Carol Galusha’s The First to Fall Book Club

Carol Galusha’s third novel, The First to Fall, released June 2012, fails to disappoint.  Much like Ms. Galusha’s first novel The Same Birthday, The First to Fall is geared for the young adult, yet engages not only the adolescent reader, but also the adult reader through her written word.  The novel begins by introducing the reader to five childhood friends of differing races in the segregated early 1900s.  This historical time frame does not distance the young or mature reader, but draws him/her in with the exploration of enduring friendships despite familial and cultural influences.  The plot does not cease there, though, but instead branches out to include a bounty of themes such as dealings of the corrupt, consequences of revenge, and life after reinvention all while transporting the reader to the present day.
What is interesting to note is Ms. Galusha’s clever use of the non-written word allowing the reader to infer necessary detailed conversation, rising action, and dealings of the heart through surrounding descriptions.  These thought-provoking conversation starters are not only ideal for book club, but also for the reluctant-to-volunteer secondary classroom student.  In addition, Ms. Galusha again generously provides on her website a literacy guide to accompany The First to Fall making life easier for not only the overworked educator, but also the underappreciated book club facilitator.

Carol Galusha

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The Same Birthday Book Club

     Ever wanted to promote the love of reading within your own family and needed a book with the ability to garner the interest of three generations?  Carol Galusha’s The Same Birthday is the novel that meets this criteria. 
     An educator for more than twenty years, Ms. Galusha implements components that draw the young adult reader into the novel such as active-voice sentences which are direct, yet chock-full of details, brief chapters overflowing with discussion material, and themes in which a young adult can relate.  Students will be pleased with the 120 pages when the novel is distributed in class, yet mesmerised by the journey in which the three protagonists take them.
     Interestingly enough, this journey is full of complexities which engage the adult reader also.  Thus, not only an ideal choice for the secondary classroom complete with lesson plans provided by the author, but also a work with the ability to bring multi-generational readers together.  Yes, Grandma, Mom, and Daughter, for example.
     In the case of book club, what brings people together better than food?  In this case, the food acts as a symbol for the lives of each of the three main characters.  To represent Janine, appetizers should be available such as those mentioned on page 23 in The Same Birthday:  pigs in a blanket, vegetables, and chips with elaborate dips.  In the case of Mary Anne, earthy potato soup and rustic ham sandwiches express her backstory.  Without a doubt, the essentials for making a mouthwatering pizza pie will not only coax the adolescent reader to book club, but also create a starting point for discussing the life of Molly.  Looking for the ideal gift for the tween, adult, and seasoned person in your life?  Look no further  . . . you cannot go wrong with the gift of reading.


Carol Galusha