of Book Club Selections
Artemis Fowl may be the smartest criminal in history. And he's
only twelve years old. He comes from a family of con artists and
crime figures, so it's only proper that he would have an interest
in someone else's money. Actually, he's interested in the money
of "The People"-little people, like leprechauns, fairies,
trolls, and sprites. Yes, they're real-Artemis knows, because he
found it out on the internet. With some friends and a bag full of
tricks, Artemis sets out to find his fortune, encountering trouble
and adventure along the way.
Artemis Fowl. What kind of person is he? Would you like to have
him as a friend?
was your first impression of Artemis Fowl? Did it change as you
read the novel? In what way?
is the fairy world different from the human world?
was your favorite thing about the fairy world?
Artemis Fowl seem like a twelve year old to you?
the fairy world make sense to you? Do you like to read fantasy stories?
you break the code? If so, what is your translation?
criticisms do you have of this book? What parts would you change
if you were writing the story?
- Do you
think this book would make a good movie? What elements would have
to be included? What could be left out? Who do you think should
play the lead parts?
Cimorene wants to take lessons in fencing, cooking, magic, and economics.
But she can't-because she's a proper princess, and princesses are supposed
to learn embroidery and follow proper etiquette. Cimorene tires of being
told "no", and decides to run away from home. She begins to
keep house for the powerful dragon Kazul, finds a whole new world of
adventure, and even helps save the dragons from a wicked wizard plot.
Cimorene. Would you like to be her friend?
does Cimorene find the dragons?
happens to the Knights who try to rescue Cimorene?
do Cimorene and Alianora get to be friends?
is Cimorene's plan to help the dragons?
are Woraug's crimes? In the end, does he get what he deserved?
"fractured" fairy tales did you find in this book?
you like the fantasy elements of this book? Did any of the events
in the book seem like they could really happen?
Have you ever wanted to live on your own in the wilderness? Do you
think you could survive? Sam Gribley has a chance to do just that. Deep
in the Catskill Mountains Sam spends a year making a home in a giant
hemlock tree, discovering how to gather or catch his food, and making
some animal friends, such as a falcon, who he names Frightful. Sam has
to think fast when fierce weather and unexpected strangers intrude on
his special place in the wilderness.
did Sam want to leave his home in New York City?
items did Sam take with him to help him in the mountains?
were some of the foods that Sam ate on the mountain that he liked?
was Frightful important to Sam's survival?
skills did Sam learn during his wilderness year?
you like how the story ended?
unusual first pet did the author have as a child? Use the website
listed below to find the answer.
When an atomic physicist disappears on a secret mission, his son,
daughter and their friend search for him, going on a journey through
time and space. Meg and Charles Murry, along with Calvin O'Keefe embark
on a dangerous quest to rescue their father from the evil force that
is trying to take over the universe.
does Meg have trouble fitting in at school? Is it her fault?
- If you
had the opportunity to time travel, would you? What time period
would you choose? The past or the future?
is so evil about Camazotz?
does it have to be Meg who saves her brother, Charles Wallace?
good always conquer evil?
novel was written in 1962. Can you see how this book may have influenced
other books written later, for instance, The Giver by Lois Lowry
or the Harry Potter books?
book is part of a series of 4 books known as the "Time Quartet".
The others are, Wind
in the Door , A
Swiftly Tilting Planet , and Many
Waters. Would you like to read the others in the series?
Love that Dog is the story of Jack and his feelings for his dog,
Sky. During the school year a perceptive teacher, Miss Stretchberry,
helps Jack gain confidence in his own special way of writing about what
is most important to him. A Walter Dean Myers poem that Jack likes finally
enables Jack to create his own poem that expresses to others what he
feels about his dog. Jack is thrilled when Walter Dean Myers himself
comes to Jack's school to share his poetry.
did Jack feel about poetry at the beginning of the school year?
does poetry differ from regular writing?
does the word anonymous mean?
you ever tried to write about something, making the words in the
shape of what you're talking about. What shape would be fun to use?
do you think Jack uses a journal to communicate with his teacher?
- Do you
have a favorite poet or author? What does that poet or author do
in his or her writing that you like?
