Monday, March 18, 2013

March Bookworms Meeting - One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

This past Thursday we had our third meeting of the 4th & 5th grade book club - The BOOKWORMS - at our library. It went really well! This month I had my first boy attendee and we had some awesome discussions about the book. 

For the March meeting, the kids chose to read ONE FOR THE MURPHYS. It is a heart-wrenching, but hopeful tale of a girl who learns what family love can truly be like from her temporary foster home.
Book Description:
Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she's blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong--until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She's not really a Murphy, but the gifts they've given her have opened up a new future.
I loved this book, the girls and our boy all loved this book (especially because there was no romance, ugh... LOL) and they really got into discussing all of the emotional and family issues that were tackled here.

To start the program, again we had a little trivia contest, with blowpops as the prize for most correct answers, and then I had a list of discussion questions that we talked about. Here are a couple quick examples:

*When Carley first goes to live with the Murphys she hopes NOT to like Mrs. Murphy. Can you figure out why she might feel that way?

*Carley learns a lot about courage and being someone's hero. What do you think true courage is? Who are your heroes?

*Why do you think the author chose to have Carley go back to her mom at the end? Would you have made the same choice?

Some of their answers were pretty insightful, and some parked excellent new discussions. I love hearing what their perspectives are on real life issues!

We finished up the meeting by doing a great and thoughtful activity.  The author, herself, actually put together a teacher guide for this book.  One of the things she posted on her website was a list of "culminating activities" and one was PERFECT for our group:
Fast forward twelve years into the future. Carley is now twenty five. Write a letter from Carley to Julie Murphy explaining what Carley's life has been like since she left the Murphys.  Where is she now and what is she doing?

Each of the kids brainstormed their own ideas about what happened to Carley as she grew up. I loved seeing how each of them pictured different outcomes.  Some of the kids had Carley growing up and naming her children after the Murphys, one had her become a firefighter like Mr. Murphy, and in my vision of her future, she became a school psychiatrist so that she could help lots of children work through their own family troubles.

All in all, a FABULOUS meeting!

Next month: The Humming Room by Ellen Potter.

1 comment:

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