Thursday, May 3, 2012

From the Bookshelves...

Family Read-Aloud
Actually, it's an audiobook .... we're listening to Beyond the Grave, Book 4 in The 39 Clues series.  I can see why kids like these books, and the audiobooks are well done. However, I think I can only take so much of this series before I need a break.  They are nonstop action and little character development.  I still like the books and I think they are a fun change, so we'll do the series but we may interject other material between books.

My husband is slowly making his way through the entire Harry Potter series (he's only a few years behind the rest of us) and is currently on the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  He really enjoyed the first three but was having a hard time getting into this book.  I think it has more to do with how little time he spends reading than the material itself. He has only been able to read for a few minutes a day, which must make it hard to get drawn into the story.

I, myself, have been reading nonstop lately. I think I've read two dozen books in the last three weeks, and I won't bore you with all of the titles. Currently I am in the middle of Bitterblue, the sequel to Graceling. (Yes, these are young adult titles. I read Graceling as part a book discussion group: Not Your Mother's Book Club, a group designed for adults who want to discuss YA books. It's been great - the discussions are interesting and have provided a different view of the material, and I feel that it's introduced me to titles that I'm certain my oldest daughter will want to read in a few years.)  I thought Graceling, though far from perfect, was an interesting story with a very redeemable, strong, and refreshing female character. I would actually recommend the story to others interested in this genre. Bitterblue, on the other hand, I'm ready to stop reading and I'm only halfway through. I won't stop - I will hold out hope that the book improves. But so far? I'm disappointed. A few other titles I've read lately include When She Woke, which is a wonderful, thought-provoking novel and a book I highly recommend and The Art of Racing in the Rain, another must-read which would also make for a nice discussion book.

My eleven-year old is a voracious reader and, like me, has a huge stack of books she's reading.  She recently finished Tuck Everlasting, and it has moved onto her list of all-time favorites. She is also reading Homeless Bird, the story of a thirteen-year-old girl in India facing an arranged marriage. It is a wonderful tale of courage and character.

On my ten-year-old's nightstand are the widest variety of books in terms of genre and difficulty. She just finished Matilda and thoroughly enjoyed the novel despite having hated the movie.  She is also reading Emily's Runaway Imagination, which is a true classic in many ways and a very fun read.

My eight-year-old is working her way through Edgar Eager's series, Tales of Magic. She is currently on Knight's Castle.  This series is timeless and I believe that most children will enjoy reading these books. I believe they are tagged for 3rd grade and up, but really any age will enjoy these tales of time-traveling children, magic, and misadventure.


And lastly, my little one (age 7) is very into poetry at the moment. Specifically, she is reading several Shel Silverstein books - for what seems like the hundredth time. :)  Runny Babbit is on one of her all-time favorites, and as such we're using it as inspiration for several language arts projects.  Runny Babbit, for anyone who doesn't know, involves poems in which the first two letters of words are switched. This creates funny creatures, like a Pinky Stig. This book would make a great gift or a good addition to the family library. We keep borrowing it from our public library, but I think I may put this on my birthday shopping list...


  1. Super good book list!
    I, too, enjoy reading lit from this level at times. Maybe because I love the kids who read the books at this level...
    I'll have to "Graceling" and "Bitterblue"!

    Thanks for another great post!

  2. Hi Karen,
    I have to say - Bitterblue was a disappointment. Ugh. Save yourself the wasted time!! But Graceling was good - not the best, but good enough (and a fast enough read) that I'd say go for it.
    Thanks so much for your comment!!!