Our book was Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke. Last month’s Diamond of Darkhold is futuristic, yet primitive; definitely a more mature book. Igraine the Brave is set in medieval times, with magic, dragons and danger. The younger feel of this book makes it fun and a more light-hearted read.
We started off with a fun exercise called the six-word review. We summarize the book or its outcome in six words. We came up with “Will Igraine strangle the beautiful ladies?”, “Will Igraine marry the Sorrowful Knight?”, and “Will they be fish for ever?”. (That last one’s a stretch, but you do what you gotta do!) It’s funny they are all questions.
Our book club took on a medieval theme. We started off creating our own coat of arms or crest on a shield. The shields varied from circles to squares to simple shield shapes to something very ornate. We found a great website with shape styles; it even listed meanings to the different colors and symbols used in the coat of arms. Some things made sense like a wavy line represented the sea or water. Other symbols were less obvious. Did you know a dolphin represented swiftness and diligence? I don’t even associate dolphins with the medieval times! Beyond the individual symbols, it was interesting to see the combinations my children chose. One shield symbolized peace, strategy, water, spirituality, direction and readiness.
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Next we came up with our own 21st century “Rules of Chivalry”. Here’s a list of rules that when broken cause one to lose their honor:
• Concede to authority
• Be consistent to the rules
• Fighting does more harm than good
• Treat others with respect
• Protect the weak
• Look for opportunities to serve those in need
• A kind word goes farther than a harsh one
• Have a modest and well groomed appearance
• Practice moderation
• Avoid intoxicating substances at all costs
• Knowledge – you can take it with you!
• Others stop listening when you brag
• Keep your promises
To bring a physical element to the meeting, we went outside and played “Call to Arms”. We each chose a medieval nickname like “Black Knight” or “Merlin”. One person bounced a soccer ball as high into the air as they could (preferably straight) and called one of the other player’s nicknames, that player had to catch the ball before it hit the ground to stay in the game. If they caught it they bounced the ball, if not they were out and the first person bounced again and called a different name. This goes on until there is only one person left in the game. It was a fast moving game and we played a few rounds in about 10 minutes.
We finished off our book club meeting with a snack of crescent rolls and jam. Not exactly what Igraine ate, but we wanted something yummy!