The Big Reading Experiment: checking in

It's time to update you on the progress of the Big Reading Experiment that The Pea and I decided to undertake at the end of January. I'm proud to say that I've finished most of the books on her list -- and I even enjoyed quite a few of them! She assigned me first four books of Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes mystery books, and I enjoyed them so much that I read the rest of the books. I also loved the Newberry Honor-winning Savvy, as well as its companion book Scumble. The Pea is quite crafty, really; she has pulled me into her reading world and she still has 4 open spots on her book list. She even got me to read Revolution is Not a Dinner Party and Waiting for Normal on the strength of her enthusiastic recommendations, without even adding them to her list. Not that she had to twist my arm too far; both books are California Young Reader Medal nominees for 2011-2012, and deservedly so.

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) *

The Pea is working through my list for her at a much, much slower pace. It's not that she's a slow reader; it's just that she has tons of other books she wants to read, so she goes through about 10 of her own books before picking up one of mine. She's getting to be at the age where she doesn't want me telling her what to do, so I'm not pushing too hard. I just remind her every now and then, and since she has a strong sense of fairness, I know she'll work through my list in her own time.

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

5) Ballet Shoes
6) Theatre Shoes
7) Charlotte's Web

The Pea has finished the first three books on my list, and they were all undisputed successes. She loved Cheaper by the Dozen and A Wrinkle in Time, and she enjoyed This Can't Be Happening at McDonald Hall so much that she went on and read Gordon Korman's entire Bruno and Boots series (I knew that first book would get her hooked -- see, she's not the only one who's crafty). They're quite difficult to find -- none were in the library so I had to buy them on Amazon, and even then I had to buy them used -- but it's a hoot of a series, and I highly recommend it.

Unfortunately, The Secret Garden was a failure; The Pea didn't even get halfway through the book. I wanted her to press on, because I remember the book didn't come alive to me until I got halfway through the book either. She did try, so I'm not going to force it; I'll try again when she gets older, and I might also shelve Little Women for a year or so. She's obviously into lighter, less verbose fare, so I added Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes and Theater Shoes, as well as E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. She's enjoying Ballet Shoes, so I have high hopes for the rest. I definitely need to be more careful about which books I put on my list. I don't want to waste each precious slot!

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