It’s time for another update on the Green Oompa Loompas! Those of you who follow our blog will know that this is the crazy name of the girls book club that I run for twelve year olds. Never mind the name – it may be changing soon anyway as these newly sophisticated girls cannot believe they picked such an immature name back when they were baby fourth graders…
Back to what they have been reading. Since we last had a book chat with this group of girls, here is what they have been reading and discussing:
13 Gifts by Wendy Mass – Well, these girls adore Wendy Mass so it’s no surprise they give it two thumbs up. This is the third book in her “birthday series,”of which they are huge fans. They particularly enjoyed the elements of magic woven into this realistic fiction story, and how characters from her other books make appearances in this book.
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker – The girls finished this book and liked it, but were lukewarm about it. I loved the book, personally, but some of the girls thought it was a little slow.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Yes, my book club read this. They really wanted to, and all the parents gave their permission. I was worried because it is not only a book for a skilled and older reader, it is pretty darn violent. (But, this blog is not about my opinion today…)
They love love LOVED this book. A few of the girls found it hard to get into but once they got going, they really enjoyed it. The book discussion was passionate and lasted over two hours with girls interrupting each other like crazy. They all agree that Katniss is one awesome heroine. Most of them have plowed through the other books in the series and cannot wait for March, when the movie comes out.
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu – I wonder if any of you are tired of my singing the praises of this amazing book? Well, although I fell in love with this, I did kind of wonder if kids would like it. Surely, adults will appreciate all the great literary elements used in this read, but will children? Also, I had some lingering questions as the book does not tie up completely in the end. How would kids feel about this?
The answer? Two big thumbs up. Everyone enthusiastically liked it. I asked if them if they thought the beginning was slow because the action part of the book does not occur until halfway through the book. “Not at all,” they said. “Harry Potter is also like that.” Very well, then.
This is just the best book to discuss as there are so many metaphors, references to other works of literature, and symbolism. The girls got it. The look on their faces as they had their “aha” moments – “Jack getting a piece of glass in his eye … I think it’s actually an metaphor for growing up.” – priceless! Also, some of the girls were prompted to read Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” as “Breadcrumbs” is a modern day version of that story. Their one unanimous criticism of the book: “Please Ms. Ursu – write an epilogue!”
So, that wraps up what our book club has been reading. Have you read any of these books? What do you think? What has YOUR child’s book club been reading?