Sixteen people are invited to rent apartments or business spaces
in the newly constructed Sunset Towers. A real estate agent named
Barney Northrup is in charge of the arrangements. Yet there is no
such person as Barney Northrup. And why are these particular people
singled out to move into Sunset Towers? Then the infamous Sam Westing
is discovered lying dead in his crumbling mansion. The sixteen residents
of Sunset Towers are invited to the reading of the Westing will, where
they find out that Sam Westing did not die of natural causes. Then
the sixteen are divided up into teams of two, with each team given
a clue, to try to discover what happened to Sam Westing. Now the fun
begins! As the clues are interpreted in every way imaginable, the
heirs learn more and more about each other, and it begins to seem
that Sam Westing had a method to his madness after all. It's time
to play The Westing Game.
the end of the first chapter we are told that one of the tenants
was a mistake. Which tenant do you think was a mistake? Explain
Mrs. Wexler's relationship with her two daughters.
obituary mentions that he was a dedicated gamesman and a master
of chess. Why might this be significant?
the will is first read, why are those present shocked to hear the
words, "my sixteen nieces and nephews"?
were Turtle and Sandy dubious about the "murder" of Samuel
did you think the bomber was? Why?
was Rosalie and how did she die?
is Judge Ford's connection with the Westing family?
heir wins the game? How did they finally solve the puzzle?
John Midas loves chocolate. In fact he's obsessed with it. He
eats it daily, dreams about it, and can't get enough of it. The man
at the local candy store gives him a mysterious candy coin which john
immediately eats. His life changes almost instantly. How does it change?
Is John happy? Read and find out!
at least four types of candy that John loves.
is named Cranium in the story? Is this a good name for him? Why?/
does the candy coin change John's life?
- Is he
happy with the changes?
four rules that John should follow to avoid trouble in the future.
- If you
had one wish, what would you wish for?
would you do if you had the "chocolate touch"?
by William Armstrong
pages (ages 9-12)
Sounder, a great coon dog, is owned by a poor black sharecropper
and his family. When the sharecropper steals to feed his hungry wife
and family, Sounder can not save him from the sheriff. The family
faces many hardships while the father is away, and Sounder suffers
also. The man's young son is forced to take on man's work to help
the family, Sounder searches for his master, the family continues
to hope for the father's return. Will everyone be reunited? Will Sounder
find his master?
what period of history do you think this story takes place?
- Do you
believe Sounder is a true story? Why/
kind of dog is Sounder? Draw a picture of him.
is a sharecropper? What did it mean to be poor and black during
the late 18th and early 19th centuries?
did you feel at the end of the story? What happened that made you
feel that way?
what you think the boy's adult life may be like.
Jessie's whole life has been spent living a lie. She thought
that she lived in a small village named Clifton in 1840. But when
disaster strikes the village, she finds out the truth. It's really
1996, and Clifton is a historical site visited by tourists. The
tourists have no idea that the people who live in Clifton are not
allowed to leave (the village is surrounded by armed guards). But
Jessie has to leave the year 1840 to save the lives of the people
in the village, who are being threatened by a diptheria epidemic
and need medication available only in the year 1996. Her escape
leads to an action-packed introduction to the modern world for Jessie,
who sees cars for the first time. Can Jessie save her village and
move into the 20th century?
would you describe the village of Clifton? Did it seem normal to
you at first? Or did you suspect that something odd was happening
does Jessie's mom feel about her? What makes you think so?
- Do you
think that Jessie's parents were right to hide the truth from their
children? Did they deserve to get their children back?
"new" technologies and inventions does Jessie encounter
in the modern world? What do you think about her reactions to modern
Jessie be able to survive in the modern world? Why or why not?
- Do you
agree with Frank Lyle that the Clifton experiment will be valuable
in the long run, even though in the short term people may die? Why?
you like to live in 1840 or modern times? List pros and cons for
each time period.
a list of how life in 1840 was different than how we live today.
Lighting, heating, writing instruments, and food have all changed.
What else has changed?
by Louis Sachar
233 p. (grades 3-6)
IStanley Yelnat's family has a history of bad luck, so he isn't
too surprised when he is falsely accused of stealing a pair of sneakers
and is sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake. There is no
lake - it has been dry for over a hundred years - and it's hardly a
camp. As punishment, the boys must each dig a hole a day, five feet
deep, five feet across, in the hard earth of the dried-up lake bed The
warden claims that this pointless labor builds character, but she is
really using the boys to dig for loot buried by the Wild West outlaw
Kissin' Kate Barlow. The story of Kissin' Kate, and of a curse put on
Stanley's great-great-grandfather, weaves a puzzle that tangles and
untangles, until it becomes clear that the hand of fate has been at
work in the lives of the characters - and their forebears - for generations.
is the book called Holes?
does the nickname "x-ray" suggest about that character?
What about the name Mr. Mom?
