Today’s Book Club discussion is about Banjo of Destiny by Cary Fagan.
This book, nominated for the Silver Birch Express Award, was recommended by OWL reader Rose. Rose read this book in class and liked it so much that she asked for it to be part of the Book Club.
Thank you for suggesting it, Rose!
Jeremiah Birnbaum comes from an extremely rich family. He lives in a house with nine bathrooms, a games room, an exercise room, an indoor pool, a hot tub, a movie theatre, a bowling alley and a tennis court. His parents make sure that he takes lessons in etiquette, ballroom dancing, watercolour painting, and classical piano. Jeremiah doesn’t complain because he wants to please his parents. But one day, by chance, he hears the captivating music of a banjo, and he is suddenly obsessed with the instrument. When his parents forbid him to play one, he decides to learn anyway — even if he has to make the instrument himself.
I really enjoyed this book. The reason I liked it so much was because I loved how Jeremiah found something that he loved and followed that passion. His determination to build and learn to play the banjo is admirable. Nothing was going to stop him from pursuing his dream!
For those of you who read the book, I have some questions to start the discussion. Feel free to ask some of your own, too!
1. Do you think Jeremiah was right in not telling his parents that he was building and learning how to play the banjo? Did he have any other options?
2. Luella was a strong force in Jeremiah’s life. Do you think he would’ve learned how to play the banjo if he wasn’t friends with Luella?
3. When Jeremiah first saw the man playing the banjo sitting on the porch of an abandoned farmhouse, it was a turning point in his life. Do you have a turning point in your life where you were inspired to learn something? If so, what was it?
4. What do you rate the book out of 10, and why?
I’m looking forward to reading your answers.