Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Books We Read (and Plan to Read) This Summer

With school is back in session, I'm hoping we don't lose our momentum with just-for-fun reading aloud.  Read aloud time is a special part of the day where all of us can share a book together.  No matter that 5 (bordering on 6) of the 7 of us are capable of reading on our own. If you visit our house you will almost always find a book resting on the living room coffee table, waiting until we snatch our next spare moment.

These are the books we have read since the beginning of June with a brief thought on each.

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In an effort to appeal to the two youngest (ages 2 and 4), we made our way through the entire 28-book Henry and Mudge seriesand the 12-book Annie and Snowball series, both by Cynthia Rylant, our favorite picture book author.

We began Wonderstruckby Brian Selznick right after we finished an excellent book by the same author (The Invention of Hugo Cabret).  Not nearly as good, but the highly visual storytelling (at least a third of the thick volume is pictures) did not disappoint.

In an effort to finally complete our self-imposed Beverly Cleary book challenge, we chose Mitch and Amy next. It was a fun selection and the kids enjoyed that the chapters flip-flopped between the boy-appealing Mitch storyline and the more feminine Amy storyline. 

Gavin picked The Adventures of Sammy Jayby Thornton Burgess for us to read next.  I love books with short chapters because they motivate me to read to the kids even when we only have a few minutes. All 5 kids listened as I read this after dinner every evening for a week.  It got me excited for science this year since we plan to use The Burgess Animal Book for Children as our base text.

Next up was Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farmby Betty MacDonald.  I wouldn't have chosen this in a million years.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, but I could barely get through the second.  My kids requested that we continue on in the series so I pushed out of my comfort zone and gave it a try.  Nothing compares to the first book, but this third volume was more tolerable than the second.  I still found it to be unnecessarily wordy, though.

I wouldn't have chosen to re-read Ramona's Worldby Beverly Cleary either.  It takes a lot for me to re-read anything besides picture books, but Maddie and Owen requested it so I obliged. I must say I was glad I did. It reminded me how much I love the Ramona series! 

I may be crazy, but we are currently reading 2 different books.  One is primarily for my girls (Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn), and the other is primarily for my boys (The Midnight Foxby Betsy Byars), but tonight when I sat down to read aloud, Gavin sat at my left elbow and Maddie at my right.  Owen, Ben, and Alaine spread out with cars in the floor and no one excused themselves for either selection. 

Before the summer months are over, we hope to also read The Doll Peopleby Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin which incidentally was illustrated by Brian Selznick who wrote Wonderstruck!  And inspired by our re-read of Ramona's World, I want to squeeze in another read of  Beezus and Ramonaby Beverly Cleary, especially now that Maddie received a copy as a birthday gift.

Do you need a spot to record the books you've read this summer? Download my Free Read Aloud Log Sheet!

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