Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Bag Catch-Up: July 21

I had started a weekly Book Bag post this summer to review all the kid lit the Kiddos and I are reading, but alas, things have fallen a bit by the wayside! We haven't participated in the What My Children Are Reading meme over at The Well-Read Child for a couple weeks, so hopefully we'll be back on track for this week.

In order to catch-up, more of less, today I'd like to briefly share the books we've been reading that make our Top 5 Picks of the month (so far.) Each of our #1 Picks are pictured...

Bug's (age 3.5) Top 5:Mugger's (age 6) Top 5:My Top 5:
  • Knight's Castle by Edward Eager -- this was my second Edward Eager title as I thought his books were to be read chronologically-- oh, how I wish Laurel Snyder had left her comment on this post before I started. Still a fun fantasy read and I can't wait to read the rest of the series. Incidentally, Laurel Snyder is the author of my next pick, which was actually my favorite of the month...
  • Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains, or, The Search for a Suitable Princess by Laurel Snyder -- loved this one! Lucy the milkmaid has spent her days at play with her best friend Prince Wynston, but when his father decides he needs to begin his pursuit of a suitable queen, Lucy (not eligible by law) feels put-out and sets off in search of her mother who's only ever been described as "gone." The runaway theme may seem crazy to adult readers, but it will make perfect sense to anyone who remembers the angst of those middle grade years. Snyder also has a great blog here and her post "The Very Worst Books for Kids" has to be mentioned.
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson. -- I don't read a lot of teen science fiction, but this one came highly recommended on one of the many kid lit blogs I read. Set in the not-so-distant future where all sorts of bioengineering is possible and raises all sorts of ethical questions boiling down to "What exactly does it mean to be human?"
  • Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl -- this one was from my own collection, the one I had to re-read after this post. You would never think a book about peasant-poaching would make a Top 5, but it is by the beloved Roald Dahl, so that's probably all the explanation required.
  • Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland. -- this is my one pick that's not a kids' book as it's our book club's selection this month. This has probably been my favorite selection of 2009. Vreeland tells several short stories, all centered around a fictional painting by Vermeer, tracing the ownership of the painting in reverse chronological order from present day back to Vermeer's family in the 1600s. This book speaks so well to the place of art in our lives as the subject of the painting provides very different insights for the various owners.
Well, so much for "briefly" sharing. What can I say? I like books! I'll try not to let it go so long next time...


  1. We are reading Visitor for Bear too!

  2. So do you by chance know what order I should read Edward Eager's books in? I think we will be starting them soon as read alouds and now I want to get it right!!!

  3. Hey Jocelyne,

    No, I don't know exactly which order to read them in, but in my Book Bag post for June 18, Laurel Snyder (author of Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains mentioned above and Any Which Wall, the Eager-inspired title I'll be reviewing soon) had this to say:
    "So good to hear people are discovering Eager! Be warned that his books aren't quite a series. there are 2 different "sets" of books. The Half Magic Kids and the Magic or Not kids are two different sets of kids. And then the kids in Knights Castle are a third crew, only you should read that book AFTER the Half Magi/Magic by the Lake books. Because there's a secret!"

    I would suggest dropping by her site at laurelsnyder.com to ask her because I'm sure she has a recommended order to read them in!

  4. Hey! I LOVE that people are having this conversation. My best advice on the matter:

    Half Magic, THEN Magic by the Lake
    Knight's Castle THEN Time Garden
    Seven Day Magic
    Magic or Not THEN Well Wishers

    People might take issue with the placement of Seven day Magic. It was written later on, I think. But it follows very much in the vein of the first two sets of books. Magic or Not and Well Wishers are a little different.


  5. Thanks to both of you! We are looking forward to reading his books. And I have Laurel's books on my list to read soon! So many books, so little time :)