Saturday Reading Corner

Usually on Saturdays I post a weekly update, but we are winding down here for the year. The kids are doing less and less academic work, so I find it hard to write an academic update when there is not much going on academically.

Although academics are done for the school year that does not mean that no learning is going on. It just means that the kids are learning and doing what they please, and we are all enjoying the change. I am enjoying it so much that I am debating whether or not the kids should unschool next year, but alas that is a discussion for another post.

In this post I want to talk about reading and books, two of my favorite subjects. This week I have been reading aloud to the kids from four different books, and my book-loving kids have been in heaven.

One of the books we are reading is The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt. This book is part of the Johnny Dixon series which I have mentioned before on the blog. The boys love this series, and I think the draw is that they are spooky and a little scary (especially if you are on the younger side). The books were written in the eighties, but they take place in the fifties, and it seems a perfect combination. The eighties were a time when kids weren’t coddled so much, hence the horror element and occasional swearing, and the fifties were a time when people were a little rough around the edges, hence the smoking, gruff professor who is a main character of the books. This is a great series for any young mystery/horror fans, and we are all having so much fun with it.

Another book that we are reading this week is the final installment in The Sisters Grimm series, The Council of Mirrors. The twins, especially Autry, have loved this series from the very beginning. It was the first series of books that Autry ever collected, and it went a long way towards making here the book lover that she is today.

Honestly I don’t love this series. I find the writing average, the constant pop culture references annoying, and the plot confusing at times. I do love the characters though, and I think that is part of the draw for the kids. One character in particular, Puck, is very funny and his hijinks are the highlight of the books for the kids. They love Puck, and the rest of the characters, and we can’t wait to see how this series in. We are about fifty pages away, and I know all the kids, especially Autry, will be a little sad when we finish that last page.

Another series I have mentioned here before is the Akimbo series. Decca reluctantly began the first book we had, Akimbo and the Crocodile Man, and soon was under the spell of these sweet, short, first-chapter books. We are on our third book from the series, Akimbo and the Baboons, and he is still loving them. The books all have the same set-up. Akimbo lives on a nature preserve in Africa with his parents, and some scientist or naturalist visits their home to study an animal. Akimbo gets to go along with the person to study the animals, and something dangerous happens. Akimbo uses his smarts and knowledge of animals to get out of the situation and then the book ends with everyone safe. Akimbo is a great series for any kid that loves animals and is just starting to read independently. Honestly they are below Decca’s reading level, but he loves animals hence his high interest.

Finally Tru and I continued our study of Shakespeare this week (something he is enjoying so much!), and he and I both recommend the No Fear series. The translations are side-by-side with the text, and that helps so much when you are reading it. Next up for us is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I am going to have Autry read that with us. She will be out of school soon, and I am looking forward to spending a good deal of the summer enjoying many great books with here. I can’t wait!

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