Since I began homeschooling my daughter, I've begun reading aloud to her daily again. When she was in public school, homework took so much of the evening that it impossible to read aloud on a regular basis. Now, however, the only school work we do in the evening is a run thru of the flash cards I've made up to drill her in Latin phonograms. So, I had to come up with a book that would be entertaining and yet still be a stretch for her vocabulary. The educational goal here is to increase her vocabulary and teach listening skills. That's the rationale I gave my husband for reading aloud to a 14-year-old who can read to herself. The real hidden agenda I have is to spend some time cuddling on the couch with my teenage daughter while sharing a good story. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes fit the bill perfectly.
Since this book has been reviewed by both Will and me in the past I will skip the normal plot summation. I did find reading it aloud to be a bit of a tongue twister at times. Polysyllabic words I can silently read automatically don't trip off my tongue quite so easily and my daughter had gotten to listen to Mommy sounding out a few herself. That's a good thing. She's also been told to stop me whenever a word is used that she's unfamiliar with so we read with the dictionary next to us on the couch. That also is a good thing. But the best part is that the book is almost funnier read aloud. Abby identified with the fifteen year old Mary and guffawed thru several passages when Mary let fly with her highly mature, highly intelligent and very sarcastic comments. And I'm hearing the "Can we read now, Mom?" question again when she's wanting a little cuddle time with Mom. She also commented that it's all she can do NOT to pick up the book and read ahead when I'm not around. What could be better?Posted by Deb English at September 19, 2004 06:54 PM