Thursday, February 10, 2011

King Arthur and His Knights

The characters are legendary: King Arthur, Lady Guinevere, the wizard Merlin, the sorceress Morgan le Fay, the Knights of the Round Table. Their stories are rich in magic and intrigue.

In one adventure, Arthur will lose his life unless he can discover the answer to this riddle: What do women most desire? Arthur asks many people and receives many different answers. Some say that women chiefly desire wealth. Some say beauty. Some say the power to please others. Feeling that none of the answers is right, Arthur searches on. But time is running out. Follow along as we join King Arthur and his Knights on their adventures.

Reading Assignments:

February 10 – Read Chapters 1-6

February 17 – Read Chapters 7-10

February 24 – Read Chapters 11-15

March 3 – Read Chapters 16-19

March 10 – Read Chapters 20-25

March 24 – Book Completion Activity

Discussion Questions:

1. King Arthur and His Knights is, in part, a story about how a young king learns to become a successful ruler. How does Arthur become a successful ruler? What does this suggest about how leaders can effectively govern in our own time?

2. In the book, magic can be used for both good and evil. When is it used for good? When is it used for evil? Are there any occasions where magic does not have the effects intended? Explain.

3. Why is the Round Table important in the story? What does it represent to King Arthur and his knights?

4. Maintaining one’s self-control was as important in the world of King Arthur as it is today. Which characters in King Arthur lose self-control? How? What are the consequences of their loss of self-control?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Letters My Mother Never Read

When her mother died in a fire, eight-year-old Jerri thought life couldn’t get worse. She was wrong. Sent to live with people who didn’t want her, Jerri was powerless to stop her once-happy childhood from becoming a nightmare of cruelty and neglect. Only a stubborn belief in her own worth and a fierce will to live allowed her to reach adulthood physically and emotionally intact. This is a book that will inspire not only those who have been orphans or foster children, but anyone who has known the pain of being unwanted.

Reading Assignments:
Thursday 12-2............Distribute Books
Thursday 12-9............Discuss Pages 1-52
Thursday 12-16...........Discuss Pages 53-102
Thursday 1-6..............Discuss Pages 103-199

Discussion Questions: Use these prompts to leave comments about this book.
1. What is your opinion of the foster care system as it is presented in this book? Cite examples from the text to support your opinions. Be sure to include your thoughts on the idea of accepting children into a foster home "on a trial basis." Is this a good idea, a bad idea, or a little of both?
2. Discuss the events leading up to Jerri's decision to stay at the orphanage rather than accept another foster home placement. Do you agree or disagree with Jerri's reasoning? Explain your thinking.
3. Discuss Jerri's strategy for survival as it appears on pages 98-101 of the text. Do you think it is a realistic or unrealistic strategy? Explain your reasoning.
4. Discuss the rules Jerri is given before going to a host or foster family's home. Are these rules reasonable or unreasonable? Explain your thinking.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Our current read for book club is Bram Stoker's Dracula. In this book, Jonathan Harker has a job to do. The young lawyer must go to the mysterious country of Transylvania to work for a man he knows as "the Count." At first, Jonathan is excited by the chance to travel and meet new people. But after his arrival in Transylvania, he begins to wonder what's going on. People act strangely upon hearing he is going to visit the Count. When Jonathan arrives at the Count's dark, isolated castle, he too begins to feel afraid. Soon after meeting his host, Jonathan finds himself trapped in a horrifying nightmare. Only this nightmare is real, and he can't wake up...

Use the comments section below to offer your thoughts and impressions of this book. Remember to include things such as
1. What you think of the characters
2. Your impression of Stoker's writing style
3. Evaluation and discussion of literary elements such as plot, theme, and setting
4. Your predictions about what will happen in the book
5. What other books does Dracula remind you of (text-to-text connections)
6. Does this book remind you of anything in your life (text-to-self connections)
7. Do you like this book and would you recommend it to a friend?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Our Next Book: Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Our next book club read will be Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. This is the first in a series of action adventure books centered around the character Alex Rider. After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.

Sign ups will be Monday, February 2nd through Wednesday, February 11th for the next installment of the Knight's Book Club! Bring your $6.50 to Mrs. Knight by Wednesday, February 11th to participate in this round of Action and Adventure reading! First meeting for Stormbreaker will be Thursday, February 19th.

After reading the book, we will have another Viewing Party, where book club members and their parents are welcome to come and compare/contrast the literary virtues of the book versus the movie. Check out the movie trailer below for a sneak peak!

Also, check out the interviews with author, Anthony Horowitz below!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Finishing The City of Ember

For this meeting, you should have completed the book. Here are our discussion questions for this meeting:

1. Doon and Lina like very different things. Doon wants to work in the Pipeworks; Lina yearns to be a messenger. Doon likes to study how things work. Lina likes to run and explore. Their friendship grows because they are ultimately searching for the same thing. How do they compliment one another and help one another develop through the novel?

2. Earth today has many environmental and social issues. What sort of problems could have led to the building of the City of Ember?

3. Clary tells Lina, "Everyone has some darkness inside," (p. 168). Light and color both play very key roles in the novel. In what ways, other than the failing street lamps, are color and light very important?

4. The possibility of never-ending darkness changes many of Lina's friends and many of the townspeople. She discovers that her friend Lizzie has begun to accept things from Looper, who is stealing things from the storerooms. Why does Lina turn down the gifts that Lizzie offers her? Do you think she was right to do so?

5. The City of Ember was built when people were worried that the human race might not survive. Do you think this was a good plan?

6. The mayor is the most corrupt character in the novel. He squelches the thirst for knowledge and limits freedom, yet the majority of the townspeople just accept his behavior. Why do you think they act this way? What other actions might they have taken?

7. People react in various ways when they feel threatened. How do the people of Ember react to danger? Have you seen people reacting to danger in these ways? How are Poppy's reactions important to the plot?

8. At the end of the novel, Lina, Doon, and Poppy have discovered a sunlit Earth. What do you think will become of them in the sequel? Do you think that there are other people on the surface?

9. The sequel to this book is entitled: The People of Sparks. What does the title tell you about the sequel? What might happen in the sequel to The City of Ember?

Don't forget our viewing party on Friday 1-30 at 3:30 in the library. Bring your own snacks! See you then!