Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Els Kushner Does Love Moxy Maxwell

I usually spend the last weeks of school brainstorming with classes to get their picks for great summer reads (so much more effective than suggestions from adults), and by mid-June, what with the kid recommendations and the review journals and the blogs and the catalogs, I've got a sizeable To Be Read list of my own. This year my self-assigned summer reading list looked like this:
  • Specials
  • Heat and/or Travel Team
  • So Totally Emily Ebers
  • Rickshaw Girl
  • Vive La Paris
  • Gilda Joyce
  • Peaches
  • Shackleton’s Stowaway
  • The Glass Castle
  • Key to the Golden Firebird
  • The Jew Store (adult)
  • Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie
  • Twilight
  • Kiki Strike
  • Weedflower
  • Year of the Rat
  • The Green Glass Sea
  • Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
  • Julia’s Kitchen
  • Ruby Lu
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Between Mom and Jo
  • Dairy Queen
  • Plain JANEs
  • Total Constant Order
  • The Mislaid Magician
  • Emma jean lazarus fell out of a tree
  • Moxy Maxwell Does NOT Love Stuart Little
The five bolded books are ones I have read as of this moment. Please note that today's date is August 15, and thus summer is roughly 3/4 over. Also please note that 5/28 is nowhere near 3/4.

And so I feel for poor Moxy Maxwell, whose tale of woe and required summer reading I just finished half an hour ago (while I was supposed to be doing something else. But that's another story). Summer slips by so fast, with so many projects to accomplish, and in the blink of an eye it's the last day of vacation, and even though you've been carrying around Stuart Little all summer--and, as we all know, carrying a project around is practically the same thing as actually doing it--the actual reading-the-book part has not exactly happened.

I expected to love this book, having read so many enthusiastic reviews in the past few months. And so indeed it was. What I didn't expect was that it would be so suspenseful that, even though I had managed to restrain myself from skipping ahead throughout the 600+ pages [Canadian pagination] of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I cheated and jumped to the end of this 92-pager because I could not stand one more moment of not knowing whether Moxy's mother would really, truly keep her from performing in the Goodbye to Summer Splash daisy-petal water ballet, as was the threatened consequence if Moxy did not finish Stuart Little by 6:00.

The result left me feeling for Moxy's mother as much as for the title character herself, fellow book-lover and fellow procrastinator that she is. And it left me feeling lucky that my own reading list is made up of books that I chose myself. And that there are still a few weeks left for me to stay up late on hot summer nights getting lost in them.


Charlotte said...

Hi Els,

I have Rainbow Fish hanging over my head--my son has to read it and create a "friendship mural" based on its inspirational message...bleh. At least the books on your list are ones that might be very good.


Heather (errantdreams) said...

Self-made challenges are definitely the best! The consequences of failing tend to be much less intense. ;)

I say, staring at the big pile o' books next to me...

Genevieve said...

Jeremy Fink, Ruby Lu, and Emily Ebers are all fast-moving, wonderful reads. If you need a place on your list to start.

I totally empathized with Moxy, too, though reading is what I put off other things with.

DawnOfTheRead said...

Thanks for the Moxy Maxwell recommendation! I'm glad my procrastination days are over.