Wednesday, July 23, 2008


i promised a post on my summer reading, and i'm as good as my word. for those uninterested in kid lit, just stop reading now, for that is where i have been engrossed. the reading list was chosen for me by h, my rising 4th grade reader. he is neck-deep in "harry potter and the goblet of fire," but has a short stack of books he'd like to read before he jumps into h.p. #5. i try to read everything the kids read so we can discuss it afterward (although i admit skimming junie b jones and magic tree house) and this summer list is no exception.

the first book he chose was "the city of ember," a first novel from author jeanne du prau. i suspended my disbelief, and buried myself in the city below the ground along with the main characters lina and doon. i would have LOVED more character development, more descriptions, more logical explanations... but alas, i had to realize that it is a kids book. from that point on, i enjoyed it for exactly what it is; a courageous adventure story with a cliffhanger ending. will they escape ember before the city dies?

which brings me to h's second choice, the follow-up to the previous book, titled "the people of sparks." kinda gives away the ending of the first book, huh? it's a good "lord of the flies"-style what-if book that gives kids an idea of tolerance versus anarchy. it was more depressing and less adventurous than "ember," but still i'm looking forward to reading the 3rd installment in the series, titled "the prophet of yonwood," which supposedly explains how the emberites ended up in the city underground.

but instead h assigned me to read "the tale of despereaux," a newbery award winning book by the author of "because of winn dixie," kate camillo. his teacher read it to the class this past year, and he loved it so much that he begged me to buy it, read it, and then proceed to make s read it. this is a lovely, well-told fairytale with charming characters and enduring themes. it worked it's magic spell on me, and i understood why h was so taken with it. sophisticated yet simple, it told the tale of a little mouse who dared to be different, and where the consequences took him.

although i'm clean out of kid books for the moment, i did pick up "shadow of the wind" by carlos ruiz zafon and am thoroughly enjoying it so far.

now onto our summer listening...

last month weezer came out with their new album, their third self-titled album, but i call it red. i replaced "high school musical 2" in the cd changer of the ol' minivan with this, as hsm2 had run it's course with my brain. the kids were instantly absorbed, and made me play the first 3 songs on the album over and over until i almot got sick of them. we proceeded on to the entire weezer library for variety, and they are choosing their favorites among the repertoire. h likes "say it ain't so," and "the greatest man that ever lived," while s is prone to "pork and beans" and "island in the sun." she likes the "dip-dip's" in that one. my enduring favorite by weezer is "the sweater song."

at sam's club i found a "woody woodpecker" anthology on dvd. woody is one of the few old cartoons they DON'T show on boomerang which is a howling shame. he's hilarious! walter lantz was a genius. the kids are cackling their butts off, something like they do while watching "tom and jerry." nothing like the oldies but goodies, is there?

i would write about the summer movies we've seen thus far, but i'm out of breath.

hope your summers are all pleasant and may they all be filled with good reading, listening and watching as ours has.


happy pants said...

Love the lit rundown. You've been busy! I wish I had more time to read...

Are you still back in MI? Saw TLC's pics. Looks like a great time!

Thanks for commenting on my blog, by the way - I don't think anyone else reads it! Oh, yeah - I'm also a fan of the oldie-but-goodie cartoons. I can't believe the ones they have out these days - you call THOSE Saturday morning cartoons? HA! The woodpecker rocks.

Booklogged said...

I loved Tales of Despereaux, too. Such a brave and daring mouse. My daughter has suggested Ember and it's sequel to me many times and I really do intend to get them read someday.

About the smelt and figs - I've tried figs and can pass on them, but I would be willing to try the smelt even though they don't look very appetizing. I'll try anything once! And I like to try things indigenous to an area which means I'll have to visit Michigan again someday. YAY!