Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February Reading Wrap-up

Saturday sweetness: third cup of coffee, kids snuggled up watching tv on my bed, slowly reading and underlining through Roots and Sky by @christiepurifoy. A delightful calm before the ordinary Saturday chores of groceries and errands and other family thin

2/2 The Twenty One Balloons by William Pรจne de Bois is our new after lunch read-aloud and if the rest of the book is a quick paced and interesting as the first two chapters were, we will enjoy this one. And at only 10 chapters and around 150 pages, it wil

We finished one of our morning read alouds that we have been looping through. I must say, I'm glad to be through this one! #readaloudrevival

We started a new read aloud yesterday. #readaloudrevival #itssimplytuesday

February was an improved month for reading - maybe all the snow days helped! We flew through several read alouds this month and I read three books for pleasure / at the request of the girls.

This month (or at the tail end of January) I finished:

  • The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1) by Rick Riordan. Read at the request of N1, this was a Norse knock-off of the Percy Jackson series. Same scenario - underdog human finds out that he is of mythical decent (Norse gods this time v. Greek) and manages to save Earth from destruction. I think I'll stick with Percy. 
  • Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by E. Nesbit. We finished one of our books from our morning circle time / read aloud loop! We definitely loved some of Shakespeare's tales more than others - there is a reason why some of them are obscure I think. : ) That said, as a mama who spent a lot of time in high school with just MacBeth and Romeo and Juliet, I enjoyed the peek at some of the other plays. We are going to give Shakespeare a little rest, and then I think we are going to read through Charles and Mary Lamb's overview of the Bard's work
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. In January, our main school-day read-aloud was Anne. It took us almost six weeks to finish, but I think I've securely captured their hearts with her. N2 (age 10) went on to start and has almost finished Anne of Avonlea on her own ... we toyed with the idea of going on with Anne as a group, but I just don't think that B (age 8) is ready to appreciate it, nor is the boy. : )
  • Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy. This was recommended to me by a friend and was just a beautiful, beautiful book. Christie tells the story of her family's first year at Maplehurst, an old estate house on what used to be a large farm. Her writing is wonderful and I felt like I spent the year with her and her family in this house as they struggled and grew. Loved it, and I predict I will read this one again. (She blogs here).
  • Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein. Another book that N1 handed off to me after she finished and told me to read. I had read the first book in this series, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, and loved it so she didn't have to twist my arm too hard. Lots of little literary jokes and mentions that I loved.
  • The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois. Another read-aloud we flew through in a week. Ten short chapters and an excellent adventure. I foresee reading this again when the boy is older because I think he'll love it.

Happy World Read Aloud Day. Apparently it's a thing. I'm cool with that. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ“š #readaloudrevival

Our next read-aloud - the third in the All of Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor. #readaloudrevival

Currently in process:

  • The Life-giving Home and Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. I'm going back and forth between the two books and enjoying them both though this probably isn't the recommended way of reading them. : ) I need the message of both so I'm sticking with my unorthodox approach right now!
  • All of a Kind Family Uptown by Sydney Taylor. Our post-lunch read-aloud.
  • Tumtum and Nutmeg by Emily Bearn. Our evening read-aloud, when it fits. Specifically reading this one for the boy since he missed our first go round with this one.
  • I'm having a dreadful time getting into anything fiction right now. I read about 1/4-1/3 of the way into The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr. but it wasn't hitting the spot for me. I'm setting it aside for now. 
  • I've recently been added to a group of friends on Facebook that are reading through Modern Mrs. Darcy's yearly reading challenge. Next month (if' I'm correct) I'm supposed to read a book that I own but have never read. I think I'm going to tackle All the Light I Cannot See. My friend Amy recommended this to me last year, and (to my recollection) she's never steered me wrong! 
I think that's it. Anybody else read anything interesting lately? I'm spending most of my online time on Instagram, and posting more current pics and thoughts on what we are reading lately ... I hesitate to say that I'm abandoning this and moving to more microblogging over there, so we shall see. : )

Happy Thursday!

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Series books for a Voracious Girl Reader

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series // One of the best kids' series I've read in my quest to find good stuff for my kids. Quirky characters, orphans raised by wolves, delicious dialogue ... fun for mama and munchkins to read. It would make aThe Prydian Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander // a great beginning fantasy series! Very reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings but scaled way back for younger readers. We have read the first three together and I'm ready to go back and finish the series. #MMDrea

A friend recently stopped me and asked me for some book suggestions for her daughter who is a voracious reader. This girl is somewhere between my two N's ages and needed some ideas of new series and authors to try and boy, did my eyes light up when she asked me for some ideas. I just adore giving book suggestions to folks ... I gives me an excuse to keep justifying my reading of junior and young adult literature! : )

Anyway, I decided to cut and paste the list to my blog so that if asked the question again, I can point someone to the list without having to rethink and type it out again. So, without further ado, my list of recommended series for girls, aged 10-12, who love to read:
The Mysterious BenedictSociety – a trilogy with nice thick books + a 4th book which is a prequel.

*** Trenton Lee Stewart has a new book coming out this fall. Enabler alert!!!! ****

The Incorrigible Children ofAshton Place – there are five books in this series and she has one more to go, as yet unpublished

The Penderwicks – four books in this five book series have been published.

The Chronicles of Prydian – these fantasy books remind me so much of The Lord of the Rings, but in a much younger, scaled back way. N2 has LOVED these books as we have read them aloud (we still have two more to go to finish the series.)

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson – these might be a bit too old for her, but if she has read the entire Harry Potter series, I would think she could handle the suspense of them (they aren’t gory at all). Very Narnia-ish as far as fantasy with lots of wonderful characters and creatures.

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic,Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure and it’s sequel Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & AnotherVery Strange Adventure – a fun quirky series

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library – a mystery in a library with lots of literary references. There is also a sequel now!

Saavy, Scumble and Switch by Ingrid Law – three book series about a family that all develop curious abilities when they reach thirteen.

Inkheart, Inkspell andInkdeath. These might be a bit too old as well, but I would have probably eaten them up at 5th or 6th grade so I’m recommending them.

Betsy-Tacy series. If she hasn’t read these, she must. The first four are when Betsy and her friend Tacy are grade school age; the second four in the series are highschool and early married life. We haven’t read the second foursome yet, not because they are inappropriate in anyway, but just because I don’t think the girls will “get it” as much. But totally clean and delightful.

She might not be ready for Anne of Green Gables yet – I fell in love with the series around 6th grade so she’s not far off. If you want to try some of L.M. Montgomery’s books with her, I would suggest Jane of Lantern Hill, or The Story Girl and it’s sequel, The Golden Road. The girls and I have read those three outloud and loved them. We are currently reading the first Anne book outloud and N2 and B are very into it. (N1 not as much, but just because she’s listened to it on audio!)

The All of A Kind Familybooks by Sydney Taylor. Five Jewish sisters living in depression era New York. So so good.

The Sisters’ Grimm – N2 just finished reading this series and loved it. All the fairy tale characters intermarried with real life and modern times.

Happy reading!