And 3…2…1…Read!

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoners Dilemma
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

So here’s my plan (which will most likely change).  I am going to start with The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart.  I was going to start with Catching Fire, but I think I should save that one for when it’s later and I start getting sleepy – something to keep me going.

I will update on here once in awhile and on twitter more frequently (you can also follow the #readathon hastag on twitter for others’ updates) letting you know how my progress is going.  And I’ll be checking out other blogs from time to time to see how everyone else is doing.

Thank you Emily for making me feel better about wanting to watch my football game at 3:30 (hopefully your team plays better than we did against Iowa).  I will probably try reading and watching the game.  There is also the added peskiness of a baseball game tonight, but I’m a pro at reading between pitches (years of midterm studying during October) and I don’t feel as great a need to watch that game.

Happy reading to you all!

Discovering Betsy-Tacy #3: Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill

I enjoyed this book a whole lot more than the first two books.  Instead of simply some nice little stories packaged into one book, this one actually had a plot.  Betsy, Tacy, and Tib have turned 10 and their book is growing up as well (they do have two numbers in their ages after all).  At the beginning of the book, they fall in love with the new, young Spanish King.  But this facsination soon turns into crowning a queen of their own.  Unfortunately, similar plans are being made elsewhere and a family fued is brewing.   The result is, of course, a happy one for all and the adventure along the way is very entertaining.

I absolutely loved Little Syria!  I love the idea of a little middle-eastern town in the middle of Minnesota (is this part real?).  The characters were wonderful and the lesson to young readers about tolerance and acceptance is important.  This also seems way ahead of its time (I have a feeling this is going to be a theme).  Given the way people view Arabs today, I have to imagine they were not well-received 100 years ago.  Kudos to Maud Hart Lovelace for writing this.

I also learned (from the back of the book) that the illustrator, Lois Lenski lived in Tarpon Springs, FL.  My copy actually said that she lives there.  Seeing as she pased away in 1974, I think my library has a very old copy of this book.  Anyway, Tarpon Springs is the town we lived in when we first moved to Florida and the town where Ben still teaches high school.  It’s always a little fun to learn facts like that.

I also learned something about myself.  I should not check two books in a series out at one time.  First I started reading Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown before I realized that was the fourth book.  Then I accidentally returned Book 4 when I meant to return Book 3 and I had to re-request it.

I’m still hoping to tackle the next two books this month as part of the Maud Hart Lovelace challenge.  The Readathon should help.

Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge

How perfect that this reading challenge hosted by S at A Library is a Hospital for the Mind coincides with my first reading of the Betsy-Tacy series.  The challenge only goes through October 31, so I’m not going to be too ambitious, but I will plan on reading the next three books in the series by then:

  • Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill
  • Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
  • Heaven to Betsy [I’m very excited to get to the first high school book]

Here’s hoping the library cooperates.

[Originally posted at  For the original post and comments, click here.]