Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Grades 3-4 Book Discussion: The Seventh Wish

For February's Book Club, we read The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner. Cameron, Cassidy, Claire, Gwyneth, Madison, Maida, Quinn, and Reagan were present. Here's a little bit of what we talked about.

What was Charlie’s motivation for ice fishing? 

 -She wanted to show that she is brave enough
-She wanted to raise money for her dress
-She wanted to make money through Make a Wish to make money for her dress

At first, Charlie seemed undecided about whether to believe in the magic of the wish fish. What do you think? Why? 

-Charlie didn't believe in it as first. People often don't think that magic is real.
-She didn't believe in the magic because you don't often catch a magical fish
-She didn't believe at first because she thought magic wasn't was real
-I would put the fish in a bucket full of water, put it in a fishtank and keep getting wishes

As Charlie contemplated making a second wish, she evaluated the difference between selfish and selfless wishes. How would you classify her wishes? 

-I would say that they are not as descriptive as they need to be. They aren't thought out well. And that's how some things go wrong with her wishes
-Her wishes were mainly selfless because she used them to help her sister and Dasha and Drew
-Selfless because she was thinking of others.


Did Charlie grow too attached to the wish fish? Explain your opinion. 

-Yes, because she would go out on the ice just to get that fish and get a wish
-I think she was attached to the wishes but also to getting more money for her dress
-When she first found the wish fish, she wanted to go out deeper and not be afraid.

Charlie grew to resent all of the attention that Abby gets when she was presumably sick (and later, when her true issue was revealed). Was Charlie justified in these feelings? Why or why not? 

-She wasn't being a mean sister
-She was justified in feeling resentful because she feels that her parents dropped everything for Abby
-Abby needed the help

Abby was pretty absent from Charlie’s life while she was away at college. Did she deserve Charlie’s loyalty? Should Charlie have kept her secret? 

-It could have been more than that and she shouldn't have kept the secret

What might you want to say if Abby were your older sister? 

-Why did you start heroin
-Your friends are horrible
-You should not have started heroin

Charlie had an image in her head of who a drug user was. How did her perspective change throughout the book? 

-She thought that people were greasy and dirty but then she realized that anyone could be a drug addict 
-There's no one look to how a drug addict looks

Charlie keeps referring to “old Abby.” Are there really two Abbys? 
-There's one person; she changes mentally and emotionally
-There's 2 sides to Abby; one is the angel and one is the devil
-She has 2 sides; the old Abby would be nice and take her places. The new Abby is an addict who lies.

Charlie had wished on the wish fish with good intentions. Were Charlie’s wishes helpful? Explain why or why not. 

-The aftermath of her wishes turned out to be better than the wishes themselves


Why couldn't Abby make the promise Charlie wanted her to keep? 

 -She is addicted and she sees herself now as an addict.

Ranking from 1-5

-Seven 3s
-One 4s
-One 5

For March's Book Club, we will read The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.

"The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin."- summary

We will meet on Wednesday, March 1 at 3:00 p.m. Please be sure to register for the session and pick up your book at the Circulation Desk.

March Book Club Suggestions

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he'd seen it all. But he's never met a cricket before, which really isn't surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City―the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He'd be there still if he hadn't followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone's picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides―and friends―than Tucker and Harry. 

A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home 

by Henry Cole

Celeste is a mouse who is looking for a home.
Is it nestled in the toe of a warm boot?
In the shirt pocket of Celeste’s new friend Joseph, who is Audubon’s apprentice?
Or is home the place deep inside Celeste’s heart, where friendships live?

The Tale of Despereaux : Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January Grades 3-4 Book Club Discussion: The Isle of the Lost

We had a great book discussion in January about The Isle of the Lost: A Descendant's Novel by Melissa de la Cruz. Avery, Cam, Charles, Claire, Lillian, Madison, Maida, Quinn, Reagan, and Thomas were present.  Please read some of the comments about the book below.

Please use one word to describe your first impression of each of the main characters: Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay:

-Carlos: genius; Mal: crazy; Jay: silent/stealthy; Evie: foolish
-Mal: wicked; Carlos: brainy and scared; Evie: spoiled; Jay: pickpocket
-Mal: mean; Jay: stealthy; Carlos: engineer; Evie: foolish
-Carlos: smart; Jay: stealthy; Evie: foolish; Mal: mischeivous

What's your favorite scene of the story?:

-The whole adventure to finding the Dragon's Eye
-The party
-When Evie's in the closet (because she got out) and when they got the Dragon's Eye
-being inside the castle
-when they were answering the riddles to get in
-When Carlos sends the beam into the dome and the library being guarded by a giant spider
-The party
-When Mal and Jay are trading
-The beam hits the dome or the party

If your parent were a villain, such as Maleficent, would you fight against him/her or help them try to regain his/her power?:

-Help them get their powers back.
-I would stay in my room and avoid everything
-I would probably pretend to help and then mess around with her
-I would help them because she's my mom
-When it's Christmas in Auradon, if I were Carlos, I would help all the villains escape.
-I would fight them because it's what's right
-I would help them because they are my parents
-I would want to help them
-I would help my parents
-I would help them. They would be the best villains ever and they would be famous
-I would fight them because they are villains. Even though they are the parents, they are not very nice to their children.

