Virtual Book Discussion: The Eight Day w/ DIY Bouncy Ball

The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni is a juvenile fiction book for 4-7th graders. 
 
Between Wednesday and Thursday, there is an eighth day. It is a quiet, empty day, with few people and hardly anyone knows it is there. When Jax wakes up on this day, it takes him totally by surprise. Could it be a zombie apocalypse or worse? So when he runs into eighteen-year-old guardian, Riley Pendare, he is relived to learn of this extra day. 
 
As Jax begins to navigate his new life as a Transitioner, he learns that some people–like himself–live all eight days, most live the normal seven, and a very few live ONLY on the eighth day. And one such eighth day-er lives right next door. 
 
Evangeline is in hiding. Decedent from a powerful sorcerer, there are those who wish to use her blood to alter the eighth day time table. Determined to become her friend, Jax doesn’t realize what is at stake and his ignorance could be the ruin of them all. 

Discussion Questions: 

  1. What is this book about? What are the main themes? 
  2. Jax, Riley and the rest of his crew, call the day between Thursday and Friday “Grundsday.” Can you think of a better name?  
  3. In this series, there are groups of people that live one day, seven days or the full eight days. How would you feel if you only lived one day for every eight? 
  4. Each of the transitioner clans have a specific power. What power would you want and why?  
  5. Speaking of powers, Jax can force people to answer his questions. Why might this be a bad thing if you couldn’t control it? 
  6. We hear the motto, “Say no in haste, regret at leisure.” What do you think this means? 
  7. In Chapter 14 we find out that Riley’s last name was altered to help keep his identity hidden. Author’s sometimes do this too, using a pseudonym. What would your pseudonym be and why? 
  8. Throughout the book, Jax tries to classify people as the “good guys” and the “bad guys.” Which characters don’t fall easily into one category? 
  9. Much of this book references Arthurian Legend. What are some examples of this and how has the legend been altered to fit this fantasy world? 
  10. The Eight Day is a juvenile Urban Fantasy? What does this mean and give some examples of how the author injects pop culture into the story to keep it relevant?   

STEM Activity: DIY Bouncy Ball 

Supplies: ¼ teaspoon of baking soda; 2 teaspoons of water; 3 tablespoons of school glue; 1 drop of food coloring 

  1. Put ¼ teaspoon of baking soda in a plastic dish. 
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of water and mix well. Add a few extra drops of water if baking soda isn’t fully dissolved.  
  3. Squeeze 3 tablespoons of school glue into a separate plastic container. 
  4. Add 1 or 2 drops of food coloring to the glue and mix well. 
  5. Pour your water mixture into the glue mixture. Mix well, up to five minutes for everything to combine.  
  6. Once mixture begins to stick together, pick it up with your hands and roll into a ball. The rounder the better. You can use a marble or a bead in the middle if you want something to mold around.  
  7. Leave your ball to dry, uncovered, on a flat, smooth surface for 24hrs of until is it hard.  
  8. Enjoy your bouncy ball!  

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bouncy-Ball-(Without-Borax)

How did it go:

Well, I struggled with this activity. I thought I had it down and then I could not get my sample to work. So I quickly emailed my group and asked them to grab a few more ingredients and we tested a few other options. We at least got something from those and were able to talk about how science is all about trial an error and what we could do to tweak our experiment.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Author: MarandaLee

Children's Librarian. Connoisseur of all things bookish.

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