slice of my life

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Reading and writing

J and I went to the library this afternoon while B was on her Girl Scout lunch/hike/museum tour. (Aren't we the nerdy family with nerdy things to do?) I picked up some books for B so she would not be left out. We are supposed to be reading in Spanish here at home, and we need some Spanish books. So I chose some for her and J, along with some other interesting things. I am so pleased with our kids' Spanish language development!! Both read above grade level in English, but their Spanish is behind that. I think J is not really up to 5th grade level in Spanish, but I think B is closer to her 2nd grade level. Isn't it amazing?

The new books section in in children's area was just chock full of interesting finds. I found a totally fun book for little girls who read. Fashion Kitty , by Charise Mericle Harper, is a graphic novel (like our favorite boy's book, Captain Underpants) and readable in an afternoon for our B. She read 58 pages and has just a bit more to go to finish it. Don't tell anyone else this (ha ha) but I read this one to J aloud before B even got her hands on it. And he liked it, too. I thought it had a nice message, too, about being nice and not being fooled by the "popular girls." But I am a bit biased against the popular types, and the quiet, gullible kitty girl I identified with! She was nice even after she knew the popular one had tricked her. Bad kitty!

Also in new books, J found one book in a series he's been considering. The Five Ancestors books, byJeff Stone, take place in China, and seem interesting. (Of course I love books about China and Japan, and Amy Tan in particular!) Jamie took an online Five Ancestors quiz one time, and he came up like the monkey character, but book one is Tiger, so he's getting started with that one. I hope he can read them and have fun with that.

I also came across a wonderful book in the Spanish section. Fortunately for me, Family Pictures, by Carmen Lomas Garza, is both Spanish and English. It is filled with wonderful pictures of Mexican-American life in Texas. I could really relate to the pictures---I see this kind of thing here where we are. I found her official website to be full of colorful, appealing images. If you don't click on any other links here, click on that one and have an eyeful!

As for me, I'm reading a historical, Christian novel called Secret Tides, which I picked up in the adult new books section of our last trip to the library. It's about pre-civil war (isn't that antebellum?) rice plantation on the Atlantic Ocean. I like the picture it paints of an era I don't know much about---a learning experience. I like that the white girl who's the main character is in a place where she works with slaves, side by side, but sees them as real people. I like to see the characters thinking about their choices ethically and are trying to reconcile their thoughts to what they've been taught in church and what society has handed them. The bad part is, I got to a really preachy part, and I think I already know what's going to happen in the end! There are more books in this series, so it must be decent book. I think?

I am watching the A&M Tech game right now. The kids are mad---I have the computer and TV tied up! We just got a touchdown!! Whoop! Now, if we get that one more extra point, we're tied again. It's good! Whew!!! 99 yard drive in the 4th quarter. Yea!

In other literary news, I am going to coach the UIL Ready Writing team of either 4th or 5th graders. Or both. And possible B in 2nd grade. I may have just put too much on my plate. The district meet is on Nov. 18th. I will be meeting on Friday with some students and the teacher who is coaching the 3rd graders. She's the expert, who I will try to pattern myself after. The 2nd grade thing is something B could totally do---they get a group of pictures and write a story about them. The bigger kids will get a writing prompt. I hope I can give them the right coaching.


  • I went to the website of yhe Mexican-American author. Interesting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, September 30, 2006 8:49:00 PM  

  • And this book I checked out was even more interesting, because she gave explanation of what was going on in the picture---or which of her family members was in the picture. She added herself in the pictures a lot, a child figure. She explained about the faith healers and the roles of the family members in different happenings in her family pictures. In the one picture called "Cakewalk" she even had a lady with one leg on crutches, which I thought was a weird detail to add. But it turns out, that was the shop owner, who really did have only one leg. I learned that on her website.

    By Blogger jenny, at Saturday, September 30, 2006 9:38:00 PM  

  • Maybe your cousin B could help you with finding books that would interest J and B. It wuold be a reason to contact her. Good that B is finding that she can do things on her own.My sister m had difficulty because she could not do things as well as her older sister. it took a while to convince her that she was not expected to perform as well as someone 3 years older than she was.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, October 01, 2006 11:09:00 PM  

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