Monday, December 30, 2013

BigTime Literacy Book Club

I can't believe BigTime Literacy is six months old already, and I'm so impressed with how far it's come! I would have never thought that I'd have followers - me? I'm just a Literacy Coach in Chicago....but I do! I thought it would be cool to start a monthly book club where other bloggers could link up and share great reads with all the readers here at BigTime Literacy. So I introduce:

For the first few months, please share any book you've been reading - a picture book you read with your kiddos over the holiday, a young adult novel, a book on professional development...anything that you've been reading. Perhaps in the future we'll figure out a title we can all read, but for the first few months, let's just share whatever we've been reading.

I just finished Divergent (Veronica Roth) on the plane home from Florida last night:

I had a few friends who read this, and said they liked it even more than Hunger Games. When I went to see Catching Fire, I saw a preview for the movie which is due out in March. You'll see the preview below!

I love this book for tons of reasons:

  • First, it's the first book I couldn't put down in ages. You know, the ones where each chapter leaves you hanging, so you can't stop reading?
  • It's set in a future Chicago. References to Navy Pier, Millennium Park, the Hancock Building, the Willis Tower and the El populate the entire story, that is set all over the city. Unfortunately, Lake Michigan is mostly dried up and just a marsh, but it's awesome that it takes place right here!
  • There is a little big of a love story within the pages, so that will keep your girls interested!
  • There's tons of action as well, so boys will be engaged with this text. There's a suicide, a few murders, and chases with guns and knives. (Wow, this sounds violent...but whatever. Look at Hunger Games!) Definitely engaging for middle school boys!
  • One of the author's favorite books, as I had guessed based on this Utopian Society she's created, is The Giver. The Giver is my All. Time. Favorite. Read. I've read it with dozens of classes of kids and also on my own - so as I read Divergent and it's futuristic society that tries to solve all of the world's problems as it creates it "factions," it made me remember all the great experiences I had with all my former students reading The Giver.
  • This society forms themselves into "factions" which are the five groups within the society. The names of the factions are awesome - the way Roth uses unfamiliar words to force the reader to observe what happens within each faction to figure them The factions are:

What qualities do you think the people of each faction possess based on these characteristics? Teaching wise, I could totally see a small group of kids reading this - and using Close Reading strategies around the names of the factions. They could record all kinds of notes about each of the factions to draw conclusions about each of them. Not only that, but they would get to read a really great book.

I got a gift card to Barnes and Noble from my bff's parents (thanks, Gary and Janie!) but I'm totally going to get the next two on my iPad as soon as I finish this blog.

Let me just end by showing you the preview to the movie. Once you see it, I'm sure you're going to want to run out and grab the book to read it before March!

If you've read the book, let me know your thoughts! Better than Hunger Games? Did you read The Giver, too? Are you reading the whole series?

Now it's your turn! Please share a book you've read with us! (The link-up is at the bottom of this page.) Also, mark your calendars for January 30th - I'll be posting the next book club on that date - share any book you'd like!

I'm of to download the rest of the series!

Enjoy your New Year!


  1. Oh my gosh…I just finished Divergent last night. I read it in just a few days. It was so good. I think anyone who read The Giver and the Hunger Games (and enjoyed them) will certainly love this book. I'm so excited for the movie! I'm reading Insurgent too. :)

    Read With Me ABC

  2. I've followed the series since it came out, so I was so happy for Allegiant when it came out. Just a heads up, many have been outraged by the ending!! If you get mad over big plot twists, you may want to save yourself the heartache. I still gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, but definitely not as good as HG or The Giver for me. Still, I think Divergent would be a good read aloud with my middle school students . . . there's a test you can take online to see what fraction you'd be in, and I thought that'd be a good way to build interest with the kids. So many activities you could do with it! I just finished reading Legend with one of my classes and then read the rest of the trilogy on my own over break, and that series is easily in my top 10 of all-time favorite. You should check it out :-)

    1. Hey there! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, that quiz is in the back of the hard copy book I have of Divergent. There's actually quite a few extras - like how the author goes about writing, how she chose the words to name the factions - it was pretty interesting to see that in addition to the book!
      Hope you're having a great 2014 so far!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...