Tag Archives: reading

Am I Going Senti-Mental?

I love reading. More so than some people, though perhaps not as much as others. I thoroughly enjoy it, but I am not a book-worm who hides away for days or weeks in a book. Well, most of the time. But, I come by it honestly, my mom is an avid reader as well. Not all the same genre as my taste (I doubt you’d find a YA Fantasy in her house, unless I left it there), but she definitely influenced me. And now, my daughters are readers. I must say, not with the same vigour as myself or their grandmother (give it time, I hope!)  Nonetheless, they love and excel at reading. I buy books for myself to read in the hopes that my children will read them and enjoy them as much as I do. I am not into reading extremely gruesome, disturbingly dark, overtly crude books. I tend to stay away from ones that push beyond my comfort levels when it comes to certain topics. I don’t read true murder mysteries, I shy away from true stories in general as they tend to cause me emotional grief. But I most definitely would not have my children reading things that I myself determine to be well within the realms of “adult” themes. I censor the reading material in my house, somewhat. Occasionally I discover some things in my home I never thought my children would read but have realised from the giggles I hear down the hall that they do and they aren’t entirely appropriate (aka bathroom magazines on men’s health or women’s fitness training… definitely have some almost R rated articles in there!) It’s funny how things like that escape my mommy-censor. But hey, they’re fun to read! (Note to self: put those mags in recycling…) Herein lies my conflict.

My oldest just turned 9. Oh man, she thinks she’s 19 that’s for sure, but she has the sensitivities befitting a young girl and the heart of a lion, the compassion of Mother Theresa and the philosophical musings of Buddha. Her questions are deep, profound, hard to answer, full of emotion and all too familiar. She is me, just a few years earlier than I think I was. I was trying to find some books online that would be suitable for her to expand our home library. Ones that wouldn’t cause inner turmoil or incite a 12 hour Q&A on topics a 9-year-old who is prone to irrational fears can’t be enlightened about properly without inadvertently opening many more cans of worms. But, according to my favourite e-book site, the Fiction section for kids 9-12 includes books about living in a polygamist community, life and issues of 17 yr old girl in a divorced family whose mother is intent on remarrying and abandoning her many times, senior girls who find out their boyfriends cheated on them and their friends were murdered… Sigh… Am I going mental? I don’t remember these being the kind of topics I would have been reading at 9-12 years of age. Sure, I read R.L. Stine books and Christopher Pike, spooky mysteries that were watered down but still interesting enough that my mom liked to read them. Sure, in school we read books that were deep and introspective and culturally reflective on society, etc… But that was grade 7 and up… I remember reading the Babysitter’s Club, Ms Teeny Wonderful… Perhaps I just self-censored. Perhaps I just blocked out the ones that caused me strife. Perhaps I am going Senti-Mental. I don’t want my daughter to be drowning in a whirlwind of teen romances, addiction afflictions, psychologically warped individuals who are coping (or not) with disorders that I hope my kids never have to go through, etc… I am a mom and I believe I have now reached the point of understanding my mother’s greying hair. Can you blame me? Maybe I should go ask my mom.

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Play on Words, easy on the mind.

I just finished reading an entertaining book called, “How To Slay A Dragon” by Bill Allen.  A fantastic play on words from beginning to end, this humorous account of one boy’s attempt at triumph over the impossible is a fun, lighthearted read.

A 12 year-old boy named Greg Hart is transported into another world called Myrth, where a prophecy predicts he will slay a dragon and save a princess.  Greg’s only experience in slaying anything is in the stories he makes up in his journals, turning his close encounters with school bullies around into great tales of his mighty victories over giants and ogres.  So, when he finds out what is expected of him, naturally he is adamant that the prophecy must be wrong.  But, in a world where almost every detail of life hinges on constant prophecies predicting the future with accuracy, the citizens are anything but ready to assume there could possibly be a mistake, even though all the evidence and the reknowned dragonslayer named Greatheart is standing before him.

He heard the prophet saying that there had been no mistake.  “Of course, the prohecy was meant for Greghart from Earth.  Why, Greatheart from Myrth just wouldn’t make any sense.”

His encounters in this strange world are simply confusing, even to a boy with a very active imagination.

The creature stood on hind legs like a bear, stretching impossibly far upward, its muscular human-like arms held wide.  Gleaming white fangs curled below its pointed chin, and a row of foot-long daggers jutted out of each paw.  Its bellowing roar shook the entire forest, although the sound was nearly lost beneath the ear-piercing scream Greg offered.

Nathan visibly relaxed and lowered his walking stick to the ground.  “Whoa, I must say that had me scared for an instant.”

My 4 and 6 year old were lost while I tried to read it to them, definitely a slow start for their short attention spans, but it is still a wonderful read if you have a few hours.

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