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Last term we read and discussed The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Our group all enjoyed the book and most of us had seen the film too. The book prompted much discussion especially about the characters and the choice of language features used by the author. Our opinions and ideas differed about significant characters and we learned more about the historical events occurring at that time.


How did you enjoy the book? Look at the questions below and answer some in this post.

  1. Are the characters in The Book Thief believable? Why, or why not?
  2. Do you like Markus Zusak’s writing style in this novel? Does it make you want to read his other books? Why or why not?
  3. What role do books play for Liesel, Hans, Max, and in the novel as a whole?
  4. Which character is most affected by the war, and how?
  5. What questions, if any, does the novel leave unanswered?


We have been thinking and talking about some ideas in order to get ready for holding student led bookclub groups; These include:

* What do good readers do?

* What makes a good fiction book? and

* Why do we talk about books?

reading photo

Students completed a ‘sticky note’ ideas sorting activity to give everyone a chance to share their thoughts.

This week in Book Club…

We are looking at the kinds of knowledge and skills we can work towards developing through participating in Book Club.

Students are re-writing the AUSVELS descriptors into more student friendly language so that they can use them to set their own learning goals, just like they do in maths!

This is the AUSVELS grid that we are going to re-write:

AUSVELS rubric

Glitter Words
[ – *Glitter Words*]

Book club is a teaching and learning strategy that gives students the opportunity to share their thinking about the books they are reading. Students meet in small groups and discuss their own books and listen to their peers talking about books.

There is a list of ‘Criteria for success’ for book club that looks like this:

  • Prepare notes to help you answer the question
  • Bring your book to book club
  • Listen to each other – one person talking at a time
  • Speak clearly so that everyone can hear
  • Stay focused and listen attentively
  • Respect what each person has to say
  • Ask questions to get clarification
  • Stick to the question
  • Use specific examples from your text
  • Refer to plot, setting and characters to answer your question
  • Talk about the key themes of your text
Each week, new prompts or questions are posted to help students think about books in different ways.
The links below are some online book clubs for kids that might be other forums for you to discuss your thoughts about books…
Glitter Words
[ – *Glitter Words*]
In selecting general questions for discussion at bookclub, one of the frameworks we can use is the Luke and Freebody model of the ‘Four Roles of the Competent Reader’.
Find below some websites that have information about these roles and become familiar with the reading strategies that good readers use.
The 4 Roles Of Reading Overview for students
Four roles of the reader pdf
For roles model


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