We read the classic My Dog Skip by Willie Morris. I love that this was a non-fiction read for the kids. It took them back to a time when kids ran through their small town community with their friends, growing up together and having adventures without worrying about "predators". Yes, Mr. Morris addressed issues of the time like WW 2 and equality among different races, however, he touched on it as if it were truly through the eyes of a young boy, not an old man recalling his life. Oh, did I hear about it though, for choosing this book. The vocabulary was QUITE IMPRESSIVE and daunting for a few of us! So be warned, if you decide to tackle this book, you can 1) keep a dictionary by your side OR 2) skip the big words and insert your own word OR 3) some of both. I would skip a few, change a few or use the big words and just show my boy how to learn the meaning of the word from its use in the text.
I will say this, I had a hard time getting the movie for our read. The library had one copy. I got it and promptly had to return it. Whoever took it after me, kept it and payed fines because I was number one on the waiting list for two weeks! So the day of book club, I was a bit in a panic. The other copy still hadn't been returned. None of the box stores near me had it, but Barnes & Noble did, so I was off to buy it when I passed a Blockbuster Store. WOW! I didn't even know they were still in business! Would they have it? I looked and looked and looked. On my way out empty-handed, I mentioned the title I was looking for. SOMEHOW I HAD OVERLOOKED IT! So I now have a new Blockbuster Video account. And since it is Spring Break, I think we'll be renting some videos.
The other thing was that no one finished the book (partially due to the vocab, partially due to inability to find the book) except me. So when I mentioned something about how it ended, the moms, wine glasses in hand, were quite alarmed at how their girls would handle it. Sorry. I mean, it is a book written in the 90's about a dog that lived in the 40's - it wasn't hard to predict the ending. And in the movie, as in the book, it was handled delicately and gently and appropriately. So don't let that be a deterrent from reading the book. We needed an upbeat read next, so Harriet the Spy it is!