The Week In Books 2008, No. 1

Honestly, talking about “giftedness” kind of makes me uncomfortable. In my experience, most people don’t like the idea that some people get labeled gifted while others don’t. I understand that in a sense, because I think God gives people different gifts and abilities and that doesn’t make anyone better than anyone else. However, I do think there is value in recognizing that some kids might need a little extra enrichment or academic challenge. Reading Some of My Best Friends Are Books
was really interesting for me, because it validated some of the things I know about myself and the way I learn, and also made me feel a little less weird because apparently other kids have coped in school the way I did. At one point when I was reading this book I actually asked my mom if she had submitted anecdotes from experiences my brother and I had, because I couldn’t believe other kids had been in the same boat.

All that to say, this book has a lot of helpful insights if you think you might have a gifted kid on your hands. The topics covered, however, would be useful and applicable to kids on all levels. I think any kid can be a reader, and any kid would benefit from having parents care what he is reading and taking time to talk to him about what he’s learning. Although I think homeschooling lends itself most readily to the task of interacting with children over books, the book itself dealt mostly with how to help your kid get the most out of public school situations and in the limited time you’d have at home if your child is at school all day.

Beyond the information about giftedness and how to have great discussions with children of all levels about books, Some of My Best Friends Are Books also has lists of recommended books on different levels from pre-school through high school, including what topics are covered and ideas for how to discuss the book.

Daughter of Fortune is the book club selection for January, and I’m sad that I’ll miss the meeting because I think this book lends itself well to discussion. I enjoyed the unusual writing style, although at times it was a little odd and choppy. Be forewarned, there are a few adult scenes that might be disturbing – some of them are weird and one was totally unnecessary, but you can skip it and not miss anything.

The book covers great themes like what it meant to be a woman in the mid 1800s in China, Chile, and California, the nature of love, and the concept of being on a quest/looking for something you don’t really want/longing for something you never really had.

Currently Reading:
Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, Matthew, Acts
“Stuart Little” by E.B.White out loud to Hannah and Jack
“Before Five In A Row” by Jane Claire Lambert

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