Over the past two weeks, the Stone Soup Book Club has been reading Paint the Wind by Pam Muñoz Ryan. The novel is about a girl, Maya, who has lived a very sheltered life with her grandmother after her parents’ death–that is, until she goes to live with her mother’s family in Wyoming, people who love horses and the great outdoors.
Both of our sessions started with a “social breakout room,” inspired by the ARTT room in one of our previous books, Harbor Me. Since we have very fascinating discussions in Book Club, we figured that it would be nice if we could get to know each other better. In these breakout rooms, participants are in groups of 2 or 3, and are welcome to just talk to each other for 5-7 minutes. Most everyone seems to enjoy these social breakout rooms.
Our first week of discussions included breakout rooms in which we talked about character and setting in Paint the Wind, both what we think about them and what role they play in the plot. We decided that the characters seemed to mirror the setting they were in, and that the settings provided a strong contrast between a sheltered life and an open life. Next, we talked a bit about the role of wild horses in the book. The horses play important roles, as they are something that connects Maya to the mother she never really knew. We also talked about how the horses, who live in the wild, relate to the fact that Maya wants to live a more open, less rigid, life.
In our second week of discussions, we first split into two breakout rooms to discuss the end of the book. There are several dramatic situations near the end of Paint the Wind, and we talked about how they caused Maya to grow as a character, as well whether we found those situations plausible. Furthermore, we brainstormed about themes for the book, which we shared out in our whole group. We came up with: family, freedom, and change. Next, we read sections of an interview with Pam Muñoz Ryan about Paint the Wind. It was fascinating to hear the author’s thought process. Finally, since the idea of change, and of expanding our horizons, is so important in Paint the Wind, we all thought about times when we had tried something new and expanded our horizons, and then shared out. It was cool to hear what everyone had to say!
We will begin discussing our next book (see below) on August 19.
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Stone Soup Book Club is open to all Stone Soup contributors and subscribers, age 9-13. We meet every Wednesday at 1 p.m. PST (4 p.m. EST) for one hour via Zoom to discuss our chosen book. Join us!