Our mostly-weekly survey of the tidbits that cross The Nine-Year-Old’s desk. This week, The Nine-Year-Old stumbled across the best book of the entire summer. I’ll give you a hint: it’s one of these three.
A sampling of this week’s books:
- Going Solo by Roald Dahl
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
- Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
Let’s start with Percy Jackson, shall we? Not because it was the best book of the summer (spoiler alert: it wasn’t), or even because I listed it first (ahem), but because when school got out this past spring, The Nine-Year-Old’s third grade teacher had just started reading the Percy Jackson series to her class. As a reader, I’m thrilled that The Nine-Year-Old went on to finish the entire series and is now reading what appears to be a background book full of retellings of the original Greek myths that prompted the Percy Jackson books in the first place. I love it when books lead to other books that cause you to accidentally tumble into learning. (Strong work, Mrs. Davis!)
Moving on… Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH was one of the formative books of my childhood so I was pretty excited when we picked up a copy of it for $1 at Half Price Books last week. I can still remember the sweetness of the rats’ affection for Mr. Frisby after all these years. Sadly, it was not my daughter’s favorite book of the summer, although I like to think it was a contender. But judging by the fact that my daughter did not give it the old cover-to-cover-in-one-afternoon treatment, I could be lying to myself.
And that, by process of elimination, brings us to The Nine-Year-Old’s favorite book of the summer: Going Solo by Roald Dahl. Action! Adventure! Laughs! This book, according to The Nine-Year-Old, has it all. In Going Solo, Roald Dahl shares funny, weird, exciting, and sometimes unsettling anecdotes about his time working for the Shell Oil company in East Africa, and later, his career as an RAF pilot in WWII. It’s this latter bit that has really captured The Nine-Year-Old’s attention. When I asked her if Dahl cops to rumors that he spied on the U.S. for Britain during the War, she simply shrugged and suggested that I read the book for myself. Hmmm, where could she have heard that?
Know who else was a spy during World War II? Julia Child. Yep. Cooking was just something she picked up to keep herself busy after she got married and had to quit the spy life.
In case you also missed it — A sampling of mostly recent news:
- The 10 Best Neighborhood Parks in Chicago (Chicagoist)
- Space probe finds lost Philae lander on comet (CNN)
- Real-life Nessie: Ancient Scottish sea monster finally getting its due (Washington Post)