Saturday, September 22, 2007
The 8th grade book club is meeting to discuss Whirligig by Paul Fleischman next week. I initially read the book a couple of years ago. I just finished reading it again. I knew I enjoyed the book, but I found it such a pleasure this time around! I love that the whirligigs take on a life of their own and connect people in ways that they don't/won't ever realize. There was one quote that really struck me as I read, "We never know all the consequences of our acts. They reach into places we can't see. And into the future, where no one can." (38) The book explores the extended consequences of actions in several ways and left me thinking about that idea even after the last page was read.
Here's the little blurb I wrote on my LibraryThing page:
Brent Bishop has moved around a lot, so he knows "the rules" of trying to fit in at different high schools. A lot of these things have to do with status and appearance: the right clothes, cars, girlfriends. Those things matter to Brent. After getting humiliated at a party, he decides to end his life. The car crash doesn't kill him but instead it kills Lea, an 18-year-old with a bright future. Her mother gives Brent the task of building whirligigs in Lea's honor at the four corners of the United States. The story is interwoven with vignettes of how the whirligigs touch the lives of people who come across them. The story is beautifully written and the structure of the story reinforces the themes of interconnectedness, loss, and healing. Brent is a person transformed by his experience.
I'll keep you posted about our discussion. I am hoping it'll be a good one. There are a lot of interesting talking points and themes in the book! Any Highland 8th graders who have read the book are welcome to come to the meeting.