Tag Archives: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

WWW Wednesdays – July 4, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

So I’m a day late writing this update, but I have my reasons. You see, yesterday I was busy driving back from the beautiful mountains of Idyllwild, California. I then took my oldest to our town’s little party zone and finished the day enjoying the Fourth of July fireworks. The best part? My five-year old slept in until 8am and my four-year old until 9. It felt good for all of us to catch up on some sleep in our own beds after being away from home for a week.

My bookshelf

Dolores Clairborne by Stephen King

Dolores Clairborne by Stephen King

– What I’m currently reading

Dolores Clairborne by Stephen King. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors and I still have many of his novels to read. I thought the summer is the perfect time to indulge. 
 
– What I recently finished reading
The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller. This is a WONDERFUL book written by a 6th-grade teacher who shares her experience to spread her love of reading to her students, no matter their reading level or literary genre interest. Over the years, she really shifted the paradigm of language arts/English literature teaching in her classroom. I loved to see a teacher more interested in making sure her students read every single day a book of their choice, rather than force them to read something they didn’t enjoy and never find pleasure in reading. Her major point is, if students become avid readers, they’ll be better students and will do great on standardized tests. So she spends tons of time letting the kids read in her classroom, and very little cramming for the tests. She asks her students to read 50 books in the school year, and most of them do it! Unfortunately, this teacher is the black sheep in our school system and I think many teachers (and parents) would benefit from reading this book to understand what really matters to give students the skills they need to be successful in life.
 
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. For chick lit, I thought this book was pretty good and I like how the characters were developed. Each of the girl has a very different personality and mindset and it was nice to see how each experience marked them that summer. I’ll definitely read the next books to see what happens, especially since the last one just came out, skipping a whole 10 years of their lives.
 
 – What I think I’ll read next
I think I have a couple of books waiting for me at the library, so I’ll have to decide which one to read first when I’m done with Dolores Clairborne.
 
My kids’ bookshelf

The Last Basselope by Berkeley BreathedWhat they’re currently reading
The Last Basselope: One Ferocious Story by Berkeley Breathed. Hoping to make a great discovery and find the legendary, ferocious Basselope, Opus the penguin leads his friends into the forest. What they find is quite different from what they expected. My kids love this book and I do too!

Little Horse by Betsy Byars. I haven’t personally read this book but my five-year old read it all on his own and stayed up late while on vacation because he couldn’t put it down until the last page. Unfortunately, this book ends in a cliffhanger! Poor little guy, I hate it when it happens to me too. Fortunately, we have the sequel at home and I hope he gets to read it on his own before the end of this week. He’s turning into an avid reader like me, choosing reading over sleeping. Is this a good or a bad thing? I wonder…

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Believe it or not, I’d never read this story until this past week. My kids had an interesting reaction to the trains’ behavior. They were more shocked by the trains’ ongoing refusal to help out a stranded load than impressed by the little engine doing the right thing. Hopefully this lesson will sink in with them and we’ll read this book a few times again before returning it to the library.

Gregory the terrible eaterWhat they recently finished reading
Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat. Poor Gregory, he’s such a picky eater. He only likes healthy food, but his parent goats want him to eat real goat food, like old shoes and rubber tires. The doctor goat advises his parents to start introducing new foods slowly, so Gregory will get used to them. Unfortunately it works too well and Gregory then can’t stop eating junk food! My kids love this story about new eating habits and what it takes to eat a balanced diet, no matter who you are.

Snow by Uri Shulevitz. Snowflakes slowly come down and everyone ignores them except for one boy who thinks the whole town will end up coated in white. It does feel weird to read a book about snow in July, but the illustrations are beautiful with a strong Eastern European feel.

– What I think they’ll read next
I have no idea! What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

Advertisements

WWW Wednesdays – June 27, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

Before I start this update, let me ask you this. Did you hear about this school principal who challenged his students to read 10,000 books in the school year? He lost his bet and had to dress as Lady Gaga and got to milk a cow. I know you won’t believe me until you see it!

