Monthly Archives: February 2012

Intense, but not scary

 This book that was recommended is called Escape Under the Forever Sky by Eve Yohalem.  My friend, Ann, told me that her 5th grade daughter, Paige, loves this book.  They are reading it for their school’s book club, and it is one of the first book’s that Paige has really been drawn into….so of course, I had to read it to see what was making Paige read so feverishly.  It is a fantastic story!  It is about a girl named Lucy who is 13 years old.  She is an only child to two extremely career-oriented parents.  Her mother is the American Ambassador to Ethiopia, and she has been relocated to Ethiopia to work and reside.  Lucy spends her days in a gated community with protection and many rules and not a lot of freedom.  As a teenager, she resents this and sneaks out and gets grounded.  This only fuels her desire for more freedom and adventure in a country she feels misplaced.  She is a minority in Ethiopia on many levels:  1.  She is a white American  2.  She is rich and 3. Her mother is a very important political figure.  She wishes she could explore the wildlife around here and hang out with her friends, but she is not permitted such freedoms.  She spends her days at home while her parents are at work where she builds card houses and dreams of a “normal” life.
She has one close friend, and together the two of them sneak out to the local market for some fun.  This is where the action starts, Lucy is kidnapped by drug dealers and taken to a secluded locale.  She is able to escape, but only to discover she is miles away from civilization in the wilderness of Ethiopia that she dreamed of….except it is not quite dreamlike…no shoes, no water, no food….but a constant beating sun, lions, monkeys and drug dealers on her tail.  A great action packed story that is full of intense adventure, but not too scary for the younger reader.


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Filed under fiction, junior

No TV Nights

 Starting last night, our family has decided to go without any television in the evenings Monday through Friday until Easter Sunday.  The evenings have been filled with the wrong type of noise for too long.  The noise of the television is one that gives me a headache quicker than a room full of 5th grade boys having a burping contest.  And I also feel time is going by so quickly, and I want to be a little selfish and grab some more time with the boys. So last night after bath time, I went from room to room scooping up books (even as organized as I think I am…there are still books strewn all over the house out of order….shocking, I know).  A parade of two followed me downstairs to our big comfy chair where the reading began.  We started with Everyone Poops….one guaranteed to make my boys laugh… can you not laugh when “an elephant makes a big poop”?
The reading continued for a good 45 minutes, and then we went up to bed for a few more books.  Nate & Benny picked out their favorites of the evening.  Nate selected Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky you Are? by Dr. Seuss.  He loves the illustrations ….he enjoys looking through them to find hidden gems such as someone sleeping or something about to fall on someone’s head.  They both love the sing-songy prose, and I believe they enjoy laughing when I stumble over phases like “Hawtch-Hawtch are watching on Watch-Watcher-Watchering Watch-Watch-Watching theWatcher who is watching the bee.”  Benny selected one of my favorites….The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathman.  Such a sweet, sweet book about a group of little babies who crawl away during a neighborhood picnic, and the only one who notices is a small boy.  He follows them and keeps them safe and fed as they explore the woods, caves, & bogs with all types of small animals.  The book reads so sweetly and is a perfect nighttime book.  The illustrations are shadows and very cleverly done.  Again, there are hidden items in the story that my boys love to find.  For example, there is a little caterpillar that befriends the boy and seems to aide him in rescuing the babies (though there is no foreshadowing of any real danger).  The caterpillar makes an appearance in each page all the way to the end when the babies are all back home safe in their beds.  We adore this story. 
We shall see how this no TV experiment goes….the older boys were at a basketball game with dad, so they were not home.  I am hoping to read a Little Hugo Cabret with Henry tonight or maybe some Harry Potter with Calvin.  Read On, my friends.


Filed under Picture Books

Here is another one that my friend Jill lent me, and I loved it!  It is called Sister by Rosamund Lupton.  (I love the name Rosamund).  It is a story of two sisters who have a close relationship…one that I would love to have with a sister, but sigh….I do not have a sister.  The older more responsible sister, Beatrice, lives in New York City while her younger sister, Tess lives in London.  Tess is a free-spirited who lives in the moment and sees beauty in everything.  One day, Beatrice receives a phone call that Tess has gone missing.  She grabs the first flight to London and begins to uncover just what has happened to her sister.  The police think she is crying wolf & refuse to take her seriously, her fiancee thinks she is overreacting & wants her to resume her “normal” life in NY, and her mother refuses to face reality.  Beatrice is alone and trying desperately to trace her sister’s last known steps.  The story moves fast and always keeps you guessing….just when you think you have things figured out…you are lead down another carefully crafted path until the end.  I loved the characters of the sisters as well as their great names….Thanks again Jill…keep them coming!

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Filed under adult, fiction

We  have added another author to our list of picture book favorites!  Oliver Jeffers!  This is our third book that we have read by him, and find them all funny and endearing and quite original.  This is Stuck.

This is a story of Floyd and what happens when his kite gets stuck in the tree.  He has many brilliant ideas of what could possibly dislodge his kite, and they each get more outlandish than the rest.  My boys were laughing at each page especially when the whale makes its entrance.  The illustrations are wonderful and original….my boys and I spent a lot of time just looking at how fun the whole book is. 

We also read Lost & Found and The Incredible Book Eating Boy. We are going to be grabbing more books by Oliver Jeffers!

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Filed under Picture Books