Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Heavenly Summer Reading

Do you guys do summer reading lists or programs or anything?  In the past, we've not really followed any plans in particular, mostly since summer stayed fairly equal to the rest of the year in our pre-school lives.  Now, though, with Kindergarten under our belts, I'm excited for the free time we're finding hidden throughout our days. 

Beyond lazing around on the floor doing art projects and chasing the neighbor-boy around the street, we have a lot more time to read.  Days are freer.  Nights are lazier.  We're basking in the nothingness of summer while trying to keep the (dadgum) house clean for potential buyers. 

So books have become my favorite part of summer so far, and we're only two weeks into our break.  The other day, I stopped by the bookstore with a plan to give myself some fabulous new novels, but instead, I accidentally walked out of the store with a short stack of books for the girls.  I should be using the library, but the thought of three kids + the library is overwhelming my sensibilities.  Instead, I'm racking up a large book bill.  But that's not the point.  The point is, I came home with a summer reading bundle.  Here's what's on our shelf:



1. Matilda by Roald Dahl.  This one is going to be saved for last, I think, because Lauren is still a little antsy during chapter books.  Matilda, if I remember right, has some heavy themes that might take more concentration.  Plus, she's heard about Miss Trunchbull -- I think she saw parts of the movie at my aunt's house awhile back -- and bad-ladies scare her.  In book form, her fear might not be so bad, but if it doesn't work for Lauren, I still think Mia will enjoy it for some special Mama & Mia time.

2. The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley.  This book caught my eye because it's part of a big series.  Two sisters become detectives on adventures which last through at least 10 books: perfect for my two girls, I think.  We're reading it right now, and it's caught our imaginations and attention very well!

3. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary.  We finished this book in a few days, so I'm fairly sure we'll be reading more of the series soon to keep our summer entertaining.  Lauren LOVED Ramona and her loud, sticky, stubborn ways, while Mia laughed at how much Ramona irritated Beezus.  But the message behind the story -- that it's okay for sisters to not always be best friends -- made me say oh, thank goodness.  It was really JUST what my tired-mama ears needed to hear.  Thanks, Beverly Cleary :)

4. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall.  I know almost nothing about this book, but it looked like a good one!  It won a National Book Award, though, and has gotten wonderful reviews, promising excellently crafted writing and an engaging, humorous plot for all ages, parents included.  The Penderwicks are four sisters who travel to an estate in Massachusetts for a summer vacation, and get themselves into charming adventures while there.  I'm really excited to read this book with the girls!





So what do you think?  Will you be reading anything in particular this summer with your kids?  Have you read any of our choices?  And do you think it's okay for me to start reading The Penderwicks tonight by myself so I don't have to wait any longer?

18 comments:

  1. I think I will look for the Sisters Grimm series for my 9 yo who loves to read everything. She and I are going to read Harry Potter together this summer. She's been wanting to read it, and I wanted to wait until summer when I could read along with her and have time to talk about what we read. Namely, that you can't lie, sneak around, make bad decisions without consequences, despite how Harry might make it look!

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    1. Oh, I can't wait until the girls are old enough for Harry Potter! I think it will still be several years, but I envision exciting family story times :)

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  2. Oh, and we really like the 39 Clues series. We're only on book 4, but it keeps me and her interested. However, it is probably not appropriate for your younger girls. The main characters are 11 and 14 yo siblings and they aren't always nice to each other.

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  3. These are all great picks that we'll have to snag for our summer reading list (haven't read any of these together year)! We are reading some C.S. Lewis, "Mrs. Pigglewiggle" by Betty MacDonald on audiobook, the Hard Boys series and the American Girls series. Henry is really enjoying himself some Mem Fox picture books.

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    1. The Hardy Boys! And I love the idea of an audiobook, especially for long summer drives.

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    2. What's the American Girl's series? I have a book about Kirstin from when I was a little girl, but I thought the American Girl's weren't doing historical characters anymore. Tell me what I'm missing! (Sorry I'm commenting on all your comments, Sarah! I just can't help myself!)

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    3. As far as I know, it's the same series. We have one -- Felicity, I think? -- that we picked up for Mia last year, but none of us could get into it. It was a hard read-aloud, I thought; maybe better for individual readers? Anyway, we haven't gotten anymore but we might try again if we run out of options.

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  4. I'm going to put The Sisters Grimm on our summer list. Thanks for the recommendation! Have you guys read Mrs. Pigglewiggle yet? I noticed Danielle mentioned it and it's one of our favorites. We're reading The Borrowers right now (partly because I want to see The Secret World of Arietty this summer!) and I'm thinking about getting the first book of the Anne of Green Gables series. (Do you think seven is too young for Anne of Green Gables?)

    Oh, how I love summer reading! :-)

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    1. I saw The Borrowers in the birthday post. So, what do you think? We had a hard time getting through it! I don't think we'll be reading others in the series. We found a movie from the 80's on Apple TV, btw, called The Borrowers which is loosely based on the book.

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    2. No, we haven't read Mrs. Pigglewiggle, but two recommendations count as gospel-truth to me, so it's definitely on our list :) Seven is DEFINITELY not too young for Anne! I remember checking that book out of our library when I was in second grade, and Kat is WAY more emotionally mature than I was. I think she'll love it! Anne's dramatic flights of fancy seem perfect for Katherine :)

      And I just saw an advertisement for The Secret World of Arietty -- I think the synchronicity of you mentioning it is fate telling me to read The Borrowers...

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    3. I was kind of surprised by The Borrowers. I remember loving it as a little girl, but it definitely gets off to a slow start. It feels kind of dated, too, and not just because it's an old book about a far off time; there's something about the writing. Once we started, I wasn't sure Katherine would want to stick with it, but she's surprised me. She keeps pushing it into my hands and begging for another chapter. I think the IDEA of the Borrowers is just really exciting for her. (Or maybe she's just THAT eager to watch a movie...)

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  5. Does that mean you got the house you showed me? YAY!! Okay: our reading list-- we're working through the Ramonas, too, and I'll have to put Roald Dahl up next. Have you read the Betsy-Tacy books? E loves those so much; we're about halfway through the series. I also have ready to go the E.B. White books, The Borrowers, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, and other books I loved, because of course this is at least 50% about my need to reread my faves. Are you going to bring back your found at the library series? Because I always loved that!

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    1. Well, not really :/ We've made our offer, and they've accepted, but it all still hinges on whether or not we can sell THIS house. Fingers crossed...

      I'll have to look up Betsy-Tacy -- the name sounds super familiar. And YES, reading with my kids is heavily weighted towards what *I* want to read :)

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    2. Betsy-Tacy! Oh, yes, yes...

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    3. Also, Robin, I'm not planning on doing the library series any time soon, but I think about it all the time! I'm always wanting to share book ideas and get suggestions. For now, the sporadic update will have to do. Because the library still intimidates me :)

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  6. Hadn't heard of THE SISTERS GRIMM - am putting it on my list now! Thanks!

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  7. I'd never heard of the Sisters Grimm either, but I'll definitely look into it!
    I'd second all the books on your list, as well as someone else's suggestion of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. And if you're going on any family road trips, try the audio books of Beverly Cleary's other well-known character, Henry Huggins. They are narrated by Neil Patrick Harris and he does an amazing job! Fun for everyone to listen to.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?