Saturday, October 16, 2010

TGB ~ first set of DQs

Butcher shop ~ 1912
I'm overwhelmed by the Nolan children's hunger and their lives in general.  I stopped reading in order to feed my cat and, though I felt like Old Mother Hubbard finding the cupboard bare when I saw only three cans of cat food left on the shelf, I realized my cat eats better than Francie and Neeley did.

1.  What indications of poverty stood out for you in the early part of the book?

2.  Which of Francie's activities come to mind when you think of her childhood?

3.  Which characters interest you the most, and why?


Bonnie Jacobs said...

The first discussion questions have been posted.

Shirley said...

1. What indications of poverty stood out for you in the early part of the book?
I've already finished the book and returned it to the library. I have general memory of the poverty the family faced, but can't remember specifics.

2. Which of Francie's activities come to mind when you think of her childhood?
Francie's love of reading and determination to read all of the books of the library in spite of the hateful librarian impressed me.

3. Which characters interest you the most, and why?
Francie's spirit of determination and love of her family and learning impressed me.
Johnny's love of his family in spite of his alcholism was touching. I especially liked when he found a way for Francie to change schools.
Katie's work ethic and dedication in having her children obtain an education to help them escape poverty was admirable.
Sissy's love of everyone even though society cast her as a bad woman made her an interesting person.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Shirley, next time post something about a book while you still have it. You don't have to wait for me to come up with questions. Anything you say about the book will be welcome.

That librarian was awful. I thought about those I know who would be delighted to suggest a good book for a child or teenager.

Shirley said...

Makes me feel like a slacker that I don't initiate comments on the books. I generally don't have anything specific to say so seem to do better as a responder.

I am thankful that both the teachers and the librarians I encountered as a child were wonderful role models who generally showed their concern for the children they were teaching or serving. However, in thinking about this, I think that several of the junior high teachers could have fit into the book--I often wondered whether they had their snide smart aleck results because they learned them from their students or if their behavior encouraged that of the students.

On the teacher/education side of the comments, I was impressed with the wisdom shown by Katie's mother in having her read a page from the Bible and a page from Shakespeare each day to her children to help with their early education. Although the meanings and levels would seem inappropriate, the language usage and emphasis on the importance of learning were instilled in both children.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

My parents both read to my siblings and me, sometimes one, sometimes the other. I think it's the reading itself, and not WHAT is read, that matters.

The man I married grew up in a house without books; the only book I ever saw in his parents' house was the Bible, and it was on a lower shelf of the coffee table and (apparently) never read. He became a reader after I shared short articles with him, and now (even though we are divorced) he still reads.

Our children grew up with shelves and shelves of books, plus twice weekly visits to the public library when they were elementary school age. They are readers.

Shirley, I didn't mean to make you think you're a slacker. When a book is fresh on your mind, it's easy to say what you think of it, good or bad. Then you can add a word or two about what was most interesting to you. That would also let me know what angle to go with later questions.

Shirley said...

That's neat that you encouraged your ex- to become a reader.

I remember that when I was very young, my mother read some to us. I taught myself to read when I was around 5 so read to myself after that.
I read a lot to my trio when they were young. My sons enjoyed reading whereas my daughter has always just read minimally (for information rather than pleasure). A year or so ago my youngest son was looking in our bookshelves and said he was looking for When You Give a Mouse a Cookie which he thinks is one of the best books ever written. He wanted to read it to his godson who was less than one at the time. He was amazed that his friend had never heard of the book. He bought the book and stuffed mouse (which his godson sleeps with every night) for his godson and told his friend and the baby's mother that he was going to read it to all of them when his godson is old enough. I give a book to my grand-godson for his birthday and Christmas each year.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

In case I wasn't very clear -- first, I didn't teach him to read (he's an engineer with a college degree), and second, he wasn't an ex- when I did that. We were still dating when I kept telling him about the interesting stories in the (unread) Reader's Digest magazines his buddy had given him as a Christmas present. But he did learn that reading could be fun and not simply something he had to do for school.

Shirley said...

I hadn't thought that you taught him to read, but to enjoy reading. In fact, my husband has said that he didn't enjoy reading much until after we married.