It has been a while since I have posted on the books we have been enjoying. But fortunately, our library’s online system now keeps a record of what we have checked out so my memory can be prompted and I can catch up. We go through a lot of books, mostly audiobooks in the car (in fact we are finding it hard to find new ones at the library) but also read-alouds during lunchtime (captive audiences, you know, even better when their mouths are full).
Here are some we have enjoyed:
Coraline by Neil Gaiman — We had seen the movie of this previously but the book is much better. It is somewhat of a bizarre story with a girl who has alternate parents who are trying to steal her away. But if you can get beyond that it is a real gem.
The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood — This was a read-aloud and was chosen to complement our study of British history. I was a little skeptical of this book because I am often disappointed in these sorts of historical novels for children, but this one was a pleasant surprise. It is not great writing but it is not poor either. And we found the story very engaging. A boy is recruited to try and steal copies of Shakespeare’s plays. One could also use it to talk about intellectual property rights. There are sequels as well which we haven’t got to but I wouldn’t mind reading sometime.
Crispin by Avi — This is a short series. We have listened to two of them so far and I believe there is at least one more. They were also picked because they are set in the Middle Ages, but I can’t say enough about how good they are. Very well written and enthralling. My daughter has read a number of Avi’s books and we have listened to a couple and they all seem to be good.
Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman — The Middle Ages yet again. This is another good one. My kids really laughed at this one. There is a lot of bathroom-related humor but not in a way that would turn off grown-ups too much (my husband liked the bits he heard too but he is not known for the most sophisticated humor). Catherine is a young girl whose father is trying to find a suitable husband for her. The story is written as a series of journal entries. She starts each one with mentioning the saint whose day it is. The brief snippets she gives on them tend to show how silly the whole thing is so I am not sure how it would play with Catholics. She is also not very respectful or obedient towards her father so perhaps some would be bothered by that.
Until next time