Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On Our Bookshelf: January 2014

This summer I have been reading a lot. Everything. Frankie magazine to Country Style, opinion articles on more things than my brain will ever recall. On the advice of her teachers I have a mini book club with Miss 8, so I have read Sophie the Hero one night and Barracuda the next and Dork Diaries after that. I threw in Bridget Jones Mad about the Boy and then Zoe and Beans Pants on the Moon and Ruby Red Shoes Goes to Paris.

Somewhere along the way I read an article, which I can not find again, that highlighted the things that highly successful people do. I am sure you can guess what it was...they read. All. The. Time. They read everything. Not just their favourite authors. They read journals, magazines, stories, novels, online, hardcover, even the Herald Sun.

We then had a school literacy night and again the leading literacy teacher just said over and over and over, you MUST read to your children and you must model the behaviour of reading. Fill your child's life with books and you are giving them so much.

So here we go, here are the favourites from us from the last month for anyone looking for a book to get them reading.

Me: Mister Pip

This is not a new book, nor a long one, but it certainly is worth reading. It seems like I am the only person who didn't know about Mister Pip. Usually Mr H and I don't share delight in the same book but I told him he would love it, he read the back and said, yeh, read that a few years back! Not sure why he didn't suggest I might like it? Perhaps it was the violence that does occur in some sections. Thankfully I have read it now and it would be my favourite read from all my books completed over the summer. Matilda is stuck on Bougainville during war time, there is no communication with the outside world and then Charles Dickens is introduced to the local children by the one and only white man left in the village. Matilda uses her imagination to cope with everyday life and this leads to some pretty dire consequences.  Excellent novel. 

Him: Matthew Reilly Jack West Series

My Mum is in moving house mode and that means cleaning out books. Mr H grabbed an old Matthew Reilly book and finished it very quickly. He then got in the car, paid the fines at the local library and got the next books in the series. I have no idea what they are about, but he certainly enjoys them. I am not keen to read them, but a gazillion other people love them, are you one of them?

Miss Eight: Actually Factually

There really is such a glut in the primary school kids book market for girls. There are the wimpy kids, the dork diaries, and a stack of fairy type things. There are a few shorter chapter books and there are the old classics, but for kids that burn through books in a matter of days the search is constantly on to provide new options. I found Actually Factually at our local decent book shop and it was a hit over the summer with kids of all ages, and grown ups. There is something very fun for kids when they ask grown ups a question to see if you know how smart they are. Largest desert in the world? No, it's not the Sahara. How many hours in a day? No, it's not 24.

The Little Girl: Mouse Mansion

Never run too fast from the glory of picture books. They are such a pleasure for kids and adults to throw themselves into. Mouse Mansion is really amazing. The images are of Mouse Mansion, which has been hand made by the author and photographed for each part of the story. These books could be an introduction to the idea of chapter books, they are long, but each double page begins a new chapter in the book so you can easily stop and pick up where you left off. The images will keep non readers entertained and able to read their own story to themselves when they need to.

What's your favourite read this summer? 


  1. What treasures your house holds! When we can afford a book buyer on staff you're getting a phone call!

  2. I read Geena Leigh's Call Me Sasha and really loved it. Such a powerful read. At the moment I am attempting to read The Book Thief.
    Little MIss and I are reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid together and really enjoying it.


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