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Chapter Book Club

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June 4, 2020: Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

June 8, 2020: Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

Discussion questions

  • Drest imagines her brothers giving her advice and encouragement. If you found yourself on a grand adventure, who would you imagine to help you? 
  • Why do you think that the author chose to make the main character a girl? Would the story be much different if Drest was the youngest brother, rather than sister? 
  • Drest and her family live on the beach and sometimes in a cave. Does that sound like fun or does it sound awful? 
  • What did you enjoy about this book? 
  • What have you read that is similar to this book? 
  • Who was your favorite character? What did you appreciate about him/her? 
  • Is the setting of the story important to the book? In what ways? 
  • Are you satisfied with the ending? Why or why not? 
  • If this book was made into a movie, who would you cast in the title roles? 
  • How does this book compare to other books you’ve read? 
  • Is the book different in any way from the books you usually read? 

Resources

Readlikes

June 18, 2020: The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

Discussion questions

  • If your family had a first-day-of-school dinner, what would each member of your family choose to eat? 
  • Despite the bumpy relationship with Mr. Nelson, Jax still chooses to interview him for his school project. If you had to complete the same assignment would you have just chosen someone different? Why or why not? 
  • Holidays at the Fletchers always seem to teeter on the brink of a disaster. Is there a holiday or special time with your family that didn’t turn out as planned? How did you all work together to still make it special? 
  • Sam is ultimately able to do both the school play and soccer. If scheduling or money wasn’t an issue, what new things would you want to try?  
  • Eli shuts down and has a hard time communicating with his parents once he’s realized going to Pinnacle isn’t the right choice for him. How would you have handled the situation differently?  
  • Frog really really really wants a pet. Have you ever wanted something, but had to convince your whole family first? How did it work out?  
  • Which of the four boys are you the most (and least!) alike? Who was your favorite? 
  • The book starts with the boys going back to school. How do you feel on your first day of school usually? 
  • Mr. Nelson was a veteran of the Vietnam War. Do any of you have family members who are in the Army, Navy, or other branch of armed services? 
  • What’d you think of the Fletcher Halloween party? Have you ever been to a party like that? What was your favorite Halloween costume? 
  • Does your family have any special traditions? Like the Fletchers’ Halloween party? 
  • Do you have a special relative like Aunt Lucy who you love visiting? 
  • Have you ever helped cook a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner before? Or any meal at all? What’s your favorite thing to cook? 
  • How does the Fletcher family’s relationship with Mr. Nelson change over the course of the book? Why? 
  • Did you like the way the narrators kept changing? 
  • Have you ever seen a play or musical? Have you acted in one? Would you want to? 
  • Have you heard of or seen a version of Annie before? It is a musical, a movie, and a comic… and it used to be on the radio! 
  • Did you think Ladybug was real or made up throughout the book? 
  • Have you ever tried a new activity? Was that fun or scary? 
  • What is your favorite thing about summer vacation? 
  • Did anything in the book surprise you? 

Resources

Video clips from past "Annie" film versions of "I Don't Need Anything But You":

June 22, 2020: Jake the Fake by Adam Mansbach & Craig Robinson

Jake the Fake by Adam Mansbach & Craig Robinson

Discussion questions

  • What did you like best about this book? 
  • What did you like least about this book?  
  • Did the book remind you of any other books? 
  • Did the characters seem believable to you? 
  • Which character in the book would you most like to meet? 
  • Which characters in the book did you like best?  
  • Which characters did you like least?  
  • Are you more like Lisa or Jake? Do you have a brother or sister who is like one or the other? 
  • What did you think of the little cartoon illustrations throughout the book? Did they make the story funnier? 
  • If you were making a movie of this book, who would you cast?  
  • Would you read another book by this author? Why or why not?  
  • What did you think of the book's length? If it's too long, what would you cut? If too short, what would you add?  
  • If you got the chance to ask the author of this book one question, what would it be?  
  • Would you want to go to school at Jake’s school? 
  • What do you think of the book's title? Is there a different title you would choose? 
  • What do you think of the book's cover? How well does it convey what the book is about?  
  • What do you think the author's purpose was in writing this book? What ideas was he or she trying to get across?  
  • If you could hear this same story from another person's point of view, who would you choose?  
  • Did this book seem realistic?  
  • What did you think of the ending? Do you wish it had ended differently? What did you think was going to happen when Jake sat down at the piano? 
  • What questions do you still have after finishing the book? Is there anything you still want to know? 
  • What do you think the author would want you to remember after reading this book? 
  • Have you ever “faked” your way into anything? 

