There's nothing like reading lists handed out at the end of the school year to send the kids screaming for the hills, apparently.Mine have definitely decided to go off the beaten track, this year, even as NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof strikes a familiar chord in his column on his Best Childrens' Books of all time, and scores over 2000 reader responses on his blog asking for reader's suggestions.
A lot of those mentioned by the readers are old favorites of mine, but my kids have decided on their own favorites for the season.
M, a rather advanced reader for an 8+ year old, has zipped through several of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, and is now avidly waiting for the next arrival (reserved and still in the library queue) in the fractured fairytale series called the Sisters Grimm.
She's also hugely fond of a Catholic school series about the Murphy family(authored by a Pittsburgher named Colleen O'Shaughnessy McKenna- whew, and I thought only South Indians had long names!)
S is tired of all the highbrow reading for school coursework and has embarked on a diet of miscellaneous teen/Young adult writers of sci-fi, world war and adventure books for light reading. For heavy reading, he's glued to "Introducing Character Animation with Blender'.
My reading list has been rather sparse. I plodded recently through 'Lulu in Marrakech' by Diane Johnson. Lulu is a secret agent, sort of Valerie Plame meets anti-Mata Hari, and naturally, falls into all sorts of adventures when she heads for Marrakech, ostensibly to meet an old flame.
I delved into the 'Summer World' by Bernd Heinrich, chapter after chapter about the insects, birds and small animals of the summer, sort of Thoreau-meets-research-scientist style of writing which pits incongruous rhapsodizing about the beauty of nature against statistical tables on how the author determined precisely when pupa would sense the lengthening days and start the transition to the adult form. Fascinating, and yawn-inducing.
What's on your bookshelf?