When Kathy Favazza’s daughters started at Villa di Maria Montessori School in Kirkwood a year ago, she was anxious to get to know the school community. So at the first PTA meeting, she readily volunteered to spearhead the book club when someone was needed. “I’m fairly new to the group, but it’s been pretty steady throughout the years,” she says. “There are always around eight to 10 people who participate.”

The club, which started in 2012, meets quarterly. “When it first started, they would meet at member homes, but there are almost 30 zip codes represented at Villa, so they moved to the school for a more central location. Now, we have a consensus that it’s more fun to meet out!” While they always start with intriguing conversation about the latest read, getting the chance to socialize with other parents in the school community is part of it as well. Because of this connection, books related to Montessori education have made it onto the reading list, but Favazza says she wants to broaden the focus even more to include various genres. “I love input when making a selection,” she says. “I don’t want to pick only what I like. It needs to be inclusive. And then I can use my role as administrator to come up with thought-provoking questions and discussion points.”

bookshelf_david-goliathabout the book
Everyone knows the ultimate underdog story of David and Goliath about a shepherd boy who took down a mighty warrior with only a small rock and a sling. In David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcom Gladwell challenges readers on how they think about obstacles and being at a disadvantage, providing new ways to look at various situations considered to be setbacks.

» “I learned from the book that the winning solution for a lot of problems is not always the most obvious. One may embody the trait to solve a problem that others cannot solve. The book relays a hopeful message in a series of stories where individuals take surprising or even controversial paths to solve intractable problems.”
— Dr. Sophia Pierroutsakos

» David and Goliath encourages people to analyze situations in new ways by challenging the notion of what constitutes an advantage versus a disadvantage. It encourages people to look at major life events and suggests that one not count themselves out just because it appears he is at a disadvantage.”
— Kimberly Kendle Roberson

Montessori Madness! by Trevor Eissler

up next
The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness by David J. Rendall

Pictured: Tim Liddy, Jessica Whiat, Rebecca Callander, Tami Presley, Kathy Favazza, Melinda Smith, Becky Koblents, Kim Roberson, Sophia Pierroutsakos

Photo: Bill Barrett