Monday, August 14, 2017

Jack-The True story of Jack & the Beanstalk

 
     My reading is slowing down as I get closer to school starting!!! AH! On a good note, I've been writing more and only have a few letters in my reply pile. My goal is to completely finish my reply pile before school. (And have my house clean, school work prepared, kids ready for school, on and on and on) 

Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk  
      Last year, there was a book called Rump on the Massachusetts Childrens Book Awards list. I was really interested in it; Tim, not so much. Well, it turns out that the author, Liesl Shurtliff has written a similar book, but about Jack & the Beanstalk. 

Here is David's review:
Jack, The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk” is a great story. It's an adventurous tale about Jack and his family. He has a mother, a father and a little sister, Anabella. One day giants come down from the sky and steal their village. They steal their houses, a bakery, farms, food and even people. The giants stole all of these things because there was a famine in their land so they needed food. They stole the people to work with the smaller food and animals. Jack's Papa and their cow, Milky White, were stolen by the giants and that's where the adventure begins.
One character I liked was Sir Blueberys. He was a knight who rode an old donkey. He was always giving people advice on how to defeat the giants but he wasn't a person who could save the village, so he wasn't really a good knight.
I would give this book 4.5/5 because although this was a long book, it was a fun one. I read this book out loud with my mom. Some of the things we liked were: the characters, the plot and the different creatures in the story, like pixies and animals.

     I also enjoyed this book. It had a lot of nice lessons for kids. Jack grows up knowing that he has been names after his great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, slayer of giants. He expects to grow up "great," but often feels like maybe he doesn't have it in him to live up to (his own ) expectations. It has some good messages about family and not placing too much importance in "stuff" and riches. 
       The MCBA site lists this as an early 4th grade reading level. David struggled a bit through this one. I don't know if it was that we were reading aloud or if it was just long for him. (He also has some speech issues, which adds a level of complication.)  If you've read this with your kids, I'm curious to hear your thoughts. He really enjoyed the story, but I think I may have liked it more. Maybe he needs more exposure to the original Jack & the Beanstalk story? My older son also came in a few nights to read with us because he could tell it was a fun story. I think I might still try to read Rump.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My Brilliant Idea (and How it Caused my Downfall)

My Brilliant Idea (And How It Caused My Downfall) 

     This is another book that has been on my TBR shelf for too long. I'm reading it for my Mount TBR challenge as well as my Keyword Reading Challenge (My).  I actually felt badly when I picked it up to read because I saw that Goodreads had sent it to me as an advanced reader copy, but the book was published June 2016. So, I apologize for the delay.    This book is about a boy named Jack Dawson, nicknamed Jackdaw, who comes up with an idea to create an app that would prevent you from getting in trouble for daydreaming at school. The only problem is that he doesn't know how to program an app, and the only person who knows at his school is a strange girl named Elsie. In order to get what he wants, Jackdaw makes a series of deals and comes up with schemes to get each deal to work. Unfortunately, many of his plans are hindered by outside forces and don't go exactly how he planned. 
      I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads. This book is geared towards teens but I could tell right away that it was not written by an American author, so I'm not sure if teens here would immediately connect with the book. I think if my son read this book, he wouldn't know what some of the slang meant.  Also, one of the ideas that Jack has is to trick a boy into getting naked in front of a girl, which isn't the most edifying thing for me to pass on to my kids. It fits in with Elsie's weirdness, but wasn't an idea I liked in a book younger kids might be reading. There were some sections that were pretty humorous. As a person who works with teens, I liked Jackdaw's convictions that his "good ideas" are brilliant and his sense of humor.

Happy anniversary

       I am not a girl who "needs" flowers, but every once in a while, it's nice to receive them. Today is my 19th wedding anniversary and I wanted to show off the beautiful flowers my husband sent me.
Image may contain: flower and natureVery sweet! Marriage can be a lot of work sometimes. These were a really nice surprise after taking the boys out to swim at a local river. Thanks, Matt!