Bedtime reading has been wonky around here, with interruptions from overscheduling, but a long car ride gave us some extra time to read. Sonar X7 has found the 39 Clues books, managing to swallow up three of them over spring break. Now he’s working on some of Mike Lupica’s middle-grade sports books.
Sonar X9 reread the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series as a segue into reading The Heroes of Olympus series for the first time. Oh, it was hard to wait his turn to get his hands on a library copy of the much-coveted Son of Neptune.
Sonar X11 has scored the biggest coup, I think, recently finishing The Silmarillion. Few people I know have attempted to read that one, and fewer still have finished. Oh, so he was reading it as part of a graded school assignment. He still did it, and liked it.
We also managed to finish a couple of books out loud.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Kindle free edition.
I suggested The Time Machine to the Sonars for bedtime reading (which is subject to a rigorous vetting regimen). They are becoming less likely to read anything I recommend. Which is to say that my recommendations are a sentence of doom to any book. I’ve taken to tucking books innocently in the reading basket or leaving the Sonars completely to their own choices without any input. They stand a better chance of not ignoring the good stuff that way. For whatever reason, The Time Machine caught their attention in spite of my suggestion.
I’m not sure how well any of them would have handled this one alone. It’s short, but the century-old style and diction feels foreign to them, as does the boys’-club setting of the group of men meeting for dinner and cigars. Together we were able to navigate some of the that difficulty and get a chance to enjoy the story.
The coolest part (at least for me and the older Sonars) was recognizing sci-fi tropes that for Wells were innovative, but we know them as routine or even cliche. We also enjoyed some surprise at how modern the nineteenth-century philosophy and science was. We share many social concerns. Wells’ vision of the future was both weird and uncanny. And in the end, the Sonars were riveted by the suspense and puzzled by the vague ending.
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer. Scholastic 2005.
This is the fourth book in the series about the preteen criminal mastermind. I’m not sure I have anything new to say about Artemis Fowl. The Sonars love these books and they’re fun to read out loud.
Artemis - his memories of anything fairy-related erased in the previous book - returns to a life of crime, specifically stealing a painting from another thief. But pixie-villain Opal Koboi has escaped her coma and incarceration to seek revenge on those who jailed her. She wants to frame Holly for murder, feed Artemis to trolls and destroy the fairy world of Haven before setting herself up to rule humanity as a precocious human girl. Can Artemis and his human and fairy friends survive, stop Opal, and save their reputations before Mr. and Mrs. Fowl return from vacation???
As soon as I finished reading the last page, the Sonars wanted me to start reading The Lost Colony (Book 5) right away. but it will have to go into the queue behind The Phantom Tollbooth and The Order of the Phoenix.