What did you think about the ending of the book? Would you read the sequel?: 

-I loved it and I would read the sequel.
-I would read the sequel.
-I would read the sequel.

Please rate this book from 1-5, with 5 being the best:

-Six 5s
-Two 4s
-Two 3s

We will meet on February 1 at 3:00 p.m. in order to discuss The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner.

"Unsure of how to get her family's attention, Charlie comes across the surprise of her life one day while ice-fishing ... in the form of a floppy, scaly fish offering to grant her a wish in exchange for its freedom"-- Provided by publisher.

Please pick up your copy of the book at the Circulation Desk. And don't forget to register!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

February Book Club Suggestions

Moo by Sharon Creech

"Following one family’s momentous move from the city to rural Maine, an unexpected bond develops between twelve-year-old Reena and one very ornery cow.
When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora.
This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives."

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm 

"In Jennifer L. Holm's novel, life isn't like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935 and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida to live with relatives she's never met. Florida's like nothing Turtle's ever seen before though. It's hot and strange, full of rag tag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate treasure! Before she knows what's happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she's spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Filled with adventure, humor and heart, Turtle in Paradise is an instant classic both boys and girls with love."

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

"Charlie feels like she's always coming in last. From her Mom's new job to her sister's life away at college, everything else always seems to be more important than Charlie's upcoming dance competition or science project. Unsure of how to get her family's attention, Charlie comes across the surprise of her life one day while ice-fishing . . . in the form of a floppy, scaly fish offering to grant her a wish in exchange for its freedom. Charlie can't believe her luck until she realizes that this fish has a funny way of granting wishes, despite her best intentions. But when her family faces a challenge bigger than any they've ever experienced, Charlie wonders if some things might be too important to risk on a wish."

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December Grades 3-4 Book Club Discussion: The Wild Robot

We had a great book discussion in December about The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. Avery, Cam, Charles, Claire, Ellie, Gwyneth, Lillian, Madison, Maida, Quinn, Reagan, Robert and Thomas were present, making this a large book club! Thanks to for attending! Please read some of the comments about the book below.

Please use one word to describe your first impression of Roz:


Who was your favorite character in The Wild Robot? Least favorite? Why?:

-Roz because she is really helpful with Brightbill and she's really nice. My least favorite is probably the RECO units because they tried to attack Roz.
-RECO because they had the blasters that hunted Roz and they wanted to take her back to where she should have been. Brightbill is my least favorite because his name is weird and he flew awake from his fake mom.
-Roz was my favorite because she was being called a monster and that was unfair. She ended up saving them all. RECOs are my least favorite because they were basically trying to hunt Roz down and make her work at factories instead of staying in the forest.
-The RECOs are hunting Roz down and won't stop until she returns to the Makers at the factory. My favorite was Chitchat.
-Favorite is Chitchat. Least favorite are the RECOs because they shot Chitchat in the tail.
-Least favorite was the RECOs because they're mean. My favorite was Fink.
-Roz is my favorite because she was nice. My least favorite were the RECOs because they were mean.
-My favorite was Roz because she was helping the animals. My least favorite were the RECOs because they were trying to take Roz away and she is the reason most of hte animals survived the winter.
-Favorite was Chitchat because she describes me when I get excited. My least favorite is the Farmer.
-Least favorite is the RECOs because they're awful. My favorite is Roz because she's helpful.
-Least favorite are the RECOs. I love animals and hate it when people try to hurt them. My favorite was Brightbill because he's brave.
-My favorite was Roz because she was nice and helped pull out all of the porcupine quills from the fox. My least favorite were the RECOs because they tried to take Roz back to where she didn't want to go.
-My favorite is Roz is because she's caring. Least favorite are the RECOs because they want to take Roz back.

What's your favorite scene of the story?:

-My favorite scene was when RECO 2 was stuck in the waterfall and was bashed in the head with a log.
-My favorite scene was when Roz helped build the lodge for the animals.
-Mine was when the bear was dangling off the branch from the cliff.

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

-I think that the message might be that sometimes you need to be with your own kind and then other times you can be with others.
-The message is that you should always be nice to people. Roz helped the animals throughout the book and because she had done that, the animals helped her out.
-Don't judge a book by its cover. Like Roz being a monster.

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

-I think there will be a sequel. I really want one because it's a great book. I'd try to convince him to make a sequel. The Wild Robot Returns. There was a cliffhanger.
-I think that the ending was good. It leaves you on a cliffhanger, which is good and bad. I want a sequel.
-I want a sequel because at the end it said that Roz will find a way to return.

