Book Club: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

A book club is a great way to share books and ideas as well as just get out and relax for an evening. Here are some ideas on how to host a book club meeting for “The Peach Keeper” by Sarah Addison Allen.

In order to have a great party you must have great atmosphere, drinks, food, and discussion. I’ve included everything you need such as an exceprt, discussion questions, recipes and more!


“Happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.”

Book Review

Willa Jackson is a woman in her thirties living a quiet life in her southern hometown. She tries to live the “right” kind of life that she believes are the desires of her father and grandmother after she seemingly disappoints them by getting caught as her high schools secret prankster.

Paxton Osgood also strives to live up to the desires of her prominent family. She makes lists to try to maintain control. She is now working hard to restore a once beautiful mansion which was previously owned by Willa’s family but lost in the 1930s.

They meet by chance but they are bound together by the past and a powerful secret.. As their friendship deepens, these buried secrets start pushing to the surface, demanding to be told. In these revelations comes understanding, acceptance, and a new idea of what life, friendship, and love is all about.

The book is as quaint, charming, and full of secrets as the Southern town it takes place in. It is an easy read but has the power to deeply affect it’s reader as it makes us look at the strength of women, friendships, and love. It is a typical “chick-lit” book but don’t let that put you off, there is such beautiful prose as well as some very profound observations and lessons about human nature.

Here are more links to help you decide if “The Peach Keeper” is right for your book club:

Read an exerpt

Here is a little taste of “The Peach Keeper”

“The Peach Keeper” Quotes

Here are some great quotes from “The Peach Keeper!”

“That, they knew, was true friendship. And they knew, if you’re lucky enough to find it, you hold on to it.”

Book Club Discussion

For our book club we all bring our own questions. Here are a few we came up with:1. What do you think the definition of the peach keeper is and who do you believe most filled that definition?2. Each character in the book evolved and changed since high school. How do you feel you’ve changed and grown from your highschool years. Are you happier with who you are now or who you were back then? Do you think you were more true towhoyoureally were back then or now?3. Which of the characters were you most like in high school? Which are you most like now?4. How do you take your coffee? What do you think that says about you?5. One of the themes in this book is how our roots affect us. How do your roots affect you? Do you think your roots held you back orpropelled you forward? Have you stayed close to your roots or have you moved away from them?
“But one thing she did believe in was love. She believed that you could smell it, that you could taste it, that it could change the entire course of your life.”

Recipes:

Appetizer
Peach Brie Cups
Amazing peach recipes with beautiful pictures
Here is a link to Rachel’s coffee snacks so you can make desserts that are straight from the book!

Book Review: My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian

Twelve year old Derek is only wants to get through the school year so he can hang out for the summer.  He struggles behaviorally and academically, especially when it comes to reading.  He finds himself in the middle of a mystery involving and girl who drowned years ago and makes an unlikely new friend.  His whole goal of the summer is to avoid learning at all costs but he ends up learning more about himself than he ever could have expected.

This is a great book for reluctant readers because it is an easy read and hilariously written.  Most children will be able to relate to this boy’s feelings about school, books, his parents, and his teachers.  There are several tricks he learns to make reading easier and those tips would benefit any child who dislikes books.  I would even recommend this book for parents of unwilling readers because it really gives insight into a child’s mind, especially when we use typical parent phrases to get kids to behave.  I found myself looking at my own parenting through the eyes of a child and found myself annoyed at the parents for saying and doing things that I do myself!

Have you or your child read this book?  What did you think?

 

Book Review: Stolen Children by Peg Kehret

Amy, a 14 year old girl, is asked to be a nanny for a day to a wealthy family with a sweet 3 year old daughter.   What starts off as a dream job turns into a nightmare as she and her babysitting charge are kidnapped.  The kidnappers videotape the girls and send the DVD’s to the girls’ parents to torment them before they ask for ransom.
Amy remembers the lessons from her father that she can always make any situation better and that she should never give up.  She decides to leave clues in the videos to help her family and the police find her.  She manages to outsmart her kidnappers and get away in spite of the odds being stacked against her. 
One important parallel in this book is the difference in the choices people make.  Amy and her kidnapper both lost their father at 10 years old.  The kidnapper uses this as an excuse to be a criminal while Amy chooses to honor his memory by living the lessons he taught her.  She strives every day to make him proud.  Amy ends up a hero and the kidnapper ends up in prison.
The message in this book is that your choices are what influence the outcome of your life, circumstances do not control you.  I think this is an important concept for everyone, children and adults alike.  Once you realize you have control of your own life nothing can stop you from realizing your dreams.  It’s so important for every child to be empowered to determine their life’s direction.
I would highly recommend this book although it may be scary for some children and there is mention of a gun.  It is recommended for children in grades 5 to 8 but I thought it was a fairly easy read.  I think the content is what makes it more appropriate for older children, not how challenging the writing is.

Children’s Book Review: The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff

Children's Book Review: The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff

“The Thing about Georgie” By Lisa Graff is a book about a fourth grade boy who struggles with being different. He is a dwarf and at 42 inches is about as tall as he will ever get. He deals with fights with his best friend, jealousy, a class bully, a crush on a pretty girl, and his parents having a new baby.

The book evolves along with Georgie’s understanding of the world and the people in it. It starts out telling us the things Georgie can’t do because he is a dwarf. Each person is labeled based on their surface looks or personality. Then we begin to learn the things Georgie can do that others can do. This is when Georgie begins to realize that we are all the same in many ways which joins us as human beings. In the end we find out what Georgie can do that most people can’t. This is the final stage when Georgie realizes that although we are the same in many ways our differences are what make us special and unique. Each and every one of us is exceptional.

I would highly recommend this book. It was an easy read and I found myself tearing up at the end. Kid-friendly information about dwarfism is provided. Information and understanding on a particular subject promotes acceptance and understanding. Since my son has a child in his class with dwarfism I felt this was a book that could educate kids without preaching to them. It contains important lessons for children about acceptance and not judging other by their cover. This is a great message for children.