Now, where was I? I read the “reads” and I see that it is partially current. I am still reading on my friend Gail’s copy of Roy Kesey’s All Over; which is excellent. However, the daughter and I have finished Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. We went on to read another book and finished that one last night.
I don’t know if you are familiar with Goodreads.com, but I habitate there sometimes. I had given Mrs. Frisby three stars, because I did like it. My friend Glen, who harasses me about low-starring classics (and school required-reads), commented on the review with “only 3 stars?” I think he maybe he is becoming generally worried? I will have to write out my reasons why–later. Primarily, it has to do with the lengthy story within the story, you know, the and part of the title. The story’s wind may have worked if I had been sitting down and reading the book in a sitting or two, but as it was I was reading it aloud over the course of a week or so. Also, I was just so darn eager to get to the part where Mrs. Frisby gets to drugging the cat. Can’t be certain whether it is a pacing issue or an issue of patience.
We just finished a Newberry Award winner, Rules by Cynthia Lord. A charming read. I like the whimsical nature, the prose writing, and the storyteller devices used in the linear juvenile drama. I did find myself questioning the believability of the 12 year old female protagonist. The characterization was good, and I appreciate and author who has a character who is their own individual–er–character, but there were moments that I doubted the 12-ish-ness. I tried to explain this (rather hurriedly and, thus, poorly) to my husband. And I am afraid I will replay that conversation now. I found myself asking, aloud, whether I was measuring the character actions/thoughts/speech to all the 12 year olds I have ever known or been, pop cultural 12, or was I measuring her against other literary 12 year olds.
The story is not framed as a memory, or memoir. This book is the now of the 12 year old. There are explanations: She is more mature because of her position in the family, as both the oldest, and older than a attention-required younger sibling. She is an artist. The story works with the idea that people are unique, and what is perceived as normal may be a misperception. I could just dislike 12 year olds and any assertion that they have depth of thought I dismiss as ridiculous. Could be my interests in how format, voice, characterization and story can interweave to create a complex and beautiful interdependence–how much is natural to the teller, and how much is work?
The book is a good one, the story and the characters are great. The humor and compassion is key here. And the images are solid and enjoyable. And it is a quick read, though we drug it out because getting ready for bed like a slug earns you shorter reading time. An all around accessible book, that is understandably put on any recommended and required reading lists at schools and libraries.
oh, yes…Just where have I been? Writing, and more writing, and also helping the daughter with her labor intensive TAG Reading project. I was going to say that I haven’t had opportunities to read much of late, but the Reading: Poetry Unit had me reading quite a bit of poetry. One of the assignments was to “list at least 20 Poetry books in the form of a bibliography and bullet point your favorites;” though the list should be ones you’d recommend…or the ones the daughter would. Hmmm, think I will list them in future post (don’t worry, Emily Dickinson made the list, and even T.S. Eliot. 4 of the 20 are Shel Silverstein). Maybe I will list her picks for all the assignments; would that be cheating?
Should get some writing on my story project in today…or maybe inhale one of the books I got from the library this morning. I went to pick up two “holds” and ended up picking up a few more for possible evening reads with the daughter.
oh, and…Coming really soon: I do have a playlist to share as the husband is so nice to put them together for me. Really, this is something to look forward to.