Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2014: The Meaning of Children- Bev Akerman

Meeting Details:
At Karen's House on Thursday, June 5th at 7:30; with discussion to begin as close to 8pm as we can manage.  :-)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did you enjoy the book/stories? Why or why not?
  2. Which story was your favorite?  What did you like best about it?
  3. Which story was your least favorite?  Why?
  4. Do you think these stories accurately depict relatonships today between parents and children?
  5. How do you think these stories are linked together?  
  6. Akerman gives us three sections: Beginning. Middle. End.  What does she say that parenting is like in each section.  Do you agree?
  7. Is Akerman able to answer the title of the book “the meaning of children” throughout these stories?
     8. "Tumbalalaika"

  • This story is written about the adult world from a child's perspective.  Do you think the author got the child's perspective right?
  • How does Karen see her parents?  their relationship?
  • "Sort of like a parent," Karen observes (pg 19).  In what ways is the stick like a parent?
  • What does the closing image of the plastered over wall mean to Karen?

    9.  "Pour Un Instant"

  • Marcy struggles with feeling like she is hurtling towards puberty, ready or not.  In what ways is her experience normative for her day and age?  In what way(s) is her experience unique?
  • Describe Marcy's relationship with Akiva.  What are they seeking/finding in each other?
  • Marcy is overwhelmed with emotion at the end of the story.  What causes this?  What emotions is she experiencing?
     10. "Pie"

  • The narrator compares boys and pie making... how does she say they are alike? How are they different?
  • Why does she refuse to make rhubarb pie?
  • Do you have a similar experience with food - that is, a food that you can no longer eat because of it's association with a life event?
     11.  Would you recommend this book to others? Why or why not?

Menu - The Sweetness of Childhood

Rhubarb Pie- Tamara
Apple Cake - Melissa
Peach Cobbler
Cereal Squares - Shelagh
S'Mores Brownies - Tessa
Ice Cream - Erica


  1. I can bring the apple cake. I can only stay till 9, but am looking forward to it!!

  2. I'll take the ice cream - I'm assuming vanilla would be best?

  3. I will take the peach cobbler ... at least i really hope to but it's stacking up to be one of those weeks, so we'll see :)


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