Posts Tagged: readalongs

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 »

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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 »

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Classic Readalong Discussion: The Secret Garden

Classic Readalong Discussion: The Secret Garden

First off–my sincere apologies for the delay in posting this discussion. It’s the first time something has failed to publish the day it was supposed to, and it’s my fault entirely, as I’m in the middle of a rather intensely busy and crazy-making period offline. Thank you all for being so patient with me, however, and thanks to Kim and Layla, too. I’m eager to get into this one, so let’s begin! Wendy: This is one of my favorite books of all time. As a child, I responded so strongly to the lovely English-ness of everything–it’s part of what set me on the path of being a lifelong Anglophile.  And whenever I was in botanical gardens and parks, I was always on the lookout for secret doorways and walls that might be hiding something. And look! As an adult, I finally found one. The photo to the right was taken… Read more »

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Classic Readalong Discussion: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Classic Readalong Discussion: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Today’s readalong discussion is Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH! Are you ready to have your heart warmed by a valiant young mouse? To swoon over a dashing rat captain of the guard?  (Yes, you read that correctly.) We all loved this month’s book, so let’s dive right in. As always, while we’re always hoping that our discussions will encourage new readers to pick up these books, we do discuss specific spoilers in each story.   Wendy: I’m very fond of extraordinarily handsome rats. :D Layla: I first read this in junior high school (and still have my copy today, boo-yeah!). I remember avoiding Frisby for awhile because I was really into fantasy novels and thought the cover / title were unappealing. Boy howdy was I wrong. I loved this book as a kid and I still love it now; it has officially withstood the test of time for… Read more »

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Classic MG Readalong: Farmer Boy

Classic MG Readalong: Farmer Boy

Hello, friends! Welcome to this month’s classics readalong discussion, where we’ll be gleefully chatting about Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. For those new to the series, this is a standalone historical fiction novel based on true people and events, written by the author about her husband’s boyhood on his family’s farm in the late 1800s. A reminder: You have ONE MONTH left to finish your classics readalong challenge for this year! Have you read and reviewed 8 books yet? Are you going to be able to? A little more on that below, plus info on the December/January books. We have so much pie to eat talk about, though, that we should just get started on our discussion! Wendy: I wanted to do this one for our readalong because it’s a nice standalone–plus it’s my favorite of the series! (Followed by The Long Winter, but for very different reasons–this one’s… Read more »

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Classic YA Discussion: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Classic YA Discussion: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Greetings, dear readers! We had a long book this month, so I’m not sure how many participants got through it, but we thoroughly enjoyed this one! We also have a long discussion, so we’ll get right to it. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for next month’s book info, plus a teaser for the exciting prize we’ll be giving away to for one of our readers who completes our classics readalong challenge! Layla: So, this has been on my to-read list for a few years, and I’m really excited that it’s the focus of our discussion this month. Things that I really liked: the incredible amount of detail that went into building Francie’s Brooklyn (the pickles and the coffee and the sugar buns! her trips to the public library! all of the various descriptions of clothing and the way each house and building was laid out!). A Tree Grows… Read more »

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Classic MG Discussion: All-of-a-Kind Family

Classic MG Discussion: All-of-a-Kind Family

Hello, friends! Welcome to our Classic YA/MG Readalong Discussion. This month we’re chatting about All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, the first book in a series about five sisters who grow up in a poor, predominantly Jewish neighborhood in the early 1900s. Looks like it’s just me this month, so I thought I’d just talk about the things I love about it, as well as general observations and questions. Would love to chat with you all in the comments! I have very little interest in history as far as facts and figures go, but I am fascinated by how people live. Books like All-of-a-Kind Family stay with me because they bring to life specific time periods in our history in such a vivid way, which also speaks to the impact that the books we read as children can have on us. I think the books I read in my formative years… Read more »

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