My bookshelf

The sisterhood of the traveling pants by Ann Brashares– What I’m currently reading

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. After the obnoxious Fifty Shades of Grey, this is a much more enjoyable read.
 
– What I recently finished reading
The Enchantress by Michael Scott. This is the last book of the series and my very favorite. I love how Scott wraps up everything so nicely, where it all makes sense. Wrapping up the past with the present, ending a world to start a new one. And what happens to Josh is brilliant, I never saw it coming. I recommend this series not only to young adult readers but to anyone looking for a great adventure, full of magic, mythology, courage, revenge, evil, and lots of good. I can’t believe they haven’t made movies out of this series yet.
 
 – What I think I’ll read next
 
My kids’ bookshelf

Baby Brains by Simon JamesWhat they’re currently reading
Baby Brains, and Baby Brains and RoboMom by Simon James. In Baby Brains, Mr & Mrs Brain’s new baby happens to be very intelligent and gets to do a lot of things reserved for grown-ups. But a space walk far away from Earth reminds everyone that Baby Brains is still just a baby. In Baby Brains and RoboMom, Baby Brains invents RoboMom to do all the household chores and give his tired parents a rest. But RoboMom is overzealous and ends up overheating…
Dog Tales by Jennifer Rae. This book tells several fairy tales from a dog’s perspective, including “Cindersmelly,” “Jack Russell and the Beanstalk,” and “The Doberman’s New Clothes.” Of course, a dog’s book wouldn’t be complete without wisecracking cats commenting on the stories. Guess who has the last laugh.

Sneakers the seaside cat by Margaret Wise Brown

What they recently finished reading
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss. Although we enjoy The Cat in the Hat’s DVDs and my kids have learned a few things watching them, I really can’t stand this book. The cat is so obnoxious, making a huge mess and waiting until the last minute to clean things up. You can see the poor kids are really sweating it! “Your mother won’t mind at all if I do.” Yeah, right.
Sneakers, the Seaside Cat by Margaret Wise Brown. In this book with very lively illustrations (Sneakers looks so real my kids wanted to kiss him), a little cat named Sneakers experiences the sights, sounds, and smells of an ocean beach, just like a young child would.

– What I think they’ll read next
I have no idea! What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesdays – June 20, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

Oops, my WWW Wedsnesdays is one day late! What can I say? Work projects and my kids interfered with my blogging time. At least I have my priorities straight, right?

My bookshelf

 The Enchantress by Michael Scott– What I’m currently reading
I’m finishing up The Enchantress by Michael Scott, paying my 25-cent-per-day fine because I couldn’t finish it by the time it was due. But it’s all worth it and I’ll review it next week. 
 
– What I recently finished reading
Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. This book is garbage, absolute garbage. Erotica is not one of my genres, so I’d never read it if it weren’t for my book club. Even though I skimmed the last 3/4 of the book, those are a few hours of my life I’ll never get back. Reading this book is like watching porn: lots of bad sex scenes, and no substance in between. With better writing and editing, the story would have been 100 pages. This book looks like it was written by a teenage girl who can’t write and has limited vocabulary. I have no idea how many times I read roll her eyes, smirked, muttered, mumbled, bit my lip, cocked his head, and so on, but I’m sure someone has kept a tally. The 22-year old female character is more naive and gullible than a 12-year old. The 27-year old character is perfect: billionaire, the most beautiful man in the world, he speaks fluent French, and is working on solving world hunger. Pleeeeeaaaase. The sex scenes would have been the best part of the book if they hadn’t been so repetitive and laughable. Anastasia has orgasms by just hearing her name and have Christian look at her. Right. If you haven’t read this book but still want to, do it at your own risk. I bet any other book in that genre will be better than this one.
 
 – What I think I’ll read next
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. Perfect summer read, I hope.
 
