Archive of Fiction

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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Book #45: The Beyonders, A World Without Heroes

For the second half of the books in this reading challenge, there will be quite a few that I read for the book group of homeschooled teens that I am mentoring this year.  The Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull is one of them.  When I met Brandon Mull at Life, the Universe and Everything Conference in February, I told him that I was going to have my book group read that series.  I

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11Dec2018
Author
Jenny
Category
Classic, Fiction, Read Aloud

Book #42: Pride and Prejudice

It was an ambitious project, but I decided to read Pride and Prejudice aloud to my kids.  It seems ridiculous to give a summary of the book, so I won’t.  Instead, I’ll tell you a story about why I decided to read it out loud instead of just read it to myself, which was my original plan. Oliver DeMille, an education expert, tells a story of when he was teaching college.  The class was abo

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10Dec2018

Book #41: Small Steps

Ever read Holes by Louis Sachar?  Small Steps picks up where Holes left off, but following Armpit instead of Stanley.  He is struggling to make a life for himself post-juvenile prison and the trauma of Camp Greenlake. There were a lot of good messages about trying to do the right thing when everything is stacked against you, and trying to do right after so many wrongs.  If you’re a fan of Hol

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