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Bed time reading July 24, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in younger son.
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Last fall, we took a trip to Minneapolis and decided to visit the science fiction bookstore, Uncle Hugo’s.  While I found a slew of books, I was hoping to find copies of a three books I’d read in my youth by Philip Curtis.  All of the stories were “Invasion of…”, but the only one I could definitely remember was “Invasion of the Brain Sharpeners”.

I was ten when I read those books.  I honestly don’t remember a thing about them other than that each featured a kid who saved Earth from some sort of alien invasion.  What I do remember is that I was completely transfixed by them and that I got in trouble for reading them when I should’ve been doing schoolwork.  I wanted to find copies in case the younger boy was interested in reading them.  And, well, I sort of wanted to reread them myself.

The bookstore had no copies, and after I spent time hunting around, I realized why.  Apparently the only copies still in existence seem to be old school library copies, so I ordered all three from various people selling them on Amazon.  One of the books may not have ever been in a library, but it was probably in a classroom of some sort.  It is very well used. The second was at a place called Newark Valley Middle School.  I have no idea where it is, but the last page is ripped in half because they removed the checkout card.

The third one was a real gem.  It belonged to Price Laboratory School Library at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.  These wise people had the wisdom to leave the checkout card still in it.  They attempted to blot out the names on the card, but I can still read a few.  More importantly, I can see when the book was checked out.  It was only checked out 17 times in the 20 years before it was withdrawn.  It looks like it was pulled out in 2001 and must’ve been waiting to be bought for over a decade.  Or maybe it’s been bought and sold several times since then.  Hard to say.  It was checked out a lot in the early 80s, only 4 times in the entirety of the 90s.

This book, incidentally, is the one that I decided to sit down and read with younger boy.  Given I can’t even find a lexile score for the books, I have no idea where they are.  We take turns reading alternating paragraphs.  It appears that they use a lot of words that the younger boy can read but doesn’t necessarily know, so he’s being stretched.  He seemed to enjoy it and even would spend longer than the 20 minutes that I suggested for reading time.  (He could’ve also been trying to push off his bed time.)  We finished it in about a week because the younger boy was so interested.

It turns out that the books aren’t as good as I remember, but I can definitely see how a 5th grader would find them captivating.  And I was pleasantly surprised that the ending wasn’t as predictable as one would have imagined.  Things have been busy, so we haven’t started the next one yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

Do you have any books that you have shared or would like to share with your kids?

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