Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Banks, Kate.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002
IL 3-6, RL 5.3
ISBN 0374317860

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Dillon Dillon.  What kind of parents would name a child that?  Couldn't they think of anything else?  Did they not care enough to think of another name?  His brother and sister had real names.  On his tenth birthday, Dillon finally gets up enough courage to ask his parents why he has the same first and last name.  What he learns is that his original name was Dillon McDermott.  His parents were killed in a boating accident.  His mother named him Dillon because that was her maiden name.  Her brother and sister in law adopted Dillon and felt that they couldn't change the name he had for 18 months.  As he spends the summer at the lake watching loons and coming to terms with his life, Dillon comes to understand where some of his emotions come from.  In his mother's words "when you really get to know this Dillon Dillon, you will grow to love him just as we do."

Booktalk #2

Have you ever kept a secret for a long time?  Dillonís parents and his older brother have a secret.  One summer at their cottage on the lake, Dillon finds out the secret.  At first he is devastated by the news.  He spends the remainder of the summer rowing his boat out to an island and interacting with a pair of loons. After a while, he develops a special relationship with them.  The loons build a nest in his sneaker and lay an egg.  They seem to communicate with him and help him with his quest for self-discovery.  Read this dreamlike book to find out the secret and the parallels between Dillon and the loons. 

Prepared by: Alleene Holland  for The South Carolina Children's Book Award  nominees 2005

Booktalk #3

Hello, my name is Dillon Dillon. Yes, thatís correct Dillon Dillon. I know I know, why would my parents name me the same name twice, Dillon Dillon. My classmates make fun of my name. In fact one classmate said that my name could be reduced to a square root symbol, D squared, Dillon Dillon, D2. Very funny. I keep asking my parents why out of all the names they could have named me, they chose, Dillon Dillon. They would only tell me that it was the perfect name for me at the time. Each summer my family and I travel to our family cottage on a lake to stay. Today is June 21st the first day of summer and also my birthday. Today I am ten years old and today I am going to ask my parents why they named me Dillon Dillon. Read Dillon Dillon by Kate Banks to find out why he is so named. As Dillon tries to adjust to this new reality of how he got his name, he befriends, and is befriended by, a pair of loons nesting on a nearby island. Join Dillon Dillon as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that involves identifying with a pair of loons, one of whom lays an egg in Dillon's sneaker. When the egg hatches, Dillon "would later celebrate this day and remember it as the time of his own rebirth."  (Becky Proctor,, school librarian at Dorchester Academy in St. George, SC )

SUBJECTS:     Identity -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Fiction.
                        Adoption -- Fiction.
                        Vacations -- Fiction.
                        Loons -- Fiction.
                        Birds -- Fiction.
                        Lakes -- Fiction.
                        New Hampshire -- Fiction.


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