It’s Monday! What are you reading? old and new

Slice of Life logoThis week I read a classic and a newbie. The classic was The Secret Garden. A perfect read for the spring with new plants growing everywhere. The newbie was Erin Stead’s soon to be released Goodbye Stranger.

I like the idea of reading an old classic along side a more up to date or modern text. They are not the best pairing and it was not my intention to pair them but found myself reflecting on both since I read them within days of each other.

They both dealt with

  • relationships between males and females
  • and the understanding of what it means to be a true friend.

Stead’s book was dealing directly  with coming of age boy girl relations and the ease with which we find our selves a part of bullying (in this case cyber bullying). Stead did a masterful job of leading us through the story. She built the plot dilemma slowing and carefully. It is what she did with When You Reach Me as well. I have to admit it was a bit slow getting started but if you stick with it you learn to really care about the characters that drive the story.

The Secret Garden is also a coming of age story but from a long time ago with two spoiled children who learn the world is a much better place when you treat people with respect and care.

The Secret Garden does hold up over time although there are a few passages that younger readers may want to skip over. Burnett can be a bit preachy as she brings her story to a conclusion. Her message is still of valve and her descriptions of the Yorkshire country side are a perfect read during the spring growing season.

 New Reads: This week I am turning to adult books to read Judy Blume’s new release – The Unlikely Event. I plan to finish Echo as well- an amazing little books so far!


Book a Day goal for me was really a book a week but have found myself finishing two books this first week of June. We will see if I can keep up the pace.

What Classic do you plan to reread this summer?  What current read might be a nice pairing with your classic?

The Secret Garden was paired with the picture book  And Then It’s Spring?  for my children’s book club this month.  A nice fit!




About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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5 Responses to It’s Monday! What are you reading? old and new

  1. Linda Baie says:

    How great to read a classic, too. I hadn’t thought about exactly what I want to read, certainly some adult books that have been hanging around waiting. I’ve read both of these, Joanne, and enjoyed them both. I wonder what I would think about The Secret Garden if I re-read it? I did love Stead’s new book-lovely & complicated as always. Enjoy the Blume book.

  2. I found I was grabbed by Stead’s book right from the get go. I kept wondering who the unnamed narrator was though and that got in my way a bit. Rebecca Stead can do no wrong!

  3. Myra GB says:

    I did not fall in love with When You Reach Me as much as I thought I would. I will have to find the new Stead book and see whether that one would be a better experience.

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