Here's something a little different from me. As part of our summer reading, Tim has read many Massachusetts Children's Book Award books. This year, David is old enough to enjoy them. Tim's summer reading goals are to:
1) Read 2 books from his middle school reading list.
2) Report on both of those books
3) Read all of the MCBA books (There are 25)
David's reading goals are to:
1) Participate in the Barnes & Noble reading program
He just completed that goal- so his new goal is:
3) Read 10 MCBA books this summer and complete reports on each
This is David's first MCBA book. We read it together. I thought it was delightful. This book is about a boy named Robert who is sent to his grandmother's house for the time that his parents are performing in a concert tour. Robert doesn't mind much since his parents, especially his mom, seem to care more about music than they do about him. In addition to that, his grandmother, Maddy, and her friend, Henry, are welcoming and adventurous. He also gets to bring his dog, Ellie. During his stay with Maddy, Robbie learns some "small truths" about himself, his family and life in general.
The characters in this book are really interesting. The author was gentle with dealing with the personality flaws of each character. At first, and maybe it's just because I have often felt guilt about leaving my kids while I'm doing a concert/running an event, I felt very badly for Robert and for his lack of relationship with his mom in particular. As the story progresses and you learn more about his family, things get a little better.
This book is geared for about a fourth grade level. David will be entering fourth grade. He really enjoyed the dialogue between Maddy, Henry, and Robbie. He loved Ellie and her role in the story. We chatted about Robert's feelings about his mom and grandma and what "small truths" were. I thought the reading level was appropriate, but there were some music specific vocabulary that kids who are not musicians might not understand. (quartet, allegro, violist, etc.) This is the first book I have read from Patricia MacLachlan and I look forward to reading more.