Wednesday, April 10, 2019

April Grades 3-4 Book Club: The Collectors





For April's Book Club, we read The Collectors by Jacqueline West. Gavin, Kailynn, Luna, Mira, and Mark were present. This is some of what we talked about.



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

-nervous
-curious
-Collector
-nervous
-low-self-esteem


Later in the book:

-two-sided
-confused
-Collector
-sneaky
-mischievous
-confident
-curious
-hopeful
-scared
-brave



Who was your favorite character in The Collectors?  Why?:

-Pebble, Van, Barnavelt and Lemmy
-Lemmy and the wish eater that made the chandelier shake
-Barnavelt was funny
-Lemmy was cute
-Pebble was interesting
-Van was observant


Who was your least favorite character in this book?  Why?:

-Nail, because he was creepy
-Jack was intense
-Mr Falberg, although I liked him at the beginning
-Mr. Gray
-Peter



What's your favorite scene of the story?:

-When Van jumped out the window at Peter's birthday party. It was unexpected.
-The scene where Van and Peter were getting along at the pizza place. The part where Pebble and Van said that they were friends. And the part with Lemmy coming out of the box.
-The part with Lemmy and the chandelier.
-The whole entire book.
-I liked when he was talking to Mr. Falborg and Pebble at the end of the book.
-Renata/Chuck talking to Van at the end.



Least favorite scene:

-Van running back to his house. It was hard to imagine.
-When Van let all of the wish eaters out, because that could cause something bad to happen.



Did you think that Van was a bad person because he often stole things at the beginning of the story and reinvented the truth to serve his purposes later in the book?:

-Mr. Falborg was controlling Van when he let the wish eaters out of their changes
-You knew that there was something up with Mr. Falborg because he seemed too nice. It was kind of like Sweep and Crud offering Nan his breakfast, which was a trick.
-Razor seemed really creepy and mean at the beginning but then ended up being nice.



What's up with Peter? Why is he so mean to Van? Are his actions justified?:

-He thinks his dad is going to marry Van's mom
-Yes
-His actions are somewhat justified.



Let's talk a little bit about Mr. Falborg. Is he evil or just misunderstood?:

-Evil
-Evil
-He made Pebble by wishing for her. He wanted another collector with him.
-He's an evil collector.
-He made Pebble to help take care of his wish eaters.



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

-Braver
-More confident
-He has higher self-esteem
-He's proud of himself


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

-Pay attention to your surroundings. Mr. Falborg totally tricked Van.
-Working for both sides might be possible.
-Van should have just chosen one side.
-Mr. Falborg asked Van to be a spy on the evil side, though he didn't know it at the time.
-Be yourself.
-Don't judge yourself. And don't judge others.



Please use one word to describe your last impression of the collectors and The Collectors.

-Amazing
-Nicer
-Mysterious
-Sneaky
-Nicest
-Misunderstood by Van



What did you think about the ending of the book? Do you think there will be a sequel or did the author complete the story in one book?: 

-no sweep and this book was a tie
-there could be a sequel
-no sequel
-there could be a sequel



Rate this book from 1-5:

-4.5
-4.5
-5
-4
-4.5



For the Grades 3-4 Book Club in May, we will be reading Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina.

Merci Suárez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don't have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci's school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna's jealousy. Things aren't going well at home, either: Merci's grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately -- forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what's going on, so she's left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school.

We will meet on Wednesday, May 8 at 3:00 p.m. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk. Please do not forget to register so Miss Lisa knows how many participants to expect!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

March Grades 3-4 Book Club: Winterhouse



For March's Book Club, we read Winterhouse by Ben Guterson. Caitlin, Kailynn, Mira, and Mark were present. This is some of what we talked about.


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

-nerdy
-curious
-kind
-smart
-adventurous
-interesting
-interested


Later in the book:

-nosy
-sneaky
-deceptive


Who was your favorite character in Winterhouse?  Why?:

-Elizabeth and Freddy
-Elizabeth because she was the main character
-Elizabeth because she was in all the scenes
-Elizabeth because she was adventurous


Who was your least favorite character in this book?  Why?:

-Gracella because she was evil
-Gracella wanted to destroy Winterhouse
-Gracella was envious of Norbridge



What's your favorite scene of the story?:

-Walking into Winterhouse for the first time
-The scene where the light shattered outside of Gracella's room
-When Gracella was in the coffin
-How the whole book was a puzzle. And how the necklace was the key.



Did you think that Elizabeth was a bad person because she often lied to Freddy and Norbridge?:

-No, because she did it for good reasons
-She lied to save Winterhouse



Let's talk a little bit about Gracella. Was she evil or just misunderstood?:

-She was both
-She was misunderstood because she just really wanted to be in charge of Winterhouse. She was jealous of Norbridge.
-She did evil things and not really for a good reason but you can understand her motivations



Do you think that Elizabeth is a good friend to Freddy? How about Freddy to Elizabeth?:

-Yes, because she's nice
-They're equals
-Freddy is a good friend to Elizabeth.
-He tries to save her from so many things and she doesn't listen.



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

-She is surprised because Norbridge is her grandfather.
-She is happier because she's gotten a new family and doesn't have to go back to her awful aunt and uncle.
-She's a better person at the end.
-She's got a better family.


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

-Be patient.
-Don't be like Freddy.



