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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What We're Reading in May 2018


A couple of weeks ago, at my library's used book sale, I paid a quarter for a vintage hardback copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy. I lugged it home to find that the illustrations were very odd; not at all like any other edition I've ever seen. I checked the inside flap to find that the illustrator was not Garth Williams, but Helen Sewall who illustrated the 1933 first edition prints of the book.

I paid $17.25 for 71 different books. But one of them now holds a very special spot in my attic children's library.

Ask me which one it is.
Go ahead, ask me.

But I digress...

Here's what we'll be reading this month.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)


Read Aloud- everybody

Turkey Red- Martha, a young Mennonite from Russia, struggles with her parents' decision to immigrate the entire family to Kansas to become farmers. Set in a similar time period and backdrop as the Little House on the Prairie series, this book introduces kids to the hardships of both immigrant and settler life.

I've heard from a few folks that Turkey Red can have an overly-preachy tone, but we're only a few chapters in, so I can neither confirm nor deny that. 


Jamie- that's me!

Saturate- As Christians, we're called to be disciples and to disciple others. And yet, the American church body (the people) as a whole, has not been well-equipped to do that, in my humble opinion anyway. In our ignorance, we typically pass that responsibility on to the church (the building and its leaders). Saturate provides some specific WHYs and HOWs and answers the question, "What does it mean to disciple others towards the Gospel?"

To be honest, the book is rather repetitive. While I am in agreement with the message, I think the delivery is underwhelming. 


Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker- I've not even cracked this one open yet, but hope to soon. After reading and absolutely loving America's First Daughter, I went looking for other well-researched, historical fiction. Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and America's First Daughter continued to show up together on booklist after booklist, so I decided to gamble on a new-to-me author and am hoping for the best. 


Sweetie Pea- 9th grade

Forgotten God- In true front-post, back-post style learning, my daughter has been devouring Francis Chan resources. She has read a couple of his books, watched several of his Bible study videos, and has listened to one of his sermons nearly every single day for the past month. She is fascinated by his depiction and definition of the church.


Creativity Inc.- In full disclosure, this is a business book. My daughter has chosen it because she enjoys animation and videography. Written by the co-founder and current president of Pixar, it peels back the curtain to reveal how Disney Animation execs consistently cultivate creativity in their employees. 


Super Boy- 6th grade

Craig & Fred- A soldier memoir written specifically for kids is a rare gem, indeed. As a mother of a boy who has wanted to be in the military since he was still in diapers (no joke), I'm constantly on the lookout for books that can nurture his passion but not introduce him to the foul language that is usually found in soldier memoirs. I've curated a list for him of appropriate titles, and he's slowly working his way through it.

This particular book tells of the happenchance meeting of an American marine and a stray dog in the war-torn desert of Afghanistan and of the budding friendship that helped save them both.


Blonde Warrior- 5th grade

The Mouse and the Motorcycle- After reading two Beverly Cleary books with us as a family last month, my middle son decided to read a few more on his own. This one is especially fun for adventurous boys as it tells of a curious mouse named Ralph who lives in the walls of The Mountain View Inn. When he sees that a young boy and his family arrive at the inn, bringing a toy motorcycle with them, Ralph becomes determined to learn to ride. 


Greased Lightning- 3rd grade

The Enormous Egg- We read this book several years ago as a family. It has mid-century tones and themes similar to those found in Homer Price or old episodes of Leave It to Beaver and tells of a young boy who discovers that a triceratops has hatched out of one of his chicken eggs. Naturally, the book is full of the misadventures of said boy and dinosaur.

In full disclosure, because the book features a triceratops, it mentions evolution and "millions of years" a few times. This is obviously not in keeping with my family's young-earth creationist views. But since my son is reading the book aloud to me, we've been able to dialogue about these man-made theories as they arise. 


The Dude- Kindergarten

Basic Phonics Readers- My youngest son is currently making his way through this set of phonics-based basal readers that correspond with his phonics program. They are eye-catching, simple booklets that focus on the specific sounds he's learning in his daily reading lessons.

Animal Nursery Tales- I'll be reading this book out loud to my youngest son. It is a compilation of several traditional fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.

It's so easy to forget about these old classics and assume that kids know them simply because they're popular and well-known stories. But unless they are intentionally rotated into reading time, they can often get overlooked for more-current titles. 


That's what we're reading in May. How about you?

7 comments:

  1. OK - I'll bite! Which one is it? :)

    Here is what we are reading:

    Read aloud (all of us): Penderwicks on Gardam Street. They are all loving it! :)

    9th grade (actually 10th now) daughter: She and I are reading "Beautiful Girlhood" together this summer. Summer is a time she does a lot of for-fun reading. She devoured books from the Brio Girls series already and has also read a bit of Beverly Lewis books.

    5th grade (actually 6th now) boy: He has been re-reading "Prince Warriors", which he loves! He has a lot of books we bought for him at the library book sale, so I'm not sure what he will dive into next. He says he is going to re-read all three book in the Warriors series first.

    Preschool (actually kindergarten) boy: We have been reading a LOT of books so far this summer (we finished school at the end of April). He's also a beginning reader, so we he has been attempting quite a few of the level one readers on his own. So fun!!! We're taking a trip to the library after lunch to restock!

    Me: I just finished Love Story by Karen Kingsbury last night. Great book that continues to follow the story of the Baxter family. I read all of the other Baxter family books many years ago. I haven't decided what is next for me, but I have a stack of ones I want to finish this summer!

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    1. Beautiful Girlhood--great book! Did you know Brio Magazine is back! Your daughter might like it. My 9th grader loves it.

      I wish I could get into Karen Kingsbury. I just don't like modern/contemporary fiction.

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    2. YES! We get Brio, too! She loves it! :)

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  2. I was nodding my head as you spoke about needing to intentionally include well-known fairy tales in the reading piles for younger kids. I have noticed this recently with my third born: he had some serious gaps in the basics, just because I assumed having done them before with the first and second, he would sort of know them, despite being 6 months old at the time :) I'm not sure what hope there would be for my fourth, who was yet to be conceived!!

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    1. You're not alone. With my last two boys I've had to be really intentional not to assume. I've been cycling back through a lot of the same books that I read to my older ones and reading them with my younger ones.

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  3. Thank you so much for the military book suggestions!!! My son is the same as yours and I am always hunting appropriate books for him to read. Your list is so helpful! And to clarify you are saying the ones on your "good reads" list are all mom approved by you already?

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    1. I have vetted all the ones on the GoodReads list. I have not pre-read them all. I checked review sites like Common Sense Media, asked the opinions of a few folks I trust, and skim-read the preview pages on Amazon. All the being said, please read them at your own risk. Military-themed books are always a bit tricky.

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