We held our first virtual meeting of the Read Around the World book club today, and nine kids joined us and shared their thoughts about the book When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad!

Click the picture above to be taken to the library’s catalog, or click here to get this as an ebook!

The story is an uproariously funny and sweet yarn about an orphan girl who moves from the busy city of Copenhagen to a small town on the island of Bornholm to live with her cranky old grandmother. It’s very difficult at first for her to adjust to life in a small town, but she changes the lives of everyone around her for the better, reminding them of how to have fun and be silly and imaginative.

Our Virtual Tours

Before our meeting, I took screenshots of some of the landmarks we would see in our tours and emailed one to each child on my email list, asking them to research one interesting thing about the place or landmark. Although we had some slight technical difficulties getting everyone heard, I was really thrilled to see the thought and effort kids put into researching those landmarks.

First we took an exciting flying tour of Bornholm, where we discussed places like the Osterlars Rundkirke, or round church where Inge’s grandmother took her for weekly worship; Gudhjem, where Klaus’s aunt lived, and we learned that they actually have a dish named after them, “Sun Over Gudhjem,” which is an egg on top of onions, radishes and smoked herring (very few kids wanted to try that dish!); and Ronne which was a fishing village going back to the middle ages.

Then we toured Inge Maria’s birthplace of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark:

There, we saw landmarks like the Little Mermaid statue and learned it had been a generous gift to the city of Copenhagen, and did another tour of Tivoli Gardens, the world-famous amusement park that Inge Maria used to go to with her mother to hear opera singers perform (apparently sounding much like turkeys):

We took a ride on a Tivoli Gardens roller coaster that was built in 1914, not long after Inge Maria’s arrival in Bornholm, the Rutschebahnen! It’s one of the oldest rollercoasters in the world and is still in operation.

Book Discussion

And of course, we chatted about the book! We talked about some of the differences between Inge Maria’s mother and her grandmother; why her grandmother was so grumpy in the beginning; how fairytales play an important role in Inge Maria’s life; how Inge Maria changed the townspeople’s perceptions about girls; and how Inge Maria demonstrated that in some cases, like to save someone from harm, it might be okay–or at least not as bad–to tell a lie. (But you get bonus points for doing it Inge Maria style–like the family of mice and the flying tart!)

We also talked about how her prized possession, and one of the only possessions she brought with her to Bornholm, was her Hans Christian Andersen book. We each shared what book we would bring with us if we could only take one. That was one of the nice and unexpected things about being able to do this book club from home — we all just went to our book shelves, pulled out a book and showed everyone the cover! (I wish I’d gotten a screenshot of that.)

I want to thank everyone who joined us for being so patient and respectful to each other while we each dealt with technical difficulties or delays of one kind or another. You are a really smart and mature group of kids and I’m immensely proud of all of you!

I can’t wait until we meet again. For next month, we’ll have a meeting on June 19th. We will read the book Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins, set in Bengal, India:

Click on the picture to be taken to the book in our library catalog. Since we are currently closed, it may be hard to get hold of the print books. But not to worry. We do have it available as an eBook on several different platforms:

Hoopla — this is the easiest platform and the most readily available – copies never run out!


Cloud Library

It’s an exciting book about a boy who risks everything to rescue a baby tiger cub from poachers who want to sell it on the black market.

So please mark your calendars for June 19th, and if you have any questions send me an email at akolakowski@cityofpasadena.net. See you again soon!