Well, I haven't posted anything in a while about my little reading groups, and that is a shame. I had one last night - my third graders - and we had such a nice time! I have to admit, I was somewhat worried about last night because some of the older and "wiser" librarians suggested that my book choice was off and that The Castle in the Attic is really better suited for fourth graders. But you know, honestly, I don't know why I even bother to listen to them. It seems like the books that they frown upon always seem to make for the best discussions! And really, my book groups are flourishing. I even had to split my one group up to make two. (So why do I let people who think they know better have so much power over me?!? I digress...)
The book we talked about last night is a classic - The Castle in the Attic. This was one of my husbands favorite books growing up. It has the same feel as Indian in the Cupboard but with a whole medieval vibe. It also has more of a "believe in yourself" kind of theme to it, too (which is kind of funny, considering how I let myself be bullied last night). The basic summary is something like a young boy is given a toy castle, as a parting gift from his nanny. The castle is unique in that it is made of stone and has all sorts of moving parts. He is also given a lead knight who comes to life when the boy touches him. There is an evil magician, a quest, a lady, a dragon, and a whole bunch of chivalry that follows. There are even some worthwhile quotes, like this one: "The weapons that you need to fight the battle are inside your own heart." and "You must find your own way through the forest, William... in this world and our old one." Nice, huh? Definitely worth a read.
Here are some pics of the cupcakes I brought the kids, too, just to make you wish you were in third grade. They were chocolate marble cupcakes (the light and dark to symbolize the good vs. evil) topped with a few plastic knights. They were a big hit.