Starting to public school for our middle schoolers has led to required summer reading, which we have always done and they don’t mind, but of course I wanted them reading the specific books assigned by the school. I can’t remember the last time I read a book in one day. Possibly a decade or more ago?
One of my 10 Things to Do This Summer includes reading more books. While I’m still working on Uncovering the Logic of English (it isn’t a book you can read in a day and survive doing it), I have finished another book: The Outsiders. And yes, I read it in one day. Or rather I read 170 pages of the 180 pages in our used copy in one day.
Raise your hand if you read this as a middle school student yourself. I’m guessing a vast majority of my readers just raised your hand. OK, seriously, you probably didn’t, but I’m sure a lot of you have read it back in the day.
I admit to thinking, This book is going to be a yawn. Boy was I ever wrong! I couldn’t put the book down. By the way, S.E. Hinton is not a man like I thought. Maybe you did too. She was a tomboy growing up by her own admission and had many male friends growing up, but truly, she is a gifted storyteller. Just. Wow.
Larry and I have had quite a few discussions about the book. A warning for other adoptive families: the main character in the novel and his two older brothers are orphans. Their parents died in a car wreck, which is quickly told in first person by the main character. I wondered how Larry processed this, but that part … he isn’t willing to discuss. That is OK. I always throw it out there. He knows the Prez and I are willing to listen anytime regarding his own abandonment and losses. He talks about it when he wants.
But back to the book, I highly recommend it. Read it with your teen. Discuss. Engage. It is that good. Seriously. Read it. In a day. Or longer if you can actually put it down. I found it nearly impossible to put down.
I want to interject a tip to my readers who love to save money at this point in my post. If you don’t mind used copies of books, I **HIGHLY** recommend Abe Books. I use them ALL.THE.TIME and have ALWAYS been highly satisfied with the customer service and the high-quality books we receive. They have paperback and hardback copies, many of which are former library books complete with library binding. I rarely pay more than $7 for a HB and never more than $4 for a paper copy of “very good” rating, which usually means slightly used or like new. This isn’t an affiliate link; I just love books and love this source for very affordable books and wanted to share!
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This post has a bonus. Did I mention that previously? I don’t think so, but yeah, in trying to read more books and honestly connect with the aforementioned middle schoolers, who will be going into 8th grade and 6th grade, I am also reading … gulp … The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Oh. my. goodness. This one is WAY OVER my head. It has maps, pages and pages of maps. That I don’t understand. Yet.
But I am reading on and enjoying the wide smile evident on my almost 12-year-old’s face when he asks, Did you read another page or two?
And he isn’t exaggerating. Because, folks, I can sometimes read only a page or two. If you don’t understand hobbits, you’re in good company. At present, after finishing the first chapter of Book 1 of the first book (yes the book has two books within it; don’t ask me), I know that Frodo and Bilbo are related and Bilbo has disappeared. Oh and that Gandalf the Wizard
cannot be trusted is actually a good guy. I DO get that much. I am currently in chapter 4 of the first book within the first book of the trilogy or epic as Mo puts it.
Since initially drafting this post, I read more today. I actually am liking it more and more. I am on page 80 of 458 pages currently. I think I can definitely finish this one. As for reading two more in the
series epic, I’m not sure my mind can encompass that! If it brings a smile to Mo’s face though … I think I can, I think I can (as she bows to all middle school teachers out there who actually work with kids everyday who love this stuff and love that so many teachers bring classics such as these to the classroom!).
One final note: no doubt about it that S.E. Hinton is a master at crafting with words and J. R. R. Tolkien was a master storyteller of epic proportions.
Linking up with Mrs. Jump. Please do share there or here. What are you reading currently? And why?