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


Please rate this book from 0-5, with 5 being the best:

-There was one 3.
-There were five 4s.
-There were eight 5s. 
This was a popular book!

The Grade 3-4 Book Club selection for January 4th is The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De la Cruz.  

"Imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, the teenaged children of Disney's most evil villains search for a dragon's eye--the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape."-summary.  

Copies of the book will be available behind the Circulation Desk within the next week. Please remember to register for Book Club so that we know how many people will be attending.

January Grades 3-4 Book Suggestions

Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De la Cruz

"Evil tree. Bad Apple?
Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon to the Isle of the Lost--a dark and dreary place protected by a force field that makes it impossible for them to leave. Stripped of their magical powers, the villains now live in total isolation, forgotten by the world.

Mal learns from her mother, Maleficent, that the key to true darkness, the Dragon's Eye, is located inside her scepter in the forbidden fortress on the far side of the island. The eye is cursed, and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the Dragon's Eye, these four kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad." -

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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 2016 Grades 3-4 Book Club: Pax

For November’s Book Club, we read Pax by Sara Pennypacker. Cassidy, Reagan, Madison, Gwen, Ellie, Claire, Maida, Robert, Quinn, Cameron, Charles, and Thomas were present. Here are our thoughts.

Discuss the meaning of the phrase that appears before the story begins: “Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening” (p. 10). What does that phrase mean to you? Why do you think the author did not name a specific place or area as the setting of the book?

-I think the phrase means that sometimes people in different areas do not know what is happening in another area of the world.
-It's based on the forest and it doesn't really matter where it is 
-It's somewhere, sometime
-It's a time of war
-When the fox is on the riverbank and Peter's father sees him, I thought there was time travel
-Pax knew that it was Peter's dad because of his smell

Discuss the connection between Peter and Pax.  Why must Peter release Pax? What makes Peter leave to look for Pax after he arrives at his grandfather’s home? 

-Peter's dad took them to a place to drop off and he knew that it was a warground
-I think Peter wants to go because Pax and Peter have a very strong relationship. He's had Pax since he was a kit. He wished that he had stood up to his dad regarding Pax. 
-He heard the coyotes and he knew that Pax would not be safe
-You would always look for your pet if it disappeared or was taken away

Why is it so important to Vola to live alone? What does she mean when she says, “The plain truth can be the hardest thing to see when it’s about yourself” (p. 189)? How does that phrase pertain to Vola? How does it pertain to Peter.

-It's important for Vola because she killed someone in the war and she thinks she needs to live alone

Vola tells Peter, “People should tell the truth about what war costs” (p. 130). What costs of war does each of the characters in this book pay?

-Gray pays with his life
-Runt pays with his leg, and his hearing, for awhile
-Vola pays with her leg
-Peter's father pays with his soul
-Peter's grandfather paid 

Discuss the concept of “nonduality,” or “two but not two,” that Vola explains to Peter (p. 186). How does this concept help Peter understand his connection to Pax? What does it mean to Vola?

-Peter is connected to Pax because Peter raised him 

What does Vola mean when she asks Peter if he is “wild or tame” (p. 105)? What do those words mean to you? Why is it hard for the wild foxes to accept Pax when he finds them? Apply the concept of wild or tame to each of the main characters in the story to help explain their personalities. 

-Gray is tame
-Pax is tame
-Bristle is wild
-Runt and Vola are wild
-Peter is tame

Why do you think the author decided to tell the story from dual points of view with alternating chapters describing of the separate adventures of Peter and Pax? How does this structure help the story move forward and enhance your understanding of the plot? 

-I think she did that so that you know what is happening in their at the same time
-Because they are split up, it lets you know where they are in their search for each other

Describe the steps in Peter’s journey that help him to understand that, when he finally finds Pax, he must let him go. Describe the steps in Pax’s journey that lead him to stay with his new family in the wild.

-He knew that Pax needed to live with his new family because he was taking care of his new family
-He made a new family and friends and he doesnt' want to leave them. 
-Peter will always leave the porch door open.

Discuss the meaning of the final words in the book: “Sometimes the apple rolls very far from the tree” (p. 277). Why do these words appear as handwritten text? What do these words mean for Peter?

-In the middle of the book, the grandfather says that the apple doesn't fall from the tree
-Pax and Peter are from the same tree and they rolled far from each other in their journey back to each other
-If you are searching for something, it might be far away and take a long time to get to it. You might have to go through a lot in order to reach your goal.
-It's a crazy journey to get back to the same place. 
-Peter is the tree and it only grows one apple, which is Pax. The apple, Pax, rolls far away. 

-Peter wrote this phrase on his card from Vola

Please rate this book from 1-5, with 5 being the best:

-2 3s
-3 4s
-5 3s


We will be meeting on Wednesday, December 7 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss The Wild Robot by Sara Pennypacker. Please pick up a copy at the Circulation Desk and sign up for Book Club!