Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our November book, We the Children by Andrew Clements. We had a terrific discussion and everyone really enjoyed the book. We are all anxiously awaiting book #2 which comes out in January...

We began by talking about the main character, Ben, who he is and his relationships in the book. We talked about what type of story We the Children is and how it starts off with a lot of action right away which is a clue - it let's us know that it's likely to be an action-packed, plot-driven kind of story.

We talked about Mr. Keane, the school janitor, and why he chose to trust Ben with the mysterious coin and the mission of protecting the school. We though Ben felt lucky to be chosen for such an important job and maybe a little scared but also fiercly determined to save his school from demolition. We thought he chose to confide in Jill and seek her help because she's a good friend and a useful ally to have.

We spent a bit of time talking about the idea of change. Change is a major theme in this book with the possible demolition of Oakes School and Ben's parents getting separated. We thought about times when change is a good thing and times when we feel that things should stay the same. Certainly in the case of Oakes School it's important to preserve a piece of history and not let it be destroyed simply for an amusement park. We felt that Ben handled all the changes in his life well but that he had some hard things to work through. Many of us felt we'd be preoccupied and have some difficulty if we were in his shoes.

We discussed the important event Ben relates during the story, the event which he calls a "tipping point" in his life. We thought about what that might mean and what tipping points we've experienced in our own lives.

We thought about sailing and how Ben's knowledge of boats and sailing is an asset to the task he has at hand. We also agreed that saving Robert during the big race was the right thing to do, regardless of the fact that it meant he lost the race.

Finally, we talked a lot about the ending and about series books in general. We the Children definitely leaves the reader hanging; there is no resolution and nothing is explained. Instead, it is really just the beginning, setting the scene and characters for future books. We all enjoyed the book very much but it was a little difficult to be left hanging so badly! We all eagerly await book #2, Fear Itself and hope some of the mystery will be explained!

Following our discussion we spent some time online, visiting Andrew Clements website and our own Book Buddies Blog. We also viewed a couple of videos online which were fun to see:

First the We the Children Book Trailor:

Then a couple of really neat videos featuring Andrew Clements:

It was a terrific meeting and thanks to all the Book Buddies members for attending!

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