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Paging Summer

It’s Only Pretend

Labor Day is coming soon, and along with it the start of school. But the TMN writers’ children still have a little August reading to do, in this final installment of their book reports.

Simon, age 4

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

What happens in the book?
I remember that James was put with the bad aunts. Then he finds some bugs in a peach pit and they turn into his friends. I remember that the peach was rolling down a hill and Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge were in the way and then they were dead.

Which character is the most like you?
I think James. He has blond hair and he has feet like me and he has arms like me and he’s a nice person.

How is he different from you?
Maybe James has lost some teeth already, and I haven’t.

If you could ask the author one question, what would it be?
I would ask if the author was scared of Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker.

What do you think he would say?
No. Because it’s only pretend.

 

Barney, age 8

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis

What happens in the book?
They get sucked into a picture at their cousin’s house and it takes them to Narnia and they’re on a boat with Caspian. They go a journey and which way is it? North, isn’t it? No, east. And Reepicheep wants to find Aslan’s country and they go to the end of the world, then they turn back.

Which of the characters would be most interesting to have in your class at school this fall? Why?
Aslan. Because he would help me in maths. Only joking! He would be a good teacher.

Is there a character you think would be bad to have in class with you? (If yes, which and why?)
Eustace. He would be a real nuisance.

If you could ask the author of the book one question, what would you ask, and what do you think the answer would be?
How did you think of the story? [long thoughtful pause] I don’t really know what the answer would be.

 

Raimi, age 7

The 39 Clues Book 3: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis

What happens in the book?
They find some swords, and go to Korea, and in the end they go to Egypt.

Is there a character you think would be bad to have in your class at school this fall?
Irina Spasky. She’s a spy. Watch out for her fingernails—they have pieces of metal that come out with poison on the ends.

If you could ask the author of the book one question, what would you ask?
I would just tell him to tell Rick Riordan [author of the first 39 Clues book, and the Percy Jackson series] I said hi.

 

Olivia, age 7

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

What happens in the book?
There’s a character named Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia, who comes to stay with her. Bonnie’s parents are going away because the mother is very ill. A relative of Bonnie’s comes to watch them while her parents are away, but it turns out that she is an evil woman. There’s a secret passage with spy holes and they see her burning up the will. Ms. Slighcarp sends them off to a school with a teacher named Mrs. Briskett. But they steal away from her house and they meet Simon selling his geese and they go to London to check on Sylvia’s Aunt Jane. And then they go back to their house and these two officers take Ms. Slighcarp and Mrs. Briskett to jail.

Which character is most like you?
Bonnie.

Why?
Because she tells the story of what Miss Slighcarp did to them when they get to the lawyer’s office. If I was that character that’s what I would do in the story.

How is she different from you?
Her life is a little different from mine because she lives somewhere else and in a different time and so they dress differently. And she has school in her house.

If you could ask the author one question what would it be?
What happens to Simon after the book is over?

What do you think she would say?
He goes back to the doctor for art lessons and lives with him.

 

Iris, age seven, and Leven, age three

Dudley the Daydreamer by Anders Brundin, illustrated by Joanna Rubin Dranger

What happens in the book?
Iris: Dudley loses his job and he gets a new job.

Leven: Yes!

What’s his new job?
I: Daydreaming… all day.

L: Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Which of the characters would be most interesting to have in your class at school this fall? Why?
I: Dudley! Because he would be fun to play with, because he has a good imagination.

L: Uh…. P. O. S.

I: Poss?

L: Yeah! Poss!

I: Mom! Leven almost spelled, spelled three letters of “possum”!

Which character do you think is the most like you?
I: Leven is just like Dudley!

But I’m asking, which character is like you?
I: I don’t know.

Don’t you think you daydream?
I: Kind of…

L: I daydream!

I: Leven daydreams much more than me.

If you could ask the author of the book one question, what would you ask?
L: See.

I: See?

L: C. P. O. S.

Iris, what question would you ask?
I: What’s the boss’s name?

And what do you think the answer would be?
I: I don’t know.

Really?
I: Fred!

L: Dudley!

TMN’s Contributing Writers know where to find the purple couch. Long live the pan flute, mini mafia, and Michael Jackson. More by The Writers