After wracking my brain to come up with cute pseudonyms for my people, C. S. Lewis came through. Henceforth, I will be referring to Mr. 15 as Peter, Ms. 14 as Susan, Ms. 12 as Lucy (yes, I know Lucy was the youngest), Mr. 8 soon to be 9 as Edmund. Baby J will remain Baby J until she is old enough to assume Jill's role.
This past weekend, I went to Barnes & Noble with one of those coupons that might be 50% off, but is probably 15% off and you don't know until you check out. I went with one goal in mind. The time had come for me to purchase the complete Chronicles of Narnia on audio. I was prepared to spend up to $100 on this goal. The pathetic collection of audio books for children, the crowds, the table advertising "Series Teens Should Read" that included the Pretty Little Liars books(gag. drugs, drinking and driving, affairs with teachers. That's three illegal things. That's all I have to say.); I finally discovered that the only Narnia audio book in the store is The Magician's Nephew. I'm a purist and I believe that Clive, or Jack as he preferred to be called, meant The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to be read first. So we went to the library.
And Miss Amy's collection came through. We started listening yesterday on a half hour drive to the dentist. Yes, I know it's the fourth week of Advent. Yes, I have ten thousand better things to do than haul my people to Oak Park to get cleanings and fillings. Hangs head in shame. BUT the time has come to get braces for my teens and they have to have cleanings and fillings first.
Back to books, on the way home, after 90 minutes of dental doldrums, Edmund asked if we could listen to that story some more. :)
Peter is off school all week, and since I keep hiding his technology (I learned from the best, my mom.), he has begun From Slave to Priest: A Biography of the Reverend Augustine Tolson, First Black American Priest of the United States by Sr. Caroline Hemsath.
Like most boys and men, Peter enjoys non-fiction more than I do. My husband read this and enjoyed it as well.
Susan, as far as I know, is currently bookless. I am forcing her to read the Anne of Green Gables series. She reads one of those, then she reads a book of her choosing, then she reads the next Lucy Maud Montgomery, then another of her choosing, and so on. I am doing this, because she is in a deep sci-fi, dystopian rut. I want her to eat some romance with her steampunk. I'm mean that way. She's in the midst of finals right now, and doesn't have time to read anything.
Lucy is working her way through The Goose Girl books, which are officially known as The Books of Bayern. She is currently on Enna Burning. We are huge Shannon Hale fans. I recently read on her Facebook page that she is working on a sequel to The Princess Academy, and that her novel for grown-ups, Austenland, is being produced as a movie, right now.
Edmund, in addition to the audio book, is also on a "one for me, one for you" plan. His addiction is Franny K. Stein books. He is a unique reader in that he reads extremely s l o w l y. In order for him to pass his mandatory three Reading Counts quizzes each quarter, at his grade level, I have to find shorter books with lots of pictures, but with a high reading level. Franny K. Stein books, Lunch Walks Among Us, Attack of the 50 Ft. Cupid, and so on by Jim Benton fit the bill. They are ok. Ugly pictures, simple plots, HUGE vocabulary words. Franny is a mad-scientist girl in a normal world, sort of the opposite of the Munsters, and their normal niece. She tries to change to fit in, but learns to be herself to save the school from mutant lunches, etc.
Now, the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel also fit the bill. Beautiful. Classic. I love these books dearly. However, there is a certain stigma to reading "baby" books in third grade. Plus, he's taken those quizzes already. So on the "one for me" turns, he can choose from Ready, Freddy! by Abby Klein, Arthur Chapter Books by Marc Brown, or A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy.
And what am I reading? My to-do list! Ha!
I recently finished Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer and loved, loved, loved it! I adore WWII books. It's taken me over thirty years to realize it. My dad loves Civil War books, but me, I am amazed by the period in world history when the forces of darkness were so powerful, and there seemed to be very little hope or light, but the light gathered and strengthened and won! I don't know if it's because I know people who were there, or because those decades were epic in every sense of the word. I've read dozens of novels set in these times, in many different places, and from all points of view, and I feel I've only scratched the surface of what it must have been like.
Black Radishes is about a Jewish family in France. It is the story of their flight from Paris into Vichy France or Free France just before the Occupation, and their adventure retrieving some loved ones from the Occupied zone. I didn't know much about the French occupation or the Maginot Line, but now I know a little bit more. This book is great for elementary school children on up. This book also made me want to re-read one of my all time favorite books, Came a Cavalier by Frances Parkinson Keyes. I highly recommend this one for teens and moms. You know, to read in your "spare" time.