Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Due to the Book Fair and parent conferences, there will be no meeting this week. Finish the book by next Thursday, the 8th, and watch for discussion questions here on the blog! It's super-important that everyone finish so we can get started on watching the movie ASAP. That reminds me-- stop by the library to pick up a permission slip. If you don't have a slip turned in, you'll miss out.
One last thing-- if you have not returned the books that were lent to you in the Christmas book exchange, you need to do that NOW. You know who you are!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
1. Bruno and Shmuel have a conversation that lasts from pp. 138-141 and covers a lot of important territory. Describe something they talk about and what its significance is.
2. "'You'll have to forgive my brother, Lieutenant Kotler,' said Gretel, laying a hand on his arm for a moment, which made Mother stare at her and narrow her eyes."-- What is the significance of this quick description? What's going on with Kotler?
3. On pp. 145-148, Father grills Kotler about his father. Why does he do this?
4. What do you think happened to Pavel?
5. On page 172, Bruno denies his friendship with Shmuel and betrays him. How does he feel afterward? How is it resolved? What do YOU think you would have done in his position?
6. What questions do you have?
All right, Bookies-- discuss here, and we'll talk more tomorrow in Custis' room!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
1. How does Bruno's grandmother react to her son's military role?
2. Do you think Shmuel (The boy on the other side of the fence) know more about what's going on here then Bruno?
3. Will they become best friends? Do you think there relationship will get discovered? What will happen to them if it is discovered?
4. Why does Shmuel run away after Bruno suggests he crawl under the fence to join Shmuel and his friends in the camp?
4. A pun (a play on the meaning of words) is most often seen as humorous, but in this novel the narrator uses dark or solemn puns like Out-With and Fury to convey certain meanings. Bruno is simply mispronouncing the real words, but the author is clearly asking the reader to consider a double meaning to these words. The use of this wordplay is a literary device, isn't it? What is the narrator trying to convey to the reader? How do these words further communicate the horror of the situation?
Lots to talk about!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Sorry I missed Thursday's meeting; it was a little crazy in the library, so I couldn't get away. How was it? Did you guys talk about the discussion questions? What was said? Post your thoughts on the correct link below!
Our new goal is to read to p. 134, the start of chapter 13, "The Bottle of Wine." Again, if you have ANY questions that arise while you're reading, post here and we'll all put our heads together to figure stuff out. This is a tricky book, guys-- you'll get out of it what you put into it, certainly. So post!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
1. At age 12, Gretel is the proper age for membership in the League of Young Girls, a branch of Hitler's Youth Organization. Why do you think she is not a member, especially since her father is a high-ranking officer in Hitler's army?
2. Bruno asks his father about the people outside their house at Auschwitz. His father answers, "They're not people at all Bruno." (p. 53) Discuss the horror of this attitude. How does his father's statement make Bruno more curious about Out-With?
3. Explain what Bruno's mother means when she says, "We don't have the luxury of thinking." (p. 13) Identify scenes from the novel that Bruno's mother isn't happy about their life at Out-With. Debate whether she is unhappy being away from Berlin, or whether she is angry about her husband's position.
4. Let's try this one again!-- What is it about the house at Out-With that makes Bruno feel "cold and unsafe"? How is this feeling perpetuated as he encounters people like Pavel, Maria, Lt. Kotler, and Shmuel?
Thursday, February 2, 2012
All right, Bookies-- let's read to page 86, stopping at chapter 8, "Why Grandmother Stormed Out." I know that seems like a lot, but honestly, I think you'll fly through this section since the story really picks up.
I asked those in attendance at the book club meeting to do some research now that we know that "The Fury" is The Fuhrer (Hitler) and "Out-With" is actually Auschwitz (most infamous death camp). It's time to gather a little knowledge about them. 6th graders in particular-- I want you to have a parent help you with this research! Over 1 million people died there (yes, well over 1 million), in unimaginably horrible ways, and you need an adult to walk you through this. I think I still need an adult to walk me through it when I start thinking about it! So please, get help with this research assignment.
We have books in the library too-- just ask.
Discussion questions coming soon...
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
All right, Bookies-- let's dive in!
1. Discuss the relationship between Bruno and Gretel. Does Bruno seem younger than nine? How so?
2. What is it about the house at Out-With that makes Bruno feel “cold and unsafe”? How is this feeling perpetuated as he encounters people like Pavel, Maria, and Lt. Kotler?
3. Describe his reaction when he first sees the people in the striped pajamas. What does Gretel mean when she says, “Something about the way [Bruno] was watching made her feel suddenly nervous”? (p. 28)
4. a)Who is The Fury? b)What is Out-With?
5. What questions do YOU have?