The National Homeschool Book Award is one of my coolest homeschool discoveries yet! Well, I didn't discover it myself (obviously), it's been around for quite a while. This was the first month that we participated. The March selection was The Candymakers, by Wendy Mass.
This book is about four 12 year olds who win the opportunity to compete in an annual candy making competition. The story is told from each child's perspective, revealing surprises and mystery. Millie was completely engaged throughout the entire story!
One of the local homeschool moms coordinates a book club revolving around the National Homeschool Book Award pick each month. They meet at a local location that somehow reflects the book, there's a class, and a snack.
For this book, we met at the Como Conservatory (a place similar to "The Tropical Room" from the book). The kids had a chance to sample different flavors (100% cocoa, miracle fruit, etc) that might be used for making candy. Then, the kids went on a behind the scenes tour of the Conservatory and did a scavenger hunt. They were able to see where cinnamon comes from, see cocoa beans growing on a tree, sugar cane, pineapples, etc. Millie had a blast, and learned so much. It was great for her to connect the real world to the book!
Before we left, Millie and her friend sat down for a slice of chocolate pizza (a very popular lunch item from the book).