Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our March book, Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers. We had a great discussion followed by our interview with the author!

We began by discussing Nathaniel Fludd, the main character in Flight of the Phoenix. He's described at the beginning of the book as someone who enjoys quiet walks, reading and drawing. It's Miss Lumpton, his governess, who describes him this way. We talked about whether or not this was a fair description of Nathaniel, who had never really been given the opportunity to explore other sides of his personality, and whether or not Miss Lumpton was the best judge of his character. Some felt that she was a good judge because she knew him the best and for such a long time. But others thought she was not a good judge because she never spent a lot of quality time with him and never encouraged him to try new things.

We talked about Nate's relationship with Miss Lumpton verses his relationship with Aunt Phil and how even though he just met Aunt Phil he already has a better relationship with her than with his former governess. Miss Lumpton was really only taking care of him for the money, whereas Aunt Phil seems genuinely glad to have him around and excited to train him as a fellow beastologist.

We discussed the items Aunt Phil gave Nate for his rucksack at the start of their adventure and what other things we might want to bring with us if we were going on such an adventure. We thought that a map, compass, change of clothes, water and a snack might also be good things to have when going on a journey.

Nate never received letters from his parents while they were away and Aunt Phil thinks that something isn't right about that. The Fludds always send letters to each other and the fact that Nate didn't get any is very suspicious. We thought about what might have happened and decided that they could have gotten lost in the mail but it's likely that Miss Lumpton intercepted them so Nate would never see them. She might have thought Nate would only be upset by his parent's letters or perhaps she worried that if he went off with them she would lose her "tidy sum" for caring for him.

We talked about Greasle, the gremlin, and how even though Aunt Phil didn't want her around she ended up being very helpful to Nate and saved both of them from the Bedouins at the end of the story.

We also thought a lot about Nate's adventures. Even though Nate does not think he is very adventurous he does some very exciting things in the story. We all had different ideas about which adventure took the most courage to carry out including fixing the airplane propeller, confronting the Bedouin girl and walking into the Bedouin camp to save his Aunt.

Finally we talked about mythical creatures and extinct animals that we would like to meet, if given the opportunity. Popular creatures included dragons, mermaids and Pegasus.

Overall we all really enjoyed Flight of the Phoenix, our first fantasy novel, and look forward to more of Nate's adventures!

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