February Reads for 2017
Last day of February ... sneaking in here at the last moment to catalog what has been read around these parts this month. My stack is still on the smallish side, but there has been lots of reading-aloud done and I've checked a couple books off my list that I've been wanting to get to so it's a win for me.
As far as read-alouds, we finished three this month, though only two are pictured above. One was the bedtime book for me and the boy - we are working our way through his sister's Roald Dahl collection and it has been such fun to read these again with him. The nice thing about Roald Dahl, besides his fantastic writing, is that his chapters are just the right length for a little boy winding down at night and on a good evening we can get through two during a reading sessions. Fantastic Mr. Fox was the recent read and enjoyed by both of us. We have since moved on to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which is always an excellent read-aloud. However, as I read, I go back and forth in my head between the Gene Wilder version and the Johnny Depp version of the movie, depending on which part of the book I am in. So confusing! And don't ask me to pick a favorite because I love them both! :)
As a collective bunch, we read aloud Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. This is the second time that I've read this one aloud - the last time was in 2010, before the boy was born. At that time, I had one 7 year old girl hanging in there with me while I read it (and two tag along little sisters) and it was a new book to both of us. This time, I just didn't love it as much. Peter and Tink really aren't very nice people! I think I prefer the polished up Walt Disney version.
The last read-aloud (not pictured) that we checked off this month was our science text, Apologia's Land Animals of the 6th Day. We started this "text" in the Fall of 2016 and it has taken us about a year and half (minus summer) to work our way through it. We have learned so many things about mammals and I'm so thankful that I got to read this along with the kids as part of our schooling. And now, I see the fruit as the three younger will spout out random and interesting animal facts that they have retained at different moments, ie., when the boy and I were emptying the dust canister from the vacuum and he comment that there were probably a lot of dust mites in there that we just swept up. Um, yes, there probably were! Ick. :)
Personal reads for me were all over the board this month! I finished Sally Clarkson's newest book Different, which was written with her son Nathan. This book probably deserves more discussion than I have room and time for here, but this is different than many of Sally's other books that she has written. This was a book written for the mama who is parenting that child at home that is what she calls an "out of the box kid." They don't fit the mold or expectation of how a child should learn and behave whether it is because of a larger than life personality, a learning struggle, clinical diagnoses of some kind, or a combination of any and/or all of the above. It was an encouraging read for me as we navigate different scenarios with a couple of our own and I need to go back and make note of some of those things that I marked the first time through. Highly recommend this one.
I read Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer as part of Amy's (@ Hope is the Word) Newbery Challenge. I'm two for two so far for 2017! Roller Skates is a story set in New York in the late 1800s. And, as always when I read books set in a time since past, I am amazed at the freedom given to children in that day and age. (A similar feeling struck me as I read the All of a Kind Family books and The Saturdays, and its sequels by Elizabeth Enright). You can read Amy's review of Roller Skates here - this could be a great read aloud as you study America during this time period, but might need a parental pre-read if you have super sensitive little ones.
Another one that I finished, not pictured in the photo was When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. This was the 2010 Newbery winner - and again, recommended by Amy - and it was good. There was mystery, fantasy, and lots of literary tie-in's to A Wrinkle in Time and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The last book that I read this month was one that I picked up on a whim at the library and read over our winter break. The After-room by Maile Meloy is the third book in the Apothecary series. I had read the first two books quite some time ago. Long enough that I was VERY fuzzy on characters and story line and pretty much everything going into the third book. That probably should have been a clue that I didn't love them enough to spend the time reading the third book, but I did anyway if just to see the series wrap up and move on.
And there's February and it's on to March. I realize that February is the shortest month, but it seemed to FLY by this year. If you read anything amazing and wonderful in the last while, do share. I am realizing that my books seem to be junior and YA lit heavy lately, but that is where I'm finding all sorts of reading gems so I'm unapologetic about it. :)