Growing Bookworms Newsletter: November 15: Choice in Learning, #GraphicNovels as "Real" Reading, and Harry Potter
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 three book reviews (picture book and middle grade) and one post about my daughter's latest literacy milestone (having a real-world interest sparked from a book). I also have a post about the importance of choice in my daughter's learning and another in defense of graphic novels as real reading. I also have two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter.
One other newsletter-related item that I wanted to mention is that I learned after the last issue was mailed out that there was a problem with the newsletter sign-up form. My thanks to the determined new subscriber who contacted me to let me know about this. I have fixed the main signup form and also streamlined the form in my blog sidebar to make it easier to use (you don't have to leave the page to subscribe). If you find anything worth reading in the newsletter, I do hope that you'll consider passing it along to others. Thanks!
Reading Update: In the last two weeks I finished three middle grade books and three adult titles. I read/listened to:
- J. K. Rowling (ill. Marie GrandPre): Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4). Scholastic. Middle Grade Fantasy. Completed November 6, 2017, read aloud to my daughter over nearly 5 months. More on this below.
- Jonathan Stroud: The Empty Grave (Lockwood and Co., Book 5). Disney-Hyperion. Middle Grade Fantasy. Completed November 9, 2017, on MP3. Oh, such a great series. I was sad to see it end, but thought that Stroud did a great job of wrapping things up.
- Andy Griffiths: The 39 Story Treehouse. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fantasy. Completed November 10, 2017, read aloud to my daughter. Not really my cup of tea, but it was a quick read and she enjoyed it.
- Jean M. Twenge: iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us. Atria Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 2, 2017, on Kindle. This book gave me lots of food for thought - it's one of those books that I found myself mentioning several times in conversation with different people. I will have at least one future blog post about it.
- Marybeth Mayhew Whalen: When We Were Worthy. Lake Union Publishing. Adult Fiction. Completed November 5, 2017, on Kindle. I couldn't put this one down, and was moved by the ending.
- Marybeth Mayhew Whalen: The Things We Wish Were True. Lake Union Publishing. Adult Fiction. Completed November 10, 2017, on Kindle. I liked this one, too.
I'm currently listening to Two Kinds of Truth (Harry Bosch series) by Michael Connelly and reading The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. My daughter and I finally finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire together. It took us close to five months, though we didn't read as regularly as usual over the summer vacation. We have decided to take a (possibly lengthy) break before reading Book 5 (which is equally long and more depressing). We are currently reading The 52 Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths together.
For her own reading, she finished the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi quite rapidly, and is showing some signs of willingness to branch out a little from pure reading of graphic novels. This is not out of disloyalty to her format of preference, but because she has read all of the ones that she has quite a few times, and hasn't had any others grab her interest. After having various other ideas rebuffed, I suggested, very tentatively, that she could try reading the first Harry Potter book on her own. She was eager to do so, and did try for a couple of days, but she wasn't really ready.
She tried the first Dork Diaries book by Rachel Renee Russell instead, and has found that a much better fit. I suspect that Dork Diaries will be her next reading obsession. I had a copy of the first one already and how now ordered book 2. She took the first one in to school to read at D.E.A.R. time.
However, as a small indicator of her continuing obsession with the world of Harry Potter, she remarked the other day: "I left the picture right there and one day it just disapparated." This was a genuine slip. "Disapparate" comes more readily to her than "disappear." She also had her first experience of being truly annoyed (and sometimes baffled) by differences between the book and the movie, in regards to The Goblet of Fire. My own take, after spending literally months reading the book, is that they may have gone a tiny bit too far in cutting things down for the movie.
One other title that grabbed my daughter's interest last week was an old lap-size board book that she picked up: Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. We read this book many times when she was younger, and I always liked it, but she apparently didn't remember it. She was completely charmed now by the book's message of self-determination regarding clothing. She wanted me to write about the book, and she wants to get another copy to give to her younger cousins.
One final thing that she's reading these days: magazines. I recently subscribed her to National Geographic Kids. She's received her first two issues and LOVES them.
Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms.