A month or so ago I wrote a post declaring that I wanted to start reading again.
Before I had kids I used to read all the time.
Then the kids came, and they kept coming, and I didn’t have the time or the desire or the energy to read anything for a sustained period of time.
But now I do, and I have actually followed through on this and I’ve been reading on a consistent basis.
One day a couple weeks ago Number 4 walked into the living room where I was sitting on the couch reading and she exclaimed, “MOM! YOU’RE READING!!!”
She was so excited. Like, genuinely thrilled to see me reading.
Because the only thing that Number 4 loves more than swimming is reading.
She is a voracious reader. She never travels anywhere without a book.
And she is usually reading at least two or three books at a time.
Back in my teaching days, I was in touch with the books that kids her age were reading because I was reading them right along with them.
But it’s been thirteen years since I was in the classroom.
Number 4 wants to tell me about every single books she’s reading. In extreme detail. I don’t have a whole lot of patience for it.
Especially when I have no idea what she’s talking about since I haven’t read the book.
I was thinking a lot about this recently because I realize it is harder and harder to spend quality, one-on-one time with the kids.
And I thought, I bet Number 4 would really like it if I read some of the books that she’s reading.
It would also be a way for me to be involved with her, even if we aren’t physically doing something together at the same time.
So I asked her to recommend a book. And then I read it.
And then I had another thought…
Since Number 4 loves to read and talk about the books she’s read so much, I asked her if she’d be interested in writing a regular book review for the blog.
I’d be killing a few birds with one stone.
Of course she jumped at the opportunity.
And so, I am pleased to present to you, the first installment of the new feature here at Not Your Average Mom…
The mother/daughter book review!
The first book we read together to review is Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.
Number 4’s review:
Melody Brooks is your average 5th grader, except she can’t walk, talk or even really control her movements! Melody has a disorder called cerebral palsy that affects her body but not her mind. She is the smartest kid in school and no one knows it!
It’s starting to drive her out of her mind.
My favorite part of the book was when Melody proves herself to her teacher and her classmates by doing something nobody thought she was able to do and she finally gets a chance to be more normal and even make friends. I like this part because I love when someone proves to themselves they can do something or does something nobody thinks they can do. This is exactly what happened to Melody.
I can’t even name all the reasons I recommend this book! It’s amazing! Out Of My Mind is heartwarming, sad, and exciting, all at the same time, and you will fall in love with Melody Brooks and her family.
I had no idea what this book was about when I started reading it, and I was pleasantly surprised!
It’s the first book I’ve ever read that was written from the viewpoint of a differently abled person, and I have to admit, it gave me many opportunities to pause and think about my perceptions and assumptions of people.
There were also some significant plot twists I did not see coming, so it wasn’t completely predictable, even for a book written for middle school students.
I LOVE that it presents a picture to my daughter of how capable and underestimated people can be, and I believe it has helped teach Number 4 (and Number 3 because he read it, too) a couple things about how they treat all of their classmates.
On another note, I love being more in touch with what my daughter is reading and thinking about.
And last night at swim practice, I asked the kids who practice with Number 4 if they had read this book.
Two of the girls immediately yelled, “I LOVE THAT BOOK!” and then we had a quick conversation about what we all loved the most.
Highly recommended by Number 4 and me (and her friends)!
If your fourth, fifth or sixth grader hasn’t read this one yet, encourage them to put it on their list of books to read!
And put it on yours, too! You won’t be disappointed, and there is a message in there, no matter what age you are.
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