The hardest thing I do

June 7, 2016 @ 8:49 pm | Filed under:

Read-aloud possibility pile

…is pick the next read-aloud. We finished From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler—they loved it; more about that later—and today I had to choose a new book. You’ve seen many of these choices in the pile already this year. Sooner or later, everyone’s turn will come around. Either for read-aloud or read-alone, I mean. Mysterious Benedict Society is a delight but it’s a bit longer than I like for a read-aloud. I get antsy and like things we can finish in a month or so. Mixed-Up Files was exactly in my sweet spot.

Anyway, long story short, this time around we landed on Harriet the Spy. Good old Harriet. A key influence on me since, oh, age ten or so. Rilla’s age. Chapter one roped them in immediately. I wasn’t sure if Huck would be captured, but he was transfixed by Mixed-Up Files, and the Harriet-Sport dynamic seemed to engage him as much as the Claudia-Jamie relationship. Bossy girl, questioning boy. Hmm, I wonder what the appeal is? 😉

Would you believe I’ve never actually read Harriet out loud before? Am enjoying a chance to dust off my New York accent.

By the way, Dogsbody was a contender in this group but the consensus was that Daddy should read that one. There are protocols for this sort of thing. Scott reads My Father’s Dragon, Watership Down, Lord of the Rings, By the Great Horn Spoon, Cheaper By the Dozen, and all of my books. I get Understood Betsy, Betsy-Tacy, Charlotte’s Web, The Penderwicks, The Witch of Blackbird Pond (oh whoops! I just remembered THAT was supposed to be our next read-aloud), and The Secret Garden. HANDS OFF MY SECRET GARDEN.

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. kortney says:

    We discussed your completely engaging title over dinner. Mabel said that if choosing the next book is the hardest thing you do, then you have a pretty easy job 😉 And Nicolas came up with an ingenious plan–pick a book, any book and start there. Then, when you’re finished, pick another book!

    These kids with their good ideas!

  2. Susanne Barrett says:

    The Witch of Blackbird Pond has long been one of my favorite read-alouds, but only my daughter (eldest, with three boybarians following after) really enjoyed it; the boys weren’t thrilled. I’ve gone back and read it by myself; it’s just that good.

    I remember my fourth grade teacher reading us Harriet the Spy, Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing, Julie of the Wolves, From the Mixed Up Files, and so many others. Another of my faves is Caddie Woodlawn, especially since I have my grandmother’s copy from the 1920’s that is literally falling apart. I read it over and over again as a child; it came in third place in my favorites after the books of Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    As a Brave Writer instructor, I am hearing all kinds of lovely things about the retreat next month, so be sure to have a lovely time! We just returned from our staff retreat/training in a little Anglican retreat center not far from where you’ll be, and you will love it! 🙂

    Okay, back to commenting on all of my Hamlet posts at Brave Writer…. 😉

    Susanne, enjoying the mountain breezes in Pine Valley

  3. Jennifer says:

    Of that stack, I think Calpurnia Tate was my favorite. The Secret Garden was my least favorite because I could not do the accents. And yikes, I haven’t made it through Watership Down with any of my children. Maybe I should try Dad for that one as well.

  4. monica says:

    We just finished reading aloud the Penderwicks in Spring ( the latest one) I may have actually cried as I read half of it. Am I the only one that cries while reading aloud?? I am either making my children very emotionally healthy or keeping their future counselors in business. It is a wonderful tale of grieving. I would recommend it to a child to read that has recently lost a pet or a grandparent or anyone. It describes depression so heartbreakingly clearly. Strongly recommend as long as you are not afraid of tears.

    Hey! Melissa, message me on FB about when you are in Cinci.

  5. Lindsey says:

    Can anyone enlighten me on why Calpurnia Tate is YA at our library? I think it sounds awesome but I tend to steer clear of YAs for my 10 and 7 yr old…

  6. Lisa says: