Books on Deck
Yesterday I read aloud the preface of The Strictest School in the World: Being the Tale of a Clever Girl, a Rubber Boy and a Collection of Flying Machines, Mostly Broken, a middle-grade novel I heard about at Hilltop Farm. Eighteen word subtitle: you had me at hello. Later I discovered Kelly Herold (whom I had the immense pleasure of meeting in person, at long long last, at Kidlitcon) had praised this one to the heavens also, years ago, and I think I remember jotting it down in my TBR list way back then but then I forgot all about it.
A lot of my stories end with “but then I forgot all about it.”
We’re already in the middle of a read-aloud, somewhat neglected in recent busy weeks, so I knew I shouldn’t really be launching another one, no matter how delicious the title. The preface—the preface, seriously!—made us laugh. More than once. By the end of the page, I’d decided to be strong and delay the gratification until we’ve finished Adam of the Road. (Remember when we started that one, weeks and weeks ago? Busy autumn.)
I’m thinking maybe we’ll do a kind of Victorian Christmas thing during Advent this year, read Strictest School, some Dickens, some poetry, whatever else occurs to me. Ideas welcome!
Meanwhile, I’m eyebrow-deep in CYBILs reading. Here’s my current library list:
For keeps / Natasha Friend.
Glimpse / Carol Lynch Williams.
A little wanting song / Cath Crowley.
Boys, bears, and a serious pair of hiking boots / Abby McDonald.
Harmonic feedback / Tara Kelly.
Happyface / by Stephen Emond.
The red umbrella / Christina Diaz Gonzalez.
Every little thing in the world / Nina de Gramont.
Hold still / Nina LaCour, with illustrations by Mia Nolting.
By the time you read this, I’ll be dead / Julie Anne Peters.
The cardturner : a novel about a king, a queen, and a joker / Louis Sachar.
The brothers story / Katherine Sturtevant.
Exit strategy / Ryan Potter.
The Duff : designated ugly fat friend : a novel / by Kody Keplinger.
A spy in the house / Y.S. Lee.
The daughters / Joanna Philbin.
The river / Mary Jane Beaufrand.
My double life / Janette Rallison.
The adventures of Jack Lime / by James Leck.
Shakespeare makes the playoffs / Ron Koertge.
Scars / by Cheryl Rainfield.
(I know these titles aren’t properly capitalized but that’s how my library lists them, and I don’t have time to tinker right now.)
Last week I ordered a copy of Mirror Mirror, a Marilyn Singer poetry picture book, after reading Amy’s recommendation; it arrived yesterday and I haven’t had a chance to so much as peek inside yet, because the kids snapped it up and have been passing it around. It elicited spontaneous “this book is very cool, Mom”s from three separate kids, at three separate moments in the day. More on this one if I ever get a crack at it myself.
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Mary G says:
The cool thing about Howard Whitehouse’s books (we’re in the middle of #3) is the fun it is to read-aloud! Some books … which are great reads … aren’t great read-alouds!
I love the idea of the saving them for Advent reading. Great minds think alike: I have a Dickens collection I’m doing for Advent this year … and so we’ll do a Victoriana Christmas also!
Blessings and hugs …
On November 3, 2010 at 8:55 am
So refreshing to hear that you have long-neglected read-alouds too!
On November 3, 2010 at 10:05 am
Melissa Wiley says:
Mary, thank you so much for steering me toward The Strictest School! What a find!
Phoebe, oh good heavens yes. Seems as the years go by we get worse and worse. So much else happening. Scott’s the steady read-aloud guy because he gets bedtime, which has a way of happening every night no matter how hectic the day.
On November 3, 2010 at 11:38 am
Lori Richmond says:
Thank you Lissa for reminding me I wanted to a Victorian Chrismas this year! I need to get cracking on it!
On November 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm
We loved Strictest School here – have fun!
I just finished Carney – probably my favorite of the whole series. Oh the suspense! lol
On November 4, 2010 at 9:56 am
Here’s a link to a Victorian Christmas fair up here in the Bay area. It sounds like a lot of fun. http://www.dickensfair.com/
On November 7, 2010 at 8:28 pm
Have you read J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters From Father Christmas?
This is a collection of letters Tolkein wrote to his children as if from Santa. They are beautifully illustrated by him, and full of runic looking writing and goblin attacks. It is my favorite Christmas book ever.
On November 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm