As I said when I first posted my book list, I would probably end up reading a few additional books that weren't on the list. So, without further ado, here is my first bonus book! Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I have two little girls, ages 6 and 8, and I've set up a summer schedule for them that includes: 30 minutes of spelling practice, 30 minutes of solo reading, and 30 minutes of Mami reading in the morning. In the afternoon they do 30 minutes of math worksheets, and 30 minutes of a Math app on my iPad.
I thought it would be fun for the 30 minutes (and often times a lot more than 30 minutes) of Mami reading if I read them a chapter book rather than a series of picture books. That would leave the opportunity for making predictions, daily summaries of what's happened so far, and other book related activities that we could build on each week (so far they've drawn pictures of what the main characters look like in their imagination, and i plan to have them each create an alternate ending for the book). In any case, I was on the lookout for a book I thought both girls would appreciate, and continue to appreciate for as long as it took us to finish.
My natural inclination was to read Harry Potter, but we'd done that before, and as much as I shudder to say it, my 6 year-old is just not that big an HP fan... I know it's blasphemy. My 8 year-old also suggested that it be a book I had not read before, so that the book would be new to all of us, which presented another challenge, both because I've read A LOT of books, and because it would be hard to gauge the appropriateness of the text without having read it first. But, I was up for the challenge.
After reading tons of reviews I settled on Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles. It came down to Cinder or Marie Lu's Legend Series. The latter sounded a little too intense for the 6 year-old which is how we ended up with Cinder, but don't be surprised when a bonus book review for Legend crops up some point later in the summer.
I am incredibly happy with my selection. I think this book has been great for my girls, but it's also been really fun for me to read. I must admit I was a little skeptical about how involved I was going to be in a post-apocalyptic YA novel whose main character is a cyborg loosely based on Cinderella, but it has been awesome. Meyer does an excellent job of painting a picture of the world we find ourselves in, and the story is captivating from the very first page. I was also happy that the love story between the main character, Cinder, and Prince Kai is super mild and acts as a C story, rather than the A or B story. Often in YA novels the love story is THE story, regardless of the myriad plot lines available.
The language sometimes goes a bit over my 6 year-old's head, but she is more than comfortable interrupting me to ask when she doesn't know what something means, which provides us with little vocabulary breaks :) Outside of that both of the girls are really into the story, and it makes me smile that every night without fail they ask "Can you read just one more chapter?" "How about one more paragraph." "One more sentence, pleeaaassseee mami?"
Next the girls and I will be diving into Scarlet: Book Two of the Lunar Chronicles and I will get back to my regularly scheduled summer reading list program... stay tuned!