More Oldests, a Library Encounter, and a Bunch of Vacation Books

We are heading out of town for vacation! In the midst of trip-preparation frenzy, here are a few notes I’ve been gathering:

1. Older Siblings Redux: Thanks for the comments and suggestions on the Fictional Oldest Siblings front. Very soon after I finished that post, I had a complete “d’oh” moment as I remembered that I’d just checked out Gregor the Overlander to see if my daughter might like it, and it suddenly dawned on me that Gregor is exactly the kind of character I was trying to think of! A responsible older sibling who dives down into an underground city, rather than lose track of his little sister, and the hero of a whole series.

Also: Ruby Lu of Ruby Lu, Brave and True. I’ve never read the book, have been meaning to for years, came across it at work today and realized that Ruby is an oldest kid as well, and checked it out on the spot to bring on vacation with me. So go, Gregor and Ruby! Do us oldest children proud!

2. Living Legends Dept.: Elizabeth Bird, proprietrix of the blog Fuse #8, is a librarian at the main branch of the New York Public Library and so has more encounters with authors than most of us working in the hinterlands. I expect they get kind of routine after a while. But the other day she wrote about a visit that awed even her. I still remember my mother reading me that book when I was three or four years old, and how it was so exciting that once when she stopped for the night I begged her to go on reading “just until the next little dot.” That was the first chapter book I ever experienced. Oh, I can’t imagine the author just showing up at my library. I got all choked up even just reading about it.

3. Books I am taking on vacation with me (aside from Ruby Lu): The Red Necklace, by Sally Gardner (I’ve been reading it bit by bit for weeks now—maybe I’ll finally finish it!); Candyfloss, by Jacqueline Wilson, whose books I keep wanting to read; and a grownup book, Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin, which I read about on Bookshelves of Doom and promptly checked out at my library, where it was just sitting on the shelf, as if it had been waiting for me all along.

Anyone have any more good vacation reading to recommend? We’re going on one more trip after this one!

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