So we went on a trip to Disney World and some good reading was done. More than that, some exciting reading was done. Let me explain.
Hilary McKay is my favorite author in the universe. I can't put into words why this is so, I only know that I identify with every one of her characters. She is the only author I reread monthly, weekly when I'm desperate for something to read. I've read everything she's written and nothing has disappointed. She has a new book coming out Binny for Short, and I cannot wait to read it.
(Dont' you love both of those covers?)
Her books are on the girly side, and I haven't really gotten any of my kids addicted to her yet. I haven't pushed it. I've just been patiently, patiently waiting.
Calvin was sharing a tent with me one night (we camped at Fort Wilderness) and didn't have anything to read. It was late, I had a lantern and was scribbling away in a notebook. I tossed him The Exiles at Home, the second book in McKay's very first series. I love The Exiles series, but it is definitely wordier than her other books, full of British terms, and very girly—the book is about four sisters.
Within five minutes he was guffawing. Guffawing is not an exaggeration. Family members in other tents trying to sleep (Sam) protested the loud laughter. But Calvin was reading about Rachel sitting on the Christmas cake and sleeping with her brand new sled in her bunk bed and Phoebe's shoe-box zoo where she imprisons family members who don't do her bidding, and he could not stop laughing.
He's already read The Exiles since we got home.
I have a convert. (Too bad the third book is called Exiles in Love. That will be harder to foist upon him, but it is the funniest, so I think I can convince him. The covers to these books are hideous, by the way, so I will not be displaying them here. The UK versions are much cuter.)
And Lucy is now reading this series:
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. Ha! At last. A child reading one of my favorite series of all time. And she loves it!!! Nothing like being stuck in a car without lots of options. (I was very sneaky and devious about what books entered the car. Books may have been switched out of backpacks without my children's knowledge. This may have happened. One cannot be sure.)
Mary and I both read this:
Skinny by Donna D. Cooner
And we both liked it. I related to much of the book which is about a girl with serious eating issues who ends up weighing 305 pounds after the death of her mother. She has gastric bypass surgery. There is always an agenda behind books like this, but the author had gastric bypass surgery herself and it was really very balanced. I really loved the voice of Skinny, the person sitting on the girl's shoulder always telling her how ugly she is. There is a moment at the end where Skinny is revealed, and I thought that was quite brilliant. Read it first, before you give it to your daughter, however, just in case you are uncomfortable with anything.
And Shaemus read this:
Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth by Jane O'Connor
I have a bit of a love/hmmm relationship with Fancy Nancy, and I picked this up on a whim at Costco, because there were pictures on every page and it was a mystery. Shaemus was not enamored at first. "They're just looking for a snorkel and a marble," he said. And I said, "Would you rather she was solving a murder?" and he agreed, that yes, he would rather there was a murder. Clearly, life and death is more important to Shaemus than small, round hard objects and underwater gear.
But he kept on reading. And reading. And reading. Until he'd finished and wanted book #2... And Shaemus is my most reluctant reader of them all. You'd better believe book #2 is on its way.