It sure doesn’t feel like fall in Houston with 95 degree highs and the heat index bringing it up to 106. But with the kids starting back up with school, it makes it seem as if cooler weather is just around the corner. With homework and school projects back in play, we are getting more serious about books and completing reading lists. This doesn’t mean it can’t be fun – we continue to read aloud, participate in school reading contests, and visit the library to discover new books.
On My Nightstand
My running partner went to high school and was on the track team with Lopez Lomong, the U.S. Olympic track athlete. When she told me about the book he wrote, I had to see if our local library had a copy. Running for My Life is a heartbreaking, yet moving story about hope and faith – about growing up in Sudan and being kidnapped by rebel soldiers, being adopted by an American family as a teenager, and training to be a runner and eventually competing in the 2008 Olympic games.
November Project: The Book is about two guys, Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric, who started a month-long pact between themselves to keep fit. It has since grown into an international fitness program, the great part of which it is free and anyone can join.
With Downton Abbey now over, I need to fill the period tv series void and am looking forward to Poldark and Victoria on PBS. I especially love period films that are based on books, so picked up the first of the Poldark series – Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall. This is set in 18th century England, as Ross Poldark returns home after fighting for the British in the American Revolutionary War.
In Our Read-Aloud Pile
The Texas Library Association comes out with lists of recommended reading for children – 2×2 for kids ages two to 2nd grade, and the Bluebonnet Award for grades 3-5. Each list has 20 books, and reading at least 10 gets you into the school library’s ice cream sundae party. There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes was especially funny, about brothers who win a lion after collecting cereal box coupons. This was one that our 1st grader wanted to read again and again.
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise is about an owl that dons different disguises to try to catch his prey (a carrot costume to get closer to a rabbit), but his tactics do not bring him any closer to getting something to eat.
Our fifth-grade girl is now getting into middle-grade novels. A Handful of Stars is about two girls in a small town that become friends, despite having different backgrounds. This book touches on racism and migrant workers, yet we were able to talk about more difficult themes like prejudice, loss, and loneliness through the gentle story of friendship and love for a dog.