Saturday, September 7, 2013

Spring and Summer Book Case

 Larry recently finished The Complete History of World War II and Korea written by Francis Trevelyan Miller and published in 1951. He painstakingly read , a few pages each night, this 1000 page book which is 62 years old and looks it!  I am very proud of him for being such a reader!

 Some of the books that Juby read this summer are from the Hoofbeats series. They are about a girl and her horse, of course!

 She really enjoyed these books checked out of the library. The Stars and Stripes series are Historical Fiction. Each book is about a horse and set in a particular time period. Her favorite took place in the days of The Pony Express.
 Our last Read-Aloud of the year was Caddie Woodlawn written by Carol Ryrie Brink. This story is about a girl who considers herself to be a real Tom-boy. She has lots of adventures such as taking her younger brothers and sisters across a river on a make-shift raft. She is able to prevent the hot-heads in her town from attacking an Indian encampment by riding her pony for many miles, braving the elements, all by herself to warn them of the danger. This is set in olden days and fun to read.
 Our family's biggest reader is John who is really enjoying his life here with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritoes and a good book. He will often ask me to pick up this snack when he has a book he is reading.
He is allowed to eat Doritoes in the living room while he is reading if he puts a clean dish towel over the arm of the sofa. These pictures were taken on different days but I could probably take a version of it every week!

 I will run through some of the books he read this summer. I wasn't fast enough to take a picture of each. He has finished reading every book in the Warriors series, by Erin Hunter, about four clans of cats.

He has also finished the entire Redwall series written by Brian Jacques about a kingdom of woodland creatures and their battles.
I picked up the Newberry Award winner M.C. Higgins, The Great written by Virginia Hamilton while at the library hoping that he might read it and he did. The Newberry Award is given to the best novel for young people published each year. Our library has a special marking on the spine of the book so these novels can be easily seen. The older books especially can be counted on to be a good choice for a great book. He also read Book Three of a series that looked to me to be quite dark. I will discourage him from checking out the other books in this series
 In preparation for the movie coming out on November 1, he re-read Ender's Game, written by Orson Scott Card. This is a terrific book which I also enjoyed awhile back. I recommend it if you like Science Fiction or Suspense. I am hoping that Sam might be persuaded to read this, so that he too can attend the movie at one of its first showings when it hits the theater!

I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen which wasn't exactly as pure as the driven snow. It was about a the lives of circus performers and was O.K. I still haven't gotten around to seeing the movie.
It took me a long time to read How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. This book was almost over my head. It showed me what I don't know when it referenced the history surrounding the Fall of Rome and the barbarians who took over, burning books and destroying libraries. Certain monks in Ireland (which was geographically unattached to the continent)  hand-copied books and tried to teach literacy. That's the gist of it. It was quite deep and not as good as I had expected it to be with such an engrossing title!
Agnes Grey written by Anne Bronte ( sister of Charlotte who wrote Jane Eyre and also sister of Emily who wrote Wuthering Heights) was a fantastic book which I checked out of the library from the Classics section. The book is about young Agnes who goes out to work as a governess to help support her poor family. The insight that the author had regarding human nature, parents and children was very astute and quite often I would stop reading to sit and think about what she had just said about the characters ( and cringe!!!)

I also read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn written by Betty Smith who had no idea that this book would become such a phenomenon, voted as one of the 100 Best Books of the Century. Aunt Catherine gave this beautiful edition to Juby to add to her little classics library that Aunt Catherine started. The front cover is inscribed with the birth and death dates of our family tree which also was planted in Brooklyn, NY. The setting is in about 1911 in a small neighborhood and is about the daily life and experiences of Francie who grows up there with her family. It was very good. As Catherine recommended, not all sections are really for children  but would be fine for teens and is certainly a wonderful and thoughtful gift which we really appreciate!
The book that I am almost finished reading is Eat Pray Love written by Elizabeth Gilbert. I picked this up at the church book sale and have enjoyed it much more than I expected to. Natalie saw the movie and said it was terrible and I can imagine that because the author is quite funny in an understated way- it is her thought patterns that are funny and I don't see how a movie could show that unless it is narrated. I really have nothing in common with this author except that she is a seeker of spirituality and she does like good food! It is very enjoyable to read and gives me occasional food for thought.