Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson is part a mystery story but also part a story of friendship in a friendly forest. Detective Gordon, a toad, is the only officer in the forest, and he sits alone at his desk. When a hungry and lonely forest mouse is caught stealing nuts from squirrel’s winter stock, he invites her home and gives her some food. He is aghast that she does not even have a name, and proudly bestows one on her. Buffy becomes his sidekick, and together they are able to find a solution to the stolen nuts in the forest. Detective Gordon is a fun addition to the early chapter book lists and I hope this is the first of many such adventures for the good detective and his meek side kick.Continue Reading
I’ve been blogging on this page for eight years now. It’s kind of hard to believe that my oldest child was five months old when I began. Here I am, two more children later (and the youngest is 5 months old), and I struggle to find time to read the books I love let alone write about them all. In some respects, my mommy-brain has changed this page from being a sincere effort to analyze and respond to literature to become a conglomeration of a variety of books, ramblings, and attempts at deep thought. Maybe I have become my own kind of “madwoman upstairs” who struggles to battle life herself throughout the craziness of daily tasks. Maybe my page is now an attempt to stave off madness and keep some degree of sanity when I come from the written word to a blank page. Can my mind still put my thoughts in order after the day has come to an end?
My reading has changed dramatically since I began. I went through my compulsive reading phase(s) for years, my “no time to read” and “I can’t handle anything” new mom phases, and now I’m alternating between “mom daze” phases (in which I simply binge on netflix and either can’t read or can’t write) and regular “I’m a homeschooling mom: What should my kids read next?” phases (in which I binge read middle grade fiction and try to strew the best of the best around the house for my 8-year-old son to stumble upon). Sometimes the thoughts get written on the blog and sometimes I go weeks without a post.
And then sometimes I start a book that reminds me of my compulsion to read and I stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading it. Because I love it so much. It’s not that I have any more time on such-and-such a day. And yes, I’ll still have to try to function with three children the next morning. But this type of book reminds me of how much I love to read and simply don’t want to stop.
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell was such a book. Although it is not a Victorian-era classic, which I usually say is my favorite type of book, it combined my love for classics (Jane Eyre, none the less) with my love for analyzing classics, such as I did during the four years as a student in English literature. It also added elements of history (I love looking at woman in various time periods) and mystery and times on the moors, as well as alternate histories of real people. I can tell that debut author Catherine Lowell has similar loves to mine.
Tru and Nelle by G. Neri is a book about a young Harper Lee and a young Truman Capote. In this book, however, Harper Lee is known as Nelle and young Truman is Tru. I often heard that the book To Kill a Mockingbird and the characters in that book were based on the childhood friendship of Harper Lee and Truman Capote; this is a children’s book that fictionalizes their friendship.Continue Reading
DNA Detective by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and illustrated by Lil Crump is a information-packed book to explain the basics of forensics with the frame of a robbery that needs to be solved. I enjoyed reading the story, and since I love crime shows, I loved the forensics in it too!
DNA Detective jumps right in to the cartoon mystery: jewels have been stolen! But the majority of DNA Detective tells the true story of how evidence left on the scene can tell the story about what happened.Continue Reading