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Tween Tuesday: Feedback from Chat & Chew Bookclubs Part 2

In Missouri, we have a state book award for fourth-sixth grade called the Mark Twain Award. This year my library has partnered with seven area elementary schools for a program we call Chat & Chew. Each month we meet with a group of fourth & fifth graders to talk about a selected book from the Mark Twain list (chat) while the kids eat lunch (chew). It's been a lot of fun and the kids have had lots of great feedback about the books we've read so far. I posted about the first half of the year in January and here's our second half round up:

Hide and Seek
Half Upon a Time

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
-"It started off with a lot of action and it made me want to keep reading."
-"It has something for everyone-adventure, action, animals, magic."
-"It was the best book-it's going to win!" (I thought so too, but our winner ended up being Out of My Mind)
-"I was surprised by the ending." (everyone agreed it was a great surprise ending!)

Gilbert and Aldwyn were the most popular characters
Undecided on Skyler-lots of mystery surrounding her character!!

Everyone wanted a familiar and the animals they would like ranged from dogs, snails, and birds to horses and unicorns. The most popular ability for a familiar to have would be telekinesis or flying. Mostly they wanted telekinesis so they could move objects and hit people with the flying objects and surprise them-this was a common theme throughout all the groups! Ahh..tweens. :)

Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve

-"This one had some mystery to it."
-"I liked the farm-I wanted to visit."
-"I was afraid of what would happen in the end-it kept me reading."

The groups seemed a bit mixed on this one. They liked the magical farm setting and thought it had suspense with Polly's powers and her brother. But there were some tweens that thought this one was a bit slow. 

Hide & Seek by Katy Grant

-"I liked the geocaching."
-"It was a god mystery."
-"The Dad might not have always been bad, but he made bad choices."
-"It made me think about what I would do."

The groups really liked this one. It was a mystery which they all enjoyed. We had a great discussion about the characters, if Chase should have told about what he discovered, and if the characters were all good or bad or maybe a bit of both. It was really cool to hear their insight about what Chase should do, what they would do in a similar situation (finding missing kids), and when and how to get adults involved. 

Half Upon a Time by James Riley

-"The best book ever!!!"
-"My favorite book-I've already read the sequel!"
-"I loved this one the most-I want to change my vote because I read Half Upon a Time and now it's my favorite!"
-"I liked the fairy tales."
-"The fairy tale mix was really fun to read."
-"The fairy tales were the best part-you never knew what was going to happen."
-"It should be a movie!"

This was by far the most popular book we read in Chat & Chew. After hearing all the groups rave about this book, I was surprised that this one didn't end up winning. Both guys and girls liked this one and I think it was the most agreement we had from all the groups about everyone liking a title. They loved the fairy tale mashup, the twists in the plot, and the adventure throughout. Not one student said they didn't like this one. Many of them had already gone on to read the sequel and we had a long waiting list for book three at the library!


  1. So much fun to see what your familiars your kids wanted and especially the super power.

  2. So nice to hear the feedback from your readers. Looks like I need to read Half Upon a Time, with such strong recommendations it looks like a winner.

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