Wednesday, September 07, 2022

What we're reading

I had this thought that I should do posts about what we're currently reading...but I also know that I'm simply too scatterbrained to hunt down cover images and so forth (although that would probably make this post a lot more interesting) or to keep up with this in the long run (though perhaps one day when my thesis isn't looming over me). Anyway...

We are reading aloud Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley. By way of introduction we read She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton, which stayed very true to the information in the forward of Frankenstein. I also picked up a graphic novel of Frankenstein (edited by Jason Colby), which most of the kids have read, though I haven't read it yet, so they know what's going to happen while I...don't. They're being very good about spoilers.

What's extra fun (and unusual for us) is that Andrew listened to it during his commute the last little while, so he's able to hop in on discussions as well. It's not often we're all reading the same book at once (though now Andrew has finished and we have not)!

Zoë is (and soon Benjamin will be) also reading Wonder by J. R. Palacio, which is an interesting pairing with Frankenstein. They're reading this on their own, but Rachel, Miriam, and I have all read it so it's made for some good discussions. 

Those two just finished reading and writing book reports for My Name is Sally Little Song by Brenda Woods and The Storm Before Atlanta by Karen Schwabach to enrich their Georgia studies curriculum. We read Freedom Train by Evelyn Coleman as a group while they were reading these books separately. (Miriam is still supposed to pick one of the books to she better jump on that).

I saw Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody by Rick Walton and Nathan Hale at the library and had to get it. Alexander loves it. Of course, this meant that we had to pull out our copy of Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, since this Frankenstein book is a parody on Madeline

And, since it's September—and at Alexander's insistence (because we're all looking forward to fall (we went for a walk this evening I remarked how nice and cool it was, and Andrew checked the weather and said, "It's 85 degrees!" which only gives you an idea of how sweltering it's been...but also 85°F is about my happy spot))—I lugged our fall-themed books up from the basement. So we spent some time digging around in there this evening. Alexander chose Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and The Old Witch Finds a New House by Ida DeLange. Both books featured a broom stick breaking as a major plot point, which Alexander found interesting. 

He said, "These books have some similarities!"

And that made me laugh. Because...these big words still just sound so funny coming out of his mouth. 

He approached Andrew earlier in the week and said, "Dad, in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein..." and then told him something about what we'd read. But introducing it as 'Mary Shelly's?' It's just so funny for a four-year-old to walk around saying that. 

He also asked if I could help him figure out how to write an ampersand...using the word ampersand. 

As four-year-olds do.

For my benefit (and for the benefit of the children who I know will read this tomorrow), ampersand "is a corruption of and (&) per se and, which literally means "(the character) & by itself (is the word) and." 

So  [ampersand = and + per +se + and] and just means that & by itself means 'and.'

We already knew that '&' was a ligature of 'e' and 't' together because [e + t = et] and [et = and], but we couldn't remember the etymology of the word ampersand, itself. I suppose we'll remember tomorrow.

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