by Roald Dahl
First sentence: “Down in the valley there were three farms.”
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Content: It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s simple. So, even though there are no children as protagonists, it’s in the Middle Grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.
The plot is simple: Mr. Fox steals poultry from the farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Who, according to the book, are awful, ugly (of course), greedy people. So, they decide that they will make it their business to get rid of Mr. Fox. But, he proves too clever by half, the end.
I really don’t have much more to add, since my opinion of it hasn’t changed in six years. But, I do want to mention the book group discussion. It was a LOT of fun. First off, the kids liked it a LOT more than I did, deciding that it was just a lot of silly fun. In the process of prepping for the book group, I came across this website called Teaching Children Philosophy. And they had a module on Fantastic Mr. Fox, which proved to be the jumping ground for a really interesting discussion. Which almost made the meh book worthwhile.
It’s been a LOT of fun doing the Dahl book club this year. The kids were great, and the discussions a ton of fun. Hopefully, I can find something just as grand next year.