My son and I continued our Walter Dean Myers read-alouds with Game. The storyline will be familiar to those who have read many Myers novels: lots of basketball (more in-game play-by-plays than in any of his other novels I’ve read so far), obligatory wise adult who shares life lessons, supportive parents, annoying but lovable little sibling, and a couple of conflicts to keep things interesting. In this case, the conflict centers on Drew’s relationship with Tomas, one of two new white players on his team, who is getting the attention and playing time Drew thinks that he deserves. If Drew is as good as he says he is, it might be a mystery why he keeps riding the bench–but he struggles to play team ball. Drew also has college decisions to make–or rather, colleges have decisions to make about him, and he worries that he won’t get an offer to play.
I liked A Boy Called Bat, the story of a boy on the mild end of the autism spectrum who struggles with personal relationships but connects deeply with animals. His mother, a vet, brings home an orphaned skunk kit who needs his care. I would have liked to learn more about skunks and taking care of orphaned wild animals: there was just enough to get me really interested but not enough to satisfy my curiosity. Instead, quite a lot of plot time is spent on Bat’s daily routine and interactions with family, teachers, and peers. The connection between what Bat learns through taking care of Thor and what he needs in order to be more successful in his personal relationships is there, but I thought it could have been a little more explicitly drawn and explored.
My son was looking through a stack of books his reading tutor had selected for him and saw this, which he gave me to read because he knows my love of cheetahs (my favorite animal–along with sloths–go figure!). I set aside my own book to read this immediately: it’s important to reward nascent book pushing and book match-making! This is a straightforward factual book about cheetahs, rather dry, but informative, with excellent photography.
Jeff Mack has just one little word to use in this text and gets so much funny from it. I should have expected the twist but found it a delightful surprise instead.
Spare, lyrical, evocative, just plain lovely, Deborah Freedman’s new book is pretty close to picture book perfection. Possibly a title that will have more adult appeal, though I think the illustrations will be very appealing to young readers (and there’s a cat too!). I really liked this book.
I am still a bit behind on #bookaday. Taming my feral cat family of five takes up about three hours a day, but they are coming along nicely. Progress is much slower than I imagined it would be, however. I have worked with what I considered feral kittens before but I realize now that those were just undersocialized kittens, not kittens who had literally had no contact with human beings. These kittens were about eight weeks when they were caught, which is also a bit late to begin taming them. Every little milestone is cause for celebration. I was over the moon this week when one of them FINALLY purred while being pet. You wouldn’t think you’d have to work so hard for a purr! I had imagined I would read aloud to them quite a bit but mostly I just like to sit and observe them. I find their dynamics and behaviors so fascinating. My son says they’re all quite homely, except for Panda, who has the white stripe down his nose, but I think there is something beautiful about each of them. Plus, they do a lot of cute stuff like this: