Friday, December 31, 2010

Fiction at Almost Eleven

Writing about One’s fiction consumption is hard. He devours books like his brother eats carbs – turn around and the cupboard is empty. In the past six months he’s read so many new books it’s startling to me to have to put them all down in one place; but since I’ve started writing about what the boys read and how proud I am about it, it seems a little unfair to leave the champeen reader out of the picture all of a sudden, just because his mother is dang tired of typing things at the end of yet another fiscal quarter at work.

Two more things to note: more than half of these books he purchased with his own allowance. He divides his money into even thirds: save, spend and charity. The “save” sits there (because he is, after all, his father’s child), the “charity” goes in the offering plate at church, and the “spend” goes directly to Barnes & Noble. We insist on the division into thirds, but where the money goes after that is up to him.

Second, he’s reading so much these days he will frequently keep a book on his lap in class. This used to irritate the daylights out of his teacher, until she discovered she could sneak up and ask him a question on the lesson and he would have the answer. Now she likes to see how much he can read and still retain his 96% average. As always, he’s a little hard to get used to at first, but once you do, you like him.

So here we go: One’s list of what a boy might like to read if he were anywhere between 10 and 13:

The Peter and the Starcatchers series. One has read the first three that are in paperback; he’s waiting for the 4th to be released (we’re allergic to hardcover book prices unless absolutely necessary.

Books 5 through 8 in the Swallows and Amazons series. He will read 9 through 12 eventually, but he’s taking a break.

All ten of the 39 Clues books. He can read one of these in an hour. He frightens me.

Found and Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix. These sounded a little scary to me when I first read the back, but he absolutely loves them, and for a boy who can get scared reading the Hardy Boys, wasn’t frightened at all.

Tucket’s Travels, by Gary Paulsen.

The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero. Of course – did I even have to put this down here? I think he’s read it 5 times, but maybe it’s only 4.

The last of the Mysterious Benedict Society books, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma. A great series.

Basil’s Search for Miracles and The Purple Mantle. Orthodox Christian literature is thin on the ground in English; these are good ones.

Fair Weather, A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck. Lots of laughing went on.

The Hornblower series up to #8. He received several more for Christmas and can’t wait to get to them.

Code Talker, by Joseph Bruchac, about Navajo Marines in World War II. Realistic, but still fiction.

Escape from Warsaw, by Ian Serraillier.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. This book kinda creeped me out in elementary school, but One just shrugged when I told him that. Boys.

The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963 and Bud, Not Buddy, both by Christopher Paul Curtis.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken.

The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, both part of a dystopian series written by Jeanne DuPrau. He adored the first one, and it started a number of conversations about the proper role of government, which is always a good thing.

Sounder, by William H. Armstrong.

B for Buster, by Iain Lawrence.

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and The Adventures of Robin Hood, both by Roger Lancelyn Green.

The Traitor’s Gate, by Avi.

Brisingr, the last (?) in the series by Christopher Paolini.

Al Capone Does My Shirts. I forced this one on him and he loved it. I love it when that happens.

Carry on, Mr. Bowditch, about Nathaniel Bowditch, the man who wrote The American Practical Navigator, what 18th Century sailors called The Sailor’s Bible.

Dune, by Frank Herbert. His father’s recommendation, which he loved.

The Homework Machine, by Dan Gutman.

Bob Flame, Rocky Mountain Ranger. A purchase at the RMNP bookstore that turned out well.

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow. He’s in the middle of this now (What am I saying? I’m at work. He’s done with this by now).

He’s also been into the Guardians of Gahoole, Warriors, and Wolves of the Beyond series. I can’t say I love any of these, but he does, and I therefore hold my tongue.

Finally, he and his father finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo this fall. They both absolutely loved it. They took a break by reading The Code of the Woosters, which One promptly wanted to re-read as soon as they were finished. Now they’re deep in Don Quixote, which is apparently funny and full of potty humor. Who knew?


Mitzi and Jerry said...

Love to hear about the love of reading he has! When he chooses books, how does he decide what to read? Recommendations? Reading the synopses?

Tari said...

We read the back of the book at B&N a lot and go with that, and I also use the Amazon recommendations function a ton (I absolutely love how it works - it's magic). I also search on Amazon for books about specific periods in history; this fall he was finishing up the 20th century with his history books, so I looked specifically for the WWII fiction and the Peck and Curtis books.

If I reject a book, it's frequently because the cover looks so horrible. Some of the popular series we find at the bookstore look awful! But as you can see, we manage to move beyond that. ;)