So this week, I finished Freak the Mighty. Loved this book and can't wait until Timmy finishes it with his Language Arts class so we can discuss it. Chris actually has it on his nightstand now since he just finished Hero by Mike Lupica. His reaction to Hero was the same as Timmy's, he thought it was a good book but didn't like how it ended. He thought it could have been longer in order to tie up some of the loose ends.
Over the weekend, I read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Appplegate. This one has been in my to-be-read-pile for a while. I read some great reviews for this book and it did not disappoint. There was not much action in the beginning but how much action can there be if you are a gorilla and have lived most of your life in a
cage, I mean "domain." This children's book actually reminded me of an adult book I read last year, Room, by Emma Donoghue, about a girl who gets abducted, ends up having her abductor's child, and their life together in this room. The first 50 pages of Room are slow, but think about your life if you spent your whole day, everyday, in a small room. It was slow until this young mother comes up with an escape plan.
That is how it is for Ivan. Ivan's life is quite boring, sitting in the same domain, day after day, year after year. Until he has someone else to think about, someone to save from the life that he has had.
Here's the official book trailer for The One and Only Ivan.
Here's another one that I found that a librarian made.
It's amazing when you read one book right after another, the connections that you can make. Freak the Mighty had a theme of remembering or not remembering things that happened in your past.
"I can't sleep, though. I just sit there like a lump until the sun comes up, trying not to think about things I didn't want to remember." Max from Freak the Mighty
"After they captured my sister and me, they put us in a cramped, dark crate that smelled of urine and fear. Somehow I knew that in order to live, I had to let my old life die. But my sister could not let go of our home. It held her like a vine, stretching across miles, comforting, strangling." Ivan
Last night, I started reading Bless this Mouse by Lois Lowry. I have never read any of her books, not The Giver or Number the Stars...still in the to-be-read-pile. I thought this book would be a good read for Molly but as I got into it, I realized that this book was rich with vocabulary. It might be too much for her to read on her own, but I think it may be a great read aloud book for us to read together.
Molly has just finished two more Babymouse books and is also reading Ten Rules for Living with my Sister by Ann M. Martin. Molly usually has a few books going at the same time. She'll have an easy read like Babymouse and then a chapter book that she is reading as well.
Ryan has knocked out another Lunch Lady book but I wanted him to get back into reading a chapter book again. We went to his closet, looked through his books and Timmy's books and we pulled out a book from the Slugger Series. I remember the author Phil Bilbner talking about this series at a children's literature conference I attended last summer. The book targets boys who are reluctant readers. It's a chapter book but it has wide margins so there is a lot of white on the page. But in some of those margins are notes or definitions so that the reader doesn't have to stop to look something up, and lets face it, what reluctant reader is going to do that anyway. It also has some pictures and is about baseball.
But even with all of that, Ryan didn't want to read. Sometimes I need to give Ryan a jump start, so I started to read the first few chapters aloud. We talked and I asked questions to make sure he was listening, and he was. Then I told him to read the next chapter and then tell me what was happening because now I was interested in the story and wanted to know what happened next and he did. I've done this with Ryan a few times to get him started with a book. We read the first few chapters together and then he takes the book over.
Timmy is now reading The Fourth Stall. Ryan and I both read this book and really enjoyed it.
Here's the trailer for The Fourth Stall Part II.
I just started The Language of Flowers, an adult read so that is what I'll be reading this week.
The Nealons have read 15 books on our quest to 40 by Christmas.