Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls

Hi everyone - how is your summer reading with the kids going? We are currently working on Chapter Book #2 for the summer:

This is the story of two kids, brother and sister, who are staying with their uncle throughout the summer while their folks travel. Peter is imagining a LONG boring summer complete with no TV, a old(er) Uncle who doesn't know what to do with 2 kids and a know it all older sister (only 1 year older but still....). Little does he know that he and his sister are the only ones can figure out the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls!

This year I have 2 kiddos that I'm reading it with. Connor will be 10 next month and still enjoys being read to. He is the same age as both the kids in the book and he is finding something in common with them. He is also connecting with the story and actually remembering what we read the day before and understanding what is happening as I read. Gianna is 3.5 and has been having a very difficult summer with listening and obeying so she isn't to thrilled with having to sit down and listen to the story - but she is doing it. She is actually doing pretty good with comprehending the story and able to answer some of the questions. By and large she is more interested in the pictures in the book though. 

What I like about this series:
So far, we are about 2/3 of the way through the first book. We had just finished reading a Magic Tree House book which I personally always have a hard time reading due to the stilted story telling and because the writing is not smooth and easy to read. So, my first comparison with the Hidden Scrolls book and probably my favorite thing about the way the author writes is the fact that he doesn't "dumb" down the story for kids. The writing is smooth, natural and easy to read. It's written like I speak and with proper grammer which is how children's books should be written so they are learning the proper way to speak as they read. Children's books should also provide a challenge to their reading, their thoughts and comprehension so they have a bit of a stretch to understand. They should hear something new to a story each time they read it (I tend to read books over and over and over....). If I learn something new about the story or the characters I count a book as a success. Connor is understanding what the author is saying before I give him the answer in the book and can answer the questions, sometimes with a bit of thought occuring first, before Mike Thomas tells us what is happening. He is using the skill of prediction and sometime that is a very hard thing to learn. At the same time Gianna is learning to listen to the spoken word and beginning to get a picture in her head of what is currently happening. Finally Connor was looking at the book on Friday afternoon and asked the question every teacher, librarian, author and parent wants to hear: "Is there another book?" Yes, Connor there is a sequel. In fact, there is a entire series coming!"

Now, before I answer a question Im sure some of you are wondering - The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls is available for pre-order right now. Go to: and learn how you can order it and also receive some great online activities for your kids to enjoy while you are reading to your kids or use them as a homeschool or book club activity. It looks like the next book coming up is about Noah's Ark.

Now, to answer your question... (off subject, kinda sorta):
I'm sure some of you are wondering why she (Gianna) is listening to a chapter book already? I started reading chapter books with her at around 18 months (she wanted to listen to The Magic Tree House books and actually did better than the older kiddos). As we all know reading books is important for developing language and I find that the books written a century ago have a high quality language and the reading skills required to read them are non-existent in today's books. Usually around age 4 I start reading the Classic books to my kids. Heidi by Johanna Spyri is usually the first book I read and then A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Princess and The Goblin by George McDonald. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and The 5 Little Peppers (and the sequel) by Margaret Sidney appear around age 6/7 and so on. 

These are the books I try to introduce to kiddos between 4-7 depending on attention span and ability to listen. We've also read The Jungle Book, Under the Lilac Tree (this is tough book to read to the younger readers - but it was one of MY favorites in elementary school!!!) and many others. We still also read many many story books as well and I try to have a few fun activities to go with them so she isn't totally deprived of age appropriate books like Curious George and Dora the Explorer which are 2 of her favorite characters right now... 

So, that's all for now. Tell me what books are you reading with your kiddos this summer? Remember it is vitally important that you are reading TO your kids AFTER they learn to read as well. Parents need to make a effort to read to them as long as possible - up to and including Jr High. They need to be hearing proper sentence structure, the rhythm of reading, learning to comprehend and understand more difficult passages and they can only do that when you are reading with and to your older child.

Remember - I love comments:

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Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book to read and share. I was not required to have a positive review or even leave a review. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing!


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