What the kids are reading this December

When all three of my minions are reading something they like, I am a very happy mum!

We spent Thanksgiving in the mountains in New Mexico and on our shopping day in town my son picked out the latest installment of the Wimpy Kid series – Hard Luck – as his treat 🙂 He spent most of the car ride home with his nose in the book, and having finished it in record time he had decided to revisit the other Wimpy Kid stories on his shelf.

My oldest daughter, having whizzed through the book she got from the school library and not having anything else immediately available, begged for something from my book shelf. She wasn’t keen on ‘Divergent’ (she doesn’t want anything to take away her love for the Hunger Games series) so I suggested ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak and she loves it so much she wants her own copy.

My youngest has been obsessing over all the fairy books * written by Daisy Meadows. She is currently almost finished with ‘Victoria the Violin Fairy’ – she even dressed up as the main character for her school’s literary day.
I hope she loves the box full of rainbow fairy books I have waiting to put under the Christmas tree!


*Additional info and thoughts on the fairy books my 7yo loves: I recently read an article (which I have been unable to find again!)  online concerning the Rainbow Fairies books. Basically, these books are not written by a single author but a group of writers who brainstorm and create the stories together. The article was slightly scathing, taking a ‘these are not real books’ view of the whole thing and many comments agreed with that stance. Sure I’m bummed that ‘Daisy Meadows’ is not a real person, because *giggle* imagine having that name, but in my opinion the books are friendly and fun and they promote reading – why would anyone knock that?


What the kids are reading now

My kids’ school had a book fair last week. Oldest daughter got first chance to go check it out so she begged some cash from me – I always give in when the money will be used for books – so off she went with my dollars.
She didn’t find anything she liked but hadn’t already read, so she passed the money to her brother – he got to go the next day.
After school on the second day The Boy was very excited to show me his purchases. The first item out of his backpack was a cool eraser that looks like a calculator – and my heart sank. I had failed to confirm with him that the money must ONLY be used for books.

But then!
He totally floored me, because he produced not one but TWO books!
He told me that he took some of his pocket money and combined it with the $ from me so he could get more than one book.

Can this be true? My reluctant reader, happily, willingly, spending his own money on books?!

Oh happy day!!!

He bought and subsequently read a Star Wars Jedi training book, and an Adventure Time book – both graphic novels aimed at his age group. Yay!!!

Oldest daughter came shopping with me one evening and found for herself ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ by Ransom Riggs – so far the verdict is ‘freaky’ and she loves it.

And last, but never least, my Little One is devouring another fairy book – ‘Fiona the Flute Fairy’ – that she spotted in her school library.

What the kids are reading over the summer

Middle school is right around the corner , or hanging out at the end of Summer Lane, and with it comes the summer reading assignment.
This year our neighborhood middle school organized itself a little better and sent out a list of books for the incoming 6th graders to choose from.
The Boy and I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and looked at all the books on the list and he decided upon ‘The One and Only Ivan’ by Katherine Applegate.
He likes that it’s about a gorilla and there are large amounts of empty space on each page *sigh*
But he did get to page twelve before breakfast so it’s a start.
I will post a review and his thoughts on the book when we get to the last page.

My oldest, my TEENAGER (yeah still a little shocked by this) listened carefully as I read the back cover and first page of each book on the 6th grade list and decided that she wanted ‘The City of Ember’ by Jeanne DuPrau for herself.

My youngest aka Little One aka The Girl Who Had An Actual Live Snake On Her Head Yesterday (no lie, a snake got on her head!) is still obsessed with those books about fairies so she managed to pick up ‘Joy the Summer Vacation Fairy’ and ‘Shannon the Ocean Fairy’ and she is reading them simultaneously. (I’m a little confused.)

I’m also reading ‘The Magic Finger’ by Roald Dahl to all the kids because they like the silliness of Dahl combined with the silliness of Mum doing voices.

One reason why little kids are awesome

Because they believe they can do anything.

How many times do you have a ‘wonder if I could..’ kind of moment and then you dismiss your idea because you just know that it wouldn’t work, you couldn’t actually do that thing you were just contemplating?

Little kids don’t do that, they don’t dismiss their own ideas. They think about what they want to do and then they get started on making it happen, sure it doesn’t always turn out exactly as planned and sometimes there are tears and/or parents cleaning up the mess, but they try. They have something that they want to do and they give it a go. You have to love that.

My smallest minion decided to write a book.

So she did.

Here it is 😀Image

What my kids are reading

Little One was very disappointed last week when she finally had to turn in the school library book she’d been checking out on an endless loop for the past month.

