Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Reading/Summer Camp

Dodger and Me
Before and after a long 
day of social skills camp, 
my son's thinking more about today's
pizza party ("I hope they don't have
cheese pizza.""I liked the pepperoni 
pizza.") than summer reading 

But I've powered through and read
five of the six choices offered
by my son's school.
The sixth involves child abuse,
so I didn't even have to
read it to rule that one out.
I want books my child can
make a connection with, 
not ones to give him 

And the 
winners are (tah rah ta):
Dodger and Me
The Magician's Elephant

The Magician's Elephant
The Magician's Elephant does
describe the protagonist's father's
death on a battlefield and
the crushing of a woman's
legs (by the eponymous
pachyderm), but the mood
is fairy taleish and the
happy ending satisfactory.

The happy endings to two
of the other contenders are
realistic-not satisfactory at
all. The author puts the characters
through he** and at the end
they're only a little worse off 
than at the beginning (Ida B. 
and The Music of Dolphins).

Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1)
Among the Hidden is far 
worse. The boy's
only friend is killed in
a massacre of children
ordered by a totalitarian

These stories seem more
suitable for adolescents 
than ten year olds. 

Dodger and Me, amazingly
enough, tells a story without
a single death, life-threatening
illness, or soul destroying
decision. The kid has no 
friends, doesn't like the girl
who is nice to him, and is
bad at baseball. Then 
cleaning up some litter 
gives him a whole new
perspective (and a blue
monkey pal). Hijinks
ensue. Life lessons are

So now comes the hard
part: getting my son
to read and understand 
the books.

A parent of another
camper mentioned
that reading out loud
to the child is their
required books strategy.

Reading out 
loud together sometimes
works for us. And for
you? What works best?

I warned my boy
that Dodger had
no pictures and he
said we could draw
some-sounds like 
a plan.
Original Chimpanzee Charcoal Drawing 18" X 24"
-Spectrum Mom

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