Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Club - Legend of Spud Murphy

Our first book club of the new year, at the end of January, was The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer. This book got rave reviews from our kids (remember our audience is first through third grade). I admit I'm not good at posting book club activities, but I save all my notes and I mean to! Since I'm doing a presentation at the Alaska Library Conference next week on book clubs, hopefully I'll get a bunch of these back notes put up. Helpful hint, while I always want to pronounce Eoin like Ian, I listened to an audio book of one of the Artemis Fowl series and they pronounced it more like Owen. I'm assuming the audio people would have pronounced the author's name correctly.

Book: The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer

Introduce Yourself
Name, age, and your best adventure story (one you read or one you lived)

Discussion Questions
  1. What are the boys' favorite types of books to read? (Action/Adventure)
  2. What are your favorite types of books to read?
  3. How do the boys know which area of the library to stay in?
  4. What areas of the Loussac Library are you allowed to be in? (all of them) Where are you not allowed to be? (you can go anywhere, but you do need to respect quiet zones)
  5. Why do you think kids weren't allowed in other sections of the library?
  6. Why were the kids so scared of Ms. Murphy? Was she really scary? Why or why not?
  7. Do you think librarians are scary? Why or why not?
  8. What do you think Ms. Murphy meant when she said she sometimes forgot the library was about books?
  9. What else is the library about besides just books? (hint programs, information, helping people)

Library Tour!
We spent about half our time on a tour of the library. Even though these kids are regular library users, they all said they learned stuff, and they all enjoyed it. Of course at the end, they got a READ temporary tattoo.

Survival Games
Using various survival guides such as The Boys Book of Survival or The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook and we played a quiz game with situations such as what would you do in a bear attack? (This is Alaska - they might need that! Of course they're less likely to be stuck in a hurricaine.)

Exploding Popsicle Stick Frisbees
Because my library is WAY more fun than Ms. Murphy's library, we made the exploding popsicle stick frisbees featured in The Outdoor Book for Adventurous Boys.

Potato Gun
I wish. We didn't do this, but how cool would that have been?

We don't do snacks any more, but it would have to be something spud based. Tater tots if you have a way to heat them, or potato chips. (The healthy kind of potato chips, er the healthy-ish kind.)

There are two veins to go when kids like Legend of Spud Murphy. The easiest is to go with similar humor books. I'd recommend Frindle by Andrew Clements (or pretty much anything by Andrew Clements) or any of the Joey Pigza books by Jack Gantos (first title is Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key).

You can also go with survival stories, anything by Will Hobbs or Gary Paulsen (though those tend to go to a higher reading level). Gordon Korman is also a really good choice. And I tend to really like non-fiction books as well. Thus I recommend The Outdoor Book For Adventurous Boys by Adrian Besley and The Boys' Book of Survival: How To Survive Anything, Anywhere by Guy Campbell and not to leave the girls out we have The Daring Book For Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan.

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