Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Sound Bender (and Six Months of Reading Aloud)
I just realized we've made it to the 6 month mark for our read aloud challenge! Hurray!
To be exact, today is our 189th day straight with me reading aloud to my boys for at least 10 minutes each day. Of course, if we are swept up in a story, we keep going for as long as I'm willing to read. But 10 minutes a day is our only necessary condition. And I'm so proud, happy and excited to be able to say: We're still doing it. We still love it. We intend to just keep reading together everyday. Period.
Our latest read aloud is Sound Bender by Lin Oliver and Theo Baker.
It's the story of 13 year old Leo Lomax. He and his brother are sent to live with their Uncle Crane when their parents go missing and are presumed dead. Leo discovers he has strange new powers that allow him to hear events connected to certain objects he touches. It's called "sound bending." When Leo uses his power while exploring objects in his uncle's warehouse, he uncovers an evil bit of mystery that leads him on an adventure.
Is it a good book? Well.... I have to admit, I'm not wild about it. Something about the characters just doesn't feel right. I struggled to enter the reality created within the book. Not convinced 13 year old boys in NYC reason, speak and act as they did in this story (though give me a few years & I may change my mind). The uncle was too money grubbing. The descriptions of his warehouse/apartment and the stinky smells of the neighborhood too overt. The string of events happening too fast, too coincidental, too neat. No. I can't say I liked this book.
But, I suppose that doesn't really matter. Because the kids enjoyed this story. They liked the concept of "sound bending" and thought the things Leo Lomax learned through using his power super cool.
Simon was the one to discover this book. He bought it at a school book fair, read it to himself first and then brought it to me as a recommendation for us to read aloud together. He was so very happy to bring something new to our read aloud sessions. And of course, I was glad for his enthusiasm.
We started reading aloud six months ago. We began with books I knew and loved. I still have a list of classics I plan to introduce to my kids. But along the way, they embraced our reading challenge and started searching for books they could bring to the table. While we can't possibly love every book we read, I do find it incredibly exciting to share every one of these books - old or new, great or not-so-great - with my boys. It's been a good six months of reading. Looking forward to the next six months and more!