November 4, 2011

A Good Week for Reading!

This was, indeed, a good week for reading.  The best story comes from My Lovely Bride's classroom.  She has the daughter of another teacher in her fourth grade class this year.  The young lady is an active, fun girl, not much of one for sitting and reading.  Her mother, being a teacher, has dutifully spent a ton at every book fair, taken her to the library, played audiobooks in the car on trips.  Nothing has really taken.  Well, she liked one of the Dork Diaries books on audio, but the mom didn't really think that counted.

MLB has, as well, tried many different approaches.  Nothing.  Nothing, that is, until she basically bribed the girl to at least start on a book she thought might grab her.  Somehow the stars aligned and this one worked.  The mom caught the girl under her covers past lights out with a flashlight, devouring the first Sister's Grimm book.  The effusive thank yous from the mother are still echoing around here.

In my library, an order of kid-friendly books came in.  Some of my orders I earmark for teacher request, curriculum alignment, etc.  Some I earmark for kid requests and interests.  This was one of the latter.  The smiles of delight as kids left hugging new books in anticipation of just plain fun reading makes everything worthwhile.

At home we finished reading aloud what some call ''the perfect children's book.''  Burnett's The Secret Garden.  Treasured by MLB and now my daughter and I as well.

I finished reading Wendy Mass' Every Soul a Star and loved it.  The three narrators and their friends and siblings for the most part rang true, the setting was wonderfully unique and the story was great.  And it had astronomy!  And not in a heavy-handed way.  I have to say there was a wee bit of over coincidence at times (two sets of parents who decide to move and uproot their families without really telling their kids at the same time?) but even that didn't topple the smooth narrative.  It's been favorably compared to Spinelli's Stargirl.  I love them both but would have to give this one the edge.  It's just more affecting for some reason.  And the star party campground?  The Penderwick family needs to visit there!

2 comments:

Jenny said...

Our school librarian (a good friend) just this morning suggested that my 3rd grader might like the Sisters Grimm series. I read the first one, years ago when I taught in the upper grades, and think it's a wonderful idea. You've just reinforced that!

I haven't thought about The Secret Garden in years. I will have to add that to our family to-read list (after we finish the last two Harry Potters).

Jim Randolph said...

Enjoy them!

-Jim