You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2012.
LitKid’s librarian has instigated two book club events for fifth-grade girls to pair up with an adult partner to read a book and then come together after school to discuss it. The first selection was Cynthia Lord’s Rules, and I enjoyed that book and discussion very much.
When time came a few weeks ago for us to read Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, I had deadline after deadline and time got away from me. Suddenly it was the day of the discussion, and I had barely read one chapter. Not one of my stellar parenting moments.
Then I had a crafty thought – my 83-year-old mother was visiting and recovering from a whirlwind few days (including representing the Class of 1951 in cap and gown at her alma mater’s inauguration of a new president). Could I convince her to spend her rest day reading Walk Two Moons? Being a saintly sort of mom, she said she would give it her best shot.
By 4:30, she had read all but a few chapters, and accompanied my girl to the discussion. I sat in on it, too, so we had three generations of readers
there; even though I could offer very little of substance to the discussion, I loved listening.
In the end, I believe my poor planning in the reading-ahead department led to a wonderful gift for my LitKid and her grandmother. What a cool thing for them to sit there together that day and talk about this wonderful story in which grandparents play such an endearing and important role for a young girl, just as my mother has for my daughter through some difficult Big Life events, including early-life medical challenges and divorce.
I will let my LitKid write the true review, telling you about the plot and characters, and I’ll just share the sort of perfect way I came to finish the book.
This past weekend, LitKid and I headed to Asheville for a visit with close friends; I also attended an excellent SCBWI Master Class on Plot with editor Cheryl Klein of Scholastic Press/Arthur A. Levine. I was happy to find that the audiobook version of Walk Two Moons was in the car, as a road trip is the perfect setting for this story. It is among other things, a road trip tale, and beyond that, what could be better than listening to such an engagingly plotted book on the way to and from my class?
I loved the plot setup, the characters, the voices and the sense I had of going back in time to the feeling I had reading my favorite books as a child; I don’t always get that feeling reading contemporary kids’ literature, so when I do, it is special.
I can use that joking phrase “I laughed, I cried …” with complete sincerity when it comes to Walk Two Moons. Driving through the rain, I laughed out loud with my girl, who was sucked back into the story even though she had just read it a few weeks back, and at the end, the tears (of joy and sorrow) came. Without giving away any plot points, I will just say that I walked two moons in Salamanca’s shoes as a young girl, and the book had deep personal meaning for me in addition to being a memorable story well-deserving of its Newbery Medal.
If you have not read it, please put it on your list (no matter how old a kid you happen to be).
One thing that I find unique about my school is that books are an everyday part of life. My school librarian hosts and organizes book clubs and there are reading electives. For example, last term my homeroom teacher taught Blue Ribbon books.
I just find that unique that reading is tied into learning every day. Everybody deserves to have the ability to read.
I saw a cool image online that said, “KEEP CALM AND READ ON.”
This is so true!
After Ever After
By Jordan Sonnenblick
(Before you read this post, you should read my review of Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.)
After Ever After, the brother to Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, is really inspiring. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie leaves off when Jeffrey is about 9. After Ever After is told from Jeffrey’s viewpoint this time. He’s all grown up and about to graduate from middle school. His older brother Steven has flown off to Africa to join a drum circle. Jeffrey’s overcome his cancer and met another survivor, too. Thaddeus Ibsen is no ordinary kid. He’s survived cancer two times and now uses a wheelchair. Lindsey Abraham comes into this story, too. She’s a newcomer from California and thinks Jeffrey’s cute; that grosses him out. I don’t want to spoil the end, so read the book to find out more.
By Paul Acampora
Dulcie is a sixteen-year-old girl, coming from a long line of janitors. She is barely managing to get over a major trajedy. Left with only her mom, who is lovable, but most of the time just drives her crazy, she flees the house and drives across the country in her father’s old pick up truck in search for her grandfather. She meets new friends and learns important life lessons along the way.
What I loved about this book is that the author was able to mix up so many emotions into one book. The descriptions were so detailed and if I were in the same situation as Dulcie, I would be feeling the exact same thing.
I would recommend this book to people who like happy endings and a lot of drama. This book is NOT for people that can get very emotional.
~BookAddict, 10-year-old guest reviewer (LitKid’s BFF)
Today we have our smart-phones, flat-screens and game consoles, right?
Instead of planting my eyes on a screen all the time, I curl up with a good book. I love reading because it can take you on many an adventure: Rescuing a princess, a stolen ring, or perhaps repaying a favor to the Lord(s) of Death.
From my viewpoint, electronics are like unhealthy foods: bad for us. They cause our eyes to glaze over and we don’t get outside and stuff.
What draws me into a book is a thick plot: a thief has kidnapped the queen and will only let her out for 2,000,000 dollars of ransom, but the king rescues her anyways. Another thing that draws me in is good description: ‘She crept through the alley as silent as a tiger, glancing this way and that every so often to make sure nobody saw her sneaking away with the burlap bag of money.’
So all you techno geeks try to make an effort to unplug and curl up with a book. Books can take you to faraway places. You could read for hours and your eyes wouldn’t glaze over.
Unlike when you spend all your time playing your DS’s and watching TV.
The Fourth Stall
By Chris Rylander
Walden Pond Press, 2011
Mac is a problem-solving kid. If you need McDonald’s for lunch or you need to get into a movie, Mac can hook ya up from his office in the boys’ bathroom. The one thing Mac can’t solve is his own problem: Staples. Staples is a deadly gambler who sets up rings and does things like pay people to miss easy free throws in basketball.
Though, he does come through in the end. With the help of some friends, some scheming, and a whole lot of gut, Mac wins the battle.
You rule, Chris Rylander, if you’re reading this!!!!!!