As winter is generally the time to be cooped up indoors, we’ve been filling our time reading books. Here’s a few of the titles we’re enjoying….
Schnickelfrtiz is reading My Side of the Mountain. I can remember my sixth grade teacher reading it aloud to class. Fortunately for me every student had a copy of the book to follow along, but I was actually reading ahead because I couldn’t wait to learn what would happen to Sam Gribley living in his hollowed-out tree in the Catskill Mountains. How refreshing to read a book about survival that doesn’t involve a post-apocalyptic society where kids are killing kids. This is just a teenage boy trying to get in touch with his family’s roots and learning self reliance, how to deal with fears, etc. What I love best….when Sam doesn’t know what to do, he often heads to the LIBRARY to read up on a subject.
I’m reading aloud Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers to Fritz as part of our school day. He’s perfectly capable of reading it to himself, but I like to read it with the enthusiasm it deserves. This week’s reading included a wild race to stay ahead of a cloudburst—when it fails, the young man and his horse are nearly drowned after tumbling in the river. Fritz is sometimes thinking more about his piano lesson than my reading, but in this case he was riveted. I also like to read aloud to censor some of the cowboy talk—it’s true he’s heard those words before, but why expose him to more when a “dern” works just as well. The Little Britches series is often categorized as the Little House alternative for boys. I personally think that both boys and girls can benefit from both series. Both series deals with families that practice hard work and self-reliance while trying to eke out a living in the American West (Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 and Ralph Moody was born in 1898). I’m loving the fatherly words of wisdom Mr. Moody shares with Ralph and will miss them since SPOILER ALERT: he dies at the end of the first book.
As for my own reading—I’m embarrassed to say I practically have a book for every room, although I am limiting myself to only one fiction title. That one would be Ishmael by E.D.E.N. Southworth. It’s one of the Lamplighter Publishing titles I’d bought years ago. I just bought its sequel, Self-Raised at their end-of-the-year seconds (the slightly less than perfect books) sale and thought I’d better re-familiarize myself with the story and characters. Ms. Southworth takes her time to develop characters as much as Victor Hugo – it was almost 100 pages before the title character was born. The point of the first fifth of the book was to set up his being an orphan.
The forecast includes winter weather advisories and we may even have to deal with ice accumulation and power outages…Thank goodness I don’t have to plug in my books.