Since we recently finished a book during our nightly read aloud time, I decided the girls were old enough to listen to this book without any nightmares. Inside My Feet The Story of a Giant by Richard Kennedy is not a long book, but it grabs your attention entirely. I first heard this book as a read aloud when I was in college. Mr. Newhouse, my instructor for my children’s literature class, read a bit of this book aloud each week at the beginning of class. When I came upon a copy of it, I snatched it up even though I had no children at the time and was not sure I would use it in my own teaching.
In this book a boy’s parents are taken away in the middle of the night, one by one. A knock on the door rouses everyone from bed. The father goes down and finds no one there, but a pair of extraordinarily large boots. He brings them inside, which is his first mistake. The story continues with the boy, of course, being the one who figures out how his parents are taken and manages not to be taken himself. He then must figure out a plan to save his parents and not be taken when the boots come back.
We have just finished reading Meet the Austins by Madeline L’Engle. As I was looking at the comments on Amazon I discovered there is a chapter that I have never read of this book that was not included in the original edition (and not the edition that we have from when I was a kid.) Now I think I must drop by the local used book store this week and see if they have a newer version with this missing chapter or use some Amazon gift cards to get it.
Madeline L’Engle was one of my favorite authors as I was growing up, so I was excited to introduce her to my daughters. I figured that the Austins would be a bit of an easier introduction than the tesseracts in The Wrinkle in Time series. I truly enjoyed the family in this series. It is a family of four (plus one more) children with a mother and a father in the home. The family plays lots of classical music (as my father did when I was growing up), they say grace at meals, kids have responsibilities as part of the family, they have fun together, but the kids also get in trouble with some of the decisions they make. L’Engle makes them feel like a real family to me. There are real consequences for making wrong decisions, like a broken arm and mouth from going out on a bicycle after dark. This book in the series revolves around a new child who comes to stay with the Austins because her father has died in a plane crash. There are adjustments to be made by everyone.
Another recent read was A View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg. I discovered this one while I was teaching fifth and sixth grade at a private school in Maryland. When I read it aloud to my students there I made a bulletin board to help see the connections between all the characters in the story. This story is written from different perspectives. Each of the four members of the sixth grade academic bowl team tells a story, with intervals between describing what is going on with the team and their teacher. My youngest daughter keeps talking about tea being served at 4 o’clock which comes from an episode in this book. I like how the author shows why each student would know the answer to the questions from the academic bowl championship through the stories of events in their pasts. I made sure we discussed the relationships between the characters while we read this aloud since I am not sure we have read any books before that change who is telling the story during the book.