Today was our last book club meeting for this school year. It has been so fun. We first discussed the book we read this month: Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a big hit. We had a great discussion. None of them knew anything about Nazis and their hatred of Jews prior to reading the book. They were horrified to hear that this could happen. It is so marvelous to rub shoulders with kids. They are so unaware of the heartache and sadness in the world. That is a good thing! The discussion remained really positive and focused on how good people need to take a stand when bad things are happening. They got the message of the book perfectly.
We also looked at all the book we read this year and gave awards to them. They were amazed to see the list and to realize how many great books they read this year. This was our list:
November: Bridge to Terabithia
December: Ghost Tales for Christmas (Magic Tree House)
January: James and the Giant Peach
February: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
March: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
May: The Magician's Elephant
June: Number the Stars
We voted on Best Character of the Year (Kirsten, the younger sister in Number the Stars, and Edward in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane), Best Cliff Hanger of the Year (Chapter 14 of Number the Stars when Kirsten comes running around the corner and runs right into the soldiers), the Best (although we had to change it to worst) Villian of the Year (Hitler from Number the Stars), and then, Best Book of the Year (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe).
Our numbers really died off at the end of the year. Looking back, perhaps we should have indulged them by picking some of the books they were begging for (Geronimo Stilton, a Magic Treehouse book, or Diary of a Wimpy Kid) We decided, at the time, not to do one of those book because we wanted to introduce them to books they might not normally pick up. We kept the real die hard readers, but the ones who needed more encouragement chose to go outside once the weather was good, rather than stay for book club. We probably could have kept more if we had picked those books - and that wouldn't have been such a bad thing. Live and learn!!
I feel so blessed to be able to have this book club this year. I think it really has been a positive thing. If only every day could be a book club kind of day!