August Literati Box

This was the worst box yet! Tweaking Adrian’s interests didn’t help at all. His selected interests are engineers, adventure, science, funny, history, mystery, humor, mazes, and biography. We even took out fantasy and scifi to see if that helped. But nope. Every book this month was dark, gory stuff. Not at all what he is interested in and not at all like the month’s theme, Our Brilliant Earth. Another month or two like this and we’ll have to say goodbye to our Literati boxes. At least the first several months were good! (boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnineten, eleven, and twelve).

Opening the box started out good. The colors were nice. The picture was attractive. There were fun activities included in the folder. But then we started going through the books.

We sent back four of the five books. Gallant by VE Schwab, Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda, These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, and Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Squad is a graphic novel and usually graphic novels are instant yeses for Adrian, but this was one he wasn’t interested in at all.

The one book we kept was Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos. It’s non-fictions about forensic science and sounds like it’ll be pretty good.

Lunches and Snacks This Week

We pack the kids’ lunches and snacks in Easy Lunchboxes containers. We decided to go with the five compartment ones for lunch and that sees to be working well.

We try to vary what they get, though there is always a sandwich in the lunch, a fruit in both the lunch and snack box, and some sort of treat in the lunch.

We have to be a little bit careful packing the snacks and lunches because Adrian is gluten free and Noah is in a peanut/tree nut free classroom due to a classmates’ allergy. And, of course, we take personal tastes into account (for example, Zeke HATES peanut butter and jelly, but most of his younger siblings love it (Noah eats sunbutter and jelly).

All the kids in school except Fritz get a lunch (he gets free lunch at his school) and all seven of them get a snack. Noah gets two snacks. Little learners get very hungry apparently. Very little comes home after school and what does the others are more than happy to eat so almost nothing goes to waste.

July Literati Box

Adrian has now gotten an entire year of Literati boxes (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnine, ten, and eleven). Once again the books weren’t as great as they have been in the past. It’s interesting. They started doing more targeted boxes and since then we’ve had more misses than ever. I readjusted Adrian’s interests so hopefully August’s box will be better.

The theme this month was One A-Maze-ing Summer. The colors were nice and bright. There was a sort of game/puzzle included. It’s very confusing that they only provide three bookplates but five books in each box now. They used to give six.

This box included All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and A Show for Two by Tashie Bhuiyan. Adrian wasn’t interested in A Show for Two at all so that one went back.

Also in the box was The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Adrian was on the fence about this one. He went back and forth and ultimately decided to keep it.

The final two books in the box were The Darkest Park of the Forest by Holly Black and Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings. He decided to keep both of those.

Taste Test

In an effort to reduce wasted food, I decided to have a taste testing with the seven kids who will be in school this year to see what they like for their lunches and snacks.

I didn’t realize I had bought quite so many snacks. I’ve been building up my supply over the last three weeks.

The result was that Noah liked absolutely everything. Most foods were liked by all seven (or the six who can eat gluten depending on what the food was). Everything was liked by at least three people.

Practice Dropoff and Pickup

Every year before school starts we do a practice run of dropping off and picking up the kids so our new to school kid can know what to expect on the first day. This year Fritz and Adrian played the part of the teachers.

Nicholas is so excited to start school. He felt very big to be able to finally get out of the van instead of just staying in his seat.

But he isn’t so big that he didn’t pack his teddy in his new backpack. When we got home and I went to put away the backpacks I realized there was something in his. It always helps to have a little bit of comfort when doing new things, no matter how exciting they are.