Sunday, April 30, 2017

What She Read in April 2017

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Squeaking in on the last day of the month to report on April's reading. Such a good month for read-alouds in this house. I'm not saying it's because we are thisclose to the end of the school year, and right now reading aloud is about all we feel like doing! (Math and a few other things are still in the loop, but the end is in sight.) We finished four read-alouds this month, and I read three books - two in the last week ... another sign that I'm about to get a small reprieve from school stuff for some fun reading downtime. :)

Our read-alouds that we finished were:

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  • Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. The boy and I read this at bedtime over the last month and as I mentioned in March's post, I really enjoyed reading it this time around. The stories are just so clever and funny. I know some of the humor went over Ethan's head, but they were animal stories which automatically makes it a hit with him. 
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  • The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong. This was such a great book. We were totally sucked into the story of the school children in this small Dutch town. The towns surrounding their small area all have storks that come and nest on the roofs of the houses - why doesn't their town have storks? A simple question asked leads to this small town on a quest and several unexpected friendships to bring the storks back to Shora. Loved this one!
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  • Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton. This book is such a gem. The story of Henry who loves to draw. But one day one of his drawings escapes and comes to life and, as expected, mayhem ensues. Lots of big thoughts about how it can be scary to be an artist and let your work out so others can see it ... and comment on it! My books is littered with little post-its of great quotes and turns of phrases that I wanted to remember:
Quest. It was probably the best word of all the words ever made up. It meant going on a really long journey to find something you want a whole lot.
Henry was telling the truth. Dragons aren't scary - well, they are, but they're a good kind of scary. They're the kind of scary you want to be scared of. People are the bad kind of scary, he thought. Dragons can only eat you, but people can laugh at you, and that is like being chewed to death with a smile.
It is a dangerous thing to open a door. But that, after all, is the only way to find an adventure.
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Of note: we got to meet the author at a book signing for Henry, and she was delightful. :)
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      • Stuart Little by E.B. White. This is the first time that I have ever read this one which surprises even myself, considering I'm such a fan of Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan (review). We enjoyed it - I do have a soft spot for mouse tales - but I also found this book a little on the odd side. It was a nice short read-aloud, but Stuart is no Wilbur. 
      The books that I read this month:
      • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. I picked this one up for Amy's Newbery Challenge. I'm just sure that I read this at some point as a child, but it has been a while! It's the story of young Kit who must move to colonial Connecticut to live with her extremely strict relatives. The religious liberty that these colonists came to America to find have them extremely suspicious of anything that doesn't fit into their mold, and Kit finds herself very lonely until she meets a women who most of the village suspects is a witch. Fascinating read about early America and one that I think I'll pass on to N2 this next year when we return to American history in our studies.
      • The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertram. This is fun literary mystery set in San Francisco. I read Bertram's Book Scavenger last year enough to make sure that the sequel was on our shelves when it came out last week. If you liked Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library or books with lots of literary references sprinkled throughout, I recommend this one!
      • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. This book was recommended to me by Nicole on Instagram. I enjoy mysteries (can't get the Nancy Drew out of a girl once she's hooked) and when she said this was a YA series based on the descendants of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, I decided to give it a try. This was a great mystery and I definitely liked the premise of the Watson and Holmes descendants always finding each other. That said, I didn't care for some of the language in the book, but that is my only quibble with this. 
      And with that we are on to May. :) With the prospect of school ending, a family road-trip, and the pool opening in the next several weeks, I have high hopes for more reading time to come. Which means a summer reading list, naturally!

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