The Velveteen Daughter

When I was little, The Velveteen Rabbit was one of my favorite stories so I had to pick up The Velveteen Daughter. HAD TO.

I didn’t know a darn thing about Margery Williams, except that she wrote a bunch of children’s books long before I was born. I didn’t know she had kids. Or, that her daughter was a child prodigy. Or any damn other thing about her. And while this book is primarily about her daughter, I learned a lot about Margery Williams. So interesting.

About her daughter, Pamela Bianco… what a heartbreaking story! (The book IS fiction but it’s based on news accounts and personal correspondence.)

March Book 3

I finished John Lewis’s March series. Book 3 was just as well-written and well-drawn as the first two books in the series. If you and your kids have not read this series, do it now.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids

Here’s another one I spent a long time reading, in bits and pieces when I happened to have a spare minute or two. It was not as detailed as the Ultimate Guide (obviously, since it’s like half the size) but it has all of the basic info you need. What it didn’t have was extra info about WDW with kids. So… buy the Ultimate Guide, instead.

The Selection

TW read The Selection ages ago. It was just some random YA romance she picked up at the library and I never expected to read it. When she finished, instead of putting it into the return bag, she put it back on the shelf and said it was surprisingly good… for what it was.

When I needed a quick and easy book, in between Disney World trips, I picked it up. And it was good, considering what it was about. (The prince chooses his bride from a “selection” of his subjects, one from each region – kind of like that Bachelor TV show.)

What I hated was the end. I didn’t realize it was a series and was thrown for a loop when it didn’t END PROPERLY. Gah. Now I feel like I have to read the next book but I’m afraid that it’s going to drag this out for many books and I’m not sure I can handle that. I do really kind of want to know how it ends, though. Gah.

Shades of London 1 & 2

Maureen Johnson is awesome and I really enjoyed the first and second books in the Shades of London series — though I do admit to being a little frustrated with Rory in the second book (The Madness Underneath.) TW particularly enjoyed Johnson’s descriptions of rain in London – spot on.

I just downloaded the free prequel, The Boy in the Smoke and I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in the series. UPDATED 10/28: I read The Boy in the Smoke prequel. It was excellent!

Salt to the Sea

We listened to Salt to the Sea (a YA Cybil) on audio and it took awhile. It’s tough to listen to this kind of book on audio – the subject matter is SO depressing and it’s not really something you are dying to listen to while driving to/from Walt Disney World, ya know?

It was well-written, good character choices and development, good ending (you know what I mean, since there really aren’t good endings to WWII historical fiction), and it’s definitely worth reading.

TW says it’s going to be a movie. I hope they do the book justice and don’t turn it into a WWII version of Titanic. I really hope they don’t do that. Maybe you should read the book before the movie comes out, just in case.

The Voyage to Magical North

Another middle grade fantasy Cybil, The Voyage to Magical North was ok. I wanted to really love it but didn’t particularly like any of the characters until the end of the book.

Maybe I don’t love pirates? Or maybe I don’t love pirate satire for kids? I don’t know, this one just didn’t do it for me. (If you read the next book in the series, I’d love to know why Brine sneezes(d) around magic.)

Reading in September

Oops. Midway through October and I’m just posting the September totals. I thought for sure I could get this tiny post published while in Orlando, I should have known better.

12 books in September
10 were YA or Middle Grade fiction/scifi/fantasy
4 of those were Cybils
1 fiction
1 non-fiction

Shadow Magic and Dream Magic

Shadow Magic is the Cybil, Dream Magic is the sequel. We read them back to back and very quickly. We’d have read another if there was one.

At first, I thought this was going to be just another middle grade fantasy with female characters in the supporting role — turns out, that’s not the case at all. (Though there are more male characters than female, obviously. Because magic is against the law for women and men are the adventurers, etc.)

Good series, the giant bat is cool and so is the troll (I wonder if she’ll be in the next book or if she’s going home. I hope she sticks around.) I’m not a huge fan of the zombies but you can’t have everything, can you?

The Unofficial Guide to Disney World

I finally finished The Unofficial Guide to Disney World it took many, many weeks — because this is a MONSTER book, (864 pages.) OK, fine. I didn’t read the part about sports at WDW and I just skimmed the section on Universal rides because I am not going to Universal any time soon and when I decide to go, I will read the Unofficial Guide to Universal… or join the Universal Touring Plans site… but I read every other word in the book.

I was pleased with just how much I already knew and how often I was able to say “oops, that’s not true anymore.” Which brings me to the only problem with this book. Because so many things at WDW don’t really change from year to year, some of the content in the book is identical to the content from the year before. That’s fine, it makes sense to not reinvent the wheel. However, there were some bits of info that weren’t accurate and hadn’t been accurate since what feels like before the book went to the publisher. I can’t remember what those things are but there were definitely two or three times when I said, wow – that’s not just a little outdated, it is really outdated.

I definitely recommend the book. And, then join Touring Plans and the Lines app. (Now I’m moving on to read the version for families taking children to WDW. lol)