Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo is yet another series that the kids seemed to really love – one of the boys reading all 7 books over the Christmas holidays before our meeting! It is about a boy who finds out he has magical abilities and is sent off to a boarding school with other Endowed children to learn how to develop and control their gifts (sound like another English boy with magical powers?) Because all of our members had read or at least been exposed to the Harry Potter series, our meeting had some good discussion about the similarities and differences between the two books and authors (both women by the way, although Jenny Nimmo was allowed to state that fact openly in her books). All our book club members thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I think it is an especially good series for a younger reader that might be spooked by some of the more darker imagery and concepts in the Harry Potter series.
After discussing the main characters, we went through some discussion questions from Scholastic and an online quiz from quibblo that I cut and pasted into a document for them (Book Club – Charlie Bone). You’ll find that the Scholastic website (http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/home.jsp) has lots of great and free resources from discussion questions, book recommendations, and activities. For some reason, kids really do love to be tested by a quiz or a crossword to see if they remember the tiniest detail about a book!
One of the most interesting parts of the discussion was around Charlie’s best friend, Benjamin, who has pretty non-existent parents and has to take care of himself and his dog on his own at the age of ten. The kids didn’t have to think long about whether they would want that kind of freedom if it meant that they had to do their own laundry and make all their own meals, including their own birthday cake!