Friday, April 5, 2013

YA Pick and Nonfiction for Everyone!!! (And some spear throwing)

Today's dangerous thing ended up being spear throwing. I was a little panicked when Calvin came out of our dungeon (our name for our garage thingy) with a hoe (a regular-sized garden hoe) and Shaemus came out with a heavy bat, and they declared their intentions to go throw some spears. But they both had on helmets and swimming vests. So they were well prepared.

I did not encourage them to do the spear throwing (one of the 50 dangerous things), they came up with the notion on their own, so I repeated many times that the person not throwing the spear had to stay far away and well-behind the person throwing the spear. This was after Calvin said, "Well, the good news is, when I throw the hoe, if it hits Shaemus, the heavy pointy metal part would only hit him right here." Then he pointed to Shaemus's helmet. I quickly pointed out that Calvin had no clue where the heavy pointy metal part would land and Shaemus had to, had to, had to stay behind him.

Then I let them go out side to seriously injure each other. But no one was hurt today and spears were thrown, so all's well that ends well (except that Flannery decided to stick her finger inside our little floor fan. And she'll never do that again!).

My YA pick is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I didn't love, love it, but I really did enjoy it. Excellent YA Fantasy, I would say, and I've now heard from friends that I must read book two, so there you go.

Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rachel Carson
Product Details
(I do not love this cover...)
This is a girl-protagonist book, something boys generally avoid reading. A friend of mine has a teenage son who can't find anything to read. He wants clean fiction—little profanity, no sex, mild violence—and it is harder and harder to find this in YA literature, particularly YA geared to guys. If anyone has any great suggestions for books that are YA but clean and have high boy interest, please pass it on!!!

And for nonfiction, we are all enjoying perusing the great photos and illustrations in this:
Product Details
Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty by Tonya Bolden

Now if this is the kind of book that makes you want to curl up under the covers and take a nap, change your ways. Now. Kids love this stuff. They love true stuff. They eat it up, but if they sense your wariness, your fear, your discomfort with heavy-duty history—with real stuff—they will quickly pick up your discomfort and blow it up into hatred. And if you haven't checked out, like really checked out, nonfiction for kids nowadays, it is (generally) awesome. These things read like novels now, they are so well done.

How's that for a lecture? But seriously, this is a book that your entire family could browse and read and discuss, and Lincoln is big right now, and, really, I'm not sure there could be a more important document for our kids to be familiar with. Might as well get 'em hooked at home, while it's fun.

I am posting about how to get our kids hooked on reading and writing on Monday. That's the only way to motivate people! To hook them, to get them interested, to reel them in...

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