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Books in Hand

Posted on Sunday, February 28, 2010 in Good Reads

No wonder life has felt off-kilter at our house.

We’ve been forgetting to read.

What a crazy thing to say about a family who started their babies teething on books.  Absolutely ridiculous to insinuate when the mom reads a couple of books a week on average.  Kookier even still when we’ve considered in the past what non-essential furniture(like couches and beds) could be removed in order to fit more bookshelves in our small abode.

But it happened.  Not a completely ink-free home, but the days a sleepy little baby while I read aloud on a porch swing are over Drummer boy who does not enjoy endless chapter books like his sisters.  With limited time to get things done, I’ve found myself buying into the idea that we should give that precious time to tasks that give me a more tangible sense of accomplishment.

Thanks goodness we’ve recovered from that, and all is right in the world again.

Here are a few things we’ve a been enjoying, there’s a little bit for everyone.

worldstoriesUsborne Stories From Around the World

Finally a book that all three kids moan and groan after just one short story, “Puh-lease, just one more.”  And then I sweetly, but sympathetically close the book and say, “Not until tomorrow.”  Each 2-3 page fable, fairy tale, or myth originates from a different world location, providing a great chance to send kids running to the map on the wall to find New Zealand, Morrocco, or Sweden.  There’s also a well-illustrated map at the beginning of the book.  But even more than map skills, these are clever and adventurous stories, a great addition to our Square time each morning.


betsy Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield was the perfect book to draw us back into a family read aloud.  I’d had this on my list to read for a few years but after reading my friend’s post, I requested it from the library that night. Even Drummer Boy was laughing out loud at the smothering antics of Aunt Frances and the dramatic skills developed in young Elizabeth Ann.  After Aunt Frances takes leave from the story, 9 year old “Betsy” finally begins to think and breathe for herself after arriving at the dreaded house of the Putney Cousins.  I recommed savoring this one as a family, as laughing together will bring Betsy more fully to life.  Your kids will realize how brave and knowledgeable they are compared to the early Elizabeth Ann and as a parent you’ll want start taking cues from the Aunts.


frindleFrindle by Andrew Clements

When I said that we had stopped reading I should have excluded 9 year Mookie from that statment.  She’s continued her one chapter book a day diet, and I’ve fallen behind on pre-reading some new books for her to keep her well-stocked.  After reading The School Story by Andrew Clements, she wanted to try some of his other books.  I read Frindle in about 45 minutes and I knew my daughter who loves books and words(and identifies with the dread of the dictionary) would like this one.  What a fun adventure for this 5th grader as he attempts to convince his teacher and a town to start using a new word.  I won’t spoil it for you but this would be a good read for your middle elementary aged child or a family read aloud.

talkers Talkers, Watchers, Doers by Cheri Fuller

This book explores the learning styles of children, offers suggestions to teach within that learning style and also how to strengthen the weaker areas of how your child learns.  I haven’t read this entire book yet, but since I have a talker, a watcher, and a doer, I’ll be taking notes.

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