Monday, September 2, 2013

What We are Reading (Listening to)

Dema (9) and Josie (5) share a bedroom and they always want to fall asleep to an audio book. In fact, we have an audio book on in at least one room probably 8 hours a day. They have one on in the background as the draw, play with Legos, etc.

It can be hard to find something that appeals to both of them. They have different likes and dislikes so we usually try to pick books out together at the library. Sometimes they come to an agreement and other times they pick a book out for each other knowing they won't like it themselves, but it would appeal to their sibling.
This was the case with our current book. Josie picked out The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell when she noticed the picture of Chris Colfer. Dema and Josie both enjoy Glee (we don't own a TV, but they watch episodes on Netflix which usually entails leaving the room until the next song comes on...it is all about the music for Dema). Anyway, I assumed Chris was just the actor hired to read the book, but he wrote it as well. I just hear snippets here and there as I put the kids to bed or what I overheard as they played in their room while listening to the book. Thus, I will let Dema and Josie review it.

Dema's review:  I enjoyed The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell because it is a story packed with adventure, mystery, and romance. Connor (male) and Alex (female) are twelve year old twins and they are the main characters of this book. Alex is the brains of the expedition to find the wishing spell and Connor is brave. Connor does help out in some situations, but throughout the book they have many setbacks. The story kept my attention by adding new twists and depth to familiar storybook characters. I was happy to listen to this book more than once and Chris Colfer's voice added to my enjoyment of his book. Some of the parts of this book may be too dark for younger readers. My little sister was a little scared at different points, but it was fun to listen to The Land of Stories together, especially since the main characters are siblings. I have already asked my mom to request the next book in this series.

Josie's review:  (WARNING - SPOILERS) Alex and Connor find a frog man that is the youngest prince charming and he was scared to let people know who he truly was because he was too embarrassed to show himself. Wolves were trying to get Alex and Connor and that part was scary, but don't worry, they escaped. I liked the part where Snow White helps her step-mother and her love (in the mirror) get away to the next realm. The book was very adventurous and interesting. It was fun to hear it! I can't wait to listen to the next book.
I recently watched Orange is the New Black* on Netflix and I decided to read the book. I found it somewhat entertaining and understandably disturbing. While the obvious privileged viewpoint of the author is somewhat off-putting (as it was in Eat, Pray, Love), her acknowledgment of her background and her fortunate situation compared to many of her fellow inmates made that part more bearable. The Netflix series is very, very loosely based on the book so don't worry if the show was a bit too over the top for you. The main reason I recommend Orange is the New Black is for the stats she quotes and the human faces she puts on the usually forgotten part of our community. Our "justice" system is broken and this book will, hopefully, encourage the reader to delve deeper into these issues.

*If you haven't watched the show yet, it is worth your time for other reasons. I love a show that brings together so many strong actresses in one place and while the sex and violence is what you would expect from the creator of Weeds, it doesn't loose the message and the inmates are more complex than the book portrays them.

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