The Westing Game

In the last two years the teens in my local book club have improved their recommendations for me. As we have gotten to know each other better, they have been able to make more interesting and appropriate requests for future book clubs. Over the last few months, at every meeting, someone renews the call for…

The Secret Garden Young Book Club

Just before Thanksgiving, I had the pleasure of hosting a The Secret Garden book club with almost 25 young readers whose ages ranged from 7 to 14. It was one of our “mixed” book clubs that celebrates the kind of book that is especially good for family read aloud – a book that everyone will…

Here, There Be Dragons

Many years ago I got lost in James A. Owen’s Here, There Be Dragons and its sequels. At the time I was reading solely for my own enjoyment and found the series to be exciting, wholesome, and a fantastic literary puzzle for me to solve. When my well-read teen book club readers begged for more…

Her Father’s Daughter

I wonder if Gene Stratton-Porter’s success went to her head. She was always opinionated, but in Her Father’s Daughter, she reaches her height of preachiness. If it were only that, it wouldn’t be an insurmountable aspect of the story. We put up with a bit of that from other beloved authors. In this book, Stratton-Porter…

Escargot by Dashka Slater

  Finding Escargot is another of those happy library accidents. We picked it up because the little snail on the cover is so cute! The happenstance is even happier because Escargot himself is a delightful character. The sad part is that my daughter wouldn’t let me record her reading the book to her kids in…

Beowulf and Boys of Blur

This is part of Diane’s Literature Course II. The reason we read N.D. Wilson’s The Boys of Blur smack in the middle of several ancient literature selections is its relationship to Beowulf, which we read first. Apparently I forgot to mention this to the girls in my literature class. I assigned half the book for…