[DWJ] need a topic

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Jan 15 13:01:24 EST 2009

On Wed, 14 Jan 2009 22:57:35 -0500 (EST), deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:

>Mostly I'm only posting because a couple of people were having
>trouble getting list messages, and I want to make sure they're
>getting them. (Folks, drop me a line if you got this.)
>But I want to make something on-topic. Except I'm too punchy
>right now to think of something.  So I need a topic... hmm.
>Anyone read _the true meaning of smekday_?
Not yet.  I actually forgot about putting it on my list, so it dropped off
my radar.  It was at the school book sale but I bought something else,
probably _Book of a Thousand Days_.  Worth reading?  (_smekday_, not
_Thousand Days_, which is definitely worth reading.)

So far this year I've read _False Colours_, _Black Sheep_ (both new for me),
_Flora Segunda_, _The Adventures of Tom Sawyer_ (novel assignment for second
daughter's lit class), and...um.  Possibly something else.  And a so-so
graphic novel and two Mignola books.  I was going to continue the Twain-fest
with _Huck Finn_, but I found a bunch of other books at the library
yesterday that caught my attention instead.  Though I got far enough into it
to realize just how much more mature a style Twain had developed by that
point.  It's beautifully complex.

It's very interesting reading along with my kids when they have novel units.
All three of them had one at the same time in November, so we had the boy
reading _The Dark is Rising_ (yes, it was on the list!), the second daughter
reading _Tuck Everlasting_, and the oldest daughter reading _Animal Farm_
for the very first time.  So I was bouncing around between books and trying
to keep track of how far they were so I wouldn't give things away.  Though
the boy has read _The Dark is Rising_ before--I let them choose a book
they've already read if they've never done a critical reading on it--so my
efforts were more directed at making sure he was paying attention and not
skiving off, which he excels at.  I'm sure I don't know where he got it.

But _Animal Farm_....  This particular child has developed a keen sense of
irony and satire over the years, which is why I recommended that book from
her list of seven.  She will be 15 in March and I'm still having trouble
with the fact that she has an adult brain.  Not that she has it, you
understand, but that she will make comments that startle me.  (She is quite
small, barely five feet tall, and petite, and I'm sure that enhances the
disconnect.)  It was brilliant to be able to discuss levels of allegory with
her, and then hear her compare current events or television shows with
elements of the story.

I'm supposed to be helping her review for semester finals right now, but
insomnia and an asthmatic child kept me up last night.  So I'm doing my
famous procrastination act here instead.

Melissa Proffitt

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