Saturday, August 1, 2009

Scholastic Treasures

There are several classic kidlit books that I somehow missed reading, and I ordered a bunch of them from one of the boys' book order forms early this year. Then I misplaced the bag of books, and came across it a few days ago. I'm trying to pass them on to whichever boy I think most likely to read it, so I'll hopefully have some feedback from Actual Children on some of these children's books. I find it really hard to make my age or grade recommendations, because I can't remember when I read things or whether it mattered. I really like that my kids aren't afraid to read all over the reading spectrum -- they'll read adult texts if the story is worth it, and they'll gobble up Easy Readers that are interesting.

Today I filled in one of the holes in my Newbery collection. Kneeknock Rise, by Natalie Babbitt. I haven't read this Honor Book before, although I've enjoyed her Devil's Storybooks and Tuck Everlasting. Her books are interesting and simple stories with often fascinating philosophical underpinnings. The main character, Egan, visits the town that celebrates the terrifying Megrimum, a ravenous beast that lives at the top of the nearby mountain, a peak that is always cloaked in ominous mist. Egan's cousin goads him to climb to the top, where he discovers the true nature of the beast. But is the truth important, or is it irrelevant when the society values the stories it tells more?

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