Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Treasures of Weatherby

Books...Ever since I was a young girl, I have loved a good book. My girls have always loved being read to. I have several photos of Sissy as a toddler with PILES of books around her sitting on the floor leafing through the pages. As Sissy has gotten older she has not been really good about reading books to herself that are her age level. She consistently chooses books that are below her grade level and I think a lot of that is her reading confidence. This year for school I have been requiring her to read books that I leaf through and determine if they are at her level. One book she read was "The Great Escape" by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. She really enjoyed it, so she asked me to get her another by the same author. That is when I found "The Treasures of Weatherby".
When Sissy sat down to read it she said it was "too hard" (which I will admit FOR HER, there were some words that she would not be able to read on her own, but this does not mean that would be so for all 5th graders, she seems to be a bit behind in reading). I thought it sounded like a good book so I decided to do it as a read aloud with all the girls. We are just about done (just 2 chapters left) and the girls LOVE it! It is really a great book.
I have found that many newer authors are writing books about topics that I do not would think are appropriate for my kids to read. I really want to stay away from topics dealing with witchcraft, ghosts, occults, bad language, etc. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a book review site that is similar to the great movie review site, So, I thought I'd start by reviewing some of the books we read together. Sadly, I am not really great at finishing read alouds. We get distracted and the book sits for so long we end up giving up (like The Cricket in Times Square that we started this summer).
It is my goal to be better about read alouds. Especially since my girls have been captivated by the last two that I have finished. BUT, here is the catch. If you have any great book titles to suggest for me, please leave a comment so as to help me find some appropriate books to read to my 5th, 2nd and kindergartners. I'll review them if we finish them and hopefully together we can help other parents find some GREAT, age appropriate books for their children to read to themselves or to read aloud together.
The Treasures of Weatherby follows a home schooled 12 year old (Harleigh the Fourth) through an adventure to prevent a thief from stealing the family treasure. The family treasure is hidden somewhere in the HUGE family home that was built generations ago. Harleigh is wandering the grounds outside the mansion when he meets a friend, Allegra, who proves to bring adventure to Harleigh's otherwise boring life.
This book had my children captivated. I would read a couple chapters and say, "Ok, time to stop" and it was almost always met with, "NO! One more please?" Even by the kindergartners! The author uses great descriptions and my 2nd grader frequently said, "I can see it happening in my head". Great use of vocabulary was used as well. At one point a character does say, "Oh my G*d".
On my quest to find another book by the author I noticed quite a list! While reading through many of the titles and descriptions the books are fantasy books dealing with ghosts, the occult, magic so I'm passing on many of them but there were a couple that did not seem to follow that route. I'm sure virtually any child would enjoy The Treasures of Weatherby.

1 comment:

girlnblack77 said...

I really appreciate this review. I remember reading one of Snyder's books when I was a kid, and how much I enjoyed it. We just started our second year of home-schooling and the girls are in 6th and 8th grades. We visited the library today and snagged this title, and we're looking forward to it. :)