Reading Space Book Club for Middle Grade Students
This summer, Flyleaf invites rising fifth to eighth graders to join us for series of discussions about Lauren Baratz-Logsted's historical fiction novel I Love You, Michael Collins. Discussions will be led by Tina CoyneSmith, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and MA in literature. This July 20th marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, so this summer is the perfect time to read books about space!
We will approach the book in four sessions with various themes. Kids are welcome to join for all sessions, or for individual ones.
Ideally, participating kids will have finished the book by the first meeting. Of course, they can finish reading or re-reading throughout the book club as well! As they read, kids should pay attention to descriptions of the moon landing, as well as themes of friendship, solitude, and the roles of women and men.
Below are the themes for discussion at each meeting this summer. Please RSVP here!
July 19, 4 pm: Apollo 11 and Michael Collins
July 26, 4 pm: Friendship
August 9, 4 pm: Solitude
August 16, 4 pm: Roles of Women and Men
About I Love You, Michael Collins:
It's 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie's class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong ("So cute!") and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin ("So cool!"). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else's dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what's going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her — until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can't help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore? With I Love You, Michael Collins, Lauren Baratz-Logsted has created a heartwarming story about family and being true to yourself.
For those interested in the Apollo missions, a terrific supplemental nonfiction book is Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut’s Story by Michael Collins. We will reference this book to inform us about Michael Collins and Apollo 11, but our discussions will focus on the novel.
We're happy to offer a 10% discount on both books if you mention the book club during checkout!