Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our April book, Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury.  We had a great discussion followed by a Hawaii-inspired craft!

We started things off with our book trivia which went over very well.  Everyone remembered the most important details of the story and it was a good refresher about character and plot.

Our discussion began by talking about Calvin and our impressions of him as a person.  We all thought he seemed like a good person with good intentions but that he didn't always make good choices which often led to the troubles he experienced.  Without necessarily meaning to, his choices often invited trouble into his life.

We agreed that although Calvin and Ledward got along very well, it was very difficult for Calvin without his father around.  Having to always be "the man of the house" meant that he couldn't just be a kid which is a lot of pressure and responsibility for a fourth grader.

We thought that Mr. Purdy seemed like a good, if stern, teacher and that his boot-camp style classroom might be challenging but would certainly be organized and disciplined which would make for a good learning environment.

Having the story set in Hawaii was a very special aspect that made it possible to include elements that were important to the story, including special Hawaiian food which led to a great miscommunication at the end of the book (Tito's gift of dried shrimp which Stella thought was dead bugs) and the jungle across the street from Calvin's house where their fort was located.  These things and more wouldn't have been possible if the story was set somewhere else and we really enjoyed reading about Calvin's life on Oahu.

We decided that we would have mixed feelings if, like Stella, we had to pick up and move thousands of miles away to a new place.  Moving to a place like Hawaii would be great for the beach, new foods and clean air but would be hard because it's so far away and because it's an island that might not have all the regular things we are used to on the mainland.  We also thought that even though Stella moved in with the Coconuts because she wasn't getting along with her mom in Texas, it must be very hard to be so far away from her family.

We thought that Calvin changed for the better over the course of the story, that he learned some responsibility and grew as a person.  We thought he was starting to recognize when he made bad choices and will hopefully learn to avoid trouble in the future.

Following our discussion we made Hawaiian Leis out of colored macaroni and construction paper flowers.  Everyone had a lot of fun making their leis and they all came out great!  Here is the one that I made:

Overall, it was a terrific meeting and I look forward to seeing everyone again next month!

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