-I think that Via's attitude changed throughout the book. At first she was a little embarassed of Auggie and by the end she accepted him.



6.  At the ice cream parlor:

·The author has explained that she was inspired to write Wonder after an experience at a local ice cream parlour, very similar to the scene described in the chapter ‘Carvel’, where Jack sees Auggie for the first time. In this scene, Jack’s babysitter Veronica chooses to get up and quickly walk Jack and his little brother Jamie away from Auggie, rather than risk Jamie saying something rude or hurtful. What do you think you would have done, if put in that position?


-Via glared at Jack after he had a bit of an outburst about Auggie.

-Veronica rushed away with the kids.
-I would slap Jamie in the mouth.


The precepts (rules to live by) from the book:

"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."   —Dr. Wayne Dyer
"Your deeds are your monuments."   —Inscription on ancient Egyptian tomb
"Have no friends not equal to yourself."   —Confucius
"Fortune favors the bold."   —Virgil
"No man is an island, entire of itself."   —John Donne
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."   —James Thurber
"Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much."   —Blaise Pascal
"What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon be beautiful."   —Sappho
"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can."   —John Wesley
"Just follow the day and reach for the sun."   —The Polyphonic Spree


"Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all overcometh the world."   —Auggie Pullman



Precepts that some of the Book Club members shared:

-"There may be doubt in who you are but there's never any doubt that you are someone."
-We have something we say to be kind to people.
-"Live your life and have some freedom."
-"There are limits but sometimes you have to push yourself past those limits."
-"There's a time for this and there's a time for that and now is a time for that."
-"If something brings you down, just get up and try again."



The next Grades 3-4 Book Club will meet on Wednesday, November 15th at 4:00 p.m. Miss Lisa will be on vacation during our normal week (second Wednesday of the month).


We will be discussing The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

"Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . . 
Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle – that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again."- amazon.com


Please be sure to pick up your copy of the book at the Circulation Desk and to register for each session of the club so that Miss Lisa knows how many snacks to buy!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

November Book Club Suggestions


Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

Clementine is having not so good of a week.
-On Monday she's sent to the principal’s office for cutting off Margaret’s hair.
- Tuesday, Margaret's mother is mad at her.
- Wednesday, she's sent to the principal... again.
- Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.
- Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.
- And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her.
Okay, fine. Clementine is having a DISASTROUS week.


Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she's just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It'll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!


Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . . 
Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle – that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

October Book Suggestions


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate  


When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.


When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin 

Pinmei, a storyteller's granddaughter, must find the Luminous Stone that Lights the Night to rescue her grandmother, who has been kidnapped by the Tiger Emperor.





Wonder by R.J. Palacio 

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.



September Book Club: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

For September's book club, we read Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Abigail, Amelia, Ava, Claire, Fiona, Kathryn, Lauren, Lottie, Luna, Mari, and Truman were present. We used these questions to guide our discussion but allowed ourselves to go off topic!



Fern shows her parents that she is responsible enough to care for Wilbur. What do you need to do to care for any pet? Do you have a pet? 




-You have to feed it and make a bed for it. 
-Wash it, feed it, give it water and let it play outside
-You should walk it
-Feeding it your leftovers (if you had a pig)
-You have to treat the yard for fleas and ticks   
-Take them to the vet
  

When Wilbur escapes from his pen, he runs about frantically until he lets himself be captured. He thinks, “I’m really too young to go out into the world alone” (chapter 3). Do you ever feel this way? When you are trying something new on your own, do you feel excited, brave, nervous, or frightened? 

-I'm sometimes scared to do new things
-I feel mostly excited and am nervous about doing something wrong
-It depends on what it is


Charlotte’s Web takes place on Mr. Zuckerman’s farm. Which farm animal would you most want to be, and which farm animal would you least want to be? Why? 

-I would be a horse because they would be one of the tallest and biggest animals
-I would be a spider. I would like to make a web and they are tiny so they can go in tiny spaces.
-I would want to be a goat.
-I would not want to be a pig because I don't want to get roasted.
-I would want to be a goat because they can eat trash
-I would be a horse because cows, chickens and other animals get eaten
-I would like to be a horse because you get to jump a lot. I would not want to be a rat because, like Templeton, they eat a lot.
-I would not like to be a pig because I don't want to be bacon. I would like to be a sheep because they're not eaten that often. 
-I would not want to be a spider because of what happened to Charlotte. They don't live very long. And I don't want to be captured by someone and tortured. I would like to be a rat. I would be a good rat and others would like me.
-I would like to be a horse because they don't get killed that often. I wouldn't want to be a pig because of bacon and pork.
-I would like to be an old dog. I wouldn't want to be a chicken because I don't want to be chicken.          


