In junior high, I would sit in my library before school and read all the books. Okay, really I read all of the Nancy Drew books and every horse book in the library. One morning I sat at a table and a friend of mine grabbed one of the Hitchhiker’s book and read a paragraph from it about how people had 2.4 children and lived in a house with a white picket fence. This made me laugh out loud, and then I had to silence that, and get back to reading my horse books while enjoying the images brought up from the book. Fast forward a few years and I found the series again and devoured it. I added it to my list of books I would have my kids read someday. This day has happened, so I give you our Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book club as part of our continuing book and a movie night.
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Arthur Dent has never felt like he fit in, and has felt like life was an endless joke on him. Take today, today he’s lying in front of a bulldozer trying to keep his house from being destroyed when his friend Ford Prefect asks him to go get a pint.
That pint leads to a series of crazy hijinks with Arthur asking, “Why me?”
To which the answer is, “Why not?” and “Don’t Panic.”
This seems especially apt right now (in the midst of the Covid-19 panic future readers) while everyone is panicking, and we all need a little levity.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is that bit of levity, and it makes me smile, so I’m writing about it.
Read this book if you want a nice break from reality and silliness and British humor.
I like all of these things, so it’s a hit for me.
Hichhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movies
There are two very different movies for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. First there’s the BBC version, with the screenplay written by Douglass Adams. It’s more or less similar to the book, with some changes here and there, since he was always tinkering with the book and each rendition of it was slightly changed, there’s no real way to say what is the definitive version (it’s rather like a well practiced improv).
I watched this version in college, and it goes through some of the books, or as many of them as had been published when it came out. I think that was when three books were out. You know, it’s a five book trilogy, only now it’s a six book trilogy because another book was published after his death.
The special effects are terrible because it’s an old BBC mini series, which actually really works for this book.
About 10, maybe 15 years ago, I don’t know time mushes together, a fancy high budget Hollywood version came out and all of the fans of the book HATED it.
Our Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book club
I learned something when I assigned this book.
My kids do not have the same sense of humor as I do.
I laugh my head off through the whole book. I come to favorite scenes and I start laughing in anticipation of what’s about to happen.
My kids were confused.
They didn’t find the absurdity of a descendant of Attila the Hun being a paper pusher hilarious.
This made our Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book club a little odd.
I was trying to point out the glorious absurdity, and the commentary on how ridiculous paper pushing it, or how ridiculous some questions can be.
My kids were trying to figure out why the dolphins were the second most intelligent creature on Earth.
So instead of having amazing discussions and laughing together through our Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Book Club, we had a discussion of what makes us laugh and what types of science fiction appeal to us.
Superman loves hard science fiction, and so he couldn’t get into the light hearted romp that is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Princess doesn’t like science fiction, and she was annoyed by the whole thing.
Batman could not get Douglass Adams’ writing style.
Since our book club went nowhere, let me see if someone else had some good discussions.
Here are other Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book clubs
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy discussion questions
- HGttG questions and summary
- HGttG comprehension questions
Our Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy assignment
While my kids may not have super enjoyed one of my favorite books, okay it’s probably not really, because that seems to be an ever expanding list, but it’s certainly one I’ve reread many many times. They did enjoy the assignment.
Since we’ve worked through both Byline and Cover Story the kids are familiar with writing ads, and I thought it would be an interesting for them to apply what they’d learned and create an ad for the Infinite Probabilty Drive.
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After they made their ad for the infinite improbability drive, they had to write some Vogon poetry. The kids especially enjoyed the excuse to write BAD poetry.
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Totally unrelated to our Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book club
But it interested me, and I like looking at worldview and how it affects your thoughts.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book club snacks
There are a whole slew of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy snack ideas, and I had a lot of fun perusing the internet to find them. Here’s what I ended up with.
The labels for the signs are all in the subscriber portion of my website and you can get to it if you sign up for my newsletter.
- Babel Fish- Swedish fish
- Towel- fruit roll-up
- Marivn the Robot- sour patch kids
- 42- gingerbread cookies with frosting
- Don’t Panic- more gingerbread cookies with frosting
- Broken Planet Earth- croutons, Batman loves to snack on plain croutons. I’m not really sure why.
- Heart of Gold- mini cakes in heart shape, also the entire reason why I made yellow frosting
- Potted plant- brownie bites with green frosting to look like a plant (this would be one of those chapters where I was laughing so much and my kids were so very confused)
- Magrathea- cake pops, or that was the intent, but our cake pops didn’t turn out quite right, and my cake pop sticks didn’t come in until the day after we had our Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie night.
Random extra heading to make the reading ease better
- Drink Up Arthur- cream soda, because my kids love this soda and it looks vaguely beer like (not gonna link to it on Amazon because their prices are ALWAYS terrible)
- Pan Galatic Gargle Blaster- Dr Pepper, because I love Dr Pepper (substitute your favorite beverage obviously)
- Restaurant at the End of the Universe- specialty cheese, sausage, and crackers, this would have been a good place for a specialty meal, but I already had so many other foods that I just wasn’t up for making anything fancy for a meal
- Mice- strawberries with mini chocolate chips for eyes and almond slices for ears, these always are a favorite of mine
- Vogon poetry- graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, and melted chocolate, my kids love this one and always look for a chance to put it in
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- I ran out of steam before I made this, but it would have been the books we use with the Hershey’s nuggets on mini bits of cardstock (the printable for that is in the subscriber library)
More Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy snacks
Okay, here are the other snacks I found. In case you want to find snacks from people who are actually good at making fancy food, unlike me.
- Birthday party
- Another party
- Adult Pan Galatic Gargle Blaster
- Geek recipes
- photo booth props
More Book and a movie fun
I usually try to find books similar to what I just wrote about, but there’s not really a lot similar to this. Sooo… I’ll focus on books that are other high school books to read.
For those reading in real time
I’m publishing this in the midst of the Cornoa virus mess, and I spent most of this week mindlessly scrolling on Facebook or Twitter because I just could not focus, anyone else feel like that? Also, I’m publishing this and then going back in and adding the links to the snacks and all that later because I wanted to get SOMETHING done, and this made me smile to get it done.