Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May Mother Daughter Book Club -- The Birthday Ball

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry: Book Cover
 The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
My Enjoyment Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Daisy Daughter rating:  B+
Group rating:  B+
Book Source:  Public library

Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with her pampered life, so she switches places with her housemaid, Tess. After swapping her finery for a drab brown dress and kicking off her shoes, “Pat” embarks on a day as a village school girl. “Pat” also is avoiding her dreaded “Birthday Ball” where she must choose a suitor between three ghastly prospects. Luckily, this fairy tale doesn’t turn out in the predictable manner, thanks to an orphan, a handsome school master, and a plucky princess.

This was our final Mother/Daughter book club selection for the school year. Even though we only had 3 pairs of mothers/daughters (I think everyone is in “summer” mode already) – it was one of our better discussions. The girls shrieked over the descriptions of the nasty intendeds – an ogre who had never seen his face in a mirror, a gigolo with a bad case of dandruff, and a pair of potty-talking conjoined twins. We had an interesting discussion about what is “beautiful” and appearances can be deceptive. We also compared this book to The Willougbys – the other Lois Lowry book we read this year and loved. The girls could definitely see the similarities with the other book, but liked The Willougbys better. As a mom, I LOVED Ms. Lowry’s use of vocabulary – she is brilliant in weaving words like haberdashery, adroitly, galoomph -- into her narrative and making them seem accessible to an emerging reader. Her use of satire and humor is also particularly appealing to both adult and tween, alike.

Last year we TRIED to meet over the summer months, and everyone’s schedules were so hectic, it never happened. So we all agreed that we would take a hiatus over the summer.

But I am proud to say…that we have completed our second full year as a mother/daughter book club!

5th grade – here we come!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Seeing Double

Surely, they could have found another stock photo?

Long Drive Home by Will Allison: Book Cover
Long Drive Home by Will Allison

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine: Book Cover

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (also, National Book Award Drive Home trying to ride their coat-tails of literary success?).

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ready, set, go!

In fewer than three weeks I will be leaving my post as PTA president of my children's elementary school.

It's been an amazing year -- but I couldn't have done it without my amazing executive board members.

So -- I'm now in a quandary about what kind of thank you "gift" I should get them for their service to me and our school...I need your suggestions!  Any ideas or thoughts??

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Where is my mojo?

After tornadoes, power outages, downed trees in my yard, and flooding, Mother Nature's wrath really zapped my reading mojo.  It's taken me weeks to get back to normal, and the "importance" of blogging and reading just seems so, well, trivial.   I've been nursing I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith since before the Royal Wedding (castles, the English countryside, romance -- seemed like a good literary choice for all the pageantry across the pond), but reading by candlelight is a VERY difficult endeavor!  And I just can't seem to make head way.  It came so HIGHLY recommended and one I should have LOVED from the beginning.  I will finish's just a matter of when.

So, if you find my mojo, would you please float it back in my direction, it's probably stuck between Little Rock and Memphis on the flooded portions of I-40.
May 4: Two girls ride a tractor through a flooded intersection in Des Arc, Ark.