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!

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