A Walk Down Memory Lane.

A week ago we met to discuss Peter Pan, our children’s literature choice for the year. And as we took our minds on a merry trip down memory lane, we took ourselves back to our summer meeting place: Paradise 🙂

See! summer = blended coffee beverages. yum!


Our discussion flowed through topics like: what do we really think of Peter? What might the book have to say about a parent’s role in growing imaginative children? Would you want a dog for a nanny? as well as various comparisons between the book and film adaptations.


One of our favorite aspects of the book was ridiculousness that was peppered amongst the pirate fights and pert pixies.
Do you know what else is favorite? 1/2 price cookies before closing time!

Join us for our next meeting! We’re giving you 2 months to tackle this puppy: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s a big-un. So, we’re giving you TWO months to read it. So, no excuses? I don’t remember where we’re meeting or when. So just start reading the book, and we’ll fill you in on that later. 🙂

The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up

Wish I could give you some fairy dust this week! …But since I’m not Tinker Bell here are some “lovely thoughts” to get you thinking before book club on Thursday…

“You just think lovely wonderful thoughts, and they lift you up in the air.”

The magic of dreams are never ending! Do you remember your dreams when you wake? What does your Neverland look like?

A dog for a nanny, a mom cleaning and straightening children’s brains… what was your favorite unrealistic part or scene of this story?

The loss of childhood is inevitable, what do you miss most from your youth? When did you loose your ability to fly? Aka: At what point in your life did you start considering yourself an adult? …if you are, in fact, a grown-up 🙂

Assuming you’ve seen the Disney version of Peter Pan, what are your thoughts on the differences? and similarities?

If you are a mother, how do you encourage your children to dream? Also, Mommies of preschoolers this is an excellent resource to accompany the book from Homeschool Creations: Peter Pan Preschool Pack

Peter Pan discussion:
this Thursday May 12th
@ 7:00pm
Paradise Bakery & Cafe

Laughing in the Face of Tragedy: J. M. Barrie

“The combination of laughter and tears, or the effort to make his audience laugh in the face of tragedy, distinguishes all of J. M. Barrie’s writing We encounter the most flawless example of this mixture of humor and heartbreak in Peter Pan—the story of a never-aging boy who takes other children on fantastic adventures and is eventually abandoned by them.” —Amy Billone

James Matthew Barrie was born on May 9, 1860 and was no stranger to tragedy throughout his life. When Barrie was six years old, his older brother David died in a skating accident, an accident that haunted Barrie for the rest of his life, and his mother never fully recovered from the trauma. Barrie had a love for the theater, and was a prolific writer of plays. Two years after his first commercial theatrical success in 1892, he married Mary Ansell, an actress who had performed a leading role in the play. Later he went on to publish novels and a memoir about his mother.

Barrie became good friends with George and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and their sons George and Jack in 1897, and his playacting with the boys was the principal source of material for his play Peter Pan, which also developed as a novel, Peter and Wendy that is now known as Peter Pan.

Barrie and his wife divorced in 1909, but in 1910, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies died, and because her husband had died in 1907, Barrie adopted all five of their sons. But in the midst of this joy, pain was still to come. George, the oldest boy was killed in World War I. Several years later, the fourth of the Llewelyn Davies boys drowned while swimming in a millpond with a friend. Barrie never recovered from the death, and his writing pretty much ceased after this. Barrie’s last play, which reflected aspects of his life, including the death of his brother was not successful. He died in 1937.

Despite all of this tragedy, J. M. Barrie has created one of the most beloved pieces of children’s literature of all time, filled with fantasy, delight and humor. But as the quote above mentions, it is tinged with some sadness. Nonetheless, I look forward to our journey to Neverland this month with Wendy, John, Michael, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell as we meet Tiger Lily, the Lost Boys and pirates and battle the evil Captain Hook. Let’s all be kids for a while and enjoy this time to “fly”.

See you at Paradise Bakery and Cafe on May 12 at 7 as we discuss Peter Pan!

You Can Fly!

Happy thoughts of this month’s book are lifting me off my feet and into my dreams. Full of whimsy and witty banter, this story is a joy to read as an adult. Peter Pan was a huge hit on the stage before it was transformed into a novel. Children enjoy the story, but the only ones who can truly appreciate the magic of Barrie’s writing are adults willing to tap into their inner child.

