Nim's Island

A site for readers of the book Nim's Island, by Wendy Orr

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sunshine Fairy Readers

Kay Byrnes sent me this report from the Lancaster Journal, (Pennsylvania)about her daughter's book club. Congratulations to all the girls!

Book group, junior-grade
Sunday News
Published: Feb 23, 2008
23:50 EST

By JO-ANN GREENE, Books Editor

Sunshine Fairy Readers Miranda Stoltzfus, Anna Byrnes, Hope Abrom, Emma Metzger, Quinn Evans, Gabriell...(more)
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Reports of the demise of reading among the younger generation appear to be greatly exaggerated. Just ask the dozen girls, ages 8-12, who make up Sunshine Fairy Readers.

The book group has been meeting monthly since July to share favorite titles as well as sip tea, craft items such as bookmarks, and lavish affection on the hostess' pet rabbit, Copper.

Anna Byrnes, a 9-year-old who learned to read at age 41-w, said she started the book group at her East Hempfield Township home as a way to see more of her friends over the summer and to share with them a book she was writing, "Rose and Her Wild Adventures."

Soon she and her friends were talking about other books, too.

As Anna's mother, Kay Byrnes, reported, "They enjoy talking about their choices of books and, as a result, get each other 'hooked' to read the book too. No spoilers here. They are adamant about not telling the endings or too many details."

One month, all were asked to read "Nim's Island" by Wendy Orr or "Gooseberry Park" by Cynthia Rylant so they could discuss them, added Mrs. Byrnes, who has never been a member of a book group herself.

The meetings always feature a new jelly bean flavor of the month and finger sandwiches, spread with marshmallow and chocolate and cut in the shape of hearts and flowers. When Anna read about foods that "perfumed your mouth" in "Mara, Daughter of the Nile," by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, her mother prepared Egyptian rice balls for the group.

One meeting was held at The Pottery Works, where the girls made their own tea cups and saucers. April will probably find them at the movie theater, since "Nim's Island" hits the big screen then, the Byrneses noted.

Some books the girls recommend include: "Poppy," by Avi; "Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist," by Liz Kessler; "Sign of the Beaver," by Elizabeth George Speare; and "The Penderwicks," by Jeanne Birdswell.
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Jo-Ann Greene is editor of the Books section. Her email address is



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