Tuesday, March 31, 2009

raising bookworms

obviously I hope to be raising a little bookworm at home. I am an avid fiction reader. Her dad is a non-fiction and tech-website reader. We hope she will like to read also.

Raising Bookworms: getting kids reading for pleasure and empowerment by Emma Walton Hamilton

The premise of the book is that children begin life being read to, hearing inspiring stories, and generally enjoying the experience. When children are sent to school, a shift to learning to read independently may place a focus on pressure, deadlines and responsibilities instead. The purpose of this book is to help kids read for pleasure.

In the section for Babies and Toddlers, Hamilton recommends reading aloud while nursing or cuddling together, to associate reading with pleasurable feelings of warmth, joy and love.

For each developmental age group, fun and practical suggestions are included for "In the Home" and "Beyond the Home" as well as ideas for what your child will enjoy reading at that level.

I skimmed the library's copy - 156 pages.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman was one of my very first favorite authors. Sometime late in elementary school, I discovered his Bruno and Boots boarding school adventure series, and I was hooked. His classic comedy-of-errors A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag remains on my best-books-to-read-again list, and amazingly, he has continued to write excellent books for middle school readers ever since he was a teenager.
I happened upon one of his new releases - Schooled - as a full cast audiobook from Recorded Books and I really enjoyed it.
The premise is straightforward enough - Capricorn Anderson has been raised on a hippie commune by his grandmother. Over the years, everyone has left the commune and returned to the real world, except for Cap and his Grandma. When she breaks her leg, Cap is sent to live with a social worker and attend public school for a few months until she has completed rehab and can return to their community. Cap has never seen television, never held money, and has been raised to believe in peace, justice, fairness and selfless sharing of resources. The school lockers are a mystery, the school bullies are confusing, and the school lunches are disgusting. Within a week of his arrival, he's been elected 8th grade class president as a joke, and then things get really crazy. Cap's gentle hippie outlook is strange to the 21st century teenagers, but who will really get schooled?
I listened to it - 5 hours

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3 willows

3 Willows: the sisterhood grows

3 willows: the sisterhood grows by Ann Brashares
Sometimes, they speak of the older girls – the sisterhood – as of mythical local heroines. Those girls, who shared a pair of pants, have been much emulated, but no other friendships can compare to the stories about the sisterhood. Those girls are all in college now, 20 years old, and the stuff of legend in the hometown of Polly, Jo and Ama. Polly, Jo and Ama have been friends since the first day of grade school when they were the last three kids to get picked up. They sneaked out of an empty classroom and off into the woods by Pony Hill to begin their adventures. Since that day, they have been together almost every day. Now, the summer before high school, the girls are not as close anymore. They have grown apart, found separate interests and made new friends. Do they even still need each other anymore? Polly lives alone with her eccentric artist mother. She is staying home this summer while her friends go away. She wishes her family was larger, and when she finds out about a relative who was a popular model, Polly will do whatever it takes to become a model herself. Jo is working as a bus girl this summer at a restaurant near her parent’s beach house. Her family has never been the same since a tragedy a few years earlier, and Jo’s dad isn’t coming to the beach with Jo and her mom this summer. After Jo meets someone new on the bus, she finds a pleasant distraction from the confusion of home. Ama is focused on her grades. Her sister has excelled, gone off to college early, and Ama wants to do the same. When her scholarship to prestigious summer camp assigns her to an outdoorsy hiking trip instead of a research lab, Ama is horrified. Author Ann Brashares has given a wonderful gift to fans of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by extending the world of Lena, Tibby, Carmen and Bridget to include another story from their community. If you liked the Sisterhood books, or the movies, you will probably enjoy this story also. Meet three new girls who are embarking on their own summer journey of growing up and enjoying their own unique sisterhood.
I listened to it about 8 hours on CD. Excellent story.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

creative play for your baby

Creative play for your baby by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol

I checked out this book because it has a cute picture on the front of a litle girl playing with little rag dolls in wooden boats made from tree limbs, all sailing on a river of folded blue fabric. Creative play sounded like a great concept, but what I didn't realized until I started reading more closely is that it is actually a craft instruction book masquerading as a parenting book and contains "step by step instructions for over 20 natural, home-made toys". It's cool, and if I could just buy the toys, I would, but otherwise....Kivrin's getting storebought toys. (Although I did buy her a natural wooden spoon at the grocery story and she loves it) 125 pages.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Books a million

Not really, but I'm trying...

I read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for book group-- 578 excellent pages and very timely in the current economic situation and also the current trend towards locally grown produce.

I'm judging the booksellers best romance contest again this year, all Harlequin/Sillouette serials-- I had An Ideal Father and The Single Dad's Virgin Wife and Heart of a Thief so far. 245, 212 and 214 pages.

I reviewed As Sure as the Sun by Anna McPartlin for freshfiction.com - 384 pages

I listened to the H2g2 primary phase radio show adaption, 3 hours., and the secondard phase, 3 hours.

And I read Sex for busy people: the art of the quickie for lovers on the go, which has been the subject of much discussion in Topeka lately. I wasn't impressed by the book, mainly because I didn't learn anything new (except something about a trenchcoat for quickies in public). The images are cartoon drawings and brightly colored, and I thought they were more funny than instructional. Also, the book didn't address safe sex or condoms, which I find unforgiveable in any modern sex instruction book, no matter what the premise. The book reads like half-page articles from Cosmo magazine and is less titilating than a racy romance novel and less graphic than many of our graphic novels. If this book is the gold standard for harmful to minors in Topeka, we are in BIG trouble. 79 pages.