Sunday, 1 December 2013

What Bill's reading

Bill's turning 9 next week. Halfway to a grown up. Considerably less than that until he thinks he's a grown up. Gulp, sniff and coo-how-did-that-happen? in equal measures.

I don't often blog about what he likes to read but that's mainly because what he likes to read is pretty canonical. You'll have heard of what he likes. He likes to tick off series; sometimes in a devouring-can't get-enough-way (How to Train Your Dragon), sometimes in a dutiful-this-must-be-FINISHED-for-credibility-way (Percy Jackson). Some books he reads fast,almost in a single sitting (Tom Gates, any David Walliams, Guy Bass, Wimpy Kid) some take him weeks and bog him down a little (poorly edited 5th Harry Potter j'accuse). Some books are apparently too 'old' for him but he loves (Wonder) and I'm delighted to say he'll still happily read those too 'young' for him too. He wrote a book review about 'Hug' a month ago for school. It was pasted on the wall next to one for 'Stormbreaker' by an overly sophisticated classmate which tickled me.

He starts books and stops them. His bed is surrounded by possibilities, choices, some begun and abandoned permanently, some just waiting for the right moment, some in a patient queue. My bed is the same. Everyone has the right to be a flaky, distractable, occasionally impatient  reader I reckon. At the moment he's mainly reading 'Silverfin' but seems also to have finished a Lemony Snicket or two and be dabbling with a compendium of entertaining deaths called 'Dreadful Fates'. He likes to treat us to treasures from the last at the dinner table.

I read to him. We've just finished Jane Johnson's 'The Secret Country'; the first in a trilogy. With definite shades of Narnia in a contemporary setting; it's a funny adventure story of a boy who discovers his 'Other World' destiny by way of a talking cat and an incarcerated dragon. Nothing especially revolutionary but who needs revolution? He or I or a mixture of the two of us'll read the next two eventually. First, as it's Advent, 'The Box of Delights' is calling; another book passed down to read by my dear dad. Christmas's past will be brought into focus, cue more sobbing.
And how long do I get to carry on reading to him? Forever I hope against hope.

There's one thing that Bill reads every, every week without fail which is also celebrating a sort of birthday: The totally marvellous 'Phoenix Comic' has its 100th issue out this week. The only independent comic to have achieved such a feat in 40 years; it's ad-free quality story telling of the highest order and mighty pretty to boot. Every Friday it arrives in the post and I sneak it out of its envelope to have a read over my lunchtime soup and cheese before resealing it. Then Bill gets home from school and pounces and doesn't even turn on the telly until he's finished it.


Happy Birthday Bill. Happy Birthday Phoenix.

Happy reading = happy reader. (and of course a Wagon Wheel never goes amiss either)

And here's a sample of The Phoenix if you want some happy reading of your own.

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