Please use one word to describe your last impression of Winterhouse, the place:

-creepy
-magical
-spooky
-beautiful/creepy



What did you think about the ending of the book? Do you think there will be a sequel or did the author complete the story in one book?: 

-Good



Rate this book from 1-5:

-Four 5s!



For the Grades 3-4 Book Club in April, we will be reading The Collectors by Jacqueline West.

Van has always been an outsider. Most people don't notice him. But he notices them. And he notices the small trinkets they drop, or lose, or throw away--that's why his collection is full of treasures. Then one day, Van notices a girl stealing pennies from a fountain, and everything changes. He follows the girl, Pebble, and uncovers an underground world full of wishes and the people who collect them. Apparently not all wishes are good and even good wishes often have unintended consequences--and the Collectors have made it their duty to protect us. But they aren't the only ones who have their eyes on the world's wishes--and they may not be the good guys, after all.

We will meet on Wednesday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk. Please do not forget to register so Miss Lisa knows how many participants to expect!

April Grades 3-4 Book Club Suggestions

The Collectors by Jacqueline West

Van has always been an outsider. Most people don’t notice him. But he notices them. And he notices the small trinkets they drop, or lose, or throw away—that’s why his collection is full of treasures. Then one day, Van notices a girl stealing pennies from a fountain, and everything changes. He follows the girl, Pebble, and uncovers an underground world full of wishes and the people who collect them. Apparently not all wishes are good and even good wishes often have unintended consequences—and the Collectors have made it their duty to protect us. But they aren't the only ones who have their eyes on the world’s wishes—and they may not be the good guys, after all.  


Granted by John David Anderson


Everyone who wishes upon a star, or a candle, or a penny thrown into a fountain knows that you’re not allowed to tell anyone what you’ve wished for. But even so, there is someone out there who hears it. 
In a magical land called the Haven lives a young fairy named Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets. Ophela is no ordinary fairy—she is a Granter: one of the select fairies whose job it is to venture out into the world and grant the wishes of unsuspecting humans every day.
It’s the work of the Granters that generates the magic that allows the fairies to do what they do, and to keep the Haven hidden and safe. But with worldwide magic levels at an all-time low, this is not as easy as it sounds. On a typical day, only a small fraction of the millions of potential wishes gets granted.
Today, however, is anything but typical. Because today, Ophelia is going to get her very first wish-granting assignment.
And she’s about to discover that figuring out how to truly give someone what they want takes much more than a handful of fairy dust.



Merci Suárez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don't have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. 

So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci's school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna's jealousy. Things aren't going well at home, either: Merci's grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately -- forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what's going on, so she's left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February Grades 3-4 Book Club: Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster





For February's Book Club, we read Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier. Caitlin, Kailynn, Mira and Mark were present. This is some of what we talked about.



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

-dirty
-brave
-witty
-adventurous



Who was your favorite character in Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster?  Why?:

-Nan. Because she's the main character and the narrator.
-Toby, because he lives under a bridge. He might be a troll. He's part troll - part human.
-Roger because he was focusing on becoming the apprentice. He stayed on topic.
-Toby and Nan and Charlie. Because they work together. And Newt.



Who was your least favorite character in this book?  Why?:

-Crudd. Because he was cold-hearted.
-He was diabolical.
-He was brutal.



What's your favorite scene of the story?:

-Too many to choose from.
-I made up a scene in my mind. After Nan walked into the Nothing Room, I made up an idea of what Dent's home looked like.
-I liked when Nan met Miss Bloom.



What's the story with the climbers? What is their role in society?:

-Fighting for their lives.
-Barely surviving.
-They are the lowest of the low.



Let's talk a little bit about Wilkie Crudd and Roger:

-Roger is okay. Until he almost kills Nan.
-But then he's nice again.
-Did Wilkie deserve to die at the end? YES!
-No one deserves to die.



Later in the book, we learn Roger's backstory. Nan thinks that he is "gone too far" to redeem. Do you believe that?:

-Some people may be redeemed.



What did you think of Nan and Charlie? Do you think that they were equals?:

-They were amazing together.
-Without Charlie, Nan wouldn't have lived.
-He sacrificed himself for Nan. Which was her purpose.



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

-She's in new clothes.
-She's clean.
-She's nicer. She's nicer to Toby.



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

-Be nice.
-Try to redeem yourself before it's too late.



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

-Brave
-Courageous
-Amazing
-Warm-hearted.
-Very nice
-Redeemable



What did you think about the ending of the book? Do you think there will be a sequel or did the author complete the story in one book?: 

-It was a good ending.
-It was a gentle ending, not abrupt.



-I liked the dreams she had
-The climbers could tell what Nan was dreaming, especially about the Sweep.


Rate this book from 1-5:

All 5s!!!!! These readers really liked this book!



For the Grades 3-4 Book Club in March, we will be reading Winterhouse by Ben Guterson.

Elizabeth, eleven, spends Christmas break at Winterhouse hotel under strange circumstances, where she discovers that she has magic, and her love of puzzles helps her solve a mystery.

We will meet on Wednesday, March 13 at 3:00 p.m. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk. Please do not forget to register so Miss Lisa knows how many participants to expect!


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.

1-
2-
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
-"Stay"
-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
-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!

April Grades 3-4 Book Club: The Collectors

For April's Book Club, we read The Collectors by Jacqueline West. Gavin, Kailynn, Luna, Mira, and Mark were present. This...