Our mostly-weekly survey of the tidbits that cross The Nine-Year-Old’s desk. This week, The Nine-Year-Old adds some non-fiction to her reading diet and discovers the joy of fan fiction done well.
A sampling of this week’s books:
- Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure (by Ann M. Martin and Annie Parnell)
- Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age (by Cheryl Bardoe)
- Sideways Stories from the Wayside School (by Louis Sacher)
Done well, fan fiction gives readers a chance to revisit a world populated by beloved characters, long after the original author of that world has stopped writing about it. Done poorly, well, let’s just say that done poorly, fan fiction can provide some excellent teachable moments.
Fortunately for The Nine-Year-Old, her first brush with fan fiction appears to have been a happy one. In Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure, the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s great-niece is the one dispensing innovative cures for a new generation of misbehaving children. Written by a writing team that includes Betty MacDonald’s granddaughter, Missy Piggle-Wiggle captures the gentle humor and inventiveness of the original series.
As far as I know The Nine-Year-Old hasn’t yet finished her non-fiction pick, Mammoths and Mastodons. No doubt she will tell you that that’s only because I wouldn’t let her read it at dinner last night. Undaunted, she found ways to work facts from the book into our conversation. If I hadn’t been distracted by Canelo’s attempt to kidnap my bread, I might actually remember one. That cat is really getting out of hand. I wonder if Missy Piggle-Wiggle has a cure for that?
I haven’t had a chance to talk with The Nine-Year-Old about Sideways Stories, but I’m looking forward to hearing what she thinks about it. Reading the description on Amazon, it sounds like another series in which quirky humor is used to make the life lessons go down easier. Some of those life lessons sound pretty on target for The Nine-Year-Old’s age group.
Have you or your Caterpickle read any of these books? What did you think of them?
Mostly recent news that fueled our dinnertime conversations this week:
- Amazing ‘Nesting Doll’ Fossil Reveals Bug in Lizard in Snake (National Geographic)
- There Are Four Giraffe Species, Not Just One (Smithsonian)
- DNA from Ancient Skeletons Reveals Cause of London’s Great Plague (CNN)