We're reading lots these days. Junior, now in 4th grade, is very enamored of Jeff Smith's Bone series of graphic novels. He has all nine, and enjoys re-reading them multiple times. He wants me to read the first, and I have promised that I will.
The kiddo also likes the Lee J. Ames "Draw 50..." series. The current one, checked out from the school library, is Draw 50 Creepy Crawlies. Step-by-step drawings of stink bugs, spiders, fleas, and their ilk.
I'm trying to return to read-alouds here at home. I think it's such a nice tradition. Last night we started a classic—Beverly Cleary's Ribsy.
Another recent read-aloud was One Beetle Too Many, Kathryn Lasky's excellent picture book biography of Charles Darwin. Meant for older readers, say aged 9 and older, it makes a great introduction to both Darwin's life and his theories, with focus on his childhood (of course) and five-year voyage on the Beagle. Lively, colorful illustrations by Matthew Trueman are a plus. Lasky's dedication reads, "In celebration of children, whose boundless curiosity gives them a right to know their history on Earth." Cool, eh?
The first-grade buddies of mine are proud of reading a longer book—Theo. LeSieg's Ten Apples Up On Top!, which I liked as a kid, too.
Moving on to grown-ups' books, I finished up Marilynne Robinson's novel Gilead; next up is Elizabeth's Spencer's The Salt Line, which I found at a book sale. It's about a town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and takes place just after Hurricane Camille.
Junior's dad recommends Lark & Termite, by Jayne Anne Phillips. It's about a girl and her disabled brother, and their extended family. I read it, too, and was a little reminded of Caddy and Benjy in The Sound and the Fury.