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Monday, March 31, 2014

Country, Cabin, Kids, Books...

We spent the weekend down at the camp.  For Max, I took one of Katherine Langrish's books (Troll Blood) and a Smithsonian dinosaur kit.  Max loves dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist. 

 The problems was that Erin, Mila, and I wanted a chance to discover the dinosaur bones, too, and begged for him to let us chisel away at the block.  He was amazingly generous, but it wasn't enough to satisfy us; we wanted our own.  If I'd known how much fun it was, I would have ordered enough for all of us.

For Mila, I took Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and a set of pentiminoes.  Of course, I always read any book that I buy for the kids before giving it to them.  Is that cheating?  But how else would I really know if they might like it?  It isn't just because I'm a greedy reader.  

I'd read Troll Blood several years ago, but I just read Chasing Vermeer this month, and it is an excellent book for middle graders--full of mystery, suspense, and information about art and  pentiminoes.  I haven't reviewed it yet, but will soon.

Mila, however, had brought a book with her, and she was so engrossed that she didn't have time for Chasing Vermeer right then.

So...what was she reading that kept her so riveted?  It was the second book in The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer (Kurt, from Glee).  This morning, I got online and ordered The Wishing Spell, the first in the series, for myself!

I ordered the Kindle version since Mila already has a copy, and I will use it as one of my Once Upon a Time challenge books.

Here is the book description: 
 Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. 

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

I'm eager to read this one since Mila liked it so much that she not only gladly read the 455 pages, but begged for the next one.  Also, a book by such a young author that captivates his intended audience so thoroughly is encouraging.  Not only is there a long prospective for future novels, but Chris Colfer's success at writing could easily inspire young people to consider doing the same.  

My brother Marty and sil Robin brought Jack down to have a little time on the tractor.  Jack loves riding the tractor with his grandfather.   Jack's current favorite in books is about a blue dump truck.  

It was a fun weekend, the weather was beautiful, grandkids and grandnephew, a delight.


  1. Love the photos of your family, Jenclair. It sounds like everyone had a great weekend.

    I am glad Chris Colfer's books are such a big hit. I had heard something somewhere that he was writing, but I didn't think much of it given how often celebrities try their hand at varying arts.

    Those dinosaur kits are such fun, aren't they? They are very addicting. :-)

  2. Looks like a lot of fun! I look forward to your thoughts on the Chris Colfer book. I haven't felt the need to rush out and get it, but you might convince me. :)

  3. Wendy - We had such beautiful weather for the weekend.

    I'm eager to try Colfer's The Wishing Spell. Whether or not I like it matters little because it already satisfied Mila. Until this year, she has not been as interested in reading on her own. She also loves a series about Pegasus, so she's a girl after my own heart with myth and fairy tale preferences!

    Kelly - I intend to get to the Colfer book soon, but have a couple of books in progress right now. I've been so tempted to start it, but I'm holding out until I finish at least one of the ones I'm reading now.