September 28, 2015

Al's Summer Reading




It was a was a quiet summer.
I missed seeing all the kids at BB&N and I really missed Ms. Duncan.  You see, she fed me every day, dropping my yummy little pellets into my bowl one by one as I scurried around wondering where the next piece of my dinner would land.  We made quite a game of it.
Then came June and summer vacation.
I spent the summer with Ms. Dow. Though I know she tried her best, Ms. Dow was not quite as playful.  I would hear her squeaky little “Hi, Al” and then . . . bam!! There was my dinner, landing on my head again.
It took some getting used to.
It really wasn’t so bad, though.  Ms. Dow changed my water and gave me fresh flowers to look at, and – of course – plenty of books to read.
We started with Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper.  Needless to say the title appealed to me very much.  I’m surprised I hadn’t read this in middle school as it has a very Narnia-ish quality to it: strange house concealing a hidden world, smart and adventurous children dealing with danger and mysterious antagonists.  If you’ve read even a little of Harry Potter, you know what I mean.  The part I liked best was how the children needed to use reasoning and imagination, i.e. their brains, to overcome obstacles.  This is the first of a series written back in the 1960s.  I’m looking forward to the second one, The Dark is Rising.
The Borrowers Afloat was another great title! And it was fun going back to a book that I hadn’t read since I was just a little fish.  Of course, I’m more of an “in the water” than an “on the water” individual, but I enjoyed this story of the tiny family floating down the river in a teakettle to escape danger and find a safe home.  The borrowers usually live in normal-size people’s houses and “borrow” what they need from the humans who think they are alone in their homes.  Wait, was that a mouse that I heard??  What happened to that crust of bread I was going to clean off the floor?
The third book I read was The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan.  It’s another re-read, but unlike The Borrowers, which was fun, I got so much more out of reading this now that I’m in high school and more mature than I was in middle school.  The main character, Peter Fortune, is a 10-year-old boy who spends a lot of time in his own head, which is actually a pretty amazing place to be.  As the author writes, “At school he often left his body sitting at his desk while his mind went off on its journeys.”  I loved the way Peter completely inhabited the worlds he created and was always sort of surprised when “reality” bumped up against him.  Towards the end of the book Peter is concerned about becoming a “boring old adult” not knowing how to play.  Again, he is saved by his imagination.
I kept meaning to read Walden, by Henry David Thoreau – it is the name of a local body of water, you know – but I never quite got around to it.  The book I’m looking forward to next is Through a Glass Darkly by Donna Leon.  I don’t know what it’s about, but  I totally identify with the title!  Do you know what it’s like at school after everyone leaves in the evening?   

Post written by Ms. Dow, Al's summer caregiver!