Reading Aloud

Gregory K. at GottaBook has a great post on reading aloud to children: A little library business. I completely recognize the incredible feeling when a group of children are all listening as hard as they can, caught up in the story being told. It is quite a rush to realize not only the power of the reader but the power of the read-aloud.
A large part of this tingle and success is picking the right book for the right crowd at the right time. Another part is being a good reader. Now I love to read aloud to children, make silly voices, ask them to be silly too, sing along, and much more. But when I see a great reader I know that I am only a pretender. They can capture children with the wrong book, at the wrong time. They can make words that would be stilted in my mouth come out dancing.
But never fear! You need not be a master reader to be a success. You can be like me, a fairly good reader who really enjoys children and books and doesn’t fear being a fool. That is enough to create that magical tingle that those master readers can pull from nothing and we must wait for that perfect melding of audience and book. But what a tingle it is, definitely worth striving for.

Where's My Darling Daughter

Where’s My Darling Daughter? by Mij Kelly and Katharine McEwen.

Poppa Bombola looks in the bed for his darling daughter, but he can’t find her.  As he searches around the farm, he repeats, “I know I put her somewhere safe.  Oh where’s my darling daughter?”  On the second or third page, kids will notice the darling daughter dangling on her daddy’s back in a baby carrier.  All ends happily of course, but not until all the children will be able to chorus the refrain along with the reader. 

The writing has rhythm and rhyme, carrying the reader as you race around the farmyard.  The art is child-friendly, filled with color and action.  It will project well for a crowd of children, and plays equally well as a lap book. 

This one is great fun.  Perfect for reading aloud as a silly finish to a story time on fathers or farms.  I guarantee giggles galore! 

Born to Rock

Born to Rock
by Gordon Korman.

This is another teen novel that I heard great things about and simply had to read.  Korman is one of my favorite authors, and I was not let down by this one.  It may be one of his very best to date.

Leo is a member of the Young Republicans, has a 4.0 grade point average and has an early acceptance to Harvard.  His life is mapped out and he is ready for it.  But when he stands up against a principal who is trying to ruin the record of another student, Leo instead finds himself the target.  Accused of cheating, his flawless record now has a black mark, and he is kicked out of not only the Young Republicans but also his Harvard scholarship.  In a fluke, Leo discovers that his biological father is the infamous punk rock star, King Maggot.  Leo decides that King is the way to get his Harvard tuition, so he joins King in his punk-rock tour of the United States until they receive the results of the official paternity test.  On the tour, Leo discovers that he has a lot more in common with King that he had expected.

Korman’s writing is always effortless in its skill.  He incorporates a great sense of humor into his books, and many parts of this novel will have readers chuckling along.  I enjoyed the pairing of a conservative teen with a rock and roll elder, and the situations that it created.  This entire book was great fun, cover to cover.

Recommend this one to boys and girls alike who enjoy music of any kind.  I think it would make a great pairing with Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, another music-based novel from this year.