Growing Bookworms Newsletter: July 18: Two New #BookReviews and the Completion of Our #HarryPotter 5 #ReadAloud
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 usually sent out every three weeks.
Newsletter Update: In this issue I have, believe it or not, two book reviews (one middle grade and one YA). I also have a post about encouraging kids who can read but choose not to, and two literacy milestones for my daughter (distinguishing between reading and skimming, and making inferences). I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, full of tons on reading-related news.
Reading Update: In the last three weeks I finished two middle grade, three young adult, and seven adult titles. I read/listened to:
- Robert Beatty: Willa of the Wood. Disney-Hyperion. Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Completed July 5, 2018, print ARC. My review.
- J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Scholastic. Middle Grade Fantasy. Completed July 16, 2018, read aloud to my daughter. See comments below.
- Sheryl Scarborough: To Right the Wrongs (Erin Blake #2). Tor Teen. Young Adult Mystery. Completed June 26, 2018, on Kindle. This one was unrealistic but nevertheless a fun ride.
- Scott Westerfeld: Imposters. Scholastic. Young Adult Science Fiction. Completed July 6, 2018, print ARC. Review to come, closer to publication date.
- Ally Carter: Not If I Save You First. Scholastic. Young Adult Fiction. Completed July 8, 2018, print review copy. Review below.
- Victoria Abbott: The Christie Curse (Book Collector Mysteries, Book 1). Berkley Publishing. Adult Mystery. Completed July, 2 2018, on Kindle. This is a new cozy mystery series about a young woman who goes to work for a grouchy older woman to help her collect books (mysteries). The characters are quirky and fun, and I'm enjoying the details about the book collecting. The first one had a twist that I didn't see coming. The second, not so much. But I've still moved on to the third.
- Stephen King: 11/22/63. Gallery Books. Adult Speculative Fiction. Completed July 4, 2018, on MP3. This was a very long audiobook, but fabulous. Among King's best books, I think (with time travel but with a relative minimum of gore or other supernatural effects).
- Mona Charen: Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. Crown Forum. Adult Nonfiction. Completed July 5, 2018. This is a book written in defense of women who choose to spend more time at home raising their children (and various other gender-role-related topics). I didn't agree with all of the author's positions, but I thought that she made some interesting points.
- Victoria Abbott: The Sayers Swindle (Book Collector Mysteries, Book 2). Berkley Publishing. Adult Mystery. Completed July 12, 2018, on Kindle.
- Paul Doiron: Stay Hidden (Mike Bowditch). Minotaur Books. Adult Mystery. Completed July 13, 2018, on MP3. The latest book in this series about game warden (now Warden Investigator) Mike Bowditch, Stay Hidden is set on an isolated island off the coast of Maine during a fog-out. Certainly atmospheric.
- Pamela Wechsler: The Fens (Abby Endicott #3). Minotaur Books. Adult Mystery. Completed July 14, 2018, on Kindle. I enjoy the Boston references in this series, even though I'm not actually crazy about the assistant district attorney protagonist. This one has important Red Sox connections.
- James Swain: The King Tides (Lancaster and Daniels). Thomas & Mercer. Adult Mystery/Thriller. Completed July 14, 2018, on Kindle. This is the first of a new series by Swain, about an ex-SEAL who hunts for missing people. There are some interesting tidbits about crime (how people crack cell phone encryption, schemes for kidnapping, etc.) in this fast-paced story. Although some of the material is dark, Swain manages to keep the overall tone feeling moderate.
I'm listening to the final book in Maryrose Wood's The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series: The Long-Lost Home. It starts out with Miss Lumley separated from her beloved Incorrigibles, which is a bit sad, but I'm hoping that they all meet up before too long. I'm reading the third book in Victoria Abbott's Book Collector series: The Wolfe Widow.
The big news is that my daughter and I FINALLY finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I looked back and found that we started sometime before June 14th of last year, making this a 13-month marathon read. It was definitely worth it, though. We stopped to discuss things on nearly every page, meaning that we talked about all sorts of things, and she learned about all sorts of vocabulary words, throughout our journey. We laughed together over Harry's dating woes. I held her when she cried over Sirius. It was, all in all, a fabulous experience.
I was impressed by how well she kept most of the details in her head, too. After we finished we watched the movie, and she was OUTRAGED by how many things were left out (though I had warned her). She kept saying things like: "But that didn't happen at that time." To me, those complains meant that she had a pretty strong grasp of the book. OK, and that we should have waited a bit before watching the movie.
We're going to move on to something shorter now, though I doubt she'll want to wait too long before getting into Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This morning I described Elizabeth Enright's Gone-Away Lake, and she thought it sounded fun, so we'll try that. It's a bit of a risk on my part, because this is one of my all-time favorites, and I'll be a bit sad if she doesn't like it. But I think I can handle it.
Other than that, she continues to re-read her favorites, and ask for updates on the releases of any new installments. We experienced an unexpected bonus when the sixth Jedi Academy book, The Principal Strikes Back by Jarrett Krosoczka, showed up early from Scholastic. She hugged me so far that she literally lifted me off the ground. She did discover a new graphic novel series, the Three Thieves books by Scott Chantler. But she's read the first four and hasn't asked for the other three, so I don't think this one will be a top of the list favorite.
Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! Hope that your summer reading is going as well as ours is!