Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Retro Reads: The Gammage Cup

The Gammage Cup: a Novel of the Minnipins
Carol Kendall
Newbery Honor Book

Another terrific children's fantasy novel from the 1950s! This one is alternately funny, suspenseful, and thought-provoking. The Minnipins are a rather silly group of small people who are blindly following their supposed upper class (a group known as the Periods--why? well, you have to read to find out!). When a few brave Minnipins stand up to the Periods and stand true to their own beliefs, they are outcast from the village. Those few brave souls end up saving their village and restoring goodwill thanks to some historic swords and battle armor. Along the way, they have a crazy adventure, meet strange creatures from the other side of the mountain, and a few fall in love.

Things to Note/Discuss
  • When is it right to conform to the group? to the ruling class? When is it right to stand up for your beliefs, even at the expense of community? Consider both Romans 12 and 13.
  • Do you think the Gammage Cup would have been bestowed to a different group of people if the Minnipins had succeeded in welcoming the judges as they'd originally planned?
  • Who is the real hero of this book?

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