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Deconstructing Penguins?


Lostinabook
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I'm trying to decide if I should buy Deconstructing Penguins. I'd really really prefer to get it from the library, but, unfortunately, they don't have it. I do have Teaching the Classics, Well-Educated Mind & How to Read a Book so I'm wondering if Deconstructing Penguins will bring anything new to the table or if I should just spend a bit more time with the resources I already have.

 

TIA!

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Libby,

I have it, but I've only had a chance to skim it, but if you have any specific questions, let me know and I'll see if I can help. You can "look inside" the book on amazon. It's only $3 used there, by the way, it's hard to go wrong with $3 even if it's only a littel helpful.

 

--Dawn

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I just finished it and thought it was really great. For me, the advantage to it over the other books would be that it is more geared to discussing literature with kids. I don't know how old your kids are but I think it would add a lot of if you have little ones, not so much if your kids are older.

 

I am planning on purchasing it (I got it out of our library initially) to have as a resource.

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I was able to get it through a neighboring library system, and liked it so much that I bought a used copy for myself. I do have the other resources you mentioned including Teaching the Classics, but this book is oriented towards younger children. The way they explain things to the children and encourage their reading is wonderful.

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I want to buy this also. A friend told me of this website campusi.com where you can look a book up (used or new) by ISBN, author, title... etc.

This is what I found on Deconstructing Penguins:

 

http://www.campusi.com/prod.pl?cat=book&op=buy&lang=en-us&search_country=us&shipto=us&currency=usd&zip=&nw=y&class=&use_ajax=1&pqcs=yyh1k7xZ9HmHaAdozhTlyw&ean=9780812970289

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We have all the books you mentioned. Whereas How to Read a Book is a great book to teach you how to read a book more deeply, Deconstructing Penguins is a great book to teach you how to discuss books with your kids. Deconstructing Penguins discusses specific books in detail and sets forth details of the book discussions that the authors had with kids and parents. After reading DP I bought several of the books discussed so that we can follow the discussions at home on protagonist/antagonist, setting, message, etc. I need very detailed help in analyzing literature with my kids and this book has given me a gentle push in the right direction.

 

I highly recommend buying Deconstructing Penguins if your kids are about 12 or younger. DP designates the books discussed as 2nd to 5th grade books, although one of the books (Animal Farm) is better known as a book for higher grades.

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Well, for one...

 

I learned a lot from this book. I totally misunderstood what an antagonist did in the story line. Like the myth, I just thought this was the villian. I have read a LOT of books in my days, and this turned on a lot of lightbulbs for my own thought about books. I wouldn't have come to the same conclusions the book did without knowing how to really dissect from an author's perspective.

 

I am glad I own it, so I can use it as a reference for the first couple of times I try to do those steps with my own kids. Having someone to hold my hand will be beneficial to both me and my boys.

 

If you have done more literary studies than me, perhaps reading it once will be enough for you. For me, I didn't realize the scope of my ignorance until I read the book. Now I'm glad to have it as a reference.

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I got DP from the library but I am going to buy it. There was alot in it that I couldnt' fully digest in one read. It is a very readable book and it incites excitement over discussing books with your kids. I have all of the books/resources that you mentioned but DP seems to hit a different area of book discussion than the other books do.

 

 

Julia

mom of 3 (8,7,5)

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I planned on picking it up at B & N today, but they didn't have it in so I ordered it, had it shipped to my house & was able to use my Educator's Discount card. Woohoo!!!

 

Thank you again for all of the helpful comments. I love this board! :)

Oh, that is so smart! I wish I'd thought of that.

 

I too wanted to get it from the library, but mine doesn't have it either, so I ordered it from Rainbow Resources, since I was ordering some other stuff from them anyway. I have no idea how it compares to Teaching the Classics, which is something else I'd love to take a look at, but it's not in my budget right now.

 

I'm hoping Penguins will help me get my thoughts together regarding starting a parent/child book group in the fall with some other homeschoolers. I think my dd and I would both get a kick out of it, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

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