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Reading Maketh a Full Man...

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Currently reading

The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes

Coot Club (Godine Storyteller)

Coot Club - Arthur Ransome This book is the 5th in the "Swallows and Amazon" series.The previous 4 books have all had their setting in the Lake District of England and have all involved the Swallows (the Walker children) and the Amazons (the Blackett sisters). This book branches out with a different location, the Norfolk Broads, and with different children, the Callum children. Dick and Dorthea, whom we met in "Winter Holiday" are taking part of their summer holiday with the former school-mistress of Mrs. Callum, Mrs. Barrable. She is spending her summer living on board a boat called "Teasel" and has invited the Callum children to join her. This is a delightful opportunity for the children, as they have wanted to learn to sail after their exposure to the sailing Swallows and Amazons! Dot and Dick meet Tom Dodgeon, the son of a local doctor, who has his own boat, the Titmouse. Tom is a leader among some of the local children in the Coot Club, which is a bird watching society (a coot is a duck-like bird who lives and nests on the water). Twin girls, nautically nicknamed Port and Starboard, and the local boatbuilders children collectively known as "the Death and Glories" because their ramshackle boat is called "Death and Glory" make up the club. It is in sighting and checking on a particular coot bird nest that the whole group get into trouble with some vacationing boaters onboard the Margoletta. The unthinking and mean behavior of the vacationers earns them the name "Hullabaloos" to the children. So while Dick and Dorthea learn to sail, what will happen to the coot nest near the Hullabaloos? What will Tom do to protect the birds? The ensuing adventure and the conflict between the bird watchers and the vacationers provides a really good read. Another thing I really enjoy about these books is the sweetness of the relationships between siblings and family members. Tom has a little brother whom he calls "our baby". Tom and his mother have a very sweet but loving relationship. The relationship of the Walkers to their youngest sister is also very sweet, and they call their mother "The Best of All Natives", natives being the term they use for adults who are not "in" on their imaginative adventures. They do not keep anything from their mother, but instead rely on her as the best of all natives! This is a sweet attitude and shows a loving family, something which I enjoy reading!