Parent Child Book Club Newsletter July 2010

Book Club Suggestions

Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

Written and drawn by Eleanor Davis, inked by Drew Weing
Bloomsbury Kids, 2009

Winner of 2009 Graphic Novel Cybil Award

Kids who save the world from bad-guy adults?  What’s not to love about a story like that?  In this case,

three (eleven and twelve year old) kids – Julian, a genius geek, Ben, a jock and Greta, a punk – form an unexpected friendship and science club called “The Secret Science Alliance”.  They meet in an underground hide-out where they invent things like a Stinkometer and a Kablovsky Copter.

But, when their inventor’s notebook is stolen by the evil scientist Dr. Wilhelm Stringer, they must not only get it back but stop him from robbing the museum.

You’ll enjoy how the kids use their inventions to save the museum from robbery and rescue their notebook.

Book Club Activities and Questions:

  • Why are smart kids considered nerds?
  • Can three very different kids be friends?  Is this realistic?
  • What is different about reading a graphic (comic) novel than a novel with no pictures?
  • Have a comic drawing party where you all work on your own comic short story.

A Whole Nother Story

written by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
Bloomsbury Kids, 2010
Ages 8 – 12

In this hilarious story, our opinionated narrator, Dr. Cuthbert Soup, President for the National Center for Unsolicited Advice, tells the adventurous tale of the Cheeseman family —  an inventor and his kids who are hiding from rival inventors and government spies.

While on the move, the family renames themselves, finds new friends, stays in new places, all the while working on their prized invention, a time machine. Lucky for them, their psychic dog, Pinky, warns the family when the villains are near.

You’ll find out why they must go back in time and how they outwit the government spies.  It’s a fun read.

My favorite unsolicited advice from the narrator:
“A wise man once said, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it,” and that would be a terrible thing because, as a wise man once said, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”

My favorite new name for Barton: Joe Smith spelled “Jough Psmythe.

Book Club Activities

  • What is your favorite unsolicited advice from the narrator?
  • Who is Dr. Soup?
  • Make your own sock puppet characters and have a book club discussion with them.

Parent-Child Book Club Tips

  1. Serve snacks.
  2. Get the kids to write discussion questions.
  3. Allow the host to pick the book club book.

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