March 3, 2015


My nine year old niece recommended Laura Amy Schlitz's Splendors and Glooms and I am so glad she did!!  First Miriam read it and loved it and then I read it and loved it.  It is a Dickensian novel for upper elementary/middle school (but delightful for all ages).  It has some dark magic in it but nothing too creepy.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and put it in my basket at amazon to make sure I add it to my collection.  You might be familiar with this author.  She wrote Good Masters! Sweet Ladies: Voices from a Medieval Village, which won the Newbery.  She also wrote The Hero Schliemann: The Dreamer who Dug for Troy--one of my children's very favorite biographies.  In short, we're going to make sure all of Ms. Schlitz's books wind up on our bookshelf.  She's fabulous.

We listened to Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke on audio book awhile ago and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.  So much so that I bought a copy for Emeline (age 8) for Christmas.  Since then she's read it twice (that I know about--sometimes I sleep and miss things) and has declared it her "favorite book ever."  If you have a child in elementary school who likes humorous adventure stories, I recommend this one.

We had Freight Train by Donald Crews when Cowen was a baby/toddler, but it was destroyed as only truly beloved books can be destroyed.  I figured Oskar would like it as much as my other kids had and so I gave it to him for Christmas.  It hasn't replaced Babies by Gyo Fujikawa as his favorite book, but it is a very close second.  My children were overjoyed when Oskar unwrapped the book because they all remember it and love it.  The best Christmas book reaction, though, was when Oskar unwrapped Jamberry, another book that was destroyed out of sheer love, and Miriam grabbed it right out of Oskar's hands and squealed, "Jamberry!" in pure delight.  Awesome.  

My dad loaned me Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and I loved it.  I rarely read adult books, truth be told, as YA was always my happy place, but I'll be purchasing this book for my library.  I loved everything about it.  

I am always so, so, so, so excited when one of my children read one of my favorite books and love it as much as I do.  Miriam just finished Sabriel, my favorite Garth Nix book.  She then promptly read the sequel the next day.  She loved it, I love it, anyone who likes fantasy will love it.  Read it.  Gold Star Book.


  1. Your nine-year-old neice??? Don't you mean your 31-year-old sister??

  2. Actually Kate, I checked it out of the library on Hazel's recommendation and read it because you, Hazel, and Miriam all raved about it so much. You definitely played a part, if that makes you feel better.