January books at my house

January seems to be full of wet weather and cold days.  Perfect reasons to stay in and read a book or two! In fact, I have two read alouds going with my own children.  Some evenings we read from just one, other nights we read a bit of both.  Both are hard to put down!

This is the third time I am reading Susan Patron‘s The Higher Power of Lucky and I continue to like it better each time.  The beauty of a book is simply by opening it up at the beginning, you can experience it again. This is one of those books that deserves many readings. I first discovered it when Ms. Hong popped it into my box with a sticky note attached:  “Think you will like this” I started reading it and finished it in one sitting. Last year this was a book club selection (so there are multiple copies in our school library!) Often we read really great sections out loud at our meetings – the trouble with this book, almost every sentence was so well written, it deserved to be read out loud! We shared many giggles and smiles over the text of this book.

Now I am enjoying introducing my children to Lucky – especially because there is a sequel Lucky Breaks sitting on our book shelf that I hope they will read on their own when we finish this book. This book won the Newbery Medal and many other prestigious book awards so it has many fans behind it.  Pick it up and meet Lucky, a ten year old girl who lives in Hard Pan,  California (population 43) with her French guardian Brigitte and her loyal dog, HMS Beagle.  Lucky manages to keep very busy in this small town – collecting bugs in specimen jars, writing about the terrible fate of the tarantula when it meets the tarantula hawk wasp, chasing snakes out of the clothes dryer and spending time with her quirky friends like Lincoln (destined to be president according to his Mom) who is obsessed with tying knots. But what occupies Lucky’s thoughts most of all is the worry that Brigitte may want to abandon her job as Lucky’s guardian and return to France because, unlike actual Moms, guardians can resign. Lucky hatches a plan to keep Brigitte in California and it all begins with running away in a red silk dress in the middle of a dust storm. We love this book!

Kathyrn Lasky wrote the popular Guardians of Ga’Hoole series about a powerful war between the owls. This book Lone Wolf is the first in her new series Wolves of the Beyond. We started reading this book to see if my son may want to read it on his own but about 12 pages in and we realized that we all wanted to read the book and now! Who could read it first?  There was no fair way to decide so we are sharing it as a read aloud and are equally addicted to the dramatic story. Faolon, a newborn wolf pup is born with a twisted paw. The laws of the pack are that there can be no weaknesses and the little pup is abandoned to die on an icy riverbank.  He is swept down river and rescued by Thunderheart, a mother bear who has just lost her cub.  She decides to raise him! A big grizzly raising a wolf pup!  We are just on chapter seven and have already learned so much about wolves and bears and their survival.  But we feel the story has much more in store for us as many parts of the story hint at how special Faolan is and we suspect he is going to return to the world of wolves that rejected him.  This book is a fast paced adventure ideal for strong readers who like stories with lots of action and suspense.

Happy reading!