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Clementine and the Family Meeting

Last updated Sunday, February 5, 2017

Author: Sara Pennypacker
Illustrator: Marla Frazee
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 1423123565
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2017

Synopsis: Clementine's having a nervous breakdown. The FAMILY MEETING! sign is up in her house, and she just knows she's in trouble for something. Has she been too mean to her little brother? Too sloppy? Eating too much junk food? Try as she might to find out what's on the agenda, her parents won't reveal anything before the meeting. As far as Clementine is concerned, the agenda should be something like: "We're getting a gorilla." But no, it's something entirely different. "We're talking about a new baby," says her father. "A brother or sister for you two. What do you think about that?" NO THANKS! is what Clementine thinks. After all, four is the perfect number for a family. There are four sides to a table, not five. Will Clementine learn to make room for one more?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who is Clementine?
•  How do you think she is feeling about the sign on the fridge?


•  nutrition - the science of food, the nutrients and other substances therein, their action, interaction and balance in relation to health and disease, and the processes by which the organism ingests, absorbs, transports, utilizes and excretes food substances.
•  ziti - pasta in the form of tubes resembling large macaroni

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What is Clementine's favorite class?
•  Why is Clementine worried about the family meeting?
•  What were some of the things Clementine thought were on the agenda for the family meeting?
•  What are some of the names Clementine has for her brother?
•  What was the family meeting actually about? How did Clementine feel about the news? Why did she feel this way?
•  What would Clementine rather have? (a gorilla)

Craft ideas:
•  Write a letter or make a card for someone you know. Make a heart-shaped envelope.
•  Check our February craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!