Growing Bookworms Newsletter: August 9: Self-Entertainment, Play-Based Camp + Toys that Spy
August 09, 2017
Today, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every two to three weeks.
Newsletter Update: In this issue I have four book reviews (picture books through middle school) and one post about my wish to strengthen my daughter's self-entertainment muscle. I also have a re-post of an article I wrote about play-based vs. activity-bases summer camp, two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, and one post with more detailed notes / responses to some recent joy of learning-related articles.
Reading Update: In the last two weeks I finished four middle grade and three adult novels. I read/listened to:
- Ellen Raskin: The Westing Game. Puffin Modern Classics. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed July 31, 2017, on MP3. This was my first re-read of this title in many years, though I did remember a few plot points.
- Rick Riordan: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Book 1, The Sword of Summer. Disney Hyperion. Middle Grade Fantasy. Completed August 5, 2017, on Kindle. I liked the characters in this one, and appreciate Riordan's efforts to include various types of diversity. Magnus Chase has spent two years homeless at the start of the book, another character is deaf and uses sign language, another is Middle Eastern, etc.
- Mark Powers (ill. Tim Wesson): Spy Toys. Bloomsbury USA Children's Books. Chapter Book. Completed August 6, 2017, print ARC. Review to come.
- Jackson Pearce: Ellie, Engineer. Chapter Book. Completed August 6, 2017, print ARC. Review to come.
- Michael Connelly: The Late Show (Renee Ballard #1). Little, Brown and Company. Adult Mystery. Completed July 25, 2017, on MP3. This book introduces a new character for Connelly (who, interestingly, is also at least somewhat homeless, despite being a detective).
- Joy Ellis: Crime on the Fens (Nikki Galena, Book 4). Joffe Books. Adult Mystery. Completed July 27, 2017, on MP3. This one was fun. In addition to my continued enjoyment of the characters, I liked the plot better than I did the previous book.
- Michael Hambling: Dark Crimes (D.I. Sophie Allen, Book 1). Joffe Books. Adult Mystery. Completed August 4, 2017, on MP3. This is my first read of a new British cop series. I found the story compelling, and liked the main character, but was occasionally irked by the author being didactic. For example, an expert comes in and lectures the cops at a couple of points about domestic violence, thus also lecturing the audience. I'm going to give this series another try (because I am always needing new audio series), but if that aspect gets worse instead of better, I will stop.
I'm currently reading The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood by Susan Engel and listening to Not Alone by Craig Falconer. My daughter and I are still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire together. We are finally at Hogwarts, and learning about how the newest Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher works.
You can find my daughter's 2017 reading list here. For her own reading, she's still reading and re-reading El Deafo by Cece Bell. She recommends it to everyone. She's also re-reading the Babysitters Club Graphic Novels (and I've pre-ordered the next one). She read the last third of book three to me aloud in bed last night. She pronounced Spy Toys and Ellie, Engineer (above) to be at her reading level, but she wishes that they were graphic novels, and has not actually picked either of them up (though I would expect Ellie, Engineer to be exactly her cup of tea). She is counting down the days until school starts (2 weeks from today), though getting her out of bed that early is going to be a challenge. I can't believe that summer is passing so quickly.
Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. Here's to a bit more time for summer reading!
© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.