Catching Fire – the second act of the Hunger Games trilogy

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book two in the Hunger Games series isn’t quite as fast-paced as book one. Consider it like a three act play (like many Hollywood movies).

This second act does what it needs to do and sets up what will come in book three.

It’s a good book and a worthy series. This one helped to lay out some of the political considerations and perhaps that is the reason why it isn’t quite as strong as the first book.

My kids definitely liked it. They have come to understand a bit of the world through these books.

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Encyclopedia Brown — Sherlock Holmes for the kids in us

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Encyclopedia Brown, #1)Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a classic…to me anyway. Growing up I rarely read. My parents didn’t force me to. I remember reading this one, though.

My local used bookstore had this book and I bought it to read out loud to my kids, our nightly habit. Reading it brings back some memories. My kids are enjoying it.

Encyclopedia Brown stories are fairly short and they are mysteries. Readers try to solve them based on the clues planted in the stories.

The answers to the mysteries are in the back of the book and we find ourselves flipping back and forth to be certain the clues are there or to find the clues that we missed.

I’d say it’s a good story to help children notice details…probably adults, too!

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Granny Torrelli – the unpaid labor of seniors

Granny Torrelli Makes SoupGranny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am reading this to my kids before sleep. I do this about thirty minutes every night. I usually try to play voices.

This is a great read aloud story! I only do a hint of the Italian, not the parody, so I only add a bit of an -a to Granny’s voice. Mostly it’s in the rhythm of Creech’s dialogue.

My kids are into it. They understand the emotional nature of the story. Rosie is so honest with how she feels!

I’m not yet done, but I am looking forward to the last fifteen pages. It hass been a fun, short read.

I got it at the used bookstore, but I noticed it because I had previously considered it for my English 97 class (two levels below 101). I chose Rules, by Cynthia Lord, instead.

Granny Torelli Makes Soup features a character who has a vision impairment. My 97 class is disability themed.

But the point about the unpaid labor of seniors is part of an argument I like to make about why the business definition of economics is incomplete. I have the great benefit of living with grandparents, my wife’s parents. They are in their seventies. They interact daily with my kids and the mutual benefit of the relationship brings economic benefit.

Granny Torelli proves that making soup is unpaid labor.

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