Tuesday, 7 March 2017

January/ February Update: 101 Books to Read Before you Grow Up

January started off with a hiss and a roar. My goal for the year was to slog through a portion of chapter books before I started on picture books. By the 8th I had already flown through The Secret Garden and A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning and by the end of the month I had added Better Nate than Never to the list.

If I am being honest, February was a write off. I lost my book mojo. I had multiple starts of books, some personal, some from the list but I did not have one finish during the month of February. Books that were started but (fingers crossed) will be conquered during March include Twenty Thousands Leagues Under the Sea, Hatchet and The Wizard of OZ.

The Secret Garden
As I said before, my grandparents brought me this book when I was young. There was a big ship in at port that had a bookstore on board. I remember being so excited to pick two books from ‘the floating book store’ as I called it. Ever since, it has sat on my book shelf being moved from house to house.
Mary, an unwell and spoilt child is sent to live with her uncle in Yorkshire after her parents are killed during a cholera outbreak. During her time in the house she discovers a cousin she never knew she had, a secret garden and herself.

Even though at times I struggled with the Yorkshire slang, I really enjoyed this book. My favourite character was Mary’s maid, Martha.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning
A series from my childhood, it has been many years since I first laid hands on The Bad Beginning. Luckily, Netflix was realising series one of a TV adaption in conjunction with the author, Lemony Snicket. I finished this book the day before it was released and upon watching episode one I was amazed at how much of it was word for word.

Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to live with their evil relative, Count Olaf, where their parents are killed in a house fire. All Olaf wants is to get his hands on their family fortune. As the title suggests, it is not a bright and fun story but really a series of very unfortunate events. (told in 13 parts).

I found it very interesting how little the children were listened to by the adults in their life, even though they were well aware of what was happening. Although I had read the series before I loved revisiting it. I believe it is a book that will appeal to kids of all ages, and the rest of their family.

Better Nate than Ever
My fellow book nerd lent me his copy of this book otherwise I don’t think I would have read it so soon in the year. It is great having someone to share my thoughts with but I must remember to return it!

Nate has dreams - He wants to star on Broadway. Too bad it will never happen since he lives in Pennsylvania, or will it? His best friend devises a plan to send Nate on an overnight trip to New York, while his parents are away, to audition for the part of Elliot in the musical E.T. As we can all expect, everything that could go wrong does and nothing goes to plan.

Although the story was good and I did read it in on sitting, it wasn’t my favourite book of the month.  I haven’t found myself desperate to read the rest of the series but one day I might.

Posted by Kristen


  1. The Secret Garden was one of my absolute FAVOURITE books when I was growing up (and the movie is pretty good as well), and NPH as Count Olaf in the Netflix series was just perfect! (I have the first 5 books in the ASOUE series, and I need to finally getting around to reading and buying the rest because it's a great series). I haven't read Better Nate than Never yet, we have it on the shelves in Flaxmere though so I really have no excuse. It's cool being able to read your reviews about the books :)

  2. We loved the Lemony Snicket series and were excited to find it on Netflix. Just waiting for the new series to come out. I also loved reading Hatchet to my boys. A great read. Hope you can get back to it. Good luck with your quest.