"holes" are there in the story for the reader? How are
some examples of irony in the book? For instance, the basketball
player, Sweet Feet, really has stinky feet.
are some "sub-stories" running along with the main story
of the boys at Camp "Green Lake. What are some of these other
has Stanley changed as a person at the end of the book?
In Jonas' perfect world, everything is under control. There is no
war or fear or pain. But when Jonas learns the truth, there is no
In a utopian community where there are no choices--where everyone
has his or her place in the world assigned according to gifts and
interests--the time has come for 12-year old Jonas to become the new
Receiver of Memory. He will be the one to bear the collective memories
of a society that lives only in the present, where "Sameness"
is the rule. But Jonas soon recognizes the losses and discovers the
lie that supports his community. He decides he will change his world--but
he cannot predict how that change will come about, or what that change
will mean for himself and the "newchild", Gabriel, whom
he has resolved to protect.
sets the tone or mood of the book right from the beginning?
is Jonas' relationship with the Giver different from the relationship
he has with his mother, father, and sister?
Jonas feel that his assignment as the next Receiver of Memory was
an honor or a punishment? Why?
does Jonas take with him on his Journey at the end of the book?
Why does he take it with him?
do you think that Lois Lowry makes the ending of the book unclear?
What do you think really happens to Jonas at the end of the book?
Nobody could capture the Phantom. She was the wildest mare on Assateague
Island. They said she was like the wind, that the white "map"
on her shoulders was her mark of freedom. Paul and Maureen had their
hearts set on owning her. They wanted to buy and tame her and worked
hard to earn the money that she would cost. But the roundup men
had tried to capture her and for two years she had escaped them.
Pony Penning Day holds a surprise for everyone, because Paul not
only brings in the Phantom, but her newborn colt as well. Can Paul
and Maureen possibly earn enough to buy them both?
did the ponies get on Assateague Island originally?
is Paul and Maureen's plan concerning the Phantom?
will they earn the money for this plan?
happens on Pony Penning Day?
brave thing did Paul do when the ponies were swimming from island
didn't Paul and Maureen feel like eating at the Pony Penning feast?
Paul and Maureen complete their plan?
Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
96 p. (grades 3-6)
Little Willy has a big job to do. When his grandfather falls ill,
it is up to Willy alone to save their farm from the tax collector.
But where can a ten-year-old get five hundred dollars in a hurry?
Then Willy sees the poster for the National Dogsled Race. The race
pits Willy against the best dog teams in the country, including the
Indian stone Fox and his five beautiful Samoyeds, who have never lost
a race. And Stone Fox wants the prize money as badly as Willy does.
Willy's dog, Searchlight, is every bit as fast as the competition,
and Willy knows the terrain better than anyone. But can one boy and
one dog be a match for the unbeatable Stone Fox?
joke did grandfather play on little Willy in Chapter 1?
didn't grandfather get out of bed?
did grandfather and little Willy communicate when grandfather stopped
did little Willy do to get ready for winter?
advantages do little Willy and Searchlight have which may help them
win the race?
long was the dogsled race?
did Stone Fox want the prize money?
did Stone Fox hit Willy?
the ending of the story surprise you? Would you end the story in
a different way? If so, write your ending.
traits does little Willy have that you admire and would like to
14-year-old Billie Jo tells her heroic story through her free-verse
journal. Her mother died in a tragic accident which left her talented,
piano-playing hands permanently scarred. Her father, struggling to
deal with the depression and the grief, turns to alcohol. On top of
all of that, Billie Jo has to deal with all of the normal parts of
being fourteen - her first crush, figuring out what she wants to do
with her life, and son on. Enter the world of the Great Depression
through Billie Jo's journal and you will leave it inspired.
do you know about the Great Depression? Did your grandparents live
through it? How did it affect them?
do you know about the Dustbowl?
Billie Jo's character? Can you identify with her in ay way?
you ever experienced grief like Billie Jo? How did you deal with
Billie Jo blame herself for her mother's death?
do you think about the format of the novel? Is it poetry? Take a
look at pages 13-14 and 193-194. What do you see?
would you feel if you were suddenly physically unable to do something
that you love to do? What activity would it be, and how would you
you think that this book was too sad? Should all books be happy?
Billie Jo teach you any lessons? What were they?
