February has been a slow month for finishing books. I’ve been reading something quite entertaining and full of creative flair…and almost 700 pages long. I’ll share all about it in my next post. For now, though, I’ve finished Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman, which was another book that I read with my kids.
I have to say that I didn’t get into Newberry Honor Books when I was a kid. That little seal in the corner wasn’t a beacon shining away to attract my attention. In fact, I was less likely to read a book if it had any such distinction. I was more of a “fluff and stuff” reader as a kid. Any girlie serial set of books (think Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High) was sure to catch my eye and my interest before anything that told a more original story. I’ve since developed a more diverse taste in books, and this in spite of my years in high school Honors English in which my teachers attempted to destroy any interest in reading anything!
It’s rare when the kids ever admit to liking any “school” book, but I thought it was a good sign when they insisted that I read the final three chapters on Friday afternoon so they could see how it ended. Perhaps they just wanted to get it over with. Here’s their ratings:
Kid #1 – She gave it a “thumb up and a half.”
Kid #2 – She gave it 1 diagonal thumb down, because “what’s so great about climbing a mountain.”
Kid #3 – He gave it 2 sideways thumbs, which maybe add up to one thumb up??
I, however, will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it (as I do any book that has anything to do with climbing mountains). The only thing that could have made this book better would have been if it had been Mt. Everest that Rudi Matt, the main character, had been climbing. (Well, there was one other thing that would have made the book better, but you’d have to read it to the very end to figure out exactly what that thing is.)
So, why Mt. Everest? Simply because I am fascinated with Mt. Everest. I’d love to climb Mt. Everest. I’d love to even just stand at the base of Mt. Everest and stare up in awe at its grandeur. I’ll probably never do the latter, and the former would most certainly kill me or at least leave me minus all my fingers and toes thanks to the Raynaud’s Disease that makes even a northern Michigan winter difficult to handle without all sorts of warm winter clothing involving wool and down and subzero ratings. So, until someone can figure out how to get both me and my space heater to the top of Mt. Everest, or any other tall mountain, I will have to continue to live vicariously from the comfort of my living room.
Interesting to note, and only found in the “About the Author” page in the back, is that the author happened to be a member of the first American expedition to Mouth Everest. Pretty cool.