Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our October book, The Ghost, the White House and Me by Judith St. George.  We had a terrific book discussion and enjoyed Halloween cupcakes and candy treats!

We began by talking about the main character, 11-year-old KayKay Granger, first kid along with her sister, Annie.  We thought that even though she's living in the White House, KayKay is basically a regular kid, someone who is calm and who is sometimes an out-of-the-box thinker.  We thought of different words we would use to describe her including stubborn, awesome, sweet, funny and nice.  She also loves mysteries and enjoys spending time with her sister.

We love that the author chose to have KayKay's mother as the new president instead of her father and thought that she did this specifically because there has never been a female president before.  By going that route without making it the focus of the story makes it seem like it is no big deal and that it could easily happen one day (something we all hope for)!

We thought about what it would be like to live at the White House and decided that there would be fairly equal pros and cons.  The food would be great and we'd get to live in a huge house with an indoor swimming pool but we would also lose our privacy which we saw as a huge drawback.  None of us would like to have a secret service agent following us around all the time or a constant stream of strangers walking around the place where we live.

We discussed KayKay's father's idea that the White House and other places can be "haunted by history." We thought that this is probably true, that there is so much history in certain places that it almost comes alive and therefore the space can be perceived as "haunted."  We talked about our own experiences with ghostly happenings and the many places in and around Newport that are believed to be haunted.

We felt that KayKay didn't really give Borden a chance in the beginning and made some snap judgements about him but liked how their relationship changed over the course of the story and how they became friends.

We spent some time discussing the prank which went so wrong and got KayKay and Annie into so much trouble with their mom.  We all understood why KayKay decided to pull the prank but agreed that no plan is 100% guaranteed even though she was so sure it would go off without a hitch.  She also didn't consider the consequences if things were to go wrong.  We were divided on whether or not the punishment was fair, some of us felt it was a simple prank and her mistake was innocent.  Others felt the prank went so badly that she was right to be punished for what she did and that the punishments were reasonable.

We all thought KayKay's and Annie's mother's revenge was well deserved and probably taught them a very valuable lesson.

Overall we all really enjoyed The Ghost, the White House and Me by Judith St. George and would recommend it to others!

Following our discussion we read the story of Lincoln's ghost, made Halloween bead bracelets/keychains and worked on a Halloween crossword puzzle and word search.

It was a wonderful meeting with 2 new members(!) and I look forward to seeing everyone again in November!

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