Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Monday 12/21! What Are You Reading?

Busy, busy time of year! None of us have had a lot of time for reading (and I've had no time at all for writing reviews), but we've squeezed in a few good books:
  • I'm currently reading Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard, an imaginative and engaging teen science fiction novel that my son highly recommended. I'm loving it so far!
  • Jamie, 15, finished The Shadow Dragons, Book 4 of The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographia by James A. Owen in the car on our way to visit family Friday afternoon. He closed the book and said, "That is the best series ever written!" I've only read the first book so far, but I enjoyed it very much. The Imaginarium Geographica is an atlas of imaginary places that H.G. Wells himself assigns to J.R. R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams to take care of - the perfect combination of fantasy and literary references!
  • Jamie has started Raider's Ransom by Emily Diamand, an exciting pirate adventure set in the 23rd century, when most of England is under water. Jamie loves sailing and always enjoys tales of adventure and pirates, so I'm sure he'll like this one.
  • In the car on our way to and from CT, we began listening to Prism by Faye and Aliza Kellerman, a wonderful science fiction adventure on audio that I reviewed here earlier this year. My husband and sons are enjoying it as much as I did!
  • We're continuing our tradition of reading favorite Christmas books before bed each night, and I really enjoyed sharing this tradition with my little niece and nephew this weekend.
So, what are YOU reading this week?

(What are you reading Mondays are sponsored by J. Kaye's Book Blog)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top Ten Children's Christmas Books


In honor of the holiday season, today's Top Ten list is devoted to our favorite Christmas picture books. We have a stack of holiday books that we store with all the other Christmas stuff in the basement and just brought up this weekend. Even though my kids are now 11 and 15, they still love our tradition of reading these family favorites out loud in the days leading up to Christmas. Some of these are classics; some are pretty obscure! They're our favorites because the kids have grown up with them:

  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Darby's Christmas Adventure by Ray Bentley, illustrated by Mike Hamby - two former Buffalo Bills who came up with this series about a kid dinosaur named Darby
  • Dear Santa: The Letters of James B. Dobbins by Bill Harley - a more recent entry by one of our favorite entertainers; if you don't know who Bill Harley is, you're missing out. He's hilarious and this book is great! Also check out his recent CD/DVD, Yes to Running!
  • Carl's Christmas by Alexandra Day - our boys loved this series of wordless books about the sweet dog, Carl.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (of course)
  • A Cowboy Christmas: The Miracle at Lone Pine Ridge by Audrey Wood, paintings by Robert Florczak
  • Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer - my sons LOVED the Little Critter series when they were little.
And on Christmas Eve, we always read the same 3 books:
  • Santa Mouse by Michael Brown - a favorite from my own childhood
  • The Christmas Star by Marcus Pfister
  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Cheryl Harnes
I suppose we could use some holiday books for older kids, now that the boys have grown so much. Any suggestions?

What are your favorite Christmas books for kids?

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Monday 12/7! What Are You Reading?

None of us got much reading done last week. We were too busy with holiday preparations and the kids with school work. Here's what we're each reading:
  • I'm reading Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey, Book 2 in The Resurrection of Magic series, a dark and compelling teen fantasy. It's excellent, but I can already tell it's going to end leaving me wanting more!
  • My husband is reading The Doom Machine by Mark Teague, at the recommendation of Jamie, 15, who recently read it himself and loved it.
  • Jamie is still reading Ringworld, a classic science fiction novel by Larry Niven, after The Doom Machine put him in the mood for sci fi.
  • Craig, 11, finished Hatchet by Gary Paulsen for school and went back to his own book, The Search for Snout by Bruce Coville, the third book in his Aliens series. Craig really likes Coville's books, and this series is an old favorite.
We're also reading aloud from our collection of favorite holiday books at bedtime each night. Even though the boys are older now, they still enjoy this holiday tradition - we all do! Check back tomorrow for a list of our Top Ten Favorite Holiday Books.

So, what are YOU reading this week?