Weekly Wrap-Up #11

In this second full week of March, I finished 2 Juvenile books and am 3/4 finished with an Audio. So without further ado, here we go:


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

A French professor decides to help figure out what sea creature caused damage to a few sea vessels. After trailing the supposed sea creature, Professor Aronnax discovers it isn’t a creature, but a metal submarine. He boards it along with his servant Conseil (honestly, if one wanted to do a research paper on Verne and servants he would have so much material to work with!) and a Canadian harpooner, Ned. They meet the submarine’s owner, Captain Nemo (not made up!), who is very hospitable to them. Ned feels trapped and wants to escape, but is unable to. I am nearly done and haven’t discovered why it’s called the title it is. Soon, I hope. It has more of a story than Around the World in Eighty Days with less of a geography textbook feel, but it isn’t near as dramatic (yet I hope!) as Journey to the Center of the Earth.


Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume

I loved this one. Not only was it historical, but it was quasi-biographical for Blume. Sally has to spend winter in southern Florida because of her older brother’s health. Together with her mother and grandmother they suffer through while Sally’s father works as dentist back in Jersey.

The story is basically about how Sally learns to deal with coming to age post-WWII in a new place. Her family is congenially split, but it doesn’t make it easier on her to be apart from her doting father.

One reason I enjoyed this book so much was because I moved to southern Florida for a year in high school and it was such a traumatic time for me. So I sympathized with Sally. Sally makes up stories and even feels that a neighbor is truly Hitler, who so happened to escape to Miami Beach and lives in her apartment complex. Perhaps these stories were created to help Sally cope; I know creating helped me as a young girl.

It’s Not the End of the World by Judy Blume

This one was a shocker. I wasn’t prepared for all the fighting between the parents so it made me uncomfortable. It brought memories back and I don’t like remembering how it was to grow up in that type of atmosphere. Nonetheless, it is a crucial book to have on the shelf and to know about in case you know someone whose parents are going through a divorce, especially one in which there was no cheating.

Karen is the middle child, smack dab between older brother Jeff and younger sister Amy. Their parents have been arguing for a while. One night, their father doesn’t come back and their mother shares with them that the parents are getting a divorce. Karen is trying to grabble with the reality of it, from trying to figure out the specific reason behind the divorce to attempting to bring her parents back together. After an upset Jeff abandons his mother and sisters at a diner and goes missing, Karen’s parents get a huge argument and Karen accepts they can never be back together.

It is a sad story and Karen eventually comes to realize that [Divorce is] Not the End of the World, although reading it made me want to never have brutal arguments in front of my children. Lord willing, we never will.


There are a lot! So instead of giving a short synopsis of each, I’ve just linked them to Amazon for your further inspection, if you wish. To learn more about the 2×2 picks, read about the booklist here.

Is That Wise Pig? by Jan Thomas (a 2×2 pick!)

Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Lonely Firefly, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle all by Eric Carle (my personal favorite of this bunch was The Very Clumsy Click Beetle)

The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra by Marc Tyler Nobleman and illustrated by Ana Aranda

Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon (a 2×2 pick!)

Nate the Great, Where are You? by Marjorie Weinman and Mitchell Sharmat and illustrated by Jody Wheeler

Tales from the Brothers Grimm illustrated by Herbert Leupin

Tidy by Emily Gravett (Theo LOVED this one)

Triangle by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

What have you been reading?


  1. From all the Oscar hype, I became aware of the movie, Lion. Haven’t watched it yet, but was able to listen to A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly via Hoopla (long hold queue in Overdrive). It was a remarkable story. I would imagine my four year old getting lost in India and how scary that would be. Also just finished Harper Lee’s book Go Set a Watchman. I actually never got a chance to read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in high school so I’m on the queue for that one. Reese Witherspoon reads Watchman and that’s probably the main reason I listened to it in the first place.

    1. I have not read Watchman (and I bet Reese did a great job reading it). I’ve been meaning to reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I read it not in middle school like they require in Texas public school but in graduate school. I think it’s a book that the older you get the more things you understand that you couldn’t as a young person.

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