We had our first ever meeting of the Union Township Family Book Club a few weeks ago. We started the group as a way to encourage families to read together, both during the school year and over the summer. Our books are aimed at middle elementary age children, but we encourage families to read them together. Younger children would enjoy hearing the stories read to them and older children might enjoy reading it to them. Our books are excellent bedtimes stories, as well as good choices for students who have a time goal for daily reading.
Six families joined us for our inaugural meeting. They read the book Jumanji by Chris Van Allsberg before the meeting (Book Club members get to checkout the book for two months so that they have time for all the family members to read the story, either on their own or with each other). Then, we got together to talk about the book, make our very own board game to take home and to watch the 1995 film version of Jumanji. Afterwards, we compared the book to the film and discussed why the film makers might have changed various aspects of the plot.
When asked if they liked the book or movie better, our young reader’s responses were split between the two, with lots of fans of the illustrations in the book, and even more fans of the crazy monkeys in the movie. We talked about some of the themes of the book such as responsibility and the importance of following directions, and we also discussed what we would do if jungle animals invaded our houses. It was unanimously decided that if our little siblings were turned into a monkey it would be very, very cool.
For our next meeting on Saturday, June 30, we will be discussing The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a fantastic book by Brian Selznick. While it looks terrifying at 550 pages, it is actually a novel in pictures as well as text, with a LARGE part of the book composed of beautiful pencil drawings. Lots of people have described it as a film in book form, which is great because we will be watching the movie Hugo as well. The story follows a young orphan, Hugo Cabret and his secret life living in the walls of a Paris train station. When Hugo’s life collides with a broken automaton, an eccentric, bookish girl, and the cold, old man who runs the toy shop in the station, he is caught up in a magical, mysterious adventure that could put all of his secrets in jeopardy.
We hope you can join us! Stop by the Union Township Branch to pick up a copy of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and don’t forget to sign your family up online, by phone (528-1744) or in person!