December wasn’t filled with a lot of reading. I did complete four books, though.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – yes, this is a classic children’s book; however, I had never read it!
Milo is one of those children who are always bored. When he decides he wants to do something or go somewhere, once he is there and doing that thing, he no longer wants it. One day he comes home from school and finds in his bedroom a mysterious box addressed to him. Upon opening the box, he finds the materials and instructions for a tollbooth. After constructing the tollbooth, Milo climbs into his car and follows the instructions…which take him to unfamiliar territory where logic and imagination change his views. While on the quest to save the two princesses – and many adventures encountered due to this quest – Milo learns more about himself and the world around him.
I liked the story, but thought it was confusing at times. Perhaps due to the interruptions and distractions while reading it? It won’t be added to the list of my favorite children’s books.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – this was for my book group, but I couldn’t make it there in December, due to a programming conflict.
When his parents and older sister are murdered down the street from a graveyard, Nobody Owens is adopted by a ghostly couple and given free reign of the cemetery. The members of his adoptive family are all inhabitants of the graveyard and have been dead for many years. Bod has adventures throughout the graveyard and learns lessons from the various inhabitants while growing up amongst the dead. Unfortunately, Jack - the man who murdered his family - is still looking for him. Can Bod survive outside the graveyard, or will Jack find him and finish the task he started years before?
It took me a while to get into this book. Once I did, though, I enjoyed the tale and found that I want to know more. I hope the author is writing a sequel!