The Hazards of Reading

In this week’s column I talk about one of the dangers of raising a reader: they develop all sorts of strange ideas.

Case in point: this morning my oldest son’s first words to me were “I need a 19-volt battery so I can do science experiments.” This was at 6:30, while I was ironing my shirt. He’d already been up for 45 minutes, reading Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow. I cautiously asked him if he was planning to build a spaceship with this battery, but he assured me he just wanted to do things with electricity. Which sounded so much safer.

Then he stole my wire clothes hanger for use in his project.

I’ve blogged before about our family’s love for books, along with some of our favourites. We make a lot of trips to the library and we still have a hard time keeping up with the Mastermind in particular. We picked out seven new books on Saturday and I think he only has two left.

He’s started reading thicker novels now, which is nice because they take a little bit longer.  I think he’s proudest that he finished off the Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy, which each clock in at more than 400 pages. They’re fun because Shawna and I really enjoy them too.  They’re full of clever writing, intriguing puzzles, and most importantly, four great characters who band together (with a little help from some adults) to save the world.

The sequels don’t quite hold up to the great first book, but the recently released prequel, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, is terrific.

The Mastermind is big into action books, so he really enjoyed The Amazing Adventures of Nate Banks. Part novel, part comic book, these books follow a sixth-grader who suspects his teacher is a superhero.

His most recent find is a series about A Dog Called Grk. It starts with a boy finding a lost dog and goes on to involve shady Eastern Europeans and a prison break, among other things. I read the first two chapters and now I want to read the rest.

If it’s not obvious, I love books for kids this age. I’m glad X has moved up to middle grade readers, because I like having a good excuse to hang out in this section of libraries and bookstores. “I’m looking for books for my kid.” Sort of.

So what are your family’s favourite books?

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One response to “The Hazards of Reading

  1. Probably shouldn’t let him know I go for walks when reading if he is already walking around the house. Though if he continues to read and walk he should get quicker at the walking while reading.

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