Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Grades 3-4 Book Club: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

For the November Grades 3-4 Book Club, we discussed Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. Ava, Cameron, Marissa, Natalie, Shawn and Spencer were present. Here are some excerpts of what we talked about.

How does Ben feel about living with his aunt and uncle and sharing a room with his cousin? 

-He doesn't feel comfortable because his cousin Robbie isn't very nice to him.
-I agree with Spencer. He doesn't like sharing a room because his cousin Robbie doesn't give him much space in the room.

What are the early connections between Ben’s story and Rose’s story?

-Both of them are deaf. 

-Rose worked at the museum that Ben ended up going go.

-Once in the book, Rose's mother smoked and Ben's cousin was pretending to smoke.

-Ben and Rose both feel trapped.

Discuss the meaning of the quote Ben’s mother liked: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” 

-Some people don't have a good life but they try hard to think positively.

-Jamie took Ben to the planetarium. He liked the planetarium.

When do we first learn that Rose is deaf?  How are Rose and Ben's experiences similar and how are they different?

-Ben found out that Rose was deaf when he was on the stairs and he saw Rose signing.

-When Rose's mother wrote a note to her, rather than speaking.

-They both see stars.

-They both have to be able to learn how to communicate rather than speaking and hearing.

-Rose's deafness was permanent and Ben's might not be.

Compare Rose’s encounter with her mother to Ben’s first experiences in New York. Why does Rose run away from her mother? Why does Ben run away from the boy who tries to help him? 

-Rose runs away from her mother because her mother was being mean to her.

-Rose's mother says that she was trying to protect Rose because NYC is no place for a deaf girl to be.

-Ben ran around from home to find his dad.

-Ben ran away from Jamie because Jamie knew where the Kincaid Bookstore was and Jamie didn't tell him though he knew the truth. 

How does the storytelling structure in the book change when Ben finally finds Kincaid’s Bookstore? Describe Rose’s feelings when she sees Ben and realizes who he might be. Describe Ben’s feelings when he realizes his connection to Rose.

-Rose and Ben's stories come together at the same time.
-They both feel surprised.
-Rose and Ben are both a little confused.

Discuss Ben’s thought that “maybe we are all cabinets of wonders” [p. 574]. What does he mean?

-A person can be a cabinet of wonders because they are curious and wonder about all sorts of things.

Why is it important for Rose to take Ben to the Queens Museum to tell him the story of his father? What does the Panorama mean to her and how does it relate to her childhood?

-Daniel's possessions were inside the buildings that made up the Panorama. It is a memorial to him.-The author's cover makes you feel like you are in the book in the book called Wonderstruck.

Compare Ben’s experience during the blackout in Minnesota when he is home alone with the blackout in New York when he is with Rose. What do you think Ben’s next chapter will be—staying in New York or returning to Minnesota?

-Ben's blackout experience was scary in Minnesota. His blackout experience in New York starts out scary but then is fun.
-Staying in NY with his grandmother.
-Maybe he'll split his time between the two places. Just like Jamie does with his parents.

Please rate this book between 1 and 5, with 5 being the best.

Everyone ranked this book a 4!

For Book Club in December, we will be reading Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. "Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived." Book Club will be meeting on Wednesday, December 3. Books will be available behind the Circulation Desk within the next few days. As always, snacks and good conversation will be provided at Book Club!

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