Saturday, May 10, 2008

May - Member Recommendations

For May's meeting we met at Heather's to discuss some favorite recommended by readers. Here's the reading list along with some discussion questions that Heather put together.

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer (recommended by Heather)
  1. Why do you think Hope changed her name? What does the name "Hope" mean to you? How does it fit her character?
  2. Describe Addie's character. What motivates her? Why does she move them across country?
  3. What is Hope's relationship like with her mother?
  4. How does her mother's brief visit effect Hope?
  5. If a rule of waitressing is to never date the cook, why do you think Hope dates Braverman? What kind of a guy is Braverman?
  6. Do you think G.T. is the father figure Hope is looking for in her life? How does meeting him change her?
  7. How has Eli Millstone corrupted the mayoral election?
  8. Why do you think G.T. decides to run for mayor? How can Hope help him win?
  9. Over the course of the novel, how does Hope change and grow? 10. In the end, which characters in this book have hope?

Mara , Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (recommended by Tara)

  1. How are Mara and Hatshepsut similar? How are they different?
  2. At what age would you introduce your children to this book, taking into account the way the main character uses her female wiles to manipulate the men? Did you feel the romance was "too passionate" for sixth graders (used as a staple in most 6th grade homeschool units)
  3. How did the author deviate from true Egyptian political history in regards to the rulers of the day? How do you as mothers/teachers get appropriate background info to help young readers differentiate? Like in Da Vinci Code.
  4. Who feared the gods the most in the story?
  5. Did you like the way McGraw discussed Nuit, the great mother in the final pages of the story?
  6. At what point does Mara really decide to stop playing the double agent and really work for Sheftu and Thutmose III?

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (recommended by Steph)
Author's Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever had a friend like Peris, who abandoned your friendship after they moved away?
  2. At first, did you hope Tally would get the operation? When did you change your mind? (Or did you?)
  3. Have you ever found yourself trusting someone more or paying more attention to what they said not because they deserved it, but just because of their looks?
  4. In what ways did Tally's trip through the wild prepare her for what she learned in the Smoke?
  5. Would you give up your ability to think independently in exchange for being happy, beautiful, perpetually healthy, and rich?
  6. How did David see Tally differently than she saw herself?
  7. If Shay could have gone back in time and never have met Tally, do you think she would?
  8. Other than the pretty operation, what are the main differences between the pretty society and our own? (Are there any ways in which the pretty society is healthier than ours?)
  9. To what extent did Tally decide her own fate, and how much did other people decide it for her?
  10. The Rusty civilization collapsed because of its dependence on oil. In what ways is your lifestyle dependent on oil and gasoline? How easily would you survive if it all disappeared one day?

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