What We are Reading #1

I am an avid and at times prolific reader, I love the potential of each new book, the adventure waiting within its covers. I love discovering new worlds from the comfort of my arm chair and it is a gift I am working hard to pass on to my children. 
Being part of a book club keeps me on track when life seems too busy to read, it also allows me to discover books that are outside my comfort zone. My 9 year old is in her own book club now and is absolutely loving it. 
The following are some of the books that I have been reading myself, some of the books that I have been reading to the children and some of the ones they are reading themselves. 

MY BOOKS

Tender by Belinda McKeon

I adored this book, her voice, her language was so familiar, so Irish, and if you were in college in Ireland in the early 90’s then this book is a must read. It explores the selfishness of youth, the awkwardness of a time in a supposedly liberal Ireland that was still shackled to the past. Just brilliant.
The Green Road by Anne Enright
Another outstanding Irish voice, Anne Enright  gets under the skin of Irish family’s and shows them for what they are. In this novel she exposes the characters as self centred and mediocre, but the novel is anything but. It’s well worth a read.
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O Brien
This book has been lauded as one of Edna O Brien’s greatest, well if that’s the case then I would be disinclined to read any of her others. I found the book bland, I neither liked nor connected with any of the characters and while hyped as an exploration of evil I found the main ‘evil’ character lacked credibility. This isn’t one that I’d be recommending.
Next on my reading list is Villa America by Liza Klaussmann and Academy Street by Mary Costello
Audiobook; I first signed up for the Audible app to keep the children entertained on long journeys, we have listened to many great books on it and I would recommend it to any parent. Until recently I had never downloaded any books for me as I tend to very old fashioned in by love of actual physical books. However when I struggled to find a hard copy of my most recent book club book, Elephant Moon, I downloaded it and it has been a revelation, helping while away my commute. I am loving the book but am not yet finished listening so will report back when I’m done

The 9 Year Old

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Murpurgo
This a beautiful and ultimately heartbreaking book of a boy’s love for a lion, told by his widow. It is a story of loneliness and separation but ultimately one of love, she loved it and so did I.
Wonder by RJ Palacio

This is the story of a young boy Auggie as he navigates the difficult road of school with a facial disfigurement. It is a story of bullying and heros and it is impossible to read without a tear in your eye and falling a little in love with Auggie. My 9 year old is reading this at the moment for her book club and I cannot wait to hear what she thinks of it. Having read it I think it is a book that all children should read.
7 Year Old

Our 7 year old is a reluctant reader, she loves the idea of reading but is less enthusiastic about the effort required. She also is easily overwhelmed by the size of the print and by the size of the book. She prefers shorter books and the achievement of finishing one in a few nights seems to encourage her to read the next one, we have worked hard finding books that she enjoys and here are a few that she has loved.
Horrid Henry’s Wedding Early Reader Edition
These Early readers are great as they are the original books broken down into smaller chapters and the print size is good for those who are easily overwhelmed.
Princess Mirror Belle by Julia Donaldson

We have loved Julia Donaldson for a long time in our house so I’m delighted that the love affair is continuing with this book aimed at the slightly older child, beautifully illustrated by the talented Lydia Monks
The Newly turned 6 Year Old

This little lady loves to read and is flying through a book a night, this makes for expensive reading thing as these books can be €7 a book! Thankfully we were gifted the Ladybird Read It Yourself Collection by my sister and having completed Level 2 she is working her way through Level 3 at the minute. 
I am convinced that there is a market for slight longer books at this level as they are capable of engaging in a longer story but just need the words and sentences to be kept simple. If you know of any , I would be delighted to hear about them.
4 Year Old

The Elmer Series by David McGee

Our 4 year old was given these books by his Godfather, a great gift as they are brightly coloured and engaging. Elmer the Elephant is mischievous enough to hold his interested and the illustration is so good that after I have finished reading the books for him, he will go back through them and read his version of the story from the pictures.
Audiobooks

Our audiobooks of the moment is the great children’s classic The Secret Garden by France’s Hodgson Burnett. While I remember struggling through this book as a child I never remember loving it, the language was to difficult, the voice too foreign, but on audiobook this story comes to life, the Yorkshire accent adding an earthiness to the story and all bar the youngest are enthralled by it.

What I’m Reading For The Children
(For the older two)
 A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

We finished and absolutely LOVED this, just in time for Christmas. It is a fabulous book, it is at times hilariously funny and at other times heartbreakingly sad, should be on everyone’s list to read in the run up to Christmas.
We are now reading The Little House in The Big Woods by Laura Ingles Wilder, the children are really enjoying it, and were both amused and horrified by the fact that Pa made a football for the girls out of a pigs bladder, an education if ever there was one!

(For the Younger Two)
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margaret Williams

This timeless classic, first published in 1922, is as beautiful and engaging as ever. A perfect read which follows the quest of a stuffed rabbit to become real through the love of his owner, a story every child should hear.
So these are the books we are reading now, I would love to hear what you, or your children are enjoying in the world of reading. 

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