Today was off to a slow start, but we jumped in and were determined to redeem our lost time. However, I had forgotten that grandparents were stopping by for a visit. Once the grandparents had left and lunch was over, the thoughts of Algebra and dictation did not give me a warm fuzzy.
Over lunch I had read aloud a chapter from The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict and the children (and I) were excited to keep reading. Hmm, the day was already off schedule, rain was pouring down outside, little ones were snoozing away…..it almost demanded that we have a bit of a read aloud marathon and finish the book.
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict is by Trenton Lee Stewart who wrote The Benedict Society Series. A few years ago we read through the Benedict Society books and enjoyed sharing in the adventures of Reynie, Kate, Constance and Sticky. (If you haven’t read them, you should! )
In Nicholas Benedict, Stewart takes us to the childhood of Mr. Benedict, the man who leads the Benedict Society. Nicholas is a nine year old orphan who suffers from narcolepsy. If that were not enough, he just happens to be a genius. Then there is a mysterious missing treasure. And Spiders. And a mule named Rabbit.
Nicholas Benedict is by far our favorite of the Benedict Society books. From the very first chapter, it is a page turner that leaves you hanging at the end of each chapter. We all enjoyed it immensely. Even I could not wait to get to the end and then hated to see it end! Not only is the book witty, humorous, entertaining but it also has an underlying message that is beautiful. No matter what difficulties life throws at us, the focus should not be on ourselves. There are many opportunities for discussions as you read this with your children: loss, disabilities, selfishness, bullying, sacrifice, friendship, compassion….
Now that we have The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict in the “return to the library bag”, we can get back the growing stack of read aloud chapter books. The Hobbit, Mary Emma and Company, Dr. Dolittle……