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Reading this Week — Kid Books: “The Name of This Book is Secret,” “Love, Stargirl,” “Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go,” “Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck,” “3 Willows,” “Mudshark,” “Alvin Ho,” “The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School,” “The Frost Child,” “Friend or Fiend? with the Pain and the Great One,” AND “Oracles of Delphi Keep”

June 19th, 2009

Whew! That’s right. A ginormous box of books arrived today… SUMMER READING. Perfect day for it, too — wet, gray and superb. Just right for snuggling in on the couch with a new book and a mug of tea. The kids have started on “The Name of This Book is Secret,” by “Pseudonymous Bosch,” and “Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things,” by Lenore Look (pictures by LeUyen Pham).

They deem “The Name of This Book is Secret” as “funny,” “yeah,” and “pretty good,” “yeah.”

Wacky Girl says, “It’s about these two people who are going to go on an adventure. The writing is very good. The story is good, kinda slow, which is good.”

“Alvin Ho,” says Wacky Boy, is good. “Funny, yeah. Kinda. He’s afraid of everything. He’s not afraid of explosions.” The boy is Wacky Boy’s age (going into second grade) and his brother is going into fourth grade. Wacky Girl is going into fifth grade, but close enough. They enjoy reading books about kids their own ages and I am thrilled that they love to read. (Also, I’m really enjoying 7 and 9. Great ages. Great. So much imagination and energy, plus they’re not embarrassed to be seen in public with their parents. Yet.)

Me? I’m up for reading just about anything, but always am a softie for young adult fiction. (Blame it on my job. I always need to keep a couple steps ahead of my students.) I’m reading “Love, Stargirl,” by Jerry Spinelli. I adored “Stargirl.” Very fond of Spinelli’s writing — it’s sensitive without being mushy, poignant without playing the violin strings. Sequels are tough, especially when the original book gives the reader a sense of completion. So far, so good with this sequel. Stargirl and her folks have left Arizona — and Leo — behind. The book is a journal/letter to Leo and has the good pacing and strong cast of characters we expect from Spinelli. (Also on my to-read list: his memoir, “Knots in My Yo-yo String: The Autobiography of a Kid,” I’ve heard it’s a good read.)

The kids loved “Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go,” with blue-haired Marlo, her younger brother Milton, and an oversized, exploding marshmallow bear at the Grizzly Mall, so we’re looking forward to reading its sequel, too. Here’s a shout-out to author Dale E. Basye and illustrator Bob Dob for keeping things lively.

Wacky Girl is looking forward to Gary Paulsen’s latest, “Mudshark.” She read “Hatchet” this year and liked it, deems it “very good.” (High praise from the 9-year-old in the house.) (If I am counting correctly, this is Paulsen’s 48th book? An extra looooong shout-out to you, too, sir. Man. Authors. Man.)

Happy reading, y’all. Remember… if you don’t have enough bookcases for those books, put ’em in baskets.



Reading this week:


  1. The Other Laura says

    We are finishing up the last of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and I am sad to be at the end. Considering re-reading HP & the Halfblood Prince before the movie come out.

    June 19th, 2009 | #

  2. wacky cousin says

    I want to read Heck. Is it okay to read stories with dead people to wc 2.0?

    June 22nd, 2009 | #

  3. WackyMommy says

    TOL, I haven’t read any Riordan yet — he’s on my list. We’re re-reading HP — the whole series. I love it so much. Holding our breath til the movie comes out, so psyched.

    wc, yes. Then get him some pet frogs and when one dies he’ll ask, canwegetanewone? before you’ve even flushed the “goner.”

    June 22nd, 2009 | #

  4. Neisha says

    Alvin Ho! I loved that book more than my kid did (and he thought it was pretty funny). Did Wacky Boy like it?

    June 23rd, 2009 | #

  5. Wacky Mommy says

    He LOVES that Alvin Ho.

    June 23rd, 2009 | #

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