Our Family Dinner Book Club selection for the month of October is Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco.Here you’ll find a menu that can be prepared with the help of your children, and will hopefully be a fun and interactive activity for the whole family. Head over to Growing Book by Book for some talking points to get the conversation started. We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page. October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, so we actually have two books about dyslexic kids for Family Dinner Book Club. Come back here in a few days to check out my menu for Bookmarks Are People, Too!
Thank You, Mr. Falker is about a young girl who struggles with reading and math. She feels isolated, dumb, and is bullied at school. Thankfully, she gets a teacher, Mr. Falker, who takes the time to notice what is going on with Trisha and thinks of different and fun ways of helping her learn and grow. One of the biggest lessons I took from this book was that sometimes kids need to be taught in new ways in order to learn and absorb. Another was that kids don’t always know how to handle differences. Trisha is made fun of in this book and she spends her recess hiding in a closet so that she doesn’t have to be around the other kids. Take the time to talk to your kids about the beauty of the world, the people in it, and how our differences bring diversity and wonder to our lives. I don’t know the answer to ending bullying and helping kids accept everyone and be kind, but I think starting the conversation at home, and modeling acceptance and love will go a long way in our kids being able to extend that to others.
After reading this book what I really needed was some serious comfort food. I cried through the entire thing. From the wisdom young Trisha gained from her grandparents, to her feelings of insecurity and being bullied at school, to her wonderful teacher who took an interest. This book made me cry all sorts of tears. A big bowl of warm chili, topped with melty cheese, and some cornbread to accompany was just what I wanted. In keeping with the teacher theme, I thought something made with apples for dessert would be fitting. You can get in the kitchen with your kids and make these muffins, then package them up and hand them out to your favorite teachers as a little edible thank you gift for the hard work and dedication they pour into the lives of your children.
other toppings for chili:
Table craft ideas
Bumble Bee Craft to remind us to chase knowledge through the pages of a book.
Paper letters. Cut out everyone’s first initial from pretty paper and use them as place settings. Cut out more paper letters to scatter around the table. See if you can find all the letters in your name. Then see how many other words you can spell.
Make colorful and fun neckties to wear to dinner just like Mr. Falker wore in the book. Use paper or fabric to cut out butterflies and other colorful shapes to glue or sew onto your tie.
Buzz on over to Growing Book by Book for some conversation starters to help you discuss the book with your kids.