Literature Club: Extreme Make Over Project

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Extreme Make Over

What is the most difficult book you read and enjoyed when you were 12? Conversations in Literature is a book club for all ages. In our club parents share books with their children and the children experience books. They don’t just read them. For every book there is a short literary lesson either on an element or device in literature and a project. The design of the project is to draw the reader farther into the story and back out again. It’s one thing to love or hate a character but when you are asked to get inside the mind of the character and make an interpretation of your own, you are taking a journey beyond the normal reading experience. What’s the point? These readers become strong thinkers and better writers. I suppose that is the answer a parent gives. The kids, well, they say the point is to have fun!

When we read Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis, the project was called, Extreme Make Over.” The goal was to exercise the reader’s imagination by re-writing a classic allegory, learn to use metaphors in writing and begin to recognize stories that have meaning behind the obvious.

This is almost word for word the directions the kids received. There is a lot of room for interpretation so when they come to my house I really don’t know what to expect. I like that part. Surprises make life interesting:) The following video is Ella’s interpretation of the assignment. Ella, 12 years old, is a guitar player and singer. She built upon these skills to write and present her project. Honestly, at 12, I could not have read a book like this and understood enough to prepare a project like this.

Let me know what you think and leave a comment for me. I love hearing from you. Oh, and please be kind, we are ammeter videographers. *Grin*

Want Help Starting Your Book Club? Read This Post.

Want Help Starting Your Book Club? Read This Post.


  1. So cool, Ali! At 12, I would have rolled up into a ball and refused to leave my room if I’d had an assignment like that. (No joke!) Emma was amazing. Nice going, lit club lady.

  2. She did such a fantastic job!

    I was an avid reader as a child, but I didn’t want to challenge myself. But, I finally got bored with books that I could read in a couple of hours. So, when I was almost twelve I picked up my first George MacDonald book. I really struggled with it because it was so much more challenging than what I was accustomed to reading, and I ended up putting it away for a while. But, I couldn’t resist coming back to it again and again until I grew accustomed to his writing style. His writing whet my appetite both for challenges and for classics. To this day he is still my all-time favorite author!

    • Ali Dent says:

      What a great story, Ann. Our middle school group read The Princess and the Goblin, by George Macdonald. The project was for the kids to write an original allegorical story and read it to the group. Sometimes a project like this can be threatening so the kids will work in pairs. One girl, Madeline, who is a great artist, partnered with another girl, Rachel, who wants to be a writer when she grows up. They presented an allegorical story as a team effort. It was really neat to see them work out of their strengths and produce an amazing project.

      • Oh wow! This post and the comment stream have given me great ideas for projects my two middle school girls can do for some of their books. They both recently tackled The Hobbit and have thoroughly enjoyed sharing their favorite parts with each other.

        Thanks for stopping by my blog!

        • Ali Dent says:

          Absolutely, Ann. When we read the Hobbit the kids created board games based on the plot. Amazing. I’m writing a book about how to have a classical literature club that is distinctive. We read really good books and have a themed meal. The disctictive part is a blending of project, literary lessons, vocabulary, focus paper and marvelous discussions. I’m including a year of books with all the trimmings. The first one is for Ancient Times.

  3. Emma definitely has a job as an actress, writer, or songstress! She’s totally awesome.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you have the best Lit group.

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