Tuesday, August 17, 2010


by Judy Blume (1974)

I'm sure I read a first edition of this, way back when, but I certainly didn't remember how mean all the kids were!  Not a cheery read, but probably a necessary one.  I know some teachers make this the annual beginning of the school year read-aloud.

Bullies, cliques, Halloween pranks, and some people get what they deserve, but not all of them. 

I think I'm starting a little "Blume-fest" -- picked up a couple of Fudge books too, and open to suggestions...

Deconstructing Penguins

by L. and N. Goldstone (2005)

Nice companion to understanding what you and/or your children are reading, focusing on the protagonist vs antagonist and theme in each book with clear, simple terms and examples.  Books covered include Charlotte's Web, Babe, Animal Farm and The Phantom Tollbooth.

Kenny & the Dragon

by Tony DiTerlizzi  (2008)

The classic story: rabbit finds dragon, dragon quotes poetry, local knight brought out of retirement kills dragon... no, not really.  This rabbit is brave and resourceful, and refuses to allow the traditional violent end to his new friend.  Nice story of a family working together, trusting in each other and working together to creatively solve a problem, as well as an excellent example of using words, voicing fears and concerns, to communicate instead of inaction.