I am steadily working towards meeting my monthly goal of 10 books. This week I almost finished another audiobook but did complete three books, one Adult fiction and two Juvenile fiction. So, I’ve read a total of 5 books and listened to 1 3/4 audiobooks. To read more about my 2017 Reading Resolution, check it out here. Otherwise let’s go on and chat about my week’s adventures in reading.
Lockwood & Co.: The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud
I have been a fan of Stroud’s work for over a decade. Love. Him. (Except for, in my humble opinion, the Heroes of the Valley one although I could always reread it and see if the older me would like it.) The Creeping Shadow is the fourth in his paranormal whodunit series, Lockwood & Co. Fans of the Jackaby series would enjoy it, albeit this series has a younger crowd and is a bit more involved and complex, which I love.
Lockwood is the owner of a ghost fighting agency called Lockwood & Co. In this alternative world, young people are the only ones who can see ghost and are the only ones who can defeat them. Agencies exist where young people do the business under the leadership of adults who can’t see the actual culprits. Lockwood & Co. used to consist just of Lockwood, a research guru named George (who is so cheeky!), a secretary-ish girl named Holly Monroe and another girl, who is actually the narrator of the story, Lucy. Lucy can hear ghosts and can talk to them which is highly unique.
In the last book, Lucy quit the agency to go freelance. She did so to hopefully save Lockwood from him continuing to save her and always narrowly escaping death. However, due to the admonish of the Fittes Agency who has given Lockwood & Co. some of its own cases, Lucy works freelance for Lockwood & Co. When her ghost jar goes missing and she is attacked, she only knows one place to go: back to her old agency for help.
Where I am now, Lockwood & Co. is helping to fix a massive ghost outbreak in a small town in England. Lucy may or may not be back on the team for good; there is too much going on for Lockwood and her to discuss whether he pays her as an employee or as a freelancer. I think I know who is behind this crazy amount of ghost attacks in this Aubrey Castle place, but we will see. 2 more sections to go!
Austenland by Shannon Hale
A book I continued from last week. So thirty-something Jane “Miss Erstwhile” is fully in Austenland glory. She doesn’t fall for (at first) the Mr. Darcy set-up for her, Mr. Nobley (Jane for some reason doesn’t realize that he is supposed to be her Mr. Darcy!) Instead, she falls for the gardener. But, who does she end up with at the end? Who can she resist?!
After I finished this book I immediately wanted to read the sequel Midnight in Austenland but someone beat me to it! Grrr! But I want to actually be surprised so I haven’t even read the synopsis for it. I have no idea if the romance Jane achieved at the end survives but I hope so.
Blubber by Judy Blume
A quick read. After listening to Judy Blume read the Fudge books, I could just hear her reading this one in my mind. What do you think of when you read the title Blubber? If you think FAT, than you are absolutely 100% correct! It is all about a bunch of kids making fun of a fellow classmate, Linda, for being fat. After she does a presentation on the whale, her class’s queen bee Wendy decides Linda will now be called Blubber. Everyone pretty much teases her, although that word is mild. You feel pretty uncomfortable as Blume explains the things they say to her, what they do to her and even what they make Linda say or do, all as if to punish her for being slightly overweight.
The story is told from the perspective of Jill, who goes along with Wendy and picks on Linda. But at one point in the story, the tables are turned and Linda is no longer the one picked on, but Jill is. How does Jill cope with these new bullies, one of which is actually Linda? Beyond the fact you are reading from a (mostly) bully’s POV, which is pretty odd as much protagonists are likeable, the fact she swears is shocking. I don’t know of any modern day middle grade novels that have curse words in them. But it does give a sense of authenticity. A great book to discuss bullying.
Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet: Skunked! by Jacqueline Kelly and illustrated by Jennifer L. Meyer
Based off the characters in The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, this new reader chapter book is perfect for boys AND girls. I wish the cover was not so feminine (even with Travis on the cover, the colors are salmon and the drawings lend themselves to being more “girl”). However, it is about brother Travis and sister Calpurnia hand-rearing two abandoned skunk kits. One, Stinky, is pocketed by Travis from a hallowed tree. Winky is a runt and is discovered after Stinky is established as Travis’. The siblings learn about raising mother-less skunks. Calpurnia does so with the goal to release the kits back into the wild; Travis just wants to keep them. He ends up taking them to school one day and something happens where the kits end up gone and Travis, well, skunked. Highly recommend.
These are just new books I shared with my 3 1/2 year old son. They are not counted toward my resolution goal.
Lancelot by Talbot Hudson
I am not sure if this was the best book to introduce to Theo, but I did and he liked it enough to read it again. Since I want to learn more about the Arthurian legends, I decided reading picture books with my son would kill two birds with one stone: I will learn snippets about them and my son gets introduced (without knowing it mwhahaha!) to literary tropes to be discovered later on. It turns out this version of Lancelot’s story is not that accurate but how could you show Guinevere’s adultery and Elaine’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy? Not really child appropriate topics. However it was an enjoyable, adventurous read with beautiful art.
Goatilocks and the Three Bears by Erica Perl and illustrated by Arthur Howard
It turns out for preschoolers, this week was universally about bears and hibernation. Since I pulled some books on that topic for my son’s preschool class (be on a look out for the booklist!), I pulled a few to introduce to him at home. These were mainly parodies of the “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” story (working on another booklist of these). Goatilocks and the Three Bears is all about a goat who enters the Bear family’s home while they are out walking and does what Goldilocks always does. Except Goatilocks EATS the entire bowl (and spoon) in which the porridge was, EATS the chair, and EATS the bed. She makes it up, however. A refreshing retelling!
What did you read this week? Share even if you just read a little!