Saturday, April 19, 2008

March - Ohio Authors

Local talent abounds so for the month of March, we decided to focus on some of our local Ohio Authors. Here's what we read along with some questions to inspire your own conversations:

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
1. How does this book differ from other Cinderella re-tellings?
2. Why is Prince Charming not so charming?
3. Who is the real villain in this book?
4. In this book, Ella changes her own circumstances without the use of magic. How do you think this can encourage young readers in making their own decisions?
5. At the end, Ella does not immediately get married to live happily ever after, but rather chooses her own happily ever after. How can this empower females today?

Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis (book of poetry)
1. How does this book of poetry compare with other children's books of poetry?
2. How does Lewis play on words in his poems? Do you enjoy this type of poetry?
3. Is it easier or harder to read poetry when poem after poem is written with a few illustrations, instead of one poem and many illustrations making an entire children's book?
4. How can we get children to enjoy poetry more?

The Dragon's Eye by Kaza Kingsley
1. With Harry Potter being so popular, many books with magic and a young boy as the main character are inevitably compared to Harry Potter. How is this book both similar and different?2. Who do you think Erek Rex really is?
3. What does this book teach about self-reliance, courage, and trust?
4. Erek Rex comes to realize he can do much more than he thought he could as others rely on him. How can young readers identify with him, even though the events occurring in this book are fantastical? Do you think it is difficult or easy to identify with the main characters from fantasy books?

Mrs. Spitzer's Garden by Edith Pattou (picture book) (If you haven't read East by Edith Pattou, we highly recommend it!)
1. This book is beautifully illustrated, and demonstrates the power teachers have to influence children. What do you think of that power? Does it inspire or frighten you?
2. Did you understand immediately what the plants symbolized in this book, or did you have to read the summary to understand it?
3. Does this book encourage you to be more active in finding good teachers for your children?
4. Is this book aimed at young children, or adults?

Little Miss Spider by David Kirk (picture book)
1. This book addresses the issue of adoption; however, it implies that Little Miss Spider was abandoned and unwanted by her birth mother, even though her adoptive mother loves her. Is this a good book to share with adopted children, or not?
2. How can this book be used to teach children about adoption?
3. Did you feel that the story was complete, even though Little Miss Spider never learns anything about her mother, or did you want more information? If so, what information could Kirk have added without changing the outcome of the story?

Thanks to Tara for hosting and putting these questions together!


Kaza Kingsley, said...

I saw this - love the questions! I didn't know David Kirk is from Ohio. I'll have to make sure to meet him, then.
Kaza Kingsley
Author of the Erec Rex series

Unknown said...

I think I will have to recommend "Just Ella" to my niece and her friends. They have a little book club going. I'm searching for books that empower them in their girlhood and beyond. They just finished a book called, "Bitter Tastes" by Author V.B. Rosendahl. It's a modern day "Nancy Drew". Main character Kathy is a gutsy girl-hero who isn't afraid to do what she thinks is right. Elizabeth and her friends loved it.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will pass them along to the girls.