‘Fern the Green Fairy’  by Daisy Meadows is the first chapter book my first grader has actually obsessed over  (I’m so proud!) she wanted to read it even when she was clearly too tired to function (we’ve all been there, right book lovers?) We didn’t actually get to the end of the story, because she kept rereading her favorite pages so I may have to go book shopping and buy her her very own copy, perhaps the entire Rainbow Fairy set. http://www.rainbowmagiconline.com/books/books_rainbow.html

The Boy had been reading ‘A Boy at War’ by Harry Mazer for his class book club. (I applaud the teacher for trying. I also shake my head and sigh in a knowing kind of way.)  My son was semi-interested in this dramatic tale of the attack on Pearl Harbor as witnessed by a 14 year old boy. As soon as discussion of plot and theme came up, my boy drifted away. He did like me reading with him, I did not like the mention of burned people, the be-a-man’s-man vibe or having to read the American word ‘fanny’ because for Brits it has a different meaning

I bought my son  ‘My Life as a Stuntboy’ by Janet Tashjian in an attempt to reignite the reading spark.

My newly minted teenaged daughter (oh god, I have a teenager? Great googly moogly! and Holy shit Batman!)  is now reading ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ by Ned Vizzini which has a really cool cover and is the story of Craig, a really smart New York City teen who cracks under the pressure of keeping up with the other geniuses at his snazzy new school and tries to kill himself. Craig ends up in the mental hospital where he makes some interesting new friends. I haven’t read this one, but my kid is enjoying it and from other reviews I think it looks good.

My teen (gulp!) also recently devoured ‘Out of My Mind’ by Sharon M.Draper, the story of an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who cannot walk or talk, but who’s smarter than anyone around her realizes. Melody is determined to make herself known, to overcome her limitations and communicate with the people around her. My kid liked this one so much she had to come tell me about parts of it, I need to add this title to me ‘to-read-once-I’ve-stolen-it-from-my-kid pile.’




Past Lives

Related to my “More than meets the eye” post from yesterday.. here’s a story to get the little hairs on the back of your neck sticking up.

When my oldest child was just a wee little thing she was quite accomplished for her age. She could walk at 10 months, she could make things with play-doh without trying to eat it by 18 months, she liked to paint, and she had a good enough vocabulary to carry on a conversation with an adult before age 2.

So one day, as I’m making her snack of cheese cubes and lunch meat spirals, she’s chatting away happily about this, that, and the other, and she says to me, in her little tiny girl voice “Mama, before I was (her first name)….”

and I stop what I am doing and think hmmm.. where is THIS going?

and she continues “I was a soldier on a hill and I had a horse.”

and I say “Before you were (her first name)?”

and she says “Yes.”

and I say “So, you’re (her name) now, but you used to be someone else?”

and she says “Yes.”

and I say “Okay then.”

All very matter of fact, no grin as she waits for me to realize the joke… just, before she was who she is now… and my brain went Woooah!! Wait a minute.. back up a second here! My two year old thinks she had a life before this one??

So I racked my brain, thinking through every book we’d read together, every show and movie we’d snuggled in to watch, every minute of the News that had been on while she was not asleep, every person she had come in contact with in the recent past… and I couldn’t think of a single incident which would have planted the idea of a previous life.

Mind Blown.

Spring Break and stuff

I have been so busy being a mom this past week that I almost forgot to be me, and do all the me things that I love and adore and obsess over – such as taking care of my blog, updating my Pinterest boards, watching my favorite TV shows, visiting my friends, having long hot baths and walking.

I love walking, I was so excited when I started following Michael Moore on Twitter and realised that every so often he says he’s going for a walk and invites everyone to walk with him – I was disappointed when I realised that he’s never heading out on a walk when it’s convenient for me *sigh* so inconsiderate.

So anyways, this past week my small people have been home from school and I have been trying to keep them entertained. For five of the nine days I was parenting solo and boy, can I tell you I’m feeling so blessed that I don’t need to do that 365! My hat is off to all those mums and dads out there who parent solo and retain some small threads of sanity.

We have played board games, made arts and crafts, went outside with bikes and to draw with chalk, made cupcakes, ate ice cream, planted flowers and vegetables, played Wii games, watched movies, had sleepovers and built forts – it has been wonderful! We also spent a morning at the second hand book store, loading up on some good stuff for when we (me) needed a little quiet time and so while the kiddos were busy with Flat Stanley and The Uglies I managed to get through A Clash of Kings, the second book in the Game of Thrones series 😀  It’s just as awesome as the first one.

I also have a small stack of other titles added to my list of what to read next, I’m excited to get on with it.. the hard part is deciding which one to read first… and if it’s possible for me  to take a book on the trail with me later and not trip over anything/anyone.