Archive of Fiction

12Dec2018

Book #56: The Chosen

I briefly reviewed The Chosen by Chaim Potok in my summary post from 2017 here.  About a year later, I decided to read it again.  This time I had some guided mentoring and writing prompts to go along with it, which deepened the experience.  It’s a new experience for me to re-read books so quickly after each other.  I kept commenting on the book to my kids, so a few of them picked it up after

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12Dec2018

Book #55: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

My kids all have book-related names and after four girls, my husband and I were stumped by what we should name our first boy.  What boy from our favorite books should we name him after?  Who do we like enough and also like his name enough to name our child after him?  Tom Sawyer was the answer.  While our Sawyer isn’t as conniving, devious, or reckless (sometimes), he does share the qualitie

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11Dec2018

Book #54: Frankenstein

My book club was reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley during the month of October, which is appropriately spooky.  I’ve read this in the past, so this time around, and after the success of reading Pride and Prejudice to my kids, I decided to read it aloud to my kids.  Wow, what a different experience it ended up being. Victor Frankenstein is just the worst.  I didn’t remember much about

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11Dec2018

Book #53: Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh was one of my favorite books when I was a kid.  I wanted to be a spy just like Harriet.  I even got myself a notebook and old clothes good for climbing fences and into dumbwaiters.  Unfortunately, I didn’t live in New York City, I lived in suburban Kansas City, Kansas.  Nobody had a dumbwaiter in their split-level home.  Nobody was even around worth spying

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11Dec2018

Book #51: The Mysterious Benedict Society

I already blogged about The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart here, but I’m so glad I read it again for the book discussion group.  Introducing another generation to this amazing book is always worth a re-read. Reading it again always makes me ask the question, which character am I most like?  Constance, probably, as much as I hate to admit.  What about you? Goodreads r

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11Dec2018

Book #50: My Life With the Liars

If a middle grade reader ever asks you, “Do you know of any books about cults that I could read?” and you want to make sure it’s appropriate for their age, this would be the book for you.  Otherwise, I don’t know why you’d want to read My Life with the Liars by Caela Carter.  It was hard reading.  Cults give me the jeebies.  But I’m glad I read it because my girls were all reading

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11Dec2018

Book #49: The Trumpet of the Swan

Are you one of those people who hate talking animal stories?  Or super smart animals?  Well, you still might like The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White.  Everyone knows about Charlotte’s Web by the same author, but I wonder how many people know about this beautiful little book.  These two are my favorites by E. B. White, with Stuart Little a very distant third. There’s so much to love

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11Dec2018

Book #48: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The sum total of what I knew about Two Gentlemen of Verona was that it is Shakespeare’s shortest comedy.  I listened to an interesting audio about it, though it wasn’t a summary, so I went into it with fresh eyes. Wow, it was so misogynistic.  Shakespeare usually writes pretty strong female characters, but this play was the worst in that department.  Also, I know that during this time ma

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11Dec2018

Book #47: The Wednesday Wars

I read Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt for my book club about a year ago and loved it.  What I didn’t realize is that it was a sequel to this Newbery-Award winning book, The Wednesday Wars.  Holling Hoodhood is a wonderful character and his agony over being forced to study Shakespeare with his teacher every Wednesday while his fellow students go to religious instruction was delightful.  Mrs.

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11Dec2018

Book #46: Beanstalks and Other Hilarious Scarytales

I read a book called Beanstalks and Other Hilarious Scarytales by Kiersten White.  That time is now lost to me. Some books you read because your kids insist they’re funny and awesome and then you read them and think, “Do my children actually know what a funny and awesome book is?”  The only thing that redeemed it was portraying Snow White as a vampire, which is something I’ve been say

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