Youngsters are reading `Wanderer'

Book club

Howard Live

November 20, 2003

An interview with Katie George, leader of the Phibliobiles Book Club at the east Columbia library.

Who is the club geared for? It's geared for fourth- and fifth-grade readers.

How did you come up with the name? Fourth- and fifth-graders are pretty cool. So I had to come up with a really clever name. I just played around with the word "bibliophiles" which means "book lovers." We have great juvenile fiction books at the library, and I wanted to share them. Four kids attend regularly and others drift in and out so there's plenty of room for more kids to come.

What is the format like? We meet for an hour once a month on Mondays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The time is split up in three parts. We have review questions in the form of a game show where the kids compete against each other for right answers. Then we have a grown-up-like discussion for about 20 minutes where we talk about how the book is written, its themes, etc. During the last part, we make a craft that's related to the story. When we read Harry the Poisonous Centipede by Lynne Reid Banks, we made centipede sock puppets. In the book When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park, airplanes figured prominently in the story about a brother and sister in World War II Korea. So we made paper airplanes and had flying contests.

How do the kids like this format? They always like the craft. Some really like the discussion part. I've had some brilliant answers from fourth-graders. It's not a parent-child club, so they don't feel the need to look to parents for the OK signal for their answers. In this club, they're not inhibited that way.

What book has the group enjoyed most? Their favorite book was The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. It's about a young boy in 18th-century Japan who wants to become a samurai. He has to solve a mystery as part of working toward that honor.

What is your club reading this month? For the Nov. 24 meeting, we're reading The Wanderer by Sharon Creech. It's a story about three cousins and their dads who sail a small boat across the Atlantic. In December, we won't meet, but in January we'll pick up with Coraline by Neil Gaiman. It's a really modern, spooky story.

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