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An update from our twenty-eighth Book Club meeting!

On June 26, the Stone Soup Book Club met for its last meeting in this session. We discussed The Jumbies, by Tracey Baptiste, a book about Caribbean folklore and a girl named Corinne who must save her home from the evil jumbies.

After our usual ARTT rooms, where our participants were given the prompt of talking about what books they planned to read over the summer, we had a whole group discussion about The Jumbies. Our conversation ranged from our favorite characters, to the complexities and nuances of the book’s villain, Severine, to the setting described by the author, and to themes within the story: such as family and bravery.

Next, we brainstormed to think about what other fairy tales we know—and what cultures they are from. We compared various myths/stories, including those from Europe and China, and analyzed their similarities, differences, and how they connected to The Jumbies. Overall, we decided that most fairy tales have some sort of lesson—about wit, bravery, moderation, or family, for example— and many of them include supernatural or nonhuman elements; but they also vary in some ways. Some stories are about princesses and princes, while others are just about regular people. In some stories, the main character needs saving, and in others, it is the protagonist who is doing the saving.

With all of this in mind, we set out to write our own fairy tales—about ourselves. Our participants were given the prompt of writing about something that happens to them in the summer, but with a fairytale twist of their choice. We shared out our stories and ideas in breakout rooms; they ranged from ones about mysterious forests, to characters who read a fairy tale—and then get sucked into it. It was really fun to hear what everyone thought of!

Our final activity was more relaxed. Everyone went into breakout rooms for a few minutes just to talk about what books they liked, and then we switched the rooms around a few times. By the end, most people were able to find someone who liked the same book as them!

Because Book Club will not be running over the summer, we did not choose a new book; a new book will be decided on in the fall. Stay tuned for information about our fall classes of Workshops and Book Club over the summer!


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