Post your responses to Crash here!

Discussion Questions for Crash by Jerry Spinelli

What are some of the problems Crash has to deal with throughout the book?

What is Crash’s family like? What is Penn’s family like? Discuss how you see their qualities reflected in the characters personalities.

How does Crash treat Penn? Why do you think that he does that?

What are some of the things that Crash discovers about himself, about others, and about nature throughout the story? What are some of the discoveries that Crash's family members make about him?

Why can't Penn have a water gun fight with Crash?

What surprises Crash about the race between him and Penn? Why?

Why can't Crash's father take him to the Phillies game?

How is Mike DeLuca different from Penn?

What does Crash think about wearing clothes from a thrift shop?

What leads to the lunchroom fight between Crash and Mike?

Why is Crash shocked when he sees who is going out for cheerleading?

How is Abby different from her brother, Crash?

Who visits Crash, and why is Crash so excited about the visit?

Who does Jane end up dancing with? How does this make Crash feel?

How does Crash's mother react to Abby's appearance on the evening news?

What has happened to Scooter?

After reading Penn's essay, what do you think Penn and Crash have in common?

How does Penn help the team in the Penn Relays?

How do Crash's parents change during the course of this novel?

How does Crash change during the course of this novel?

What is the turning point of the story?

What did you like best about this book? What did you like the least?

If there was one thing you could change about the story, what would it be?

Be sure to post your comments for Love, Aubrey here!

Discussion Questions for Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

  1. Did you understand right away what was going on in Aubrey’s life in the beginning of the book? What gave you clues that something was very wrong?

  1. Would you have made the same decisions Aubrey did when she was alone?

  1. Why did she get the fish?

  1. Was it a good idea for her to go to her Grandma’s house?

  1. What were some ways Aubrey displayed her grief?

  1. How did her new neighbor, Bridget, change things for her?

  1. Discuss how what different people did to help her recover from her loss- Bridget, Amy, Gram, Uncle David, Bridget’s family, Marcus.

  1. Who was Jilly and why did Aubrey choose to write to her?

  1. What were your favorite parts to the story?

  1. What parts did you wish you could change?

  1. What parts were hard for you to read (emotional)?

  1. Discuss Aubrey’s mother and her reaction to the accident.

  1. Did you guess that Aubrey would make the final decision the way she did?

  1. What would you have done?

  1. What advice would you have given to Aubrey if you were in Bridget’s shoes?

  1. What lessons did you take away from the story?

Highfill Crew Summer Book Club 2011

No Passengers Beyond this Point

by Gennifer Choldenko

click here to see the video
and website

Just a month ago, our 4th and 5th graders were fortunate to have Gennifer Choldenko visit our school. We loved hearing all about her latest book, which is also our first book club selection. I invite you now to post your opinions, questions, and ideas about the book in the comment section below. You can also respond to each others comments.

I look forward to seeing you at the first book club meeting ~

Round Table Pizza
530 Main Street
Monday, June 20th

Discussion Questions for

No Passengers Beyond This Point

1. Why do you think this story has multiple narrators? What did you learn about the characters and the plot because of this?

2. Is Bing real or imaginary? Provide reasons for your answer using examples from the story. How and why is Bing important to the story?

3. On page 87, Mouse relates that Bing has said: “It will be hard for India to leave Falling Bird,” Why do Mouse and Bing believe this? If you ended up in Falling Bird, would it be difficult for you to leave? Why or why not?

4. What do the houses and what’s in them say about each character? What is important to each character when they come to Falling Bird? Does that change by the end of the novel? If so, how?

5. How would you describe India and Mouse’s relationship? Why does it transform over the course of the story? How is it similar to and different from the relationships of siblings you know or have read about? Have those relationships changed over time? Why or why not?

6. After India loses her house on page 108, she says: “What I don’t get is why this is happening? I don’t mean science why, but why why?” What does she mean by this? Does every event in a person’s life have a reason or cause? Explain your answer.

7. In this novel, there are parallels between what happens in the real world and what happens in the Falling Bird world; for example, the children lose a dog and the children find a dog. List a few other parallels like this one.

8. What does home mean to each of the story’s characters? How do their definitions of home change because of the events they live through? What does home mean to you and why?

9. Do you believe parts of this story were symbolic for what was going on in their lives? What connections did you see with the events in Falling Bird and the characters lives?


Try out the website for information about Found!

What did you think? Did it make you want to read the second one? Could you predict what was going to happen? Post your comments here about our last book club selection.

The book club meeting will be:
Tuesday August 17th, 2010
at the Aquatic Center
4455 Black Avenue
2:00- 5:00
$3.50 admission
Bring a snack to share if you want.
I will be sitting on top of the hill on the right,
parents can drop off and pick up if they want.
See you there!

Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Our second book club meeting is this Tuesday July 27th. We will be meeting from 6-7:30 at Round Table on Main street. Have you finished the book? If you haven't, please still come to the meeting, maybe the conversation will inspire you to keep going. If you can't make the meeting, post your thoughts, comments, and opinions here. Just click on the comment link below.

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Highfill

First Book Club Meeting

For those who were not able to attend the meeting, below are the discussion questions we talked about. I'm sure many did not get to share all of their ideas and thoughts, so whether you were at the meeting or not, please post your comments here! (Tell us which question you are commenting on)

Lemonade War

by Jacqueline Davies


1. In the book Jessie skips second and third grades and goes straight to fourth grade. Skipping causes problems between her and her brother and makes the other kids in her neighborhood think she is strange. Do you think skipping a grade or two is a good thing or a bad thing and why? How would you feel being in class where everyone is one or two years older than you? If there was a much younger student in your class, what would you think about them?

2. Both Evan and Jessie earn more $100 selling lemonade. Evan wants to spend his money on an iPod; Jessie wants to donate hers to charity. What would you do if you had $100? Spend it, save it, give it away? What would you spend it on or to whom would you give it away?

3. When Jessie is upset, reading Charlotte’s Web makes her feel better. Evan playsbasketball with his friends to lift his spirits. Is there something you like to do that makesyou feel better when you need to take your mind off of your problems? How does it help you? Is it relaxing – like taking a nap or reading – or does it take energy, like playing sports or doing a craft?

4. Have you ever felt competitive with someone you are close to, like a sibling or a good friend? How did you react to this competition? What did you do? How was it resolved?

5. Evan is so angry with his sister he can barely stand it! Has Jessie consciously done anything to harm her brother? Explain the root of Evan’s anger.

6. Jacqueline Davies chose to create Evan and Jessie as characters that don’t fit the stereotype of boys and girls, in terms of both their academic strengths and challenges and their social strengths and challenges. Do you think that these stereotypes (girls as intuitive but not good at math, boys as good at math but not so good at reading people’s feelings) get in the way at your school?

7. Even though Jessie and Evan are having a hard time with each other, they don’t want their mom to know. Can you explain why they are so careful not to show her they are quarreling? Have you ever felt like this?

8. Evan is pretty sure that Scott Spencer stole the lemonade money he “borrowed” from Jessie. Why doesn’t Evan confront Scott? Why doesn’t he ask for his money back?

9. How do Evan and Jessie finally resolve the conflict—both their lemonade war and their personal war?

10. Both children have to admit that they’ve done mean things to each other before they can move on. Have you ever done something out of anger that you wish you hadn’t? How did this play out?