Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Book Fair

I have a love/hate relationship with the book fair which takes place twice per year at my kids' school.

I love it because, duh, there are tables and tables loaded with stacks of beautiful brand new books calling out to be read. The room even smells of new books. So many of the books look like wonderful reads and I would love to purchase them all for my family.

But that is where the hate part comes in. There are so many books that I want...and can't afford to buy. I feel far more greed and envy at these book fairs than I do during the buy-buy-buy holiday season. It's not pretty, friends.

So, I was able to pick up a few new books yesterday for the kids. One is Peter and the Shadow Thieves, by Barry and Pearson. This is part two of a trilogy of books billing itself as the modern prequel to J.M. Barry's original classic Peter Pan. If you can successfully wrap your mind around that mess of a timeline, you have George Lucas and his Star Wars saga to thank. Anyway, we read the first book in the series, Peter and the Starcatchers, aloud as a family last year and absolutely loved it. After two evenings, we are now seven chapters into this second installment. So far, so good. The suspense is already killing us. The third book is already out, but we will wait until next year's book fair, when we can pick it up in paperback.

For my daughter, I picked up Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker, which appeared to be part Ramona, part Pippi Longstocking. I thought it looked just her speed, starring a precocious third grader who is continually finding herself in one humorously sticky situation after another. I brought it home to her and she polished it off before dinner. "That was great, Mom," she quipped, then added, "but it's really a little too easy for me. I'm ready for something a lot thicker...with smaller words."

The novel I had just purchased to keep my seven-year-old busy for awhile and give her a real sense of accomplishment without too much difficulty had lasted her two hours. Dang. My son came to the rescue and informed me that, as long as the books were still in their original condition, they could be returned within the same day. The cover looked good, barely turned. The pages were all still crisp. I looked at the clock; the book fair would be open for another hour yet. I grabbed the book and my keys and bolted out the door.

The sales people were very friendly and helpful and directed me to The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo. I brought it home, hoping I have a winner here. And although she hasn't had a chance to start it yet, she is very excited. It looks wonderful; I'll keep you informed.

My son went back to the book fair today for one more chance at it before it closed. He had some money saved up and bought himself two more thick and juicy-looking novels. He was so excited to show them to me.

I love my children.


alison said...

It is wonderful when we share each other's passions. So far 2 out of the three are voracious readers over here. Of course I am hoping Eden will be too, part of me wonders how she could avoid it.

Really understand the book lust. The first year we homeschooled when the books arrived I thought why didn't I do this from the beginning? The joy of stacks of new books was such a lovely sight.

I'm glad you were able to indulge a little.

Fair Maiden said...

You mean the book fair lust thing is a common virus? And I've been suffering in secret!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sherry. I'm pretty sure Tano would love Gordan Korman's "On the Run" series. Trey and Luke both LOVED it. 7 books long. Lots of page-turning action and suspense. We heard plenty pleas for "just one more chapter" while reading them. Trey has since read them all to himself several times over. We've got 'em all, so let me know if you want me to drop them in the mail to you guys. Reading is a fav. past time around here, too.


AmberJ said...

I always looked forward to the book fair when I was a kid. We also had Scholastic come to our school 2-3 times a year with a little catalog of books we could buy. I think I was always able to talk my mom into buying me some because she could think of worse things I could be "addicted" to.

concretegodmother said...

haha, our book fair is this week. i've already perused the offerings and set a few aside for myself. teacher's prerogative. (they're for my classroom library.)

you've got a winner with "desperaux" -- definitely! the illustrations make the whole thing worthwhile. he's so CUTE! and it's a good story. and you'll want to read it before the movie comes out later this year.