Breakout by Kate Messner


Pizza Book club starts today!! Last spring I tried out a lunchtime book club.  A group of 8th graders walked across the street to the library to eat pizza and talk about a book.  This year we decided to start the lunchtime book club earlier in the school year, so they'd be able to read more than one book and today is our first meeting!! I’m starting us off with Breakout by Kate Messner… it's a bit longer than I would usually pick but the entire story is told in a series of documents (letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics) collected by Nora Tucker for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project.  So although its got a high page count, it's a fairly quick read.
The plot: Nora Tucker is in the last two weeks of school before summer vacation in Upstate New York when two inmates break out of the town's maximum security prison.  Suddenly this small “safe and friendly” town is in constant fear and lock-down.
Here’s where the story kicks ass: She introduces a new classmate for Nora who’s brother is serving time in the prison.  As Nora becomes friends with Edilee she begins to see that Wolf Creek might be safe and welcoming for her and her white friends but it does not treat her new black friend the same.

The novel is fast-paced and entertaining while poking at some pretty intense contemporary issues within criminal justice, racial bias, and community goodwill. I’ll let you all know the Lunchtime Book Club opinion when we’ve finished it!!

Recommended Age: 9- 14 years old

For Those That Liked: “ The Science of Breakable Things”, “Front Desk” “The Parker Inheritance”

Yoga Pose: Utkatasana (Chair Pose):
*Stand in Tadasana. Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor (shoulders distance apart, palms facing each other).  If you feel tightness in the shoulders (a rising of the shoulders towards the ears) move your arms out wider than shoulders distance apart.
*Exhale and bend the knees, lower down so that the thighs are parallel to the floor. Reach the hips down and back, bringing your weight to the heels of the feet. Do not bring the hips lower than the level of the knees. Remain for 3-5 breathes.

Next Level (Awkward Chair Pose):
Draw your tailbone down to the floor, keeping your lower back long and bring your hips down lower (shift your weight into your heels, about 80% of weight, so that you could lift your toes off the mat if you wanted to).
*Consciously place all weight anchored in the right foot.  Lift the left foot with control. Bend at the knee and rest the left ankle on top of the right knee.  Remain here for 3-5 breaths before lowering the left foot back to the floor and rising to Tadasana. Repeat on the opposite side, beginning in Utkatasana before moving into awkward chair.