This month at my tween book club we discussed We Are Not Eaten by Yaks which is a fun middle grade tale of twins Oliver and Celia Navel written by C Alexander London. Their parents are famous explorers but all the twins want to do is sit at home and watch hours and hours of mindless TV. The best part about the book is the witty dialogue that any kid with a sense of humor will get! Here’s an example of my fave:
Maybe Dr. Navel was tired from all the travel? Another suggested. What’s that called? Jet Lag?
It’s not jet lag, the leader said.
It could be jet lag. You don’t know.
Did you poison his stew?
You weren’t supposed to poison his stew.
I couldn’t remember whose stew to poison so I poisoned all the stews.
That wasn’t the plan at all! The witch walked over to Dr. Navel and lifted his hand up, then dropped it again. You put enough poison in his stew to bring down a bear, she said.
Why would I want to poison a bear?
You wouldn’t want to poison a bear.
Then why did you say that?
Just to make my point.
I’ve already forgotten your point.
You get everything wrong. You cant even cook properly!
My cooking is delicious!
Isn’t that back and forth hysterical? I love that the author appreciates that kids want to laugh but yet don’t need to be hit in the head with overly corny jokes. I laughed out loud at that part.
At our book club, I try to plan some fun things so the club seems more like fun and less like school. I try to have an activity for them to do while we’re waiting for everyone to show up. Then the smoothies arrive! Yay! I forgot to mention the best part: the very generous and lovely author sent us book marks AND signed book plates, woot!!
Yesterday we had a Twitter party. I was surprised at how many of them knew what Twitter was! I printed a quote onto poster board. In fact, it was the quote above. Then I wrote a comment about what I liked about the book. Their job was to write down something they liked about the book: a quote, a character, WHATEVER. AND they could comment on someone else’s comment while they were there. Armed with colored sharpies, they copied text from the book, commented, and were eager to discuss the book, just like at a Twitter party!
To be sure, Yaks is a long book. It’s quite longer than Lemonade War and I was concerned that the kids might lose interest because it was too long or too difficult. They handled the book BRILLIANTLY!
To wrap up I gave the kids a scavenger hunt. They had to find a book title (preferably in the kids’ section) of a biography, a picture book, a book made into a movie, etc. It was great fun to see them run around the bookstore so excitedly!
I can’t wait for next month’s book, The Lightning Thief!
Have you read We Are Not Eaten by Yaks? What did you think of it? Have you read anything by C Alexander London? p.s. I’ll be reading his YA book soon. stay tuned!