Sunday, May 16, 2010

Crunch Time!

For anyone who reads this blog or just happens by occasionally, you know that I have serious lapses when it comes to crunch time at work and/or home. So, the end of the school year usually means that I am cramming to get that last minute genre study completed as well as chauffeur my three children around to various practices, games and camps. Oh yeah, and I decided to join TWO of my own tennis leagues this summer. 'Nough said. So, what have I been reading?????

Abby and I finished Hannah (Daughters of the Sea) by Kathryn Lasky. Hannah seems to be left behind at the Orphanage as a girl who will never amount to anything. By a fortunate happenstance, she is employed as a scullery maid for a very wealthy Boston family. While there, strange things begin happening to Hannah and a mysterious painter seems to understand all of them. When Hannah realizes her true connection to the sea, Lasky's language switches to an ethereal quality as Hannah is whisked off in the direction she is meant to go. While I had this one pegged at the start, my daughter was enthralled throughout the entire book. Hannah is a delightful character, and this novel will make you want to download some harp music.

And we're now heavily immersed in The Red Pyramid (of course). Rick Riordan seems to have done it again, but I truly have to brush up (or begin studying) my Egyptian mythology. However, the man does have a gift when it comes to writing action scenes. I can feel my own heart begin to pace and my voice gets incredibly fast while reading. Of course, these are our sacred read-aloud books even though my ten year-old daughter is blowing through books of her own.

Personally, I have been on a strange bout of ghost story books, mostly by Mary Downing Hahn. My favorite was Wait 'Til Helen Comes which was recommended on another book blog. Molly and her brother move to a country house with their mother, new step-father and strange, younger step-sister, Heather. Heather is obsessively drawn to the cemetery on the property and soon begins having conversations with "Helen" who doesn't like the way Heather's new step-siblings are treating her. Heather draws Helen out (in complete ghostly description)and is then manipulated by this young ghost. It is up to Molly to save Heather from the same demise that has taken the lives of other young girls who have succumbed to Helen's "wiles." Quite creepy for a YA book but it gives me more to recommend in a genre that students seem to ask for quite a bit. Now, if I could just find some more humor....

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