Posts Tagged "Lois Lenski"

Beat the Heat – Ten Wintery Chapter Books

Posted by on Jul 15, 2018 in Blog, Double Cousins |

Beat the Heat – Ten Wintery Chapter Books

I don’t know if you have noticed, but July is whizzing by. My niece, Megan, the librarian was mentioning that their summer reading program is almost over! How can this be? We are entering what is typically the hottest part of the summer and reading programs are wrapping up. So, in case you are looking for a way to fill the gap, entertain yourselves or your children during these remaining weeks of summer, or simply beat the heat I offer a list of chapter books that include winter scenes. You can call it Winter in July if you want, but here we go. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder This is, by far, my favorite winter book. I find myself shivering every time I read it, no matter the weather. The true story of the Ingalls family and their survival during that horrible winter in DeSmet, SD puts me on the edge of my seat every time. My fingers hurt with Laura’s and Pa’s as they twist the straw. My stomach growls with hunger as they eat their last potato. It’s a very real experience.  And, as my sister pointed out, most of the “Little House” books have winter scenes, so you could just keep right on reading the series! Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater This was one of my absolute favorites when I was a kid. I read it and reread it. Just this week I was in the store and saw it on a shelf. Yes, I bought it. Of course I did. And, I spent a very enjoyable evening reading it again, thank you very much. Mr. Popper, a painter, dreams of going to the Antarctic to live among the penguins. When he writes to Admiral Drake he is surprised with the gift of a real, live penguin. The situation balloons from there. This is a great story for encouraging children to dream big and follow their dreams. I was surprised to discover this was made into a movie. Bonus: after you read the book, you could have a movie night. (Always read the book first. Always.) The Lion , The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis I am not a big reader of fantasy, but this book captured my interest when I was in my early teens. Once I read the first book and grew to love the characters, I had to read the whole series. This classic is great for children who enjoy fantasy worlds, but believable enough for readers of realism like me. There are many great lessons, and this book also was made into a movie. Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge This is a classic written in 1865. It takes place in the Netherlands and is a wonderful story of dreams, sacrificing for those you love, determination, and good winning out in the end. This book was effective in introducing the Netherlands and their speed skating to Americans. I loved this story,...

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Hook, Line, and Sinker—What Hooked You?

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 4 comments

Hook, Line, and Sinker—What Hooked You?

  My publisher recently posted this meme on Facebook and it started me thinking. What was the first series of books that got me interested in reading? Was it a series? Or, was it an individual book? My husband said he felt it was the Hardy Boy’s Mysteries for him. I guess if I had to pick a series it would be Trixie Belden Mysteries, but that was long after I started reading. The truth is, I don’t remember not reading. Books are such a huge part of my life. But, there are some books that make me draw in a breath when I find them. The other day we were in a bookstore in Columbia, South Carolina. The book that jumped into my hands and wouldn’t let me put it down was The All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. It was paperback and had a great colored picture on the cover, but the way I remember it is as a hardback maroon book with a pebbly feel to the cover. I think there might have been the outline of some girls on the front. The title took me right back to my childhood. This was one of my favorite books, and the truth was there were two more in the series. So, maybe it was this series that piqued my interest. I bought it and I read it again the other night. I didn’t remember much of the story. It is set in New York and the family is Jewish. There are many traditions different from mine. The time period is the early 1900’s, and as I read it I realized that these girls were from Grandma Jones’ era. A connection.   My shelves are like walking down memory lane. Whenever I find books from my childhood I buy them. The Little House On the Prairie were favorites. I loved and still love The Trolley Car Family, Charlotte’s Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. I read anything I could by Lois Lenski. She had an entire series of books about different children living in different parts of the country. It was social studies in a series.   A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was possibly my favorite book as a child. However, I read it from the Reader’s Digest Condensed books for children that we received as gifts from our grandparents, and I’m telling you that the unabridged book has parts that were NOT in the book I knew and loved. I loved the main character, Francie. Even today, when I want to relax I get some candy or some crackers, a little treat. I put them in a special dish and get an ice-cold drink. I go out to my porch—the closest thing I have to a fire escape—and I read. I read and I watch the neighbors. Just like Francie Nolan.   It struck me the other day, both All of A Kind Family and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn take place in New...

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