June 4, 2020: Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
June 8, 2020: Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras
- 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?
- Book trailer to the sequel, The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter
- Video showing how a medieval war machine works
- Video about castle toilets
- Book trailer for The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
- Book trailer for The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
June 18, 2020: The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
- 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?
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
- 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?
- Interview between Jake and the author
- Interview with the cartoonist — probably not to show the kids, but for later if they want to check it out
July 2, 2020: Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
- 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?
- 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?
- "Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer | 30-Second Booktalk" (School Library Journal)
- Free downloadables from author Kelly Jones