Fern and her brother, Avery, spend their days on the farm swinging on a rope swing, catching frogs, and picking raspberries. Do you think these activities are similar or different to what a lot of kids do for fun today? What activities do you like to do? 

-I go rope swinging.
-I do all.
-I catch frogs
-I pick raspberries, blueberries, etc.
-I usually
-They didn't have technology
-Trampolines
-Video games?
-No phones!       
-We all have books


Charlotte is desperate to save her friend Wilbur’s life, and she’s determined to come up with a plan. What are the disadvantages Charlotte faces as a spider trying to save a pig’s life?

-Spiders can get smooshed often and easily. She is tiny. And she can't talk to humans. And most people don't like spiders.
-Wilbur is so big compared to Charlotte. She's tiny but she saves him.
 

Mr. Zuckerman tells his wife, “Our pig is completely out of the ordinary” (chapter 11). Do you think this is true? Are there multiple characters in the story that are extraordinary?

-Charlotte
-The talking spider
-The talking pig
-All of the talking animals


When Charlotte’s plan starts to work, Wilbur becomes a famous pig. Fern is happy that Wilbur will be saved, but finds that now “the barn was not nearly as pleasant—too many people. She liked it better when she could be all alone with her friends the animals” (chapter 11). Would you like to be famous? Why or why not? What do you think are the costs of being famous? 

-I wouldn't want to be famous because then everyone knows your personal information
-I would not like to be famous because they ask stupid questions of you.
-I would half and half. People wait for you to mess up. 
-I would not want to be famous because I would always have to ask questions and I would never be home for dinner and I would miss my family
-People would be following you around all of the time.
-People would be crowding around you all the time and ask personal questions and you'd have no alone time
-I would like to be famous because I would have an entourage. Plus, I'd have my own private jet. I would bathe in money.
-I would like to be famous because lots of people like you and you have bodyguards and then you go to dinners and you can have dinner any place.   



In chapter 13, Charlotte has to complete the difficult task of weaving “TERRIFIC” into her web. She talks to herself as she works until the task is completed. What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished? How did you do it? Did you encourage yourself by talking to yourself or in another way? 

-The most difficult thing I did took me years. It took me a long time to learn to read. I still look up to him. I was trying to read out loud. I had to encourage myself along the way. When I was five, I started to read in my head. And Harry Potter was my breakthrough.
-I used to want to draw like my dad. So I started to draw.
-Climbing a mountain
-My friend from kindergarten was reading a lot and I was watching her. I watched her. And I learned from you.
-One of the hardest things was a competition and there was a trophy you could win for reading the most books.
-Skiing down a really hard mountain
-My hardest thing is to beat the battle of my sister. 
-If I was rich, I could have cookie gun. When we ran of Oreos (and cookies in general).  
-We went to the Alps and there were no ski lifts and we had to climb up the mountain and it was really yard
-I had to face doing a front-flip into a foam pit. I never did it. And my brother.
-Playing soccer
       

Here are some questions that I had prepared but we didn't get to. We were pretty busy in today's book club!

At first Wilbur is embarrassed that Charlotte is going to write “TERRIFIC” in her web, but eventually he begins to feel that he really is terrific. Why do you think Wilbur’s feelings about himself change?



How has fame affected Wilbur? What is the most important thing in his life? What are the most important things in your own life? Do you think those things would change if you became famous? 


Wilbur blushes when he receives a medal at the fair. Have you ever won an award or trophy? How did you feel (or how do you think you would feel)? 



Charlotte reflects upon her life and tells Wilbur, “By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” Think about ways that kids can “lift up their lives a trifle” by helping others. What can you do to “lift up your own life?”


Charlotte saves Wilbur’s future, and Wilbur saves Charlotte’s future. How does each character accomplish this?




For October's Book Club, we will be reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio, per the club vote.

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

We will be meeting on Wednesday, October 11 at 3:00 p.m. Please pick up your copy of the book and sign up at the Circulation Desk so that Miss Lisa knows how many snacks to buy!