Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Favorite Reading Group Book

I'm linking up with Ideas by Jivey for Workshop Wednesday!  This week's topic: favorite reading group book.

My favorite reading group book is Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt.  If you've never read it, it's the story of a girl named Winnie who stumbles upon a boy and a spring in her woods.  She is kidnapped by the boy, his brother and their mother who try to convince Winnie that the spring has the power to stop time for who ever drinks it.  The family tells her that they stopped aging eighty years ago when they drank the water and they need her to help them keep their secret.

I read this book for the first time when I was in sixth grade.  I remember loving the scene with Winnie sitting in the row boat with Angus Tuck as he tried to explain to her why he wishes he could get back on the wheel of life, even if it means his eventual death.
Everything's a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That's the way it's suppose to be. That's the way it is. If we didn't move it out ourself, it would stay here forever, trying to get loose, but stuck. That's what us Tucks are, Winnie.
I've shared this book with classes as a read aloud for many years, but this was the first year I decided to read it with a reading group.  For read aloud, it prompted great discussion and debate amongst the class about immortality and what we wanted Winnie to do.  I think I really preferred this book as a reading group book because I got to see how my students changed their opinions over time as they read.  When you hear 20 something opinions, it's very hard to keep individual opinions straight, but when you are reading with just 5 students, it's much easier to remember how each student feels and how their opinions change.
 Prereading homework
As a reading group book, it also gives students the space to mull over Winnie's feelings for Jesse.  For many of my students, especially those that read far below their grade level, it's the first time they've encountered a hint of romance in their books!

The book is so rich and so beautifully written that the movie version is just such a disappointment. I let my students watch it, although there is a little bit of kissing in it, but it's just not good movie!  It doesn't do the story justice and there are extra parts added in for no good reason.

Glencoe offers a great (and FREE!) study guide for the book.  Click here for the pdf.

What is your favorite reading group book? Be sure to link up with Ideas by Jivey to share!


  1. I also remember reading this book when I was young now that you have mentioned it! Thanks for reminding me. :) I'm Brandee, another fifth grade blogger. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

    1. I love sharing books from my childhood with my kiddos! :-)

  2. I really enjoyed reading this book. I tried to get my daughter to read it but she saw the movie and didn't want to read it. You are right, the movie does not do the book justice.

    1. The first chapter (about the cows creating the road around the wood) is tough for kids to get through. But it's SO much better than the movie!

  3. Tuck Everlasting is a really awesome book! I am hoping to still do it as a read aloud this year. Thanks for sharing.

    Your blog is adorable! I'm your newest follower (and also a 4th grade blogger:)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

    1. Thank you for following! I just checked out your blog as well :-)

  4. There's one line from Tuck Everlasting that I'll never forget..."the sun was like an egg sliding down a plate." I thought that was so vivid and I always think about it!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

    1. Her writing is just beautiful :)

  5. Don't come through the computer to get me... but I have never read this! *shame* I will DEFINITELY add this to my summer reading list! I know I should have read it by now, I just haven't. Can't wait! Thanks for linking up!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow ideas by jivey on Facebook!

  6. Thanks for sharing. That was one of the books in my middle school teaching program that we read as a good example for reading groups. Thanks for sharing with your newest follower (found you on the linky), Heather

  7. We read this as a read aloud earlier this year and the kids LOVED it! I also read it when I was in sixth grade :o) Good choice. I'm excited to be your newest follower! Check out my blog for my 200 follower giveaway!

    Teaching with a Touch of Twang

  8. I never actually read this roommate in college always talked about it as one of her favorites. I think I even own a copy of it. I guess I will have to read it! I am your newest follower!

    Rosie's Rambles

  9. I'm pretty sure that I have read this book but I can't remember it. :O( I need to add this to my growing list! Thanks for sharing it!

    Collaboration Cuties

  10. Hello, I found your blog through the linky. This book lends itself to some great discussions! I haven't read it with a small group in several years. Thanks for the reminder!

    Foreman Teaches

  11. I actually haven't read this book even though I've got it in my classroom library. You're not the first one to mention it either. Guess I'll put it on my to-read list! :) Erin
    I'm Lovin Lit