11 August 2010

Best Reads of the Summer (so far)


I've done a fair bit of reading this summer, much of it in preparation for teaching English/Language Arts to one class of 7/8th graders this year. I've tried to change it up with books I feel I "have" to read with books that are purely for pleasure.
I thought I would share with you two books that have been my favorites in the last several weeks.

One day, digging something from the basement, I happened across my high school copy of Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. It still has my high school history teacher's phone number scribbled on on the inside cover. Are you out there, Mr. Brown?!

Perhaps inspired by the World Cup being hosted by South Africa, I knew I wanted to re-read this one. It did not disappoint. If you have never read this classic, I highly recommend it. It is tragic and yet full of hope. The language paints such a picture of the landscape and the hearts of the people it portrays. I loved reading it and wished it would not end.

The second book is one I read about on someone's blog (maybe Ann's?). The Betsy-Tacy series is written by Maud Hart Lovelace and tells the story of two little girls who become best friends. It takes place at the turn of the century (ca 1900). When I spied it at the library, I decided to give it a quick read to see if it might be something to read to Lucy.

I found it magical. The illustrations are by Lois Lensky, whom we know from the Small picture book series (Cowboy Small, Fireman Small, Engineer Small). Lucy AND the boys have enjoyed it as a read aloud; it's really the first chapter book that I've selected with primarily Lucy in mind.

We're now onto the second book called Betsy-Tacy, and Tib. Tib is the third friend who was introduced at the end of the first book. I'm not sure how far into the series we'll get, as I believe it follows Betsy into adulthood. The humorous writing, imaginative adventures of the girls, the description of life in another time and the simple yet accurate illustrations have given us much pleasure this summer.

2 comments:

  1. We just read Betsy Tacy this summer (The first book) at the suggestion of Carol Johnson. Cool!

    I've just finished the 2nd in James Herriot's "All Creatures Great And Small" series. Marvelous books!!

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  2. I read Betsy Tacy as a little girl - wonderful stuff! This summer I've enjoyed The Unlikely Disciple, Omnivore's Dilemma, Free-Range Kids, and am currently reading The Art of Teaching Art to Kids. Loved them all!

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