Resources 

July 2, 2020: Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Discussion questions

  • The book begins, shockingly, with the death of Theo’s grandfather Jack.  What mysterious message does he try to get across to her as he is dying? 
  • New York City is a giant place, filled with museums, restaurants, and tons and tons of people. How does Theo use New York City to her advantage, before and after Jack’s death? 
  • Theodora’s house might be a little bit different from a lot of houses you’ve been in – what was your favorite part about where she lived? 
  • How are Bodhi and Theo different from other kids their age? How does Bodhi’s life differ from Theo’s? Why do you think Theo became friends with Bodhi so fast? 
  • Theo loves the New York public library. What makes it special to her? Are there places that your family visits that are special to you in the same way? 
  • Jack had always told Theo that he sat out the war because he had asthma, but she learns that wasn’t true. Why do you think Theo’s grandfather lied to her about being on active duty? 
  • Theo thinks of herself as an “eccentric outsider” – why do you think she describes herself this way? How would you describe yourself, if someone asked? 
  • Why do you think Theo was so worried about where Jack’s painting had come from? Did you suspect the truth about its origins? What clues did you get during the story that Madam Dumont might be more than she seemed? 
  • Did you think that the mystery of the painting was the whole mystery? Were you surprised at the end, with what Theo found under the mantle? 
  • Theo’s mom is different than a lot of kids’ mothers. Do you think, by the end of the book, that she will change in any way?  
  • “Under the Egg” is filled with true facts! Did you learn something new about the Monuments Men, or about Renaissance painters? Why do you think the author decided to mix some truth into her fictional story? 
  • On the last page of the book, Jack, Theo’s grandfather, writes her one final letter. In it he states, “Now I know you are the one I was waiting for.” What do you think this statement means? Why is she the one her grandfather is waiting for? 
  • Have you every painted something before? What did you decide to paint? 
  • Have you learned about famous artists in school before? 
  • Have you ever been to a museum before? What did you like about visiting it? 
  • Were you surprised about the ending? 

Resources

July 6, 2020: Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

Discussion questions

  • How did you like this book? Rate out of 5 stars. 
  • If you could make up a type of Unusual Chicken, what would its special power be? 
  • Which chicken was your favorite? 
  • Why do you think Sophie writes to her dead uncle and dead grandma? 
  • Books where the story is told by a series of letters is called an epistolary novel. Have you read a book like this one before? Did you like the way it was told? 
  • Did you expect the ending? 

Resources

July 16, 2020: The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

July 20, 2020: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Discussion questions

