A note of explanation: The evening of the June C&V meeting was the night of the horrific Flood in Duluth, Minnesota: the group didn’t meet. They’ve had some catching-up to do.
Five people attended our group at Fitger’s Bookstore this evening and had a rich and lively discussion about C & V books from May, June, and July.
We all sang the praises of The Fault in Our Stars. We were struck by the fact that the book was not “about cancer” but rather about deep relationships. We loved the humor, the pathos, and the characters. We compared notes on when we each figured out what the ending would be. We noted how well the hints were given along the way. It’s a book we all recommend highly.
We agreed that When I Was Your Age would be particularly useful for teachers. We thought students would find an author’s story especially interesting if they’d first read a book by that author. We commented on the variety of stories–some quite sad, others funny, others thought provoking. The teachers in our group hope to use stories from this book in their classrooms. One member of the group brought in This Family is Driving Me Crazy: Ten stories About Surviving Your Family. It, too, is a collection of stories written by authors and looked like a good read as well.
With a Name Like Love spurred an interesting discussion about whether a Christian book is appropriate to use in a public school setting. Since all our teachers work in public schools this seemed like an important consideration for this particular book.
A Butterfly is Patient was especially appealing to our group because of the wide variety of butterflies covered, the choice of factual material included and also for the beautiful illustrations. A kindergarten teacher had read the large text on each page to her class this spring. She then paraphrased the denser text. She said her children loved the book. She also said she read them Not a Buzz to be Found, Insects in Winter and that they loved that one as well.
One Cool Friend was a favorite of the group. We felt that the surprises and humor would appeal to elementary age kids. We also enjoyed looking back at the illustrations and finding hidden clues to the clever and most satisfying ending.
There Goes Ted Williams appealed to our group as well. We thought the focus on perseverance and drive was very well done. We commented on the fact that the author/illustrator chose not to include Ted’s temper in the story but did include it in the author notes. As adults, we found that an interesting addition to the character of Ted Williams but agreed that for young readers it was appropriate to leave it out of the main story.
—Summary submitted by Linda Glaser, author and book club facilitator