Thing number 1: I really enjoyed Silverfin by Charlie Higson. I had expected it to be purely an action story, but Higson takes the time to establish the character of James Bond at age 13. He also gives us a good sense of what it would have been like to be a student at Eton in the 1930’s. And then, of course, the story moves away from Eton and into some good fun Bondish action. Definitely a good book for any of you James Bond fans.
Thing number two: yesterday’s Book Gobblers program was interesting for me. Usually we have fourth and fifth graders who attend this read aloud program for older kids, and they have really enjoyed hearing selections from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Given that past history, yesterday I decided that I would read “The Cat That Walked By Himself” to them. But there was a little change in demographics yesterday, with mostly second graders attending. They mostly liked the story, but they didn’t love Kipling’s language like the older kids have; the older kids have literally sat in rapt attention, almost devouring Kipling’s words as I read them. But the younger ones looked slightly puzzled at times. The second story I read them, though, was a huge hit: Ghost Hands by T.A. Barron. As you may remember, T.A. Barron spent the early years of his life in the town in which I work, so I always love sharing his books with kids at my programs. And Ghost Hands, which provides an imagined reason for paintings of hands in a real cave in Patagonia, really grabbed their attention – total focus from the group as I read, and lots of great questions and discussion after the story was done. I’ll definitely be reading this book to kids at the school when I do summer reading visits in June.
Thing number 3: Last but very definitely not least, the third grade book group had an exciting and wonderful meeting on Monday as we had a Skype visit with author Sara Pennypacker. I will be writing a full post on this visit over the weekend to do it full justice, but wanted to mention it here in brief to whet your appetite. Ms. Pennypacker is an incredibly generous, kind, open, and engaging speaker, and I believe that this Skype visit was a really transformative moment for several of the kids in the group. More on this visit in a day or two…and now it’s time to get ready for work!