The Finisher

The Finisher

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Westing Game (Chapters 1-6)

Answer these questions in complete sentences in your Comments below.

Chapter 1
1. What was unusual about Sunset Towers?

Chapter 2
2. Who was Sandy McSouthers?

Chapter 3
3. According to Chris, what special talent did his brother Theo possess?

Chapter 6
What must the potential beneficiaries do if they wish to "strike it rich"?

Chapter 10
5. What is a social climber?

Chapter 11
6. Why could no one read Sydelle Pulaski's shorthand?

Chapter 12
7. According to Judge Ford, who are the four people with Westing connections?

Chapter 18
8. How is ammonium nitrate used?

Chapter 21
9. What does Theo want to borrow from Turtle?

Chapter 28
10. How did Judge Ford intend to repay her debt to Sam Westing?

Chapter 30
11. What does Eastman know about Angela that surprises Turtle?

12. Choose one of the 16 characters you
would want as YOUR partner in the Westing Game. Why would you pick that person?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Congratulations, Finishers!

The end of our second season of book club meetings saw many successes! All of the Finishers got excellent grades and moved on to the next grade! Johnny made the Honor Roll!

The celebration meeting was held at Hollywood Park and IHOP in Crestwood. The Finishers became race car drivers!

Isaiah and Johnny were awarded Silver Stars for their participation in the Finishers.


Walter was awarded a Gold Star and the Finisher of the Year trophy for his dedication and outstanding effort in the club.

Unfortunately, Mari's camera decided to die, so photos of Walter with his trophy are unavailable.



Originally, the plan was to have the weekly writing composed on the computer and emailed. However, since computer access is not always available for the Finishers:


This summer the boys will read Aesop's Fables. The assignment is to write a weekly fable INSPIRED BY the various fables in the book. In this way, the Finishers will compile a book of ORIGINAL fables (Johnny's Fables, Walter's Fables, Isaiah's Fables).

The Rules

1. You may NOT use the animals from Aesop's Fables in your fables.

2. You must have a moral for each fable.

3. Pictures (your drawings or cut from magazines) are encouraged. Be creative!

4. End with a biography of Aesop (1 paragraph) and your opinion of the book (1 paragraph).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Finishers minus 2

The May Finishers' meeting was missing two important members, Isaiah and Bonnie! However we still had a fun, food-filled and productive meeting. The meeting was held at fan-favorite Fudruckers in Calumet City. Among the things discussed were: will Johnny quit the Finishers? (NO!) Will the Finishers read some graphic novels? (Yes, starting with the October book.)

The Watsons go to Birmingham was a run-away hit, with the highest ratings ever given to ANY book so far: *****!

At the next meeting, the boys will discuss The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

The meeting will be held Saturday, June 11, 2011 at a surprise location, where we will celebrate the end of our 2nd season! And yes, there will be a summer project this year!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Catching Up

The February meeting took place at the Black Creativity exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. At left, the boys had a serious discussion about this art exhibit's depiction of lynching.

Some of the work was also astoundingly beautiful. Befow right, W poses next to an amazing sculpture of a bass.

The Finishers fell apart last month! For some reason, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz just didn't work for the boys. They struggled to finish, couldn't remember what they read--it just didn't work! What caused the problems?

Well, they are writing 3 paragraphs to tell why they had such a hard time with such a small book. The paragraphs are due at the next meeting.

About the next meeting: it's April 2 at noon; an early start for a busy day. Finishers have to dress for the day: old clothes, old shoes and long sleeves. They are working (for pay) before they talk about books.

And because we didn't have time to vote this month, next month's book is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Next month's meeting will be another special event. Saturday, May 7 at 9:30 am. Once again, old clothes and long sleeves will be the uniform of the day. But the boys won't be working this time!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The January Meeting

The Finishers missed meeting in the busy month of December. but got back to business in January. There was one little problem--NONE OF THEM COULD REMEMBER MUCH ABOUT THE BOOK! In November, they read Frank L. Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Looks like they have to re-read it for the February meeting.

The boys were REALLY busy! They each got a new book about what they said they wanted to be when they grew up--paleontologist, president of the United States, and artist. Short book reports will be due at the February meeting.

Also at the January meeting, they worked on treasure maps--posters to help them set goals in the future. On the left are Walter and Johnny with their completed maps.

Isaiah had to rush to his basketball game and will complete his poster later.

Finally--HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Bonnie, January 26

and to Johnny, February 10!

The next meeting will be held at 1:30 pm, Saturday, February 26, 2011. Don't forget to vote for the next book!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Finishers Welcome Their First Guest Reader!

The November meeting was held at Fuddrucker's in Calumet City. Desmond Smith, our first Guest Reader, made a good meeting great! We discussed Among the Hidden, a book that got 4.5 stars and was profoundly moving. It sparked a deep conversation, touching on topics like injustice, genocide, slavery and totalitarianism. All this brilliance from boys aged 9-12!

On a lighter note: the boys enjoyed learning about Desmond's Kindle and they created a Finisher's theme song!

We're delighted that Desmond will be joining us on occasion for other meetings!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Finishers Earn Their Shirts!

The bad photo to the right shows the triumphant Finishers modeling their new shirts! They earned the shirts by completing the summer project. The bad photo is the result of Mari forgetting to bring her camera.

The October meeting was held at Leona's, where the Finishers ate--not pizza--but huge burgers and discussed Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. The book got 4 stars from the guys!

We've read Among the Hidden for November's meeting and the book chosen for the December meeting is The Wizard of Oz.