Hunting for Bigfoot with “Lemons”

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I love that our local library gets lots of new books – and many of those are books by debut authors.  One of those books turned out to be a fantastic book club pick with loads of possibilities.  It’s called Lemons by Melissa Savage.

Melissa Savage

Savage’s book is a wonderful story of grief, healing, friendship centered around the search for Bigfoot.  It’s sad and funny and poignant all at once, and the possibilities for learning with this book are endless.

In the story, main characters Lem and Tobin take several overnight wilderness expeditions to search for Bigfoot, and when I read this story, I knew our book clubbers needed to do the same.

Hunting for Bigfoot with Lemons

 

We made arrangements to rent a cabin in a local park.  The girls came for the first night, and the boys for the second.  We had t-shirts made especially for this event to match, as much as possible, Tobin’s Bigfoot Detective Agency, LLC’s, shirts.  We also wore sturdy clothes and adventure hats.

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After settling into the cabin and setting up camp, the girls found sticks for cooking and whittled the ends.  Since Lemonade and her grandfather ate hot dogs and tater tots every night, we chose to do the same, campfire style.  We also cooked baked beans and made s’mores.

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When our cooking preparations were complete, we headed off to the lake.

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Boating doesn’t actually feature in Lemons at all, but since we were camping within sight of the water, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.  We rented canoes and kayaks and spent some time exploring the nearby shoreline.  After a while, several of the girls choose to tie their boats together and just bob around in the cove, talking and laughing.  It was sweet!

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Then we headed back to shore to begin our Bigfoot exams.  Just like Tobin required Lemonade to take an oath before joining the Bigfoot Detective Agency, LLC, the kids showed off their Bigfoot knowledge.  First, we talked about the ways that Bigfoot varies from humans – the stride, physiological differences, etc.

 

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Next, we did the Yeti Spaghetti test.  The kids had to dig through a basin filled with cold, oily spaghetti noodles to pick up the Gummi worms.  Each book clubber had to find 3.  

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Then, they did the Toe Jam test.  Each book clubber had to find five Gummi bears in tubs of cold oatmeal, blindfolded.  They found this quite easy to do, but the gross factor was high, and the rest of us were in stitches the whole time.

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After passing all three parts, the book clubbers took the same oath that Tobin required of Lem in order to join the Bigfoot Detective, LLC.

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After that, we built the fire and talked about the book while the fire grew.  When the coals were ready, we cooked our dinner.  We had mixed success with that – while the kids downed the hot dogs and beans, our experiment of spearing Tater tots to cook was less than successful.  The second night, the group just wrapped them in foil and threw them in the fire.  That worked much better, although it wasn’t as fun.

All told, the entire experience was quite the trip, and everyone got plenty to eat.

After dinner, when it was dark (and pictures weren’t easy to take), we gathered our flashlights and our Bigfoot detective kits.  We got magnifying glasses, bags full of plaster of Paris, water bottles and the like, and we headed off into the woods.  

We took a trail around a peninsula-like piece of land and looked for footprints.  With the temperature dropping and the dark of night full-on, it wasn’t easy – and neither group was able to find any.  The girls were more excited about this than the boys, and neither one found anything worthy of breaking out the plaster – but it was a fun hike, nonetheless.

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The next morning, after a breakfast of muffins and fruit, we headed off into the woods to play “Capture the Flag” like Lem and her new friends.  

All too soon, it was time for parents to come and get their kids.

We had a great time talking about the themes of this book and enjoying the great outdoors, just like Lem and Tobin.  Although we didn’t find Bigfoot, we made lots of memories.

What are your kids reading this month?

 

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