What is your childhood fantasy? What would happen if your fantasy came to life? How can you live in the fantasy as an adult? Let Barrie’s story take you on your own magical journey. You already know the way: “Second star on the right and straight on till morning!”

Join us May 12th @ 7pm at Paradise Bakery, Hamilton Town Center. Peter Pan is our young reader for the year. Follow the links to buy it online at Borders (the version I selected has footnotes for some of the British terms). It’s in the public domain so you can find free downloads and audio books online (only in the US) which means e-reader versions should be extremely low-priced.

*disclaimer!!! In my version, Tinker-Bell says a naughty word a few times, and the British language can be tricky to understand here and there. I recommend selecting a children or teen version for reading to your children.

Reading FOR and WITH a Purpose

Recap of our April meeting:
Three Cups of Tea

Where to even begin?

How do I put an experience into words? How do I give it the proper credits their due.

If you would have asked me 5 or 10 years ago I never ever would have guessed I would start a book club. I never could have imagined how much I would enjoy reading good books and discussing them with friends… over TEA!

I would have called you crazy.

Although my cool Aunt Lois always drank tea… I didn’t think that the transparent-watery drink was for me. (Now I’ve learned the joy of a splash of raw milk and honey! My tea is not transparent! And tea is not like water.)

Saturday was a perfect clash of so many favorites coming together!

Our discussion of Three Cups of Tea lasted longer than normal but we didn’t notice. Each with our own pot of tea, we were set to enjoy the cloudy day sitting in the cafe. (Mine was a marvelous pot of carmel almond black tea- sweetened and with milk, of course!)

Three Cups of Tea

An amazing feat done by the inspiration of one man.

A wrong turn. A new road for his life.

New schools where there were none.

Hope for the coming generations.

A creative solution for a major issue.

Teaching peace through simple education.

Our discussion questions were a little like essay questions, BUT they provided excellent launching points for our discussion.

One question spurred on part of our conversation…

Greg believes education is the key solution to some very complicated problems. What other problems do you think are in need of some creative solutions?

We agreed most problems, especially the big and complicated ones, should be solved creatively, not by just throwing money at them. The small, tedious steps Greg needed to take to build each school… like how he had to build a bridge to even get to the building site of his first school. Those small, very necessary, steps will probably help really solve problems not just patch them.

We also discussed the following two big problems and the inspired people coming up with creative solutions.

Education in America. If you’re not familiar with Ted Talks you should surf on over there and take a gander. One of many with inspired ideas, Salman Khan is using video to “reinvent education.” You may think that sounds like the opposite direction we need to go. Kids need a human to teach them, talk to them, answer specific questions, right? Well, before you make any judgments see if these short 20 minutes don’t change your mind.

Food. Specifically processed food… I believe another complicated problem in America. We talked about Jamie Oliver and his show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. His current season is focused on promoting healthy eating habits in public schools. Referring to last month’s book, I think food in America is near a tipping point. (Do you agree??) Oliver is teaching about REAL food… you know, the kind that grows in the ground and on trees… people are re-learning how to cook and bake. With actual food.

I’ll stop there before I get higher on my food soap box 🙂 and get back to our book.

We enjoyed reading a different perspective from the middle east. He shared about where he was on 9/11. And what that meant for an American in the Middle East at that time. We enjoyed the details. I really got a good mental picture of the many locations he traveled and the sparse life he lived while trying to collect enough money for schools and airfare. Personally, I would have loved to hear more from his wife’s point of view… but maybe that will be a book in itself some day.

And we discussed much more.

I know many were busy this month, but I wish you could have made it! I encourage you to come next month, May 12th.

Rachel won the door prize… a copy of next month’s secret reveal book…

Peter Pan by J. M Barrie

I’m sure you’re familiar with the Disney version of this classic, but have you ever read the original? (Be sure you’re copy isn’t an abridged version… you’ll be missing out! It’s a quick read, you don’t need to get the short version anyway!)

A little fairy dust never hurt anyone. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book. And I know this children’s book will prove good conversation for our adult book club.

See you in a few weeks!