Monday, April 19, 2010

Found: A Great Read Aloud!

Talk about exciting!
We just finished reading this book together and can now take some very deep yoga breaths. Breathe in. Breathe out. Move into the downward dog. Kidding! From the very first page, Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix had us reading on the edge of our seats and the suspense didn't stop until we turned the very last page. 

Here's the premise: 
On her first day at work at an airline company, an employee witnesses something that will change her life forever: a plane appears out of nowhere and the only passengers are 36 wide-eyed babies. It disappears just as quickly with no proof of ever having existed.

Fast forward thirteen years. Jonah is a typical thirteen-year-old who worries about making the basketball team and tries to avoid his annoying younger sister. He was adopted as a baby by his straitlaced parents and has read every book on his parent's shelves regarding adoption procedures However, everything he ever knew about his adoption is questioned once he begins to receive some creepy letters in the mail. The first one says, YOU ARE ONE OF THE MISSING. The second one says, BEWARE! THEY ARE COMING BACK TO GET YOU. Creepy, huh? 

So...the big question is...How is the mysterious plane connected to Jonah's letters? Obviously Jonah was one of the babies on the plane, but the mystery that unfolds is much greater (and enormously more complicated) than you can EVER imagine. 

Recipe to Read By: Mountain Dew Cake
This recipe is for Jonah, who once drank two 2-liters of Mountain Dew at a party and then threw up. Hopefully eating this cake won't elicit the same outcome.

1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
10 ounces Mountain Dew™. (You can drink the rest--but not too fast--it will come out of your nose and burn like nobody's business.)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam.

2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, and Mt. Dew. Mix until all ingredients are moistened. While you're vigorously stirring (but not too vigorously--for Pete's sake keep the batter in the bowl!) fantasize about what time travel would actually be like.

3. Lick the spoon. Good stuff.

4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely.

5. To decorate, dust with powdered sugar, or frost with your favorite frosting. 

 6. Serve this to your friends while reading FOUND and see if they can guess what's in it :)

 Behold: Our historical fiction time machine! (Complete with glow-in-the-dark stars, a time warp curtain, and a lever allowing you to choose past, present, or future.)

If you entered a time machine and could choose your destination, where (or when?) would you go?

*The time machine idea came from one of my favorite books, How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell.