Yesterday’s sixth and seventh-grade book club was fantastic! When I got to school, the seventh graders were already out of class. Several helped me carry next month’s book into the library, jabbering about The Bronze Bow all the way.
I left them to make copies of a map of ancient Israel (where this story takes place), and by the time I’d made it back to the library, sixth grade was there, too. The discussion had already started without me.
To help focus the conversation, we passed a tissue box to the person who wanted to speak. No one else was to comment if they didn’t have the box. This works relatively well. It was fun to hear my students begging to hold a box of Kleenex or scolding each other about talking out of turn.
Several girls swooned over the hint of romance in the story. Others wanted to share moments that made them cry. Quite a few kids had a hard time with the beginning, which took its time getting into the story. We talked about the difference between books written forty plus years ago and the ones written today, where the action is up front.
The boys wanted to talk about the battle scenes and the choices they would have made to participate or not. We were all surprised the transformation in Daniel, the protagonist, didn’t happen until the last two pages.
I’m so proud these kids are picking up books they might not on their own and are looking for things to say. Next month is Crispin: Cross of Lead by Avi.