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reading: the magician's elephant

All the kids are home for the summer, which is very fun, and also a bit crazy. I guess only one of them is actually in school all day normally, so in a lot of ways it’s not much different. But summertime just FEELS more laid-back. My agent couldn’t believe it when she found out that my kids are here all the time when school’s out. “Don’t they go away to camp?” she asked. But that seems to be an East Coast thing (correct me if I’m wrong) and, at least in our neighborhood, the kids are just running rampant all the time all over the street. I kind of love it. It’s like our neighborhood truly comes alive in the summer, especially in the evenings and things get cool, and the kids are all this big gang that runs from yard to yard to yard with bare feet and popsicle stains on their faces. Summer evenings are my favorite time of the year.

Summer afternoons can get a little long though–I won’t deny it. Around 4:00 p.m. we often run out of steam. So I’ve started flopping on the floor or bed closest to the air conditioning and reading this book, just a chapter a day, to the kids. I’m sure a lot of it goes over my toddler’s head but he loves to do whatever his brothers are doing. It’s such a beautifully written little book. We’re all excited to keep going and find out what happens at the end.

What summer kid reads are you enjoying/have you enjoyed in the past?

+ comments (13)
  • ilima
    July 14, 2011

    Our favorite read aloud so far has been Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. My kids have also enjoyed Gregor the Overlander, Sun &Moon Ice & Snow, and of course Fablehaven and Harry Potter.

  • Jasmine
    July 14, 2011

    One summer when I was about 10, we had a serious drought in the city where I grew up. Our house only had one window A/C unit – in my parent’s bedroom. My mom & I practically lived in that room all summer and she read a lot of books to me during those hours including A Wrinkle in Time and Where the Red Fern Grows. I remember the latter very distinctly because she cried a lot toward the end of the book because it reminded her so much of her grandfather, who had just passed away. I will always cherish those memories.

  • SPBowers
    July 14, 2011

    My mother read many stories to us but the one that stands out is The 21 Balloons.

  • Brook
    July 14, 2011

    The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz has been our favorite read-aloud. Beautiful illustrations, rich text, fairies for girls, spiders and bats for boys, and an amazing lesson for children and adults. It’s currently an Amazon bargain book–pick up a copy!

  • Julie Dixon
    July 14, 2011

    First, camp is only an East coast thing if you’re rich–or relatively so. Which means my kids are running around in a gang too and I wouldn’t have it any other way:) We’re reading Ida B. and loving it so far.

  • Peggy Eddleman
    July 14, 2011

    I read to my kids every night, and after four years of begging them to let me read Harry Potter to them, they finally agreed! Yay me! We just started book four, and just like I thought, they absolutely love it.

    July 15, 2011

    You shouldn’t have gotten me started but here you go! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Because of Winn Dixie, Rules, Harry Potter, Holes, Ella Enchanted, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Little House books, Frindle and No Talking (Andrew Clements) just to name a few of our very favorite books. I believe in Family Book Club! The Magicians Elephant is on our to-read list. I’m glad to hear that you think it’s good.

  • tami
    July 16, 2011

    Good choice! My kids loved this one….but then, we love everything Kate DiCamillo has written.

    At the Harry Potter movie last night, a trailer played for “Hugo,” which is based on “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.” Did you ever read that to your kids? Another one I’d recommend. And the movie looks pretty cool, too!

  • Erin
    July 16, 2011

    The Penderwicks is a great summer read aloud. I also love summer evenings as well!

  • Ali
    July 18, 2011

    how and when do you get your writing done?

  • Megan
    July 19, 2011

    Oh my goodness, this is so me today! It was hot, it was 4pm, I was tired, and I was sitting in front of the air conditioner reading your book!!! I love it! 🙂 I pretty much have done nothing today but make blueberry muffins and read!

    And speaking other fabulous summer reads, my mom and I read aloud to this kids this summer at the cabin the Mrs. Pigglewiggle series…….and they’re hilarious! Have you read them? I did as a kid but probably not since I was 8, I was just dying at how funny they are!

  • Audra
    July 26, 2011

    I’ve always loved the Harry Potter series, but only discovered it as an older teenager. My favorite books when I was younger were the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary and anything by Judy Blume!

  • Peggy
    August 3, 2011

    I read this book for my literacy class and actually used it during my student teaching last year. I plan on reviewing it next week on my blog! I loved it! 🙂

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