So, yesterday I was craving french fries. I spent the better part of the morning thinking about what to make for dinner that I could make homemade fries with. Then it hit me. Pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches! So easy it is ridiculous. I bag of frozen chicken breasts and a bottle o your favorite BBQ sauce in the crock pot. No, you don’t have to thaw the chicken first. I put in a couple of dashes of cayenne, a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, and some salt, but only because I used a little water to get all the Sweet Baby Ray’s goodness out of the bottle. That is always our bottled BBQ of choice. Doesn’t matter which style, original, honey or hickory. Heck, Bug uses it instead of ketchup…even on her eggs. (Bleech!) So, you dump it all in the crock pot, and if you have all day, set it to low and cook for 6-8 hours. Me, I started the chicken at 1, set the crock pot to high and we had fully cooked chicken by 5:30. I cut up 8 potatoes into fry shapes, and let them soak in cold water while I made broccoli salad, a recipe I adapted from my cousin KH. I’ll share that recipe another day.
Other than that, there isn’t much going on over here. I have had a sick hubby. Sick enough he went to the doctor on Monday. Sinus infections are no fun. He has the pleasure of a 10 day course of antibiotics, Zyrtec and ibuprofen as needed to keep the headache at bay. The girls and I have just been hanging out. We’ve watched a ton of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes from the late 80’s and early 90’s, some of PBS Masterpiece MYSTERIES’ Inspector Lewis, and finished the available seasons of Murdoch Mysteries (from Canada) on Netflix.
We ladies went into town to the library yesterday, and I picked up another Queen Elizabeth I mystery by Karen Harper and another Elm Creek Quilts novel by Jennifer Chiaverini. I have run into some trouble helping the girls pick out books. I skipped straight from books on a 5th-6th grade level to adult fiction (predominately stuff I shouldn’t have read to be quite honest). I didn’t read much in the mid-range….until now. Some of the “young adult”, teen or juvenile fiction is spectacular. Honestly, I think young adult is a terrible misnomer. It certainly seems more geared to the early teen stage. At least what I have read as an adult any way. I have a couple of series that I have read in the “adult” section that I have recommended to Bug, some Terry Brooks, Maggie Sefton, Margaret Frazer, Sharon Kay Penman, would all be kosher (very little or no bad language, no sex, no descriptions of bloody violence.) Pally on the other hand is even more difficult to recommend books for. She, like me, doesn’t mind being scared. (And no, it doesn’t affect her sleep.) As long as it is book form. I have allowed her to read the Goosebumps books (not scary, but could be for a kid), some ghost stories, other books that if they were geared toward adults would be labeled “paranormal” or “horror” in the book store. Obviously, since they are geared toward kids they aren’t horror. Hopefully my example makes sense. And yes, both of my girls have read the Twilight series. No, they are not fans of the movies. Yes, I read them first, and that is the only reason the girls were allowed to read them already. I have read more romance novels and vampire/were novels than the average Joe. Heck, until recently one of my favorite series of all time was a combo of both if those genres, the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. However, I have become more and more of a prude, and the Anita Blake books have become bloodier and raunchier with every new book. I did check out the most recent one, had it for 2 weeks, even carried in a trip…never even opened it to read the inside of the dust jacket. I purposefully stopped ready the trashy paperback romance novels, I have changed my overall reading habits. I found more and more books I picked up to be inappropriate, or unrealistic (romance-wise). For me. I’m not passing judgement here. Everyone makes their own decisions. I guess what I’m trying to get at, but seem to only be rambling around, is I have changed what I read, so that I can say “nope, you can’t read that book,” without feeling like a hypocrite. It also makes me feel like I am doing more leading by example instead of dictating.
In summary of my rant, what I’m wondering is, does any one have book suggestions for an 11 and 13 (close enough) year old, who both have very HIGH reading levels?