Friday, July 17, 2015

Books, Brownies, and Beyond - 1st Summer Meeting!

Our meeting on Thursday, July 16 included Katie and Charlie, regular members of our book club; Sam, Charlie's friend; Steven, an incoming sixth grader; Ms. Bowman from the Mercer Island public library; and a Skype visit with me (Ms. Behnke) from Oklahoma where I was visiting friends and family.  The cookie bars made it to book club even though I didn't.  We missed some of the regular members, but hope you'll be able to join us for our next scheduled meeting on Thursday, August 6 from 4-5 p.m. at the public library in the small meeting room.  It was enjoyable to hear what people are currently reading and to share books.

I shared two titles with the group, Circus Mirandus, the book I'm currently reading and Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, the next book in my WTR (want to read) pile.

Last month I finished Love, Ruby Lavender, the first book in my summer chicken-themed books.  I brought this book home from my classroom library since I love Each Little Bird That Sings, also by Deborah Wiles.  Love, Ruby Lavender is an epistolary novel, told partially through letters written between Ruby and her grandmother, Miss Eula.  Read the book to discover how a new friend and pet chickens help Ruby accept her grandfather's death.

I also finished The Disappearance of Emily H in June, a book that I shared with Elsa during book club.  When Elsa returned the book, she insisted that I read it.  This mystery, that is also about middle school bullying, features Raine, a new girl in town. The main character's supernatural ability to see sparkles on objects that contain people's memories helps her to solve the mystery of Emily's disappearance.  Raine's ability to read people's memories reminded me of Lois Lowry's book, Gossamer.  The addition of Raine's supernatural power puts this book in the genre of magical realism.

Ms. Bowman's book shares included The Honest Truth, Book Scavenger, and Circus Mirandus.

The afternoon concluded with a lively discussion about the quality of movies made from books.  Charlie created a scale with Harry Potter at one end (high) and Eragon at the other end (low).  Charlie has been reading or perhaps rereading the Inheritance trilogy this summer.  I was excited to receive the first student book review of the summer yesterday.  Katie submitted a review of Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry.  You can read her review here.

July Book Reviews

This review is from Awesome Katie, member of Books, Brownies, and Beyond:

Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry
By: Lynne Jonell
This was a very good book. This is the 3rd book in the trilogy and to understand it, it would help if you'd read the 1st two books. Emmy, who her parents think, is irresponsible, is wrongly shipped off to her 2 great-aunts, one of which is on the edge of death. I don't want to spoil the 1st or 2nd books for anyone, but there are 2 rats, one desperate and one eager, an elementary school soccer star, an evil nanny and her sidekick (who loves her more than anything), a mysterious "Ratmom" and a special rodent power to be found out. With bats, cool train rides, late night adventures and a missing girl, Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry is an adventure packed book with lots of interesting characters and "why-did-you-do-that?" moments. I loved reading it and hope others who read will like it to.

For those of you who haven't read the first two:
(1st book): Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat
(2nd book): Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls

I recommend both.

- Katie