Posts Categorized: readalong

Classic MG discussion: Mary Poppins

Classic MG discussion: Mary Poppins

Welcome to our Mary Poppins chat–the final classics discussion for the year! At the end of the post, you’ll find info on how to tally up your reviews if you participated in 2015, as well as what we think we’ll be doing going forward. Wendy: I’ve literally seen the movie Mary Poppins over a hundred times. (What can I say, as a child, when I loved things, I loved them intensely.) I can’t remember how far into those viewings that I decided to read the books, but I was surprised to find how much I loved them–just as a much, but in a very different way.  Layla: While I’ve definitely seen this movie several times, I don’t think I’ve ever read this book! So thanks for finally bringing this one to the front of my queue, Wendy. It was really different from what I was expecting, I’ve got to say –… Read more »

Divider

Classic YA Discussion: Alanna, The First Adventure

Classic YA Discussion: Alanna, The First Adventure

Welcome to our discussion for Alanna: the First Adventure! Today we have a special guest joining us, the wonderful Aussie scifi/fantasy author Andrea K. Höst, author of the Touchstone trilogy and a Midnight Garden favorite, And All the Stars. Our backgrounds: Wendy has never read this before, but both Layla and Andrea have. This series seems beloved by most fantasy fans, so it seemed like a great selection for our classics series. *As always, please be aware there will be spoilers if you haven’t read this book yet. Wendy: Thanks for joining our chat today, Andrea! Andrea: Glad to be here!  And it’s a great excuse to refresh my memory: I read the Alanna series a long time ago – long enough that I’ve forgotten most of it (except some vague memories of not going swimming).  It’s a book on the younger end (main character goes from eleven to thirteen)…. Read more »

Divider

Classic MG Discussion: The Witches

Classic MG Discussion: The Witches

Wendy: Welcome to our discussion for Roald Dahl’s The Witches. This is the story of a boy named — um, this is where I realize the main character is unnamed! His grandmother charmingly calls him “my darling” often, but I’d never before realized he didn’t have a name. So let’s start again. This is the story of a boy who happens upon a gathering of witches (who despise children and want to wipe them off the face of the earth) while staying at a hotel in England with his Norwegian grandmother. It is a funny, sweet book that I’ve loved since I was little, so let’s begin! Layla: Woah, mind blown. Did not realize that child was unnamed either! Wendy: He’s given the name “Luke” in the movie, but yes, no name at all in the book. Layla: I also forgot his grandmother was Norwegian. I forgot a lot of this… Read more »

Divider

Classic MG Discussion: A Girl of the Limberlost

Classic MG Discussion: A Girl of the Limberlost

Hey all, I’m especially happy to be hosting today’s discussion of Gene Stratton Porter’s 1909 novel, A Girl of the Limberlost. Come talk to me in the comments, since Wendy and Kim aren’t able to participate this month. I am eager to chat! This book was one of my childhood favorites (and I mean favoritest favorites) so I was really looking forward to revisiting this one. I remembered it being chock-full of food porn and also involving a lot of rhapsodizing about nature. Trees! Moths! Butterflies! THE LIMBERLOST! On those fronts, I was not disappointed. As Wendy noted last month, it’s also the sequel to Stratton Porter’s earlier book, Freckles, which I also read as a kid. It’s not necessary to read Freckles to appreciate this book (which is good, I think, because Freckles is by far the weaker book), but if anyone’s interested in knowing a bit more about it, the… Read more »

Divider

Classic MG Discussion: Trixie Belden #1

Classic MG Discussion: Trixie Belden #1

Jeepers! It’s time to discuss The Secret of the Mansion, the first book in the classic Trixie Belden mystery series from the 1940s. As always, we do these discussions with the hope that you’ll check out these classics for yourself even if you didn’t have the chance to read them with us, but do be aware that there are spoilers in the chat below. Wendy: I loved Trixie as a kid, so I was very eager to revisit these. I distinctly remember my grade-school self daydreaming about having an almost-twin and wanting desperately to be in a club with secret signals. Kim, I’d forgotten you aren’t a big mystery fan, so I appreciate your forbearance with the occasional one I slip into these readalongs! Kim: I had literally never heard of Trixie Belden before it was suggested for our readalong! Wendy, no worries! I am not usually a huge mystery person but this… Read more »

Divider

Classic Readalong: To Kill a Mockingbird

Classic Readalong: To Kill a Mockingbird

When the news of a long-hidden sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird was announced, we decided to reread it together as a refresher before Go Set a Watchman is released. Please join the discussion below!Our backgrounds with the book Wendy: I loved this book when I read it in high school, though I have to admit that in the years since, I associate it strongly with the film. It’s one of those cases where the movie captured the ideals and feel of the source material so well that I think of them almost interchangeably. And with this re-read, I listened to the audiobook performed by  Sissy Spacek, which was wonderful! So now I’ll forever remember all three things as perfectly complementary. Layla: I … don’t think I’d read this book before! Which is weird, because I felt like I had at some point, but then, as I was reading this, recognized… Read more »

Divider

Classic Readalong Discussion: Hatchet

Classic Readalong Discussion: Hatchet

In the first chapter of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, 13-year-old Brian is the only passenger in a single engine plane when the pilot has a heart attack and dies. 7000 feet above the wilderness and wildly off course, he eventually crashes into a lake..and must find a way to survive. On his own. Without food or shelter. Believe it or not, the stakes only get higher from there. Let’s begin! (Beware spoilers, as usual.) Wendy: I’m a big fan of survival and naturalistic stories, having loved Sign of the Beaver and The Yearling and Where the Red Fern Grows as a kid. But somehow this one passed me by, so I’m glad Kim suggested it for our classics series. Kim: This was one of the few offerings in my 5th grade classroom’s “library” that actually interested me, and holy hell did little Kim devour it. I like survival fiction because of… Read more »

Divider