Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Reading

One thing I'm trying to do this summer (and remember folks, we're only in week 2 here) is to read with my kids. I used to read with my daughter quite a bit and with my son some.  My daughter and I have read many books together:  The Secret Garden, Pippi Longstocking, Alice in Wonderland, A Wrinkle in Time, among others.

She refused to read The Outsiders so I started reading it to her this summer and now she really likes it.  See, mom does know best!  I promised to show her the movie after we finish and point out all the actors I drooled over when I was her age.  I just loved me some Matt Dillon!

I'm looking for suggestions for our next book together.  I'm thinking of To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or The Book Thief.  She's 12 but pretty mature for her age and like I said, I'll be reading it with her.  So if anyone has any suggestions.

Clara has actually made me read some of her favorite books like When You Reach Me and Heartbeat.  Two awesome books for young adults that I highly, highly recommend.  The best part about When You Reach Me is that it refers to A Wrinkle in Time but it's so much more than that.  Heartbeat is written all in poems but it tells a complete story.  Trust me, you'll cry.  For my summer reading, I'm working my way through the Percy Jackson series.  They are perfect for the pool and they don't make me cry.  'Cause that would just be embarrassing at the pool.

As for my son, we're reading The Phantom Tollbooth.  And if you have not read that book then you need to drop everything and get a copy now.  It's that good.  What are you waiting for?  GO!  I've read this book many times as a kid and read it to my daughter and am now enjoying it all over again with my son.  I get something new out of it every time I read it.  Next, we're going to finish the Narnia series, I think we only have 2 books left.    He's 9 going on 10 so if anyone has any good ideas for that age, send them on.

It's really a win-win reading with my kids:  not only do I look like a great mom (right?), I also get to read a bunch of books that I never did as a child.  I totally skipped the Narnia series so it's nice to know what they are all about.

Quick story about that:  I started reading The Secret Garden when I was young but then one night my mother made dusty potatoes and I came down with a fever.  So, I never finished the book because I always associated it with dusty potatoes and being sick, even though none of those things are in any way related.

Check back in a month though to see if I'm still reading to them or if we've just gone straight to watching the movie version.


  1. I Have No Suggestions As Your Choices Seem Pretty Fine.
    An Idea For A Meme-Question Popped Into My Head While I Was Reading Your Post. 'What Was The First Book You Ever Read Twice'? I Must Now Go Away & Try To Think Of The Answer To My Own Question!

  2. I first read "The Outsiders" when I was about 11, and loved it. And I enjoy watching the film, thinking "This is like a Who's Who of who's going to be a big star for the next few years."

    As far as what to read next? "To Kill a Mockingbird." "To Kill a Mockingbird." "To Kill a Mockingbird!"

    Uhhh... in case I was being too subtle, there... "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD!!!"

    Then, go watch the movie.

  3. books and kids - two my favorite things

    and reading good books to kids - there is nothing better!!

    since you mentioned narnia - a few other series popped into mind that are MOST EXCELLENT:

    susan cooper's the dark is rising sequence - according to the portal:
    "a five-book series of children's contemporary fantasy novels by Susan Cooper, published in 1965–1977, which depicts the struggle between the forces of good, called The Light, and the forces of evil, known as The Dark. The series is based on Arthurian myths and Celtic and Norse legend, and is written primarily for older children and young adults. One of the books won the Newbery medal, and another was an honor book."

    ursula leguin - specifically the earth-sea books - a mature 12 year old will love them (as with her ma)....and if she's really mature you two might want to venture into other worlds ursula creates such as in 'the left hand of darkness'

    brian jacques redwall series is also wonderful - but of course as most of the heros are mice! again according to the portal:
    "The books are primarily aimed at older children, but have fans of all ages. There have been twenty-one novels and two picture books published as of early 2011. The twenty-second and final novel, The Rogue Crew, was released on May 3, 2011." apparently there is a tv series spin off, but i don't know about that....i (read aloud) just the first couple books...can't speak for all twenty one books!

    when emma was your daughter's age she was hooked on the anne of green gables books - she was introduced to them after a family vacation to prince edward island, where we visited the house of green gables, then we bought the first book and i read the ENTIRE book aloud on the drive home to connecticut from pei! ah, the days before audio books!!

    i have jotted down your recommendation of the phantom tollbooth... and will check it out next trip to the library. which probably means tomorrow!

    these days younger kids a constant in my life (ms t is just about to turn 6; and baby bingo just 6 mos) so my kid lit is geared toward a younger group ..picture books and books heavy on word play ...i miss keeping up with what's new and up regarding the 8-14 year old group

    oh one last book - are you familiar with julie andrews kid book the great american mousical? i haven't read it yet, but recently bought a copy.... julie wrote it with her daughter.

    oh speaking of books with mice, my niece loved the the tale of despereaux, when she was your sons age - remember they made a movie so another movie tie in!

    oh a tree grows in brooklyn one of my personal childhood favorites!

    perhaps bradbury's fahrenheit 451 for your daughter - can be a conversation starter and with a movie tie in too!

    sounds like a great summer reading plan!

  4. Johnny Tremain, Call of the Wild, the books by James Harriot (DVD's now available) and did you know A Wrinkle in Time was adapted to film? At your daughter's age, I also read Gone with the Wind...

  5. have not read phantom toll booth in forever...i need to hit that up again as wellas your two YA selections as i am always looking for something for the kids i work with as well...get back to you on some suggestions as i am not by mybookshelf now...

  6. I second Kimmy on Anne of Green Gables series. I think I read your copy of the series once summer when I was home from UVM. Loved it. I started reading anything Mom read at Clara's age. If she likes mysteries, you might want to introduce her to Hercule Poirot (courtesy of Dame Agatha Christie) or any of her other characters such as Miss Marple. I would love to have a $1 for every time I read The Outsiders. Never saw the movie. It would ruin the book for me. This is probably a good time to start Jorge on some Isaac Asimov short stories. Also, Rendezvous with Rama is an interesting trilogy. He may be up to it. Or Clara. Also, The Hobbit is a good choice for both, especially as the movie is underway.

  7. It's a good thing to read to kids. My daughter's an avid reader. Sadly I've let slide. She loved all the Chronicles of Narnia stuff but as she grew older her tastes became quite adult and she was reading Michael Crighton at 12-13 years of age. I think kids these days like a little more thrill in their novels.

  8. To Kill A Mockingbird is a great book and so are the others you listed. The Secret Garden is good too.

    When I was 11 we moved to a new school and being the voracious book reader that I was, I read every book in their library. My younger brothers and sisters would try to find one that I had not read and they never did. My mom would find me up all night reading books while everyone else was sleeping. That went on even through college. I admit it, I was a fanatical book reader. Now I have switched and read things on the computer and a few books. Not sure why I stopped, maybe it was after the girls grew up. I mean I was a person who would even read the encyclopedia just for the fun of it.

    But I guess I could toot my own horn here and tell you that I have printed out copies of my Opal Nation series and the young teenagers I have given it to have read it as fast as they could. They do bug me to write more stories for it. It was written to go with Theme Thursdays and then I stopped due to my shoulder injury and did a few more but stopped. You can reach it from the "View My Profile" on my sidebar or scroll through all my posts, but I put it all on one site to make it easier. I think there is 26 chapters right now. Start at the first one and at the end of each one is a cliff hanger and all are tied in to that weeks Theme Thursday. I guess I do need to start them again. I was truly surprised at the teens who really liked them along with their parents. I think they would be happy if I started it up again. Anyway it is free and a different kind of book then any out there. Please let me know if you do read it.

    God bless.