Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Parent-Child Book Discussion
Grades 3-5
March 2011

snack: space food/ freeze-dried fruit and veggies

1. Thumbs up/down and general thoughts about the book.

2. If you could be ANY age-- what would you choose and why? What would you do differently than you do now?

3. Why do you think the author chose the title Cosmic for this book? (many uses for cosmic--the name of the bungee cord ride, means enormous/stupendous as an adjective, also refers to the immenseness of time and space (as in the cosmos).

4. Tell me about the different dads that were chosen for the contest-- what were they like?
Samson I and II--very smart, intelligence is the most important
Mr. Martinet (and Max)--strict/discipline, doing what you are told is the most important
Eddie Xanadu (and Hasan)-- very wealthy, money is the most important

5. Why does Liam like video games so much? Are video games a good or bad thing and why?

6. What makes a good dad? Thinking of all the fathers in this book, what were some of their good and bad traits?

7. Liam's conversations with his father could be summed up with 5 topics. What were they?
(p68-- how did you get here, what was the parking like, what things were like in the old days, a thinking question and sports talk.) Using these topics, describe your day today.

8. p 114-- How does Liam feel when he finds out the kids are the ones going into space? What do you think is the hardest part of being a parent? (Parents: what do you think the hardest part is?)

9. The children get to vote for the best father to travel into space with them. What are some of the reasons they vote for different fathers? (flag challenge--Xanadu gives kids ice cream; The vortex-- liam rides with all of them; one vote for liam b/c un-dadlike; voted against b/c he'd hog the video games) Who would you have voted for and why?

10. How is Florida different from the other children? (knows pop culture, wants to be famous, doesn't have a father).

11. Do you think sending to children to space is a good idea? Why or why not?
(talk about the dangers of inexperience and maturity--like the button pushing and the children not appreciating the view, etc... but also about their enthusiasm, thirst for learning and adventure, etc)

12. What does Liam pack in his PIP? (Talk to Your Teen book and St. Christopher medal) How did they come in handy? What would you have packed?

13. What do you think would have happened if Liam or Florida had told all the children that he was really a child during their emergency in space?

14. How is weightlessness like cotton candy? (It's fun, but you wouldn't want to live that way).

15. How are parents like gravity? (their love keeps you grounded, you can leave but will always want to come back...)

16. How do you think these events will change Liam's relationship with his father? How has the experience changed Florida?

Other Resources:

NASA Kids Club

What is Your Weight on Other Planets?

Mythbusters Flag Waving on Moon Hoax Debunk

How Solar Sails Work:

Harper Collins Cosmic Reading Guide:

Mother-Daughter Book Club Interview with Frank Boyce:

Use Google Maps to find Waterloos and/or other places around the world that have the same name as your town.

Military Time was used in this book... do some time exercises.

Stress measuring strips

Legend of St. Christopher (patron saint of travelers)

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