Thursday, October 18, 2012
For the past year or so our bedtime ritual has consisted of reading a few pages from a chapter book to all three kids before turning out the lights (followed by everyone's grateful lists, of course). I wish I could claim that this has been a successful endeavor, but often the kids' minds wander or they lose interest in the plot. We've had a few triumphs (click here for a one), but we've also abandoned several books before the end.
So I was pretty excited about the enthusiasm all THREE kids showed for Stephen & Lucy Hawking's adventure tale - George's Secret Key to the Universe. Each SHORT chapter ends with some sort of cliff-hanger (sort of like the The Da Vinci Code), so EVERY NIGHT the kids would beg for just a few more pages. And often I would say yes, anxious myself to learn what happened next.
The whole plot is a little preposterous, George befriends a scientist neighbor who possesses a secret computer that can whisk people into outer space - fly on a comet, drop into a black hole, etc. Of course, there are bad guys (anxious to steal the computer) and several life-saving escapades result. Scattered throughout the novel are various pictures and information about outer space, so curious kids can really dive in and learn quite a lot. Or they can just relax and enjoy the story. Either way, I highly recommend reading this book out loud with your children. And I'm glad that we finally had a success in the chapter book department (FINALLY!!).