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our reading

With our Christmas reading out of the way we're back to our regularly scheduled bedtime chapter books. Yesterday we finished up The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly, is a fantastic book which was enjoyed by all (Harvey enjoyed it first on his own time, freeing him up to do other things before bedtime). It's about a girl from a wealthy family in rural Texas in 1899 whose interest in the natural world is encouraged by her grandfather but resisted by her mother, who wants her to become a proper young lady. It's both sensitive and funny and won a well-deserved Newberry honor for its first-time author. I was facing some pressure from the boys to go straight on to the sequel, which I picked up yesterday at the library, but I refused. As good as it was, I don't like to stay in the same style and voice for too long. But of course that means I had to find another book. Which isn't easy!

We've been reading chapter books to the boys since Harvey was four, or maybe even three. I think we started with the Borrowers series, or maybe Little House. So just for bedtime reading—and let me tell you we've done a lot more than just bedtime reading!—that's about half-an-hour a night for the last eight years. Or say 20 minutes; sometimes we're short on time. That's about 970 hours, or 40 days, of chapter book readalouds! I wonder how many books we've read together? Or which ones?! The other day we were trying to think of what we were reading three books ago, and had some trouble; one of the boys expressed a wish we had written them all down. Yes, if only we had: what a record that would have been! But we didn't. So I suppose we can't start now.

But we can start a new book! Tonight we dipped into The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip and Erin Stead, and we're all liking it so far. And after it will come another...

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