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Book Club Kits: Saving Winslow

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

"A winning tale of love." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Perfect for fans of Charlotte's Web and The One and Only Ivan, Saving Winslow is an uplifting modern classic in the making about a young boy who befriends an ailing newborn donkey and nurses him back to health, from New York Times bestseller and Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech.

Louie doesn't have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he's determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army.

Everyone worries that Winslow won't survive, especially Louie's quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie's bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined.

Written in the spirit of Creech favorites Moo and Love That Dog, this standout tale about love and friendship and letting go will tug at the heartstrings.

Discussion Questions

Some people think the first sentence of a novel is the most important. Explain why you would agree or disagree with that statement, based on the first line of this novel.

Why do you think Louie has such an interest in saving Winslow?

What would you do to keep your pet safe and happy?

Do you think that animals can have a healing effect on people? What examples can you think of that support your opinion?

Louie has to give Winslow shots each day. How would you feel about having to give a pet shots each day?

What do you do when you are missing a family member?

How do the characters of Mack and Gus mirror one another? How are they similar in their relationships with Louie?

Nora acts as though she does not care about Winslow even though she consistently checks on him. Why do you think she pretends not to care when her actions show that she does?

Why do you think the author includes the relationship between Mack and Claudine in the story?

During the story, the author describes a painting that hangs in Louie’s bedroom. A matching one hung in the hospital when Louie was a baby. Why do you think the author includes this description in the story?

What kind of relationship does Louie have with his brother, Gus? How does this impact Gus’ absence?

If you could choose any animal in the world as a pet, what would you prefer? Why?

What advice would you give Louie about how to care for Winslow?

How does caring for Winslow help Louie?

Why do you think Nora did not tell Louie that she was taking Winslow for a walk?

How does Winslow change Mrs. Cooley’s feelings about animals who make noise?

Do you think the story was plot based or character driven? Explain.

With which character did you least identify? Why?

What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the story? What do you think she is trying to get across to the reader?

If you could hear this same story from another character’s viewpoint, who would you choose? Why?