The Fourth of July weekend was a long, lovely one for me. Both Monkey and Dog were home for a visit, and we all spent the holiday out in the country. I was down with a muscle injury (I’m up and running again now!), so whilst the boys were actively mending fences, repairing tractors, and exploring trees that had been uprooted from a tornado last month, I read. (please contain your shocked surprise here)
Julia and the Art of Practical Travel is a treasure–an only child in an once aristocratic family, Julia finds herself traveling with her aunt, in search of her mother. Lesley M. M. Blume solidly paints a picture of what “home” is to us all in a poignant, funny novel. Written for 8-12 year olds, this isa great introduction to some history (the 1960’s) and some geography (Greenwich Village in NYC, New Orleans, Texas, Nevada, and California).
Hattie Big Sky (Kirby Larson) was a favorite re-read for me. This book, though written for ages 12 and up, is a perfect read for young girls who are reading above their reading level. After inheriting her uncle’s homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war in Europe.
Quinny & Hopper (Adriana, Brad Schanen (Author), Swearingen, Greg (Illustrator)) is a fun read for second/third graders. On the Bluebonnet List for this year, this middle-grade novel is about two COMPLETELY opposite kids who live next door to one another and become fast friends one summer. But as the summer draws to a close, they find their friendship threatened by the uncertainties of a new school year.
A boy named Mark, tired of being sick with cancer, conceives a plan to climb Mount Rainier, and runs away from home with his dog, Beau–but with over two hundred miles between him and his goal, and only anger at his situation to drive him on nothing will be easy, and only his best friend, Jessie, suspects where he is heading. Dan Gemeinhart’s The Honest Truth is a thought-provoking novel for readers who like realistic fiction.
Picture Books: Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats, I Yam a Donkey, Ballerina Rosie, This is Sadie, Maya and the Turtle, and The Great American Dust Bowl. As a non cat-lover, I was quite surprised that I was enchanted with Miss Hazeltine (a great lesson in courage!). This is Sadie has wonderful illustrations, and is a treat for the imagination. I Yam a Donkey is a good picture book for word and grammar nerds; Maya and the Turtle is a Korean fairy tale that is quite good, and The Great American Dust Bowl (also a Bluebonnet book this year) describes one of the nation’s biggest natural catastrophes. A graphic novel, this one is an easy way to hook your child on history!
And that’s it! I read NOT ONE adult novel. See? A long, lovely weekend.