East of Eden Readalong, Installment #1


Hey there, friends! Today is our first stop in the East of Eden Readalong! How’s it going for you so far? Are you enjoying this chunkster of a book?

For today’s discussion, feel free to link up your own discussion posts from your blogs, come back and link up later, or discuss in the comments! We’re pretty free-flowing around these parts.

Questions to think about if you need them!

1. What do you think of the style of Steinbeck’s writing? Readable and awesome or slow and slogging?

2. We have a wicked case of sibling rivalry going on here. What are your thoughts on Adam and Charles’ relationship thus far? Their father’s influence?

3. Just….Cathy. Expound.

4. It remains to be seen how Samuel Hamilton’s brood will play into the story. Any guesses?

We’ll see you back here for another discussion next Monday, August 4!

100 Chapter Books Project: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

wherethemountainIt’s strange but I happened to queue up two Newbery Honor books in a row even though I’m skipping around the Top 100 list. This has made for a summer of fantastic chapter book reads so far. This time it was Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (2009).

What it’s about: Based on many different Chinese folktales, it’s the story of Minli and her mom and her dad who live in a very small home with few possessions and just enough food to survive. Minli’s father, Ba, is happy with his family and loves telling stories while they eat their daily rice but Ma is extremely grumpy and dissatisfied. Her dissatisfaction eventually infects Minli and the young girl sets off to find the Old Man of the Moon in an attempt to change their fortunes. She meets many interesting characters along the way and has tons of adventures. She also learns something about what true fortunes are made of.

Age level: Grade 4-6

Best part: I loved the way that so many different folktales were woven together and formed into a single story.

Worst part: The only bad part of my reading experience was that my library copy was missing a few pages about two thirds of the way in. I had to wait two days to see what happened when Minli was attacked by a tiger!

Verdict: Buy

This is one of those books with a girl protagonist that isn’t a girly book at all. I thought it was fantastic. It has gorgeous illustrations and is a great introduction to Chinese folktales. There was one character personality change in the story too that was completely unexpected and very heartwarming. I will probably see if Z wants to read it next because I think he would enjoy it too.

I’m pretty excited to finally read Holes next. I’ve seen the movie version a few times over the years and, if tradition holds, the book will be better, right? And yes, it’s a Newbery Medal winner!


Schedule – July through October

note: dates are not necessarily set in stone – posts may go up a day or two before or after

July 31 – #6 Holes by Louis Sachar (1998)

August 15 – #74 Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (1970)

August 30 – #66 The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (2009)

September 15 – #14 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1938)

September 30 – Project Update – Two Years In!

October 15 – #79 The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (1967)

#EstellaProject East of Eden Readalong!

So last year round about this time, we did a fantabulous readalong of A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving for the first #EstellaProject! This year we’re tackling East of Eden, by John Steinbeck!



Our readalong will “begin” on July 21 with the following discussion schedule:

  • Monday, July 28 – Chapter 1-13
  • Monday, August 4 – Chapters 14-27
  • Monday August 11 – Chapters 28-40
  • Monday, August 18 – Chapters 41-end

Every week we’ll provide a questions, a spot to link up your discussion from your blog, OR you can participate by discussing in the comments. Feel free to deviate from the schedule and post as you can or you may decide to wait until the end! We’re totally easygoing!

Hashtag #EstellaProject on Twitter and we’ll check on ya from time to time!

Now, let’s get dusty!