The Big Reading Experiment


Despite our differences in looks, The Pea and I are alike in many ways. We both have big feet. We both have messy hair. We both love to eat. I could go on and on, but this post focuses on one of our biggest similarities: we both love to read. We simply cannot put a book down once we've started, so it's not uncommon to see our noses buried in a book for hours on end, even in the shower, even while walking on the sidewalk.

Not only do we both love to read, in many cases we love reading the same books. Even at this ripe old age, I still enjoy reading children's literature, so The Pea and I do lots of book swapping. I introduced her to Harry Potter, she introduced me to Percy Jackson, and we both discovered The Secret series together. So I like to think I have a pulse of the kinds of books she likes. And that means -- lucky for her!! -- I have tons and tons of suggestions for books I know she'd love to read.

The problem is, she doesn't always listen. For example, I've tried for years to get her interested in Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books and C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" series, with no luck. I just know she would love them, but she can get pretty stubborn, and when she gets an idea into her head that a book will be boring, she doesn't give it a chance (okay, I admit, she also gets that from me).

So I proposed a little experiment. I asked The Pea if she would agree to read 10 books that I picked out for her, if I would agree to do the same. She was all for it! In fact, she quickly expanded the list to 20, because many of her chosen books were parts of a series. So here's The Pea's list for me, written in the order that I intend to read them:

1) Cupcake Diaries
2) Mischief at St. Rollos
3) Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief
4) Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception
5) Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes
6) Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy
7) Savvy
8) The Doll People
9) The Meanest Doll in the World
10) The Runaway Dolls
11) My Sister the Vampire #1
12) My Sister the Vampire #2
13) My Sister the Vampire #3
14) My Sister the Vampire #4
15) My Sister the Vampire #5
16) My Sister the Vampire #6
17) *
18) *
19) *
20) *

* Books 17 thru 20 are, as of yet, undecided; The Pea is keeping her options open.

When I saw all the vampire tween novels on her list, I almost chickened out, but a deal is a deal, and the opportunity to introduce her to all kinds of wonderful books is too good to throw away, so I'm gritting my teeth and carrying on (and I'll let you know how it's going on a future post).

So what's on my list for her? So far, I've only come up with three:

1) Cheaper by the Dozen
2) A Wrinkle in Time
3) This Can't Be Happening at McDonald Hall

I know, that sounds lame. You're probably thinking, what could she have possibly read as a child if she could only come with 3 measly books? Trust me, it's not a case of too few; rather, too many. I can already think of dozens of books without any effort at all: Little Women. Charlotte's Web. Stuart Little. The Witch of Blackbird Pond. The Secret Garden. Noel Streatfield's "Shoes" series. Enid Blyton's "Naughtiest Girl" and "Alton Towers" and "St. Clare's" series. Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. The Dark is Rising series. Anne of Green Gables. Anne McCaffery's Dragonriders and Dragondrums series.

I have to choose my books carefully, so I'm taking my sweet time. If anyone has any suggestions for Must-Read books for kids aged 9-12, I'd love to hear them.

It's going to be a fun reading adventure, and I can't wait to get started!

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Ana said...

Cec, love this post. I guess we all pretty much read the same books! Believe it or not i've been re reading all the Enid Blyton ones! Don't forget about the Uptown Girl series. Don't remember the author though.