I'm in agony right now, the kind caused by wanting to finish a book and not being able to. We have a budding reader in this house who while he enjoys me reading to him prefers not to read himself. To entice him into more reading I picked up two different series. The first was Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. We've read ten chapters as a family and I'm hooked, the kind where you want to finish all three books in a weekend. BUT I CAN'T. First and foremost, I'm suppose to be finishing packing up my house before I leave for vacation and our big move. The house is in complete shambles, and me hiding in a corner isn't going to help. Secondly, when I did sneak off to a corner to read I got caught, once by Dr. J and once by Little E. Both gave me a tongue lashing about reading without them...and so I'm stuck, stuck at the pace of three chapters a night, all we can squeeze in as we prepare to move. The story is a pure delight, it follows the orphan boy Peter on his way to Rundoon to be the slave of a King, the villainous pirate Stache chasing down the "greatest treasure ever sent to sea", and the 14 year old heroine Molly, because sometimes you want a girl around for more than romance and fluff. The dialogue is fun and the pace is fast. There is the occasional innuendo that make Dr. J and I raise our eyebrows and laugh but so far the action and plot are very age appropriate for our children. This series is a joy to read out loud and I can't wait for vacation so I can finish it.
The other series I picked up was the part of the Magic Tree house. This follows the adventures of a brother/sister pair who travel through books in a magic tree house to learn about history and the world. The negative, the plots are exceptionally repetitive. As a parent, they can get so boring. The positive, the plots are exceptionally repetitive :) Great for early, developing readers. There is a picture probably every fourth or fifth page and even Gigi and Peach enjoy walking around with these, flipping through for pictures "reading". Not as fun as Starcatcher, but definitely have their place.