Book Club, Girls’ Edition: “A Big Year for Lily” by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Big Year for Lily
The girls have enjoyed reading the Lily books, and so we’re working our way through the series.  In November we read A Big Year for Lily.  This particular book had so many great options for activities that I had a really hard time
After discussing the book and the characters, we decided to make a cupcake like Lily did.  That’s
right.  A cupcake.  One.  The girls groaned, albeit with big smiles on their faces, when I announced this problem. 
I handed them the recipe and reminded them that it would make 24 cupcakes.  How could we modify the recipe
and the amounts to get only one cupcake?
The girls puzzled over that for a minute.  I must admit that it’s not a challenge that I wanted to tackle, either.  After trying it from a few different angles, I whipped out a cupcake-in-a-mug recipe I had found online.  Everyone cheered, and we each mixed up our own cupcake to nuke in the microwave.  Very un-Lily-like, I might add.
A recurring theme throughout this book is Lily’s age.  She becomes ten, and that is apparently a coming-of-age time for an Amish young woman.  One of the privileges that her mother offers Lily is the opportunity to begin her own circle letter. 
A circle letter is one that makes its way throughout a circle, or group, of people.  One person starts and writes a bit, and then mails it off to the next in the group.  That person reads it and adds her own information and forwards it on.  When it finally reaches the end of the line, that person mails it back to the originator, where it begins all over again.
This summer one of our book club girls moved a few hours away.  We all miss her but decided that this would be a great time to keep her in the book club loop.  So while the girls worked on our art project, they took turns circling the letter around the table and adding in their own information in our version of a circle letter.
As for the art, we decided that we couldn’t let this opportunity pass.  In the story, Lily’s parents have the opportunity to receive some really great art supplies, and to Lily’s delight, they accept.  Lily tries to paint the roses on her mother’s favorite plate as a gift, and so we did the same.  Each girl brought a canvas, and we broke out the brushes and paints.  My Big Helper got out her tea set – each cup has a different floral pattern on it – and the girls each chose which one they wanted to paint.  Some had never painted on canvas before, and some hadn’t painted often, and so each one brought her own creativity to the project.  I enjoyed seeing them so excited about something as simple as paint and brushes.  I think we’ll definitely need to paint again.
While we had other activities we hoped to do, we ran out of time just then.  Time flies when you’re having fun – or when you’re being Lily.
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