My kids’ bookshelf

Pete & Pickles by Berkeley BreathedWhat they’re currently reading
Pete & Pickles by Berkeley Breathed, the author of the Bloom County comic strip. This book will have to go on my 2012 list of favorites! It is funny, heartwrenching and inspiring all at once. I think I heard my kids say wow, and I know I did too. This is the story of Pete the pig is lonely and sad but doesn’t know he is. When Pickles the elephant turns his life upside down, Pete eventually realizes that a perfectly predictable, practical, and uncomplicated life is not always better, and he finds a new friend along the way. A MUST READ!
Meet Wild Boars by Meg Rosoff. You can try as much as you can but it’s very hard making friends with wild boars because they’re dirty and smelly, bad-tempered, and rude. Spoiler alert: the end is quite shocking, and smelly. My boys loved this book.
Spuds by Karen Hesse. Maybelle, Jack, and Eddie want to help their mom by putting something extra on the table, so they decide to go out at night and take potatoes from a nearby field. But it’s hard to pick potatoes out of the dirt in the dark. When they get home and empty their sacks, they’re shocked to realize they only harvested rocks. But a kind and caring farmer may end up helping the thieves after all… This is a wonderful story about kids trying to help out a parent, facing disappointment after hard work and how something negative  can turn into something positive.

A bad case of stripes by David ShannonWhat they recently finished reading
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak but we read it in French as Max et les Maximonstres. You can’t go wrong with a classic, which we’ve read in English many times. I’m glad my library has the French version and the kids enjoyed it.
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. To remain popular at school, Camilla Cream always does what the other kids expect her to do, even pretend she dislikes lima beans when she loves then, until the day she ends up covered in stripes. A great book on peer pressure and the importance of self-identity.

– What I think they’ll read next
I have no idea! What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesdays – June 13, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

 The Enchantress by Michael Scott– What I’m currently reading
The Enchantress by Michael Scott, the last in the series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. It’s 500 pages long, due at the library in six days and I already know I can’t renew it. I also have to read Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James for my book club meeting at the end of the month. Since I got my copy from a friend who hasn’t read the book yet, I need to give it back to her by next week. Did I say it was another 500-page book? HELP!
 
– What I recently finished reading

A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron, the sequel to his bestseller A Dog’s Purpose. A Dog’s Purpose was one of my favorite books in 2011 and this one will make it to my 2012 favorites list. I wasn’t sure how the author would be able to pull off the sequel, after such an interesting initial storytelling twist. I mean, how many times can you reincarnate a dog without running out of steam? Well, Cameron did it and I gulped it all the way down to the last page, laughing, crying, feeling inspired, over and over. And I’m not even a dog person. Brilliant storytelling that makes us care about the characters, the story, and life in general. A MUST READ!
 
 – What I think I’ll read next
Hopefully I won’t need to return this book before I’m done reading it, but I’m planning to read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.
 
My kids’ bookshelf

Chalk by Bill ThomsonWhat they’re currently reading
Chalk by Bill Thomson. This beautifully illustrated wordless book tells the story of three children visiting a playground, finding some chalk, and drawing pictures that come to life, including a lifesize Tyrannosaurus Rex. Yikes!
Flap Your Wings by P.D. Eastman. A boy finds an egg without a nest and puts it in a nest without an egg. Mr and Mrs Bird think the egg is a little big but take care of it. When it hatches, surprise, it’s a baby alligator! But the birds do their parental duty and keep feeding him until he’s too big for the nest. All he has to do then is “flap his wings” to leave…
Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent by Lauren Child. Hubert Horatio is a prodigal child but his wealthy parents happen to be terrible spenders and about to lose the family estate. Hubert sets off to find a way to convince his parents to become more thrifty and save what little money they have left. A great lesson in money management, showing what can really happen when you blow it all.

What they recently finished reading
Dear Fish by Chris Gall. While at the beach, a small boy writes an invitation to the fish to come for a visit, puts the paper in a bottle and throws it into the ocean. What comes next is a little more than he expected. 
No David! and David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon. David is a young boy who likes to get in trouble but figures out a way to apologize by the end of the day. This is the second time we’re borrowing the David books from the library and my kids can’t get enough of them.

– What I think they’ll read next
I have no idea! What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!