Truth or twaddle

Did you know that boys and girls think completely different?!? I have learned, at times the hard way, that the differences are evident in something as simple as literary preferences.

One of my favorite activities with my kids is reading. We enjoy huddling together over a good book for a family read aloud. As the kids mature in interests and require less illustrations, I’ve had increased excitement in adding chapter books to our reading time. I have a long list of classical books I want to share with them.

Last year, I learned the hard way, that boys just don’t like certain books. They suffered through 100 Dresses, and even recognized the life lessons it offered. We didn’t get many chapters into In Grandma’s Attic before it was clear to me they had not heard a word I read and were instead thinking about the next miniature Lego weapon they wanted to build.

This year, dad and the boys have been reading chapter books during bedtime reading. They’ve read through the Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit. They have renewed interest in chapter books!!

At the library this week, I was thrilled when Magoo asked if we could find a chapter book to read during school time. I knew I needed to choose wisely. I passed over Little Women. I passed over Anne of Green Gables. Then, I saw it. Paddle To The Sea!

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As a child I had seen a movie of Paddle To The Sea. I had no idea there was a book. Magoo agreed to my selection and we’ve begun reading the book this week. We are thoroughly enjoying tracking Paddle’s route on the map and guessing if he will make it to the sea and how long it might take.

Once we finish the book, later next week, we’ll watch the movie on youtube. It’s always fun to hear the observations the kids make on how a movie compares to a book.

We strive to select books that fall into the Charlotte Mason category of ‘living books.’ Before we again explore our library’s section of chapter books, I’ll be visiting the bookfinder at Simply Charlotte Mason. I’ll be careful to choose titles that sound boyish…..well, at least until Little Bear gets just a bit bigger.

I welcome suggestions. What are your favorite books and/or authors??


  1. Love the definition of a boy. Too funny! We love reading aloud as well. My two little men are 7 and 9 and just for fun I asked them their favorites: Adam of the Road and The Sign of the Beaver! Our all time favorites though have been Patricia St.John’s The Star of Light and The Treasures of the Snow. We are presently reading The Secret Garden. Spring time makes us in the mood for a visit with Mary and Dickon……everyone loves it!

    1. Thanks! That is my second suggestion for The Sign of the Beaver, so I clearly need to get that!! 🙂 My boys declined The Secret Garden when they saw a “girl” on the cover. I’ve learned they are more open when it’s dad’s evening read aloud time, so I’m putting it in his stack. He’s about to start them on the Little House on the Prairie series.

  2. My boys enjoyed The Wind in the Willows. Surprisingly they also enjoyed The Secret Garden. Chronicles of Narnia is very popular here as well.

    1. Oh, yes, I forgot about The Magician’s Nephew (the first of the Chronicles). THey loved this one!! I keep forgetting about it. I want to read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe too! I keep forgetting. Thank you!

  3. My kids loved Tom Sawyer. We also read Peter Pan and Robin Hood. Two terrific reads. Presently we are reading twenty one balloons. So far they like it. :). Don’t give up. ( oh, alsoy son read peak and loved it too!)

    1. Twenty one balloons, by Du Bois? I’ve not read it yet so would like to hear what you think of it when you’re done. If you don’t post about it, I’d really appreciate if you’d contact me with what you think. 🙂 Did you find illustrated versions of Peter Pat and Robin Hood that were unabridged? Thank you so much for your input!!!

      1. I found an illustrated Peter Pan. I believe it was called Peter Pan and Wendy. It had AMAZING illustrations! Robin Hood we listened too through an audio book. I will keep you posted about 21 balloons. So far, they love it. In fact, tonight they all asked me to read it to them.

  4. IN Grandma’s Attic is such a great story. Have you read The Sign of the Beaver? My 11 year old son has moved this to the top of his favorite chapter book list. I hope you’ll consider adding this to my end of the week link up. -Savannah

    1. Thank you!! I’m new to weekly link ups and really like the idea. I actually saw your site last night and think I added my link….if I did it correctly. Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ve not heard of Sign of the Beaver and will be looking for it 🙂

  5. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

    1. Thanks sis! The boys have read a bit of Tom Sawyer in small early readers and really enjoy his antics. We have both of these on our list to watch for full versions. We’re trying to find classics with “some” illustration but most are just in abridged versions.

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