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Bibliovores: The Castle Corona

Discussion Guide for The Castle Corona

Our second book for the Bibliovores Class was The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech.


Pass out small papers and let students write one of the following on the paper: love it, like it, hate it. Collect and tally the vote on the board. Voting with the papers allows shy students to stay anonymous and yet give their true opinions.

We made a character chart with a list of all the main characters and their personality traits. In the book Pia is compared to an eagle and Enzio is compared to an antelope. Why? Choose animals to represent Prince Gianna, Prince Vito, and Princess Fabrizia. (We did this in pairs. I gave the pairs about 5 minutes to discuss and determine. Then the pairs shared their decision with the entire class.) 

Are these good characters? Interesting? Why/not?

Genre: Fairy Tale
Discuss the traits of fairy tales.

  • Special Beginning and Ending Words ("Once upon a time")
  • Castles and Royalty (king, queen, princess, prince)
  • Magic (magic objects and talking animals)
  • Things happen in 3s and 7s
  • Poverty (poor working girl, poor family, poor shepherd booy, etc.)
  • Universal Truths (the tale touches on a universal experience or hope)

How does this book fit into the fairy tale genre? Give specific examples. In which ways is it not like a fairy tale?

Other Discussion
1. Where is the setting of the book? What clues are given?

2. What was in the pouch? (I did research on the red coral, cornos. This website was an interesting read re: cornetti, and I shared parts of it with my students to help them understand more about the importance of the red coral.)

3. Have your students ever heard this quote before: "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." What does it mean? How does it apply to the story? Who do they think has it best? Peasant, king, or taster? 

How does this relate to our lives?

Quotable Quotes for Discussion 
1. When one has nothing, nothing disappears.

2. He who sleeps catches no fish.

3. The wind in one's face makes one wise.

4. Be careful you do not waste your life on duties.

5. If one's head is in the clouds, one cannot see the gold at his feet. 

Bibliovores Book Discussion Class (Homeschool Cooperative)

Bibliovores: The Candymakers

Discussion Guide for The Candymakers

Our first book discussion for the Bibliovores Class was on The Candymakers by Wendy Mass. 

Pass out small papers and let students write one of the following on the paper: love it, like it, hate it. Collect and tally the vote on the board. Voting with the papers allows shy students to stay anonymous and yet give their true opinions.

Watch Video of Author, Wendy Mass


Fun Discussion

Pass out a variety of candy to the students before this part. Have fun!

1. What's your favorite candy?

2. Would you like to be in the contest? Why/not?

3. If you have the opportunity, what candy would you invent?

4. Which character did you identify with the most? How are they like you/not like you? 

Genre: Mystery

1. What mystery books have you read?

2. Discuss elements of mystery stories. Does this book fit the genre? Why/not?

3. What is the "big mystery" in this book?

4. What are the small mysteries?

5. What clues are given to us throughout the book that developed each character's mystery?

Other Discussion

1. How were the characters connected (we made a chart).

2. Mike loves to talk about the afterlife. What does he say? What parts are true? What parts aren't? Does he just make up whatever he wants to believe? Do other people do that? How?

3. Does the end justify the means? Can you use immoral methods to do something as long as the outcome is good. (Robin Hood)

Quotes to Discuss

1. "You never know what you'll learn when you open [a book]. And if it's a story, you sort of fall into it. Then you live there for a while, instead of, you know, living here." 

2. "She had been taught not to question the motives of the client. After all, every story had two sides. Who was she to decide right from wrong?" Are we to decide right from wrong? How do we do this?

3. "Philip's dad always said people didn't change, they just got taller."

4. "I sometimes forget my real story." Discuss truth and lies and how this can happen.

5. "Some people have scars on the inside and other people's are on the outside."

6. "If nothing ever changed, there'd be no such things as butterflies." Discuss the symbolic significance of the butterfly throughout the story.

Bibliovores Book Discussion Class (Homeschool Cooperative)

Bibliovores Co-op Class (for Kids who Devour Books)

Bibliovores Book Discussion Class (Homeschool Cooperative)

My co-op class responsibility last fall was Bibliovores; a book discussion class for kids who devour books. This was a class I had been wanting to lead for a few years, so I was crazy-excited when the time came.

I am going to share my discussion notes with you over a series of posts because it's simply too much to jam into one post. I don't know if I will add the notes for every book because, honestly, I don't know if I still have them. Miss Organized I am not, but you already know that tidbit.

The students were responsible for reading one book each week. You could certainly slow the pace for non-bibliovores if you had a once/month book club in your home. 

The syllabus (pictured below) includes a class description, target age, course outline, and supplies.

Bibliovores Homeschool Co-op Class Syllabus

The first discussion guide should post next week. I will link the book titles below as I finish the posts.

Week 1: The Candymakers

Week 2: The Castle Corona

Week 3: Paddington at Large

Week 4: Hitty: Her First Hundred Years

Week 5: Summer of the Monkeys

Week 7: The Bronze Bow

Week 8: The One and Only Ivan

Week 9: If the World Were a Village

Week 10: Hailstones and Halibut Bones

Week 11: George Mueller 

Happy Reading!