Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weekly Book Post (Hatchet, The Odyssey, Witch of Blackbird Pond)


It's been more than a week since I last did a Weekly Book post, so I have a lot of books to mention.  This week I'm just going to talk about the children's books.

We're at the stage now where it would be easy to lose the habit of reading together as a family.  My son is able to read independently now, and will settle down with an Encyclopedia Brown or a Choose Your Own Adventure if no one is around to read to him.  And, of course, there are plenty of other distractions from reading: ds games, Minecraft, youtube videos (of people playing Minecraft, mostly), Wii, netflix, Pokemon, board games, are the current interests around here.

So I am both grateful that my children still want to be read to and careful to still nurture this family habit.  We read out loud before bed most nights, during our longer "school" days, and we take full advantage of audio books to fill in time in the car and to listen to as children fall asleep.

Hatchet was a good book for my son.  At first I was put off by the style of the author, with lots of short, curt sentences and repetition.  But style-aside, the story is top-notch.  Not only is the young hero thrown  into danger right away with tense and thrilling detail, but then he also embarks on an adventure of survival and personal discovery and growth.  My daughter begged off after a scene in which the young boy eats some turtle eggs (she's awful sensitive about animals), but my son was on the edge of his seat the whole way through.


Our little journey through Homer's epics has ended with this fabulously illustrated re-telling of The Odyssey.    I've always been fond of The Odyssey, and I enjoyed this version immensely.  The kids liked it too. :)

On our road trip we listened to four audio books: The Secret History of Tom Trueheart, Coraline, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and City of Ember.  All were good.  I loved Neil Gaiman's narration of his own book - not every author makes a good reader but he really does.  Coraline is a bit spooky - just scary enough for my kiddos but it was on the line.  Tom Trueheart is a twisted fairytale, and I am growing weary of that cliched genre.  However, it was a decent showing for this type of story.  Witch of Blackbird Pond was one of my favorites as a child, and I always find it delightful when I have a chance to share a book I loved with my kids and see them loving it too.

I hope to enjoy many more years of sharing books together!

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