Category Archives: Reading

Greener pastures

I can say it with relief that Akank has moved on with her reading. Maybe it is because JK Rowling, Christopher Paolini , Stephenie Meyer and Rick Riordan have not published anything new nor have I figured out who else writes about fantasy characters other than witches, vampires, demigods or dragon riders. Or maybe it was a phase that Akank had to live through before she turned 12. or maybe I am judging all this way too quickly! Anyway, the point of the matter is, Akank has begun reading books on girlie groups and cliques. Lately she has found joy in Rachel Renee Russell’s Dork Diaries, Anna Carey’s Sloan Sisters and Lisa Harrison’s The Clique series. How long this phase lasts will entirely depend on how many books these ladies have written or continue to write.


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Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Reading, updates


Book fairs and choices

I have never missed a book fair if it has happened in the vicinity of where I lived. I can say it with authority that for the past eleven years, I have always been to a book fair at least once a year.  Another fact I am absolutely sure about is this- It was easier to pick books for Akank when she was younger than she is now.When she was a toddler, I didn’t have to go beyond the racks marked ‘books for toddlers’. Even though I have never picked bath time books, squeaky books or pop up books there were plenty of books with colorful pictures, words,books in the shape of shopping bags and balloons, XXL sized coloring books in our library. Then  came a time when I was picking books based on movies we watched. Akank  found the  movie books fascinating since she could look at the frozen frames of her favorite scenes from the movies in glossy stills.  A book fair was a good place to pick such books and our libraries were filled with junior movie novels. I continue to pick them even now. Then we moved to the Harry Potter phase. I didn’t have to pick the HP books from Book fairs since the whole family from me to my nephew and niece were reading them and Akank took to them earlier than her peers. She has hence read them about 7 times and can quiz trivia from the books to her money’s worth!The book fairs became haunts for books based on Televised series- The Hannah Montanas, The Suite life of Zack and Cody’s, The Mary Kate and Ashley’s and the High School musicals.  I am relieved that Akank outgrew the girlie serials phase since she turned eleven. Her library is teeming with those books still but I notice that she never pulls them out for a re read. Thank God for Christopher Paolini and Akank’s fascination for dragons and dragon riders, she took to the Inheritance Cycle and stayed with it for another seven rounds of reading. Meanwhile, book fairs became the choice place for looking out  new authors, encyclopedias of dog breeds, horse breeds, underwater sea life, dinosaurs and what have you. Akank’s enchantment with dogs helped me through many book fairs when I would find a treasure trove of dog based stories. Those remain some of the fondest books that Akank grew up with even today.

Another magical journey was the Percy Jackson series. But then again,we did not wait for book fairs to pick those. Soon that was followed by Stephenie Meyer and the darling vampires and werewolves that took Akank’s world by storm. She can’t stop reading them over and over again. ( Good ROI for us who spend on those books!)

The last book fair I went to was this week. I spent over three hours browsing the entire fair for books that might be interesting for Akank. Now I find that I cannot restrict myself to just junior novel racks, but have to do the entire fair at least one time around to look at all the books to find books that she will read for sure. Over the years, I have found out that Akank finds pixies and fairies silly ( that explains why there were no Enid Blytons when she was littler) detective stores boring ( No Nancy Drew’s for her), Boy groups and children groups mildly interesting ( The entire collection of Famous fives, Secret Sevens from her nephew’s library was donated). What she is intrigued by are the wizards, witches, children who can magically be transported to other Worlds and talk to animals ( CS Lewis knew just how to touch the right chords with the Chronicles of Narnia!) dragon riders ( whoever heard of those!), demi Gods, vampires and werewolves. Fantasy. That is the genre Akank is addicted to reading.

This time around I played it safe by choosing books that would only add to the intrigue. Here are the books I picked – An unauthorized Harry Potter that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the series and did not know who to ask, an unauthorized guide to the Twilight series, another book that has other authors talking about Stephenie Meyer’s series. I continue to buy books about Dogs, so ‘the ultimate dog lover’s book with advice for a happy and healthy dog and a book that tells you what happens when stray’s start talking back ( wild!). and a few unauthorized biographies of a few starts in Hollywood that she likes ( Ashely Tisdale, Corbin Bleu and Taylor Lautner).

As I guessed, I was right. I think the word unauthorized in the titles I picked, did the trick. Akank is excited with the new additions to her library.

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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Reading, updates


The Twilight influence

Akank had a weird question last night. She wanted to know if I would be ok with her behaving strangely at school from now on. I was not sure that I understood her right since I was sleepy and asked her to explain the term ‘ strange ‘. She has been reading the second book in the Twilight series this week. She wanted to know if people will recognize it if she were to showcase vampire-ish or werewolf-ish behavior at school. I discouraged the thought telling her that she may soon find out herself and it may be too late to change it all back.

Knowing Akank, who wanted to be Cinderella’s fairy God mother when she was barely four, a muggle born witch a few years back, a dragon rider a few months back, I suspect this is a passing phase. Till she finds another author’s characters that she will imagine herself to be!

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Posted by on January 15, 2010 in Conversations, Reading


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Rowling Vs.Paolini Vs. Meyer

It had to happen. First, it did to Rowling. Now I see it happening to Paolini, and I am not surprised. Akank re read the inheritance cycle another time. She went back to the Harry Potter books for the fourth time. When she began her 6th book in the Potter series, she heard of Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight series. Her 16 year old cousin warned her about the content of the book being too ‘adult-sy’ for ten year olds. That warning only added to the intrigue. She watched the DVD of the movie based on the first book and decided she had to read it. Akank managed to twist a friends’ arm about a ‘New year’ gift and pointed to the book. The next thing I know, she was on chapter 6 of the first book of the series.

I was convinced that she began the series way ahead of other readers her age and how wrong I was. The next day she came back with the updates from book-2, complete with spoilers. She had discussed the book with another ten year old at school who had completed book -2 and was on book-3. She googled for information on the author, the other books in the series and watched you-tube trailers of the second movie. Now she waits for her next cycle tests to begin;to score well and make me happy.

That’s the only way she is going to get the other copies of the series from me:-)

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Posted by on January 5, 2010 in Reading


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On books

Akank has been reading different authors lately. She is still on Paolini’s third- Brisingr. Inbetween, for light and quick reading she picks books by Megan McDonald who writes about a moody third grader called Judy Moody. She was introduced to the author by another of her 5th grade classmates who has a series of books on Judy Moody. Akank enjoys the use of language in these books.

Akank quotes from the books she reads and the movies she watches. She has this incredible power of retaining entire dialogues ( thanks to the number of times she watches the movies in her library!) from her favourite movies. She shares phrases and vocabulary she thinks is “cute and funny” and often they turn out to be hilarious to me too.

She has been dabbling in a little French too! She has this book called “French for Kids – Phrases the teacher never told you!” and keeps using a few random phrases from it on me.

I have a good idea what she is going to be reading in the first week of October. That is when the book I ordered for her online will arrive. It is a book for every girl between nine and eleven, It is called ” Growing up – It’s a girl thing!” by Mavin Jukes. I hope Akank will enjoy reading that too!

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Posted by on September 14, 2009 in Reading


Move over JKR. Here comes Paolini!

Akank is over Potter mania- for now! She is hooked to Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance cycle, Eragon, Eldest , Brisingr and the unnamed 4th book. She has already completed the first two books from the series. She turns ten in two days and Brisngr is one of the gifts she wants as birthday gift.

She is all talk about Eragon, dragon riders, Saphira, a place called Alagaesia and claims to understand  the rites and rituals of elves, dwarves, Urgals and dragons!

Before you ask me more, the next book I have to start reading is Eragon, to keep in step with what my tween reads these days!

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Posted by on August 20, 2009 in Reading, updates