Summer Reading

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The youngest boy has been reading and listening to many books this summer, and a few have turned out to be much-loved. The summer started out with him on a Brixton Brothers kick. He read all four books, and then together we listened to three of them on audiobooks. Unfortunately the fourth one was never made into an audiobook much to the annoyance of the boy. The boy was also bothered about the fact that there were no more sequels, so he contacted the author, and the author was very nice and replied back to him. The boy often contacts authors, and I am so surprised at how many respond to him. It is great for my author-to-be.

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After reading the Brixton Brothers he listened to The Wolfstonecraft Detective Agency. I picked this one out, and he wasn’t sure he would like it. Thankfully he is willing to give anything a try, and he did enjoy this book. I don’t think he was as crazy about it as some of our other choices this summer, but he is waiting for the sequel to come out. That’s always a good sign.

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The Island of Dr. Libris was a quick, fun read. He didn’t talk about it too much, but he did like it and got through it in one day. He was a fan of Escape from Mr. Limoncello’s Libraryso I was hoping he would like this one too. It didn’t disappoint, but I don’t think it was as much loved as some of the others.

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The boy loves to listen to a Doctor Who book every now and then. The Way Through the Woods is probably one of his favorites. He has actually listened to this twice which shows how much he liked it. Doctor Who books are probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but for my son they are a fun way to spend an afternoon.

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Both my son and I have been listening to The War That Saved My Life. This is a wonderful book that I would recommend to others especially for children 9 and up. It is about a young neglected girl with a clubfoot who is evacuated out of London during WW2. My son was a little reluctant to listen to it, but it has now become his favorite book of the summer. The audio version is especially wonderful because the narrator does such a great job.

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!

Summer Reading List

I love to read to the kids, and I haven’t had much opportunity this past year because of being in school full-time. This summer I plan to make up for all our loss time by reading as many books as possible. I am creating a list now for us, and I have come up with some good picks. I am trying to have a nice mix of classics ( which Tru seems to love) and more modern books. This is what I have come up with so far:

Pinocchio – We have been meaning to read this for so long, and I don’t know why, but we never seem to get to it. Right now we are reading the latest Sisters Grimm book, and the character of Pinocchio is one of the main characters. In the book the sisters visit the book of Pinocchio. Hearing it described made the kids and I want to read this story (the boys especially want to read it after hearing about all the horrible things that happens to Pinocchio), so this will be our first pick. I am hoping that it will be as good as I expect it to be.

Next on our list is a series that I started to read to the kids a few months ago, but I could never get into it, so I stopped. The kids keep asking me about it though, and they really want to finish it, so I am going to give it a go again. The series is the Green Knowe series, and I am not sure why I didn’t like them, but I didn’t. I think I didn’t like reading it out loud. The names were so hard for me to read. Toseland, Tolly, Mother Knowe, etc., and after reading a few pages I was always done, much to the annoyance of the kids. I will try again and see how it goes. We will start with The Children of Green Knowe then move onto Treasure of Green Knowe and end with The River at Green Knowe. There are three more books in the series, but I haven’t bought them yet, and I honestly don’t know if I will. I need to see if I can make it through these three books first.

After the Green Knowe books I think we will read Andrew Henry’s Meadow. I don’t know much about this book yet, but it gets great reviews at Amazon. The book was published over forty years ago and apparently it has amazing illustrations, which the kids and I always enjoy. The book is about a secret hideout, another thing we love, and it is only 48 pages. A short book with great pictures is always a nice change of pace, and something that Decca really needs after so many long chapter books.

Next I think I will read The Lightning Thief to the kids. I have never been interested in the series (or the movie which looked absolutely horrible), but a friend recommended it to me, and I think the twins will really like it. Hopefully Decca and I will enjoy it too.

We will end the summer with two books by one of my favorite authors, Edward Eager. I have read Half Magic, Magic by the Lake, and Seven-Day Magic to the kids, and they all loved them. This summer I will read Knight’s Castle and The Time Garden to them. I think this will be a perfect way to end the summer.

I love reading books to the kids, and I can’t wait to get started on our summer reading list. How about you? If you have any great books to recommend to us let me know. I am always looking for something great to read!