  • In what ways is Emily like the Book Scavenger game? Why do you think she is attracted to the game? 
  • How are Emily’s and James’s apartments different? How does Emily feel about the differences when she notices them? 
  • Why did Mr. Remora behave the way that he did? Were his beliefs - that the documents belonged to him - justified? 
  • Where do you think Clyde came from? What do you think his story is and how did he get involved with Mr. Remora? 
  • What do you think would have happened if Hollister stayed friends with Mr. Griswold? Do you think that he would be happy working for the large bookstore or is he happier working where he works now?  
  • Do you think that Mr. Quisling was right to take Emily’s book?  
  • Could Mr. Quisling have helped Emily more with her problems that she brought to him? 
  • How do Emily and James trick Maddie into showing the teacher that she cheated? 
  • Does Mr. Quisling treat Maddie fairly when she is caught cheating? 
  • Do you think Emily’s many moves have helped or harmed her overall? 
  • Did you think that Flush would recognize FiveSpade? How do you think Matthew felt when he met the members of Flush? How does that compare to when Emily met Mr. Griswold? 
  • How does Matthew show that he cares about Emily by the end of the book? If Matthew had gone to the concert instead, what do you think would have happened to Emily and James at Mr. Remora’s house? 
  • Why did Emily’s parents decide to stay in San Francisco? Do you think they want to stay in San Francisco or do you think they will travel again soon? 
  • Why did Mr. Remora want “The Gold-Bug”? Do you think that he liked reading books, collecting them, or something else entirely? 
  • How does Matthew feel about Emily? 
  • How does James feel about Emily when she will not help him with his cipher for class? 
  • Would you find it exciting to move every year? 
  • Emily’s parents want to live once in each state. What do you think are some good things about this lifestyle choice? What are some bad things?  
  • Discuss the Jack Kerouac quote on page 234: “What’s in store for me in the direction I don’t take?” Do you ever consider this when you are making decisions? How do you make your choice when you are choosing between multiple things?  
  • On page 259, Mr. Hollister gives Emily the following advice: “Don’t mistake shared interests with shared ethics.” What do you think this might mean? 

Resources

Would you be interested in a game like Book Scavenger? Book crossing and geocaching are also similar.

Pages 7-9 of Book Scavenger Kids Activity Book have some puzzles for kids to solve. There’s also a list of readalikes on page 14. 

July 30, 2020: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez

Discussion questions

  • Do you have a favorite outfit? Tell us about it.
  • If you could be in a band what instrument would you want to play? 
  • Have you ever had to go to a new school? What was that like? 
  • Malu and her friends like to practice for their band when they're hanging out. What do you and your friends like to do together? 
  • Selena bullies Malu a lot. Why do you think she acts that way? 
  • Do you feel like you are similar or different from your family members? 
  • María Luisa (aka Malú) has to move to Chicago with her mother and is not happy about this. She creates a zine to try to convince her mother not to move. If you were in the same situation as Malú, what would you do to try to convince your mother not to move? 
  • Malú expresses her unique character in a variety of ways. In which ways do you express your personality? 
  • Malú creates zines for a variety of reasons with a variety of illustrations to express herself. What are three illustrations you would include in a zine to express yourself? 
  • Compare and contrast the relationships Malú has with her mother and her father. Why does Malú call her mom a SuperMexican? 
  • Why is Malú able to relate to Mrs. Hidalgo?  
  • What does Selena mean when she calls Malú a coconut? And how does Malú turn it around to mean something else? 
  • Why didn’t the Co-Cos get into the talent show? Do you think the school acted fairly or unfairly, and why? 
  • Why doesn’t Malú tell her mom about the band? 
  • Malú relates her journey and her friends to the story of The Wizard of Oz. Have you seen that movie, or read the books? What character do you think you would be and why? 
  • AlternaFiesta plays in the parking lot. What did the band accomplish by doing this event? Did their actions change anything? 
  • Music is vital to Malú’s self-expression and identity. Is musical influential for you? What bands or singers do you relate to the most? 
  • What is the first rule of punk? 

Resources

  • Music playlist on Celia’s page. Malú loves music. Listen to the music that influences her. Which are your favorites and which are your least favorites? 
  • How to make a zine. “Zines are self-published booklets, like homemade magazines, and they can be about anything.” They’re a “good way to write about what you’re thinking or feeling, kind of like a diary that you share with people.” What is your zine going to be about?
  • Frida Kahlo painting. Malú loves the art of Frida Kahlo. Why do you think she relates to Frida’s artwork? Do you have a favorite artist? 
  • Teacher’s guide.

August 3, 2020: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin 

August 13, 2020: The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles