Saturday, January 9, 2010

What My Child is Reading - January 9, 2010

This has been a heavy reading week in our house. First of all, because we tied some of our reading into our schoolwork:

Germs Make Me Sick! by Melvin Berger, and illustrated by Marylin Hafner,

What Are Germs?, a My Health book, by Dr. Alvin Silverstein, Virginia Silverstein, and Laura Silverstein Nunn,

And, Killing Germs, by Melanie Mitchell.

All three of these books are pretty clinical. Germs Make Me Sick! is probably the most kid friendly, as far as illustrations go. What Are Germs? has some graphic photos of ticks, tooth decay, and raw meat, that might be disturbing to younger children, but it does offer a couple of germ related activity ideas, and has an excellent glossary of terms. I was surprised how well the children, even my youngest, liked these books. But, you would probably not want to read them to a germophobic child. We tempered the germ assault, by watching The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie, which shows how the body fights germs. I have the book on hold at the library too, but it hasn't come in yet.

If you're looking for a book on the merits of hand washing to kill germs, then I can recommend The Germ Busters, by Rosemary Wells. This is a Yoko & Friends book, by the same author of the Max and Ruby series. My six year old really enjoyed this one, and requested immediately, that we get more of the series.

Aside from school work, the older children did some independent reading this week. They've reached the age where they are reading enough, that I have trouble pre-reading the books, and have to trust their judgement. It's a little unnerving, but this weeks books offered little in the way of concern.

My oldest, read Germ Hunter, A Story about Louis Pasteur, by Elaine Marie Alphin. I ordered it in from the library, as a part of our germ study, but when I saw it was a chapter book, I passed it along to him for independent reading. It's a bit of an easy reader for a 12 year old, but it's also a nice biography. He's enjoyed it well enough, I think we'll be checking out more from the Creative Minds Biography series, to which it belongs.

The girls are reading from the American Girl books. One is reading the Kirsten set of books, and the other is reading the Samantha set. Kirsten is a Swedish immigrant to frontier America in the late 1800's, and Samantha is an orphan, living with her grandmother in early 20th century America.

I was warned by another mother, when my girls were still toddlers, to stay away from the American Girls, at all costs. Her daughter had a doll, and keeping it clothed and accessorised was proving to be a burden to their family. But, of course, the lure of historical fiction, directed at young girls, was too much to resist. And so far, my girls, though I'm sure they secretly covet the dolls, are content with the books.

We did get to more Hans Christian Andersen this week too, with The Ugly Duckling, which we read for our stART project, and The Snow Queen, retold by Naomi Lewis, and illustrated by Christian Birmingham, which we are in the process of reading. The children enjoyed The Ugly Duckling, but the jury is still out on The Snow Queen. They almost rejected it immediately, due to the fact that it begins with the devil, but Birmingham's illustrations are so lovely, and fanciful, that they really want to hear the rest of the story - we're just taking it slowly. It is an old style fairy tale, with witchcraft, demons, and death, which is strange to modern child.

On the lighter side, we also read Judi Barrett's Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and Pickles to Pittsburgh, to go along with the movie version of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which came out on DVD this week. We enjoyed the books, but we loved the movie. The movie takes a lot from the books' illustrations, but the story is entirely different.

Finally, we are reading Anne of Green Gables out loud, as a part of the L.M. Montgomery reading challenge, at Reading to Know. I'm enjoying the gentle, upbeat flow of the story, but again, this is another book, that deals with death, loss, and loneliness. I'm curious to see how my children will process these concepts, since as yet, they haven't had first hand experience with them. I lost my father when I was a child, so I think a story like this hits me differently than it will them.

And that's it for this week. I did warn you at the beginning, this has been a heavy reading week for us. Now you know why I haven't been posting a lot of crafts and recipes lately. We've been buried in books!

For even more book suggestions, and reviews, check out this weeks What My Child is Reading link up, at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Julie said...

Wow! You read a lot this week! We haven't had in-depth discussions about germs here but it looks like you found lots of good books about them. I'm excited to see some chapter books here. Although we have to read them to C still, I'm always looking for new things to read to him. I may check out that biography series. He might like that.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Thanks for joining in and sharing your books. I guess I just have to put together a germ unit for my daughter, since she continues to be fascinated by human body topics and positively not a germaphobe. Sometimes I wish she were and remembered to wash her hands once in a while :) I also like to learn what your older kids are reading, because the time will come to expand our reading horizons. Anne of Green Gables sound intriguing, and we will pick it up when Anna is a bit older.

Ticia said...

you found so many great books about germs. It's still on my list of topics to cover someday.
If your girls love the American Girl doll books they might like the Dear America series. It's in somewhat of the same genre.

And about your comment on the swallowing a thumb tack, ouch! In my mind that ranks pretty high up there on bad things to have happen, I'm just imagining all the horrid things that could go wrong with that.

Mrs. B said...

I am wondering how you get the book cover pictures on your blog. I took photos of the books we read last week and posted them that way, but yours look neater. Please share!

Mama to 5 said...

I so need to the the germ books! We are doing the Cloudy w/ a chance of meatballs next week, I got them fromt he library. :)