While it is always fun to discover new treasures, there is a certain feeling of joy when we open the day’s envelope and realize that we will be reading one of our all-time favorites; that a book that we have grown to love is going to be part of our 365 adventure! Tonight was one of those nights, as we pulled the title “Harry and the Lady Next Door” by Gene Zion – which tells the story of Harry’s repeated attempts to give himself relief from the ear-splitting arias of the lady next door. Harry tries to override her with mooing cows or the sounds of the firemen’s brass band, and even tries running off with her sheet music. Eventually, however, Harry finds relief when his machinations contribute to her winning a local singing competition…and sailing away to Europe to attend music school. Our youngest was held rapt throughout the story – we were all impressed at how much she seemed to be hanging on every page.
In extended read-aloud tonight, The “Duke” and the “King” happen upon an opportunity to bilk three recently orphaned girls from their entire fortune by posing as brothers of their recently-deceased father. Despite some bumps in the road (mostly due to the King’s clumsy attempts to pose as an English preacher from Sheffield), the two rapscallions appear well on their way to succeeding in their quest – until the real brothers arrive in town! Huck has begun to feel “powerful” sorry for the orphaned girls, and launches a plan to foil the faux royals and to rid himself of them entirely, but with the arrival of the real brothers things quickly get out of control. Eventually Huck escapes – but so do the Duke and King, who are now entirely broke and desperate – and potentially more dangerous to Huck and Jim than ever.