Lately, we've had lots of time to read because winter has lost, shall we say, a touch of its thrill. Of course, we do enjoy our outside time around here, but now in these waning days of February, with the snowpants mostly covered in mud (but unable to be abandoned on account of the remaining snow), we spend less time out, and more time in, 'recovering' in front of the fire with good books, hot cocoa and popcorn.
Kids' favorites include a variety of chapter books, especially Jack and Annie in The Magic Tree House series, Wishbone the Dog in an adventure about Beowulf, and The Artemis Fowl series, adventurous and funny books about an Irish boy and his obsession with faeries.
Luke and Owen devour graphic novels by the bagful since our library gave this genre its own shelf a few months ago; graphic versions of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Shrek, the Incredibles, and the Star Wars Clone Wars series top their lists right now.
When they want more than a book, but not quite a full-blown unit study, we pull out the Lithgow Paloozas Boredom Blasters, kits with great ideas that children ages 5(-ish) and up can do mostly themselves, and that younger kids enjoy at their own level, too. I first blogged about the Boredom Blasters back last February, when we visited my folks in the Rocky Mountains, and they continue to thrill us all now. Thank you, John Lithgow!
I'm learning about randomness and probability in a great, readable book by Leonard Mlodinow, The Drunkard's Walk. I say readable because, while I'm not a big math person and therefore not a likely candidate to comprehend probability-speak, Mlodinow makes the concepts of probability understandable and - more importantly, I think - pertinent to my life. I have laughed out loud while reading this book, reason enough to endorse it, but I learn as well while I read.
The books that have obsessed me most this winter, though, at least until I finished the fourth in the series and must now wait until the author publishes the next, are those in the 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' series; the first is called The Lightning Thief. These books, about modern day teenage demi-gods, have taught me almost as much about Greek mythology as Luke knows from reading the myths themselves. Author Rick Riordan brings the gods to light, for anyone interested in Greek mythology, but even if you're not they are just great, light reading.
So, these are the books that we've been obsessed with this winter; any books you can't put down? Tell me about them, and happy reading!