Are you as excited as I am? Judging by the awesome response I received when I announced the Family Book Club I’ll assume you are! If you don’t have your copy of the book yet, don’t worry. It won’t take you long to catch up.
We’re reading The Secret Garden, Classic Starts version. This is an affiliate link but as always, I recommend you try your local library first.
This week read chapters 1 -4. Remember the idea of this book club is to make it work for your family. If sitting down to read all 4 chapters at once is what will work for you… do that. If reading a few pages here and there through the week works best… do that. If you only get through 2 1/2 chapters… that is OK! You’ll have weeks in the near future that will give you more time to catch up.
Oh, how I wanted to kick off this family book club with an activity, but these first chapters lean much more towards discussion. Next week we’ll have fun with an activity or two I promise. At our house the kids are close in age (9 and 7) but I know that’s not true for a lot of you. I’ve included questions for younger kids and questions for older kids.
Use whichever questions you think will interest your kids and skip the ones you don’t want to ask. Let these questions be a guide, don’t be afraid to change them up or come up with your own questions. There are no right answers and the idea is to get your family talking.
Questions for Younger Kids
- Chapter 1 – Talk about what family is. What types of things does a Mother do? What types of things does a Father do? Who else is a part of your family? You can even talk about what things you are grateful for that your Mother and Father did for you when you were little.
- Chapter 2 – Mary is told that the Moor is filled with wild ponies and sheep. What other animals might be out there? If you were visiting the Moor what animals would you hope to find?
- Chapter 4 – The Robin makes Mary feel cheerful. What are some things that make you feel cheerful?
Questions for Older Kids
- Chapter 1 – In the first chapter we find out that Mary has no family to love and care for her. Take turns talking about how important your closest family members are to you, what things do they do for you that you are grateful for? Talk about little things (smiling at each other across the room) and big things (fixing your bike).
- Chapter 1 – In chapter 1 Cholera takes everyone Mary knows. Open a discussion about past disease. Research Cholera and talk about how today’s vaccines help prevent wide spread disease.
- Chapter 2 – Why do you think Mary’s uncle doesn’t care to see her? Do you think they will ever meet? (Ask more questions to expand on your kids answer. This is a great way to get them involved in the story and predict what will come next.)
- Chapter 3 – In the story Mary has people who take care of all her needs and chores. If you had someone to do that for you, which chore would you happily give up? (adults can have fun with this one. ;))
- Chapter 4 – In chapter 4, Mary wonders why Mr. Craven would lock the secret garden if he loved his wife so much. Can you think of a reason he might have done that? Can you imagine what’s inside. Describe it with as much detail as you can. Maybe even draw some pictures.
Question from the Book
One of the things I love about the Classic Starts series is the discussion question section that ends each book. This question came straight from the book and I think it’s brilliant!
- “At the beginning of the story, Mary always did whatever she wanted and had no friends. Why do you think she acted this way? What advice would you give her?”