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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Juggling read-alouds here. Mysterious Island was a bust. After the first several chapters, the girls couldn't have cared less about the characters, and even I have to admit, Jules Verne gets a little too detailed in his descriptions of the landscape. We were spending way too much time trying to remember where everything was and how high the cliffs were on which side of which island, and we still had over seven hundred pages to go.

Continuing in the vein of Civil War era stories, we decided as a group, for that is how these decisions must be made now, to instead read the classic novel that inspired one of our favorite movies, Gone With the Wind. Whether it's age appropriate I do not know, but any doubts I may have had were immediately confirmed on the first page when Scarlett's tight fitting basque was described as showing off "breasts well matured for her sixteen years." The girls were not scandalized as much as grossed out and a chorus of "Ewww," was heard in stereo. And I have now officially hit that time of my life where I feel old, because this edition of the book is set with over one thousand pages of the teeny, tiniest type I've ever had to suffer. Mama needs a new pair of readin' glasses. But tomorrow is another day, so a new book has been selected, one that everybody is greatly enjoying so far, and so much so that additional chapters are continually requested. A Little Princess will be a very quick read.

I love Sara's idea that Emily and all dolls as well, have secret lives of their own, but always return to their places just before anyone enters the room. Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote another book, Rackety Packety House, that elaborated on that theme. A first edition of that book was given to me by an elderly spinster family friend when I was a very little girl. Miss Prichard also gave me a beautiful handmade flip doll that had been hers as a child. They are two of my most treasured possessions. I know she comes to life when I'm not looking.

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