Last night, I noticed my daughter was once again reading The Two Princesses of Bamarre, for the third time (this year), and I made some typical motherly comment to the effect of she needs to expand her reading horizons instead of reading the same thing over and over. Her brother, ever eager to pile on when someone points out a flaw in his sister, immediately agreed. Before I knew what had happened, they had made a pact to create a reading list for each other - 10 books to be completed this summer.
The lists themselves are pretty telling as to the kids' personalities. Lily's list for Roger has The Two Princesses of Bamarre, of course, as well as Fairest, Princess Academy, Dealing with Dragons...you get the drift. Lots of princesses. Roger's list for Lily reads like a syllabus for a course in the epic adventure -- The Lightning Thief, The Hobbit, Eragon, Redwall, etc.
Lily started The Lightning Thief immediately, and it was such fun to hear her laughing out loud at some parts. She loves it. In fact, she's almost finished it tonight, and she asked Roger if she can suspend the reading list so she can read the rest of the series. So the project was a success.
Roger read Fairest last night and had started on The Two Princesses of Bamarre (that kid can devour books, let me tell you). This morning, he reported that neither book had a main character worthy of the title "protagonist," (not his words) because they are "weak" (his word). Of course I couldn't let that pass without comment. Come to find out, he considers them weak because they aren't like Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, or even Eoweyn (forgive the spelling - it's late, and I'm too lazy to go look it up). That provided the perfect opportunity for a little gender role discussion and to point out that men's ways of being strong aren't the only valid strengths. He at least pretended to listen, ha ha.