Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This is the best novel that I have read since Brooks' People of the Book . . . The Help completely knocked my socks off. Go read it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Examination by Malcolm Bosse

This was a pre-read for Simon and it was excellent--a great plot and lots of wonderful detail about Chinese history and culture.

It occurred to me that I probably need to add a little detail to my pre-read reviews so I have more to work from when subsequent children read the book in future years. (I wish I had thought of this two years ago . . .)

--Before reading: Discuss Confucianism and the Chinese imperial exam system.
--Discuss: Differences and similarities between Hong and Chen.
--Discuss: What should they have done when they encountered the woman, her daughter, and the men starving in the village?
--Discuss: How did the principles of Confucianism impact the choices various people made in this book?
--Discuss: What were the advantages and disadvantages of the exam system for Chinese society?
--Discuss: What is your opinion of the choices that Hong made throughout the book and at the end of the book?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

I listened to this with the boys; it was very good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker

As is usually the case with me, I was completely enthralled by a novel and utterly disappointed with its ending. Is it me--or is it novels? I rarely used to read novels but now turn to them when my reading time needs to be relatively fluffy to balance out my other projects. Maybe I just need to stick with fluffy non-fiction?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Story of Science : Newton at the Center by Joy Hakim

Simon will be reading this during this school year; I preread so I could write discussion questions. This series is fantastic (although slightly misnamed as there will be a separate series on geology and biology)--everyone should know the history of science and these books are physically beautiful and so interesting. I love the way she integrates art, politics, and science, as well as the personal life stories of the scientists. Highly recommended for 10+ and adults.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

I read this out loud to Truman; it was more delightful than I had remembered. (This particular book is the one that I bought from the Scholastic catalog when I was in the first grade.)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

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