Time for a short break and to let you know what I've been reading.
I started off with Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. Pippi is one of my favorite characters because she brings fun and happiness in everything she does. I would recommend reading about Pippi. Pippi also reminds me of other great book characters like...
Amelia Bedelia and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. I read the version that was illustrated by Laruen Child the creator of Charlie and Lola. An interesting factoid is the translator is Tiina Nunnally who grew up in MIlwaukee and graduated from the University of Wisconsin.
I picked up Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse next. A friend read it for class a while back and recommended it. I would pass along her recommendation. Wonderful piece of historical fiction written in poems set in the time of the Dust Bowl - the Dirty Thirties. If you enjoy history or poetry, I would encourage you to check out this book. It's fabulous.
I finished off with The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary. Many people don't recognize the title because Beverly Cleary is mostly known for her wonderful characters Ramona, Henry and Ralph. I found this book years ago and fell in love with characters and storyline of growing up. The main character Shelley gets a chance to go to California for a year of high school. It's an adventure anyone would want to take when they're growing up.