When fellow parents ask how I find time to read with a baby and a preschooler at home, I tell them I read what I love! Here’s a peek at what I’m enjoying and what my children and I are reading together, because finding books they love will help your kids read more too. Both of these titles, and many more, are available as eBooks or audiobooks in KCLS’ digital collection. Or check out a hard copy with one of KCLS’ contactless pickup services.
What I’m Reading: “Better Luck Next Time” by Julia Claiborne Johnson
In the 1930s, Nevada laws made it relatively easy for women to get a divorce — but only if they’d been residents of the state for at least six weeks. Twenty-four-year-old Ward narrates this fizzy historical comedy; he’s a hired hand at a “divorce ranch” where wealthy out-of-state women ride out their six weeks. The novel is set in 1938, and Johnson doesn’t ignore the Great Depression or the economic disparity between the help and soon-to-be divorcees. Instead, she balances a sweet screwball comedy with unique, well-rounded characters and plot twists that anchor the story to the historical moment.
What We’re Reading: “Swashby and the Sea” by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
An exuberant girl and her granny disrupt a reclusive sailor’s quiet retirement in this story about an unlikely friendship. Grumpy Swashby leaves messages in the sand for his new neighbors. The sea intervenes, turning his standoffish proclamations into invitations (“NO TRESPASSING” becomes “SING.”) My preschooler is working on letter recognition, so we talk about the letters in the changing messages as we read. Martinez-Neal’s illustrations capture the slowly budding friendship in a beachy palette that’s an antidote to months of Seattle gray.
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