Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Read Alouds for the New 9 Year-old

Okay, these don't seem like books that we'd read back to back but they both offered a lot of variety. Lots of people know that I'm a huge proponent of reading aloud to kids even as they get older. It offers a wonderful chance to discuss characters and plot as well as spend time together. Abby (daughter) is also learning fluency by hearing me read and following the book with me. If I'm tired, she definitely corrects me if I fumble a word!
Keeper of the Doves by Betsy Byars really appealed to both Abby and me because we love historical fiction. Amen (that's her name) is a fairly wealthy girl with four other sisters, all with names beginning with A. The only thing that perplexes Amie (her nickname) is Mr. Tominski, an old Polish man who once saved her father's life. Mr. Tom keeps doves and has taught them to perform amazing tricks, which Amie watches from the shadows of the woods. This is a fairly slow moving book but it was great to linger over its brief 140 pages. I kept waiting to see if the mother would die, because that is my experience with books like this--but I was pleasantly surprised that she didn't- she finally had the baby brother, but she lived! Amie does deal with some events that help her to grow up throughout.

In contrast, we blew through the most recent 39 Clues book, The Sword Thief by Pete Langeris. While we have been following Dan and Amy religiously since their first foray into the world of clue hunting, this one was special because I lived in Japan for a year. I loved the Yakuza and their hold on Tokyo! And, it was good to see the side of Alistair Oh that I sort of hoped existed. We can't wait to travel to Egypt. And, secretly, I read somewhere that Judy Blundell is writing one of the episodes and I can't wait to read that one too. I was, however, surprised that this volume was so short. Compared to the others, this was about 100 pages shorter. Is that because Japan is such a small country? ha ha- Scholastic really has a winner series here, not just because kids are hooked into the online portion of the adventure, but also because the range of ages that are reading the series is huge!

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