Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

Book Discoveries this Week: A potpourri of chapter books July 2, 2013

Filed under: Books — kirstenjoyhill @ 2:14 pm

Despite how busy we’ve been in the past couple weeks, it feels like we’ve actually done quite a bit of reading.   Afternoon nap time for the toddler is a perfect time to read aloud to the rest of the crew (and it is nice “down time” for them between all our outside activities).  And summer evenings seem to lend themselves well to reading a bit later than usual with Miss M.

I usually try and stick to one chapter book per post…but I’m afraid if I don’t condense some of them into one post, I’ll start to forget what we’ve read.  😉

With Mr. E (age 6) as my primary audience, we finished The Mouse and the Motorcyle by Beverly Cleary and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.  We’re working on Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator right now, so I’ll save Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for a future post about both books.

Both Mr. E and Mr. K (age 4) listened to The Mouse and the Motorcycle, though Mr. E  the mouse and the motorcycleenjoyed it a bit more.  Miss M read it all in one afternoon after we finished.  🙂  The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a great story for young boys in particular.  They can all relate to a boy who loves to play with his toy cars and beloved motorcycle.     Keith befriends Ralph the mouse while staying at an old motel that is home to Ralph and his family.  He even allows Ralph to take joy rides on his beloved toy motorcycle…which can really move if one make pb-pb-pb-bbbb  sounds, of course.  This leads to all kinds of adventures and trouble for Ralph, who learns a big lesson in responsibility.  We’ll be reading the sequels about Ralph the mouse sometime soon.

With Miss M, I’ve finished a couple complete books as read-alouds, plus we’ve done a few shared readings where I started the book and she finished it.  This is new for us, and it seems to be working out quite well to help her discover new books she was a bit more apprehensive to dive into on her own.

wonderful ONot being quite sure what I wanted to read after The Little White Horse (linked to my review), we started a shorter book, The Wonderful “O” by James Thurber.  This is a funny little story about two pirates who, unable to find any treasure on an island they visit, decide to forcibly outlaw the letter “O”.   Not only do they outlaw speaking the words themselves that contain the dreaded “O”…but the objects themselves.  Everything from pools to floors to clocks to chocolate to dough is outlawed.   There’s a lot of wordplay going on as words are spoken without their “o”s and o-less synonymns are found for objects with O-filled names.  Eventually the pirates are cleverly kicked off the island for the residents to get their beloved “O”s back.   This short book only took us two evenings to read.  It’s definitely funny and a bit strange as well.   I think it’s one I could have “passed” on (and let Miss M read on her own), but since it only took two nights to read it wasn’t really such a bad use of time.

The other full read aloud we’ve finished is The Prairie Thief by Melissa Wiley.  I checked this out for Miss M to read a few months back based on Amy’s recommendation, but she prairie thiefnever got around to reading it before it had to go back to the library.  Since we are on a roll with more fairy-tale type read alouds this summer, it came to mind as one we could read together.

This is a bit of  “Little House”-meets-fairy-tales sort of a story.  Louisa Brody is a young girl living on the prairie in 1882.  Her Pa is accused by their neighbors of stealing household items, and then is carted off to jail.  With no one else to take her in, Louisa has to stay with those same neighbors who accused her Pa of being a thief.    Louisa knows that her Pa is not the stealing type, but she can’t quite figure out how the Smirch’s things got into their old dugout — until she meets a tiny little fellow who lives in a home under the hazel grove.

Both Miss M and I really enjoyed this one.  It’s an exciting story, with some interesting twists and turns (and a happy ending, of course).

Miss M and I have also had some “shared reading”.   I read the first “section” of Arabel’s Raven by Joan Aiken out loud, and Miss M finished the rest of the book fairly quickly.  This book is really hilarious and ridiculous (in a good way).  Arabel’s father brings home a raven that was hit by a car.    Just when it seems the raven might be a goner, it eats everything in the refrigerator.  Then it eats the stairs (it really likes eating stairs).   It also answers the phone and says “Nevermore!” on a regular basis.  It can even occasionally be helpful in the process of catching a thief.

We also started The Bad Beginning, the first book in the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” series, outloud together.  After just a couple chapters, I knew that I didn’t care to read the rest of it.  As the author so politely warns, if you like stories with happy endings, you probably don’t want to read this book.    I know it is supposed to be “funny” how many bad, bad things happen to the poor Baudelaire children, but I just had a hard time enjoying the humor of it I guess.   Miss M thought otherwise and quickly finished both the first and second books in this series before taking a break to read the third Mysterious Benedict Society book.

We’re currently reading/shared-reading.  Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand.  This book may become Miss M’s read.  We’ll be discussing it tonight.  She seems to love this story of a magical nanny with some very naughty children.  I’m not such a big fan — I don’t think it is nearly as good as Mrs. Piggle Wiggle or Mary Poppins (though I am judging based on the movie of Mary Poppins, not the book — I’ve never read the book).  Nurse Matilda strikes me as being a mean version of Mary Poppins.  😉

Whew, that’s a lot of books!  I’m linking up with Read-Aloud Thursday @ Hope is the Word!


One Response to “Book Discoveries this Week: A potpourri of chapter books”

  1. Wow! You have done a whole bunch of reading! I’m glad you enjoyed The Prairie Thief. We’ve never read anything by Joan Aiken, but the book you read sounds good. My dh and I used to listen to audiobooks a long time ago (pre children), and Series of Unfortunate Events was a series we enjoyed. However, I’m not sure it’s one I want to introduce my children to anytime soon.

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