Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What My Kids are Reading -- Summer Style

Between there being NO homework (or any work) during the last days (or in Kyle's case, weeks) of school, the kids have had time to read. Thanks to my gentle encouragement, they've actually used some of that time to actually read. Here are some of their favorites over the last month (or two -- since I was a slacker last month). Check out other Kids' Picks over at 5 Minutes for Books on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

KYLE, age 8

In my May post I mentioned that among some other awesome finds, he had delved into a new series, Hank Zipzer. I'm happy that he continued on with it and has read 2 or 3 more since then. The beauty of a simple, appealing middle grade series is that they know what to read next. I know that the books are cranked out and are probably not of the highest literary value (though -- despite Kyle's requests -- I haven't yet read one myself. I should.), but knowing where to go next is huge.

Additionally, he (and I) loved Justin Case: Shells, Smells and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom (click through to see my recent review at 5 Minutes for Books).

He was out of library books last week, and my constant reminder about the stack of Beverly Cleary Ramona books never goes anywhere, even though he's enjoyed some Ribsy books at school. I also put an Edward Eager book from our collection in his hands, which he seemed excited about, but discarded it because "nothing happened."

But then I thought about the wildly imaginative Landon Snow series that was on the bookshelf. Amanda read the first two or three (which I think that I got from another book reviewer who decided not to review them -- though I'm not sure). Well, he loves it! It's a good challenging reading level for him, and he's proud to be reading a "long" book (he still puts books that near 200 pages in that daunting category, and this one surpasses that).

AMANDA, my 13 1/2 high schooler

We've been enjoying some books together from the delightful Maureen Johnson. I usually read to Amanda for about 15 minutes at breakfast each morning before school, and I hope that we find some time this summer to continue that, especially since we are only 1/3 of the way into The Last Little Blue Envelope which we started straightaway after being charmed by Ginny's delightful adventures in Europe in 13 Little Blue Envelopes. We both loved this fun, humorous adventurous novel.  I have loved ALL of Maureen Johnson's books, because they feature slightly awkward, not overly mature teenage girls.

When I was at the library, I picked up another of her books off the shelf, and though it dealt with some serious issues, I counted on Maureen Johnson's style to draw Amanda in, and it did. I will say that the amazon cover of The Key to the Golden Firebird is different from the one that was in the library, and I'm not sure if I would have brought it home if I was gazing at that cover!

She also revisited the second Kane Chronicles book The Throne of Fire audiobook to get her back up to speed. Them she dug right in to book 3, The Serpent's Shadow (GIVEAWAY open through the end of the day today!), which she's currently enjoying.

Many of her friends have read The Help, so my copy is sitting on her bookshelf, and I'm hoping she gets to it this summer. I think that I'm going to have to work with her as hard as I have with Kyle to keep good books in her hands.


Carrie said...

I didn't care for the Landon Snow series but I think I might have been a BIT hasty. It's been a LONG TIME since I've heard anything about those books!

Nancy said...

I have had Hank Zipzer on my list for Alex but haven't picked it up yet. My library doesn't even have the new Justin Case on order! I need to ask them to do so. Alex really liked the first one, though he hemmed and hawed about picking it up. I'll have to check out Landon Snow for him!

I liked the Last Little Blue Envelope, though I thought it wasn't as good as the first one.

I love the idea of reading at breakfast but it's hard when we still have to get out the door for swim practice or day camp. Maybe when swim team is over I'll start doing that on the days they don't go to day camp.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Always enjoy seeing what your kids are reading! C. read the Beverly Cleary books (like, all of them!) the summer before he turned 8 (when I had a newborn in the house). I'm hoping L. enjoys them just as much someday. I'll also have to check out Hank Zipper. I haven't seen them at our library but will have to work harder. C. is reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy this summer, which I'm happy about ("quality literature").

I know what you mean about working to keep good books in their hands! Me too!

suzanne said...

I would love it if when you reviewed tween and teen selections ( here and at 5 Minutes) you detailed maturity levels- especially regarding sexual / romance specific content, voilence etc. I think common sense does an over the top job, I wouldnt need that much detail- but more details would be great. That info is VERY hard to find online for tweens and young teens- my girl has a very high reading ability, but scares easily and some content that is really graphic violence or sexual , might be too much. thanks for the great reviews..