Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our March book Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia by Barbara O'Connor.  We had a great discussion followed by our very own spelling bee!

We began by talking about the main character, Bird, how we would describe her and who she is as a person.  We all found Bird to be kind, happy and someone that we would want to be our friend.  We spent time discussing Bird's relationships in the book, with Miss Delphine (a good friend to her and a good listener), her parents (who don't really seem very interested in Bird), and Harlem (who turns out to be a great friend).   We especially felt bad for Bird that her father has to travel so much for work and that she doesn't get to see him very often.  We talked about friends we know and even our own situations in which a parent is absent for various reasons and we don't get to see them very often.  It made us think about how important it is to have both our parents in our lives.

We talked a lot about Harlem's problems, his sad relationship with his mother and his growing relationship with Mr. Moody, his father.  We thought about what a tough spot he found himself in, needing glasses and not feeling like he could tell anyone.  Many of us decided that even though it was a risk, he should have told someone sooner about his vision problems instead of pretending to be dumb at school.  We know that there are always adults in our lives who are willing to help us no matter what the circumstances.

We discussed one of the major themes of the book, that not everyone or everything is as it seems, that you have to look beyond the surface of things to the heart of what is there.  People can definitely surprise you.  One of my favorite lines in the book is Bird's realization about Harlem: "I realized that all those times when he looked like he was glaring at the world out of meanness, well, he was just trying to see, is all."

Some of the other surprises we found in the book were Mr. Moody's apartment (we loved Bird's description of it), that Mr. Moody was interested in being a good dad to Harlem and that Miss Delphine got a rose tattoo on her ankle!

One of our book buddies readers asked some really good questions during the discussion.  She asked about our favorite part of the story (the spelling bee, when Miss Delphine gets a tattoo, Bird visiting Mr. Moody's apartment), what prizes we'd like to win in a spelling bee and who we related to more, Bird or Harlem.

We agreed that even though Bird and Harlem didn't end up winning the spelling bee, Bird achieved her dreams of Fame and Glory because she learned how to make and be a great friend.

Overall it was a terrific meeting with a lot of interesting discussion.  We finished up by having a very informal spelling bee of our own which was a lot of fun.  We have many terrific spellers in our group and everyone did a great job and worked well together.

Thanks to all the Book Buddies members who attended and I look forward to another great meeting next month!

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