Samurai are born, not made. And Seikei is born not a samurai, but
the son of a tea merchant. But he longs for the life of a Samurai--brave
and loyal, fearing nothing, not even death. Then Seikei is witness
to the theft of a priceless ruby intended for the shogun. And the
ruby appeared to have been stolen by a ghost! Famous samurai magistrate
Judge Ooka needs Seikei's help to solve the mystery of the stolen
ruby. Can Seikei demonstrate the skills of a samurai to the shogun
you share any characteristics with be-want-to-be Seikei?
is the setting of this book, medieval Japan, important to the story?
did Seikei learn from his adventures with Judge Ooka?
you do anything in this story differently than Seikei did? If so,
what and why?
you solve the mystery before Seikei? What clues gave you the answer?
do you think the author choose the title of this book?
a new ending for this book. Do you like your ending better? Why
or why not?
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
144 p. (4th grade and up)
Shiloh, an adorable beagle, runs away from an owner who mistreats
him and is
found by a young boy named Marty. Marty knows Shiloh belongs to someone
else but is determined to save the dog from more harm. Against the
wishes of the dog's owner and his father, Marty risks everything to
protect the dog and make him his own.
details does the author provide in the opening pages of the book
that make it clear that Marty loves animals?
feels that he has two choices with Shiloh. He can either hide the
dog and keep it a secret, or give it back to Judd. Are there other
possibilities that he hasn't considered?
you been in a similar situation to Marty's? How did you handle it?
are times in this book when Marty has to keep secrets from his family.
Is this wrong or is it justified?
did Marty get Judd to honor his end of their agreement about Shiloh?
by Andrew Clements
Age Range: 8 to 11
Nick Allen is a creative fifth grader whose wit tends to get him into
trouble at school. His legendary fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Granger,
has "X-ray vision" and runs a very strict classroom. These
two personalities clash almost right away, and Nick, as punishment
for his behavior in class, is assigned to write a report on the dictionary.
At first, Nick is hopelessly bored reading the dictionary. But as
he finds out more about words and how they are created, Nick comes
up with a plan. He invents his own word, frindle. What does this word
mean? Why does the whole world fall in love with the word frindle?
reading this book, had you ever thought about how are created? Do
you think that you could make up a new word that everyone in the
country could use? What would that word be?
you think that Nick was a troublemaker? Why or why not?
has many great ideas. Do you have any great ideas about ways to
improve your school or home?
kind of relationship do Mrs. Granger and Nick have with each other?
Do you think they admire each other?
Mrs. Granger the "bad guy" in this book?
- Do you
think Mrs. Granger was a good teacher? List the characteristics
that you think a good teacher should possess.
- As an
adult, how does Nick show Mrs. Granger his appreciation?
Ten-year old India Opal Buloni is lonely when she moves to the small
town of Naomi, Florida with her father. Her father is the preacher
at a small Baptist church in Naomi. India Opal's mother left her and
her father when she was three. That fact brings her inescapable sadness.
She has trouble making friends until she finds Winn-Dixie, a big lovable
dog who can make friends with anyone. Opal can talk to Winn-Dixie
about anything, gradually; Opal makes some unusual, but lovable friends
because of Winn-Dixie. Opal begins to realize that life is good and
she has a lot to be thankful for.
do you think India Opal wanted to know ten things about her mother?
Opal asks her friend Gloria Dump, "Do you think everybody misses
somebody like I miss my mama?" What do you think? Does everybody
miss somebody? Why?
answer to India's question was, "Mmmmm-hmmm, I believe, sometimes,
that the whole world has an aching heart." Do you agree that
everyone has their own personal sadness? Why?
do you think India Opal and her dad needed Winn-Dixie?
Opal says, "I lay there and thought how life was like a Litmus
Lozenge, how the sweet and the sad were all mixed up together and
how hard it was to separate them out." Do you think life is
like how India describes it? Why?
India Opal goes to search for Winn-Dixie after the thunderstorm,
Gloria tells her," There ain't no way you can hold on to something
that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got
while you got it." How do you feel about this thought?
Dump says, "But sometimes things are so sad they get to be
funny." Have you ever feel so sad that you had to laugh about
it? Tell me about that time.
you think that Stevie and Dunlap Dewberry were trying to be friends
with India Opal?
When Princess Eleanor (Ella for short) is born, a fairy named Lucinda
blesses her with the gift of obedience--meaning she must obey anything
that anyone tells her. As Ella grows older she learns that this "gift"
is more of a curse and she is determined to find Lucinda and have the
spell reversed. Along the way, Ella must do battle with her stepmother
and stepsisters-to-be. She also falls in love with handsome Prince Charmont.
Now she is more determined than ever to make things work out. Does she
1) What is dangerous about Lucinda's curse on Ella?
2) Describe Ella's relationship with her father.
3) Who does Ella say are the only ones who love her?
4) What are some of the foods eaten in the story?
5) How is this story similar to the classic Cinderella story? How is