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Children, Reading, Review

March 2021 Reading

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I’ve decided to do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only!

Large boy

The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer

I was very impressed with how large boy coped with this. Its a 7.5 level book on his reading scheme, the hardest he’s ever tried and it didn’t seem to bother him at all. Mid-March he came home from school with an assessed reading age of 13 years, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

It was quite a hard book but it was exciting and dangerous. My favourite part was when the smart twin pushed his twin and a fairy off a cliff.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and the Sea of Monsters, and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Yeah he’s discovered a new series. Totally absorbed again.

They’re really good mum, you have to read them too. Percy is even better than Magnus. There’s lots of danger and Anamakulos is Riptide in greek and Percy’s sword.

Boy by Roald Dahl

I only read it because dad said I had to before I could have the next Percy Jackson. It was fully boring. Mum stop making it sound positive! (I tried to write that it was a bit boring but he disagrees.)

Other things

  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • The 117 Storey Treehouse by Terry Denton and Andy Griffiths
  • Digestion and Nutrition: What Happens to the Food We Eat? by Eve Hartman
  • Romeo and Juliet by Andrew Matthews
  • The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless by Ahmet Zappa


Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

I’ll be honest, I started this towards the end of last month so I’m counting it again. It’s amazing, my eyes are opened on every page as I realise the tiny ways that our everyday lives are biased towards white men’s experiences. From clearing snow in the Nordic countries, to planning new housing in South America, and gathering data in itself.

I’m sure its not a surprise to you, either that I’m reading this or that I’m absorbed by it – I’ve written about inclusion, gender equality impact for boys and for girls, as well as my inspirational LeanIn leader where I work. Having read Hello World by Hannah Fry last August, this is a natural next step – rather than algorithm bias, data bias – doubtless leading to biased algorithms too.

About two thirds of the way through though I started to have a bit of a problem. There was a chapter about GDP and how it doesn’t account for unpaid care and home making work simply because in the 40s and 50s no one could figure out how to measure and quantify those things. Now, I’m all for taking the total contribution of everyone into account but the book made an argument that accounting for unpaid care and housework would help get large numbers of women into employment. But if all those women are in paid employment, the care and house work still has to be done – whether by them or their male counterparts – and would still need to be counted. Maybe I missed something important but I just don’t get how including unpaid work in GDP calculations magically gets women into paid work or how that makes an overall difference. The same amount of stuff still needs to be done, maybe the solution is for everyone to pay each other to clean each other’s houses? Then we’re all paid and no one does any house work? I was confused to say the least.

Small boy

Small boy is 5 and a half. He’s in year 1 and he’s been learning to read with the marvellous Read Write Inc phonics scheme. Its brilliant and he’s made huge progress since we began home learning back in March 2020.

In December, he read his RWI and other school books plus a couple from the library. Then, at Christmas, large boy realised he hadn’t got his brother a present and went to fetch some books he’d grown out of… and now small boy gets a proper book review of his own. Its slow going and he needs help with non-phonetic words that he hasn’t learned yet (sure, cancel, circle, automatically, build, though, enough….etc) but he’s so proud of himself reading proper “grown up” books. He’s back at school so getting RWI books again but I think we’ll just review the chapter books here.

13 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

He started reading this in mid-January and finally finished it in early March, he loved it. He giggled all the way through, but he didn’t just enjoy the silly story. He also appreciated being able to read it himself (mostly). He’s raring to go with the next in the series, but I’m enforcing a break. Next up, the Gorilla who wanted to Grow Up by Jill Tomlinson.

Love from Smell xx

16 thoughts on “March 2021 Reading”

  1. These books sound amazing. I have read the Percy Jackson, there are brilliant books. However, I have not heard of the other books. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the book Boy! I think it was one of my favourites by Roald Dahl if I am honest!

    Yours sounds like an interesting read though. My son enjoyed the treehouse books when he was little. I think I need to dig them out for my daughters to enjoy x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Invisible Women sounds intriguing and I get what you mean with GDP and unpaid work. Unfortunately it’s simply something we haven’t thought through because it’s the not the biggest problem yet.
    Hope you have a great April!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! The book argues it’s a massive problem that we haven’t addressed because it’s too big. I’ve not quite finished it and I’m really struggling because it seems to argue for one approach and then another criticising the first. Its veering back and forth and is rather a set of statements of facts with the barest interpretation. A bit like the introduction of a thesis without the following investigation and conclusion. Interesting but I’m struggling to take anything from it beyond huge frustration with the world.


  4. I love reading wrap-ups at the end of the month! I still have to check out Invisible WOmen from when you mentioned it in your last post, have an insane amount of books to read! Thank you for sharing x

    Liked by 2 people

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