The Mysterious Benedict Society

Recently, we caught up with a good friend in New York.  She’s someone who has always had a love of books and reading, and she gifted my daughters with several good books .  Some of them we had already read (remind me to tell you about The Westing Game), but there was one series that was brand new to us.  The other day, we finished reading the first book together, and boy…was it terrific.

It was called The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart.


Continue reading The Mysterious Benedict Society

A Book Within a Book

In one of his Thursday Next series of books, Jasper Fforde had a plot where all the oral story characters – from nursery rhymes and myths and so on – were campaigning for equal rights as characters within classical literature.  The eventual solution?  Create a book in which they could all live and interact together, that could basically serve as their home.  The title of that book?  The Big Over Easy.  The punchline of this joke?  That The Big Over Easy is also a real book, one that Fforde had already written prior to the first Thursday Next story seeing the light of day.

Not in the form we have it, of course.  It was revised and changed in significant ways when he apparently dusted it off to publish it in the wake of his success with Thursday Next books.  But the core concept – a procedural detective story taking place in a world where nursery rhyme characters live and breathe…and die…alongside “normal” people has stayed the same. Continue reading A Book Within a Book

Run, run as fast you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!

Only in this case, the Gingerbread man is a two meter tall psychopathic murderer who enjoys pulling his victims arms off…and that’s just one plot element in Jasper Fforde’s The Fourth Bear. Continue reading Run, run as fast you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!

Stories I Like: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

When I was in 6th grade, my teacher read books to us in class.  I thought it was a bit funny at first – in 6th grade, we felt like big kids, too old to have storytime with our teacher.  But quickly I found my opinion changing, and that time of reading books became one of the highlights of the day.  A big reason for that was the book we started with: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

Continue reading Stories I Like: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH