The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Literature Workshop: Books, Books, and More Books

Writing Workshop

Books, Books, and More Books

We have talked about books, books, and more books in literature workshop. Our open mic period at the beginning of each workshop continued to introduce us all to new fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. Several members have sought out books they heard about in literature workshop, and a few members have asked me to type up a list of the books we have discussed. Here is the list compiled from the last four sessions:

Complete Front Pages of the New York Times

The Dark is Rising series, Susan Cooper

A Practical Guide to Fairies

Drama, Raina Telgemeier

“Crickets” by Valerie Worth and “It’s All I Have to Bring Today” by Emily Dickinson

East, Edith Pattou

How I Survived Middle School: Into the Woods, Nancy Krulik

Dumpling Days, Grace Lin

Flanimals, Ricky Gervais

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, James Patterson

Into the Spotlight, Erin Falligant

Physics: Why Matter Matters!, Simon Basher and Dan Green

Love From Your Friend, Hannah, Mindy Skolsky

Flower Fairies of the Winter, Cicely Barker

13 Gifts, Wendy Mass

Moongobble and Me: The Dragon of Doom, Bruce Coville

Meanwhile, Jason Shiga

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Prehistoric World, Douglas Palmer

The Golden Years of Broadcasting, Robert Campbell

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Betsy MacDonald

The Panda’s Thumb, Stephen Jay Gould

The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin

graphic of the federal budget provided by American Friends Service Committee


Antiques of the Future, Lisa Roberts

The Light of the Oracle, Victoria Hanley

Fractured Fairy Tales, A. J. Jacobs

Top Ten of Everything 2012, Caroline Ash

More Flanimals, Ricky Gervais

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

5,000 Awesome Facts, National Geographic Kids

Big Book of Why, Time for Kids

Lewis Carroll’s Games and Puzzles

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, Bruce Coville

11 Birthdays, Wendy Mass

Eragon, Christopher Paolini

Monsterology: The Complete Book of Beasts

Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll! Yumi Tsukirino

Brave Story, Yuki Miyabe

Ivy and Bean #4: Take Care of the Babysitter

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling (translated by Hermione Granger, with commentary by Albus Dumbledore)

Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S., Charise Mericle Harper

Squish, Jennifer and Matthew Holm


Small groups selected excerpts from favorite books to transform into reader’s theater scripts. They worked together to type up the scripts, practiced, and performed for each other, using Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland, and Trouble on the Titanic, a Magic Tree House book.

We completed our reading of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with a spirited discussion of the questions we still had about Captain Nemo, the parts we liked, and the parts we did not like. We thought overall that it is was a worthwhile book to read and especially recommend it to people who enjoy long descriptions of aquatic life.

Literature workshop culminated last week in a historical fiction fête. Participants had the option to dress in clothes of their book’s historical period and bring food that their characters might have eaten.  We ultimately broadened the category of books people could bring to include a biography, a fantasy, and a comic, and we had a great time hearing each other's book reviews (see list below).  We also enjoyed sampling fortune cookies, muffins from Wales, date cookies, red bean pastries from Japan, peanut butter cookies, lemon pie, bread with honey, shortbread cookies, and root beer. Reading history can be sweet.

Like the Willow Tree, Lois Lowry

Happy Birthday, Josefina! in the American Girls series

The Wicked and the Just, J. Anderson Coats

The Golden Bull, Marjorie Cowley

R My Name is Rachel, Patricia Reilly Giff

Shining Star: the Anna May Wong Story, Paula Yoo

Ancient Egypt: Choose Your Own Path, Heather Adamson

The Diviners, Libba Bray

The Whipping Boy, Sid Fleischman

Tintin in America, Hergé

The Royal Diaries: Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, Kathryn Lasky

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick

The Royal Diaries: Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Kathryn Lasky

[juicebox gallery_id="5"]