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.

Favorite Read Alouds from 2019

Every year as I look back at the books we've read aloud, I'm always surprised at the number of pages we were able to squeeze into twelve short months.

At first blush, this year's book list was a bit underwhelming. There just weren't that many books on it.

Did we not read as regularly? Did I forget to write the titles down as we completed them? Why did our list look so sparse compared to those from previous years? I had to ask myself.

But the truth is, we were just as committed to our reading lives this year as last. Our reading length hadn't changed, but our book-length surely had. As my youngest two children have gotten older, more mature, and more able to sit for longer periods of time, we've all naturally gravitated to books with more complicated plots and more pages. So while our quantity of books was a bit limited this year, our quality of books was more than fine.

In previous years, I've always listed our top 10 read alouds. This year, in fairness, I'm limiting it to just our top 5.

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5. Listening for Lions

by Gloria Whelan

This is the coming-of-age story of Rachel Sheridan, daughter to medical missionaries sent to South Africa by the church of England. When her parents die unexpectedly from the world-wide influenza epidemic, she is forced to leave her beloved South Africa, the only home she has ever known, and move to England. But this is not just any move, it's a twisted plot of deception.

4. The Great Turkey Walk

by Kathleen Karr

If you're in need of a funny, underdog-wins kind of story, this one's for you! In a wild misadventure, Simon Green, elementary school drop out joins forces with an ornery, old codger to drive one thousand turkeys from a farm in Missouri to the untamed boomtown of Denver, Colorado. Along the way, they face many obstacles and form unlikely alliances with a few other societal outcasts.

Please note: There are a few 19th-century swear words sprinkled throughout the story, like dadblameit and durned.

3. Frindle

by Andrew Clements

What makes a word a word? And why can't we call an object by a new name if we want to? For instance, what if pens weren't called pens, but frindles instead? These are the questions that young Nick Allen seeks to answer. His determination to test the limits of vocabulary starts off innocent enough, but soon things take a rather abrupt turn and his new word spreads like wildfire. Will his curiosity get the better of him? Get the better of his entire class? The whole school? His town? The country? Or will his little language experiment prove to be an social and financial investment in his own future.

2. The Penderwicks in Spring

by Jeanne Birdsall

In this third installment of the Penderwicks series, the four Penderwick sisters have grown into young ladies. Little Batty is no longer the baby of the family and struggles to find her place at home, at school, and in her new dog-walking enterprise. Like the previous two books, this one is filled with both heart and humor.

Please note: Because the sisters have grown older in this book, the themes are a bit more mature. I did some on-the-fly editing/omitting as I read aloud. 

1. The Monster in the Hollows and The Warden and the Wolf King

by Andrew Peterson

In the epic conclusion of The Wingfeather Saga, the Igiby family learns what sacrifice and forgiveness really look like and how they can change the lives of even the most nefarious creatures. Book 3 finds Janner, Tink, and Leeli in the Green Hollows, the old stomping grounds of their mother. As always, they face plenty of adventure, but also deep betrayal within their very own family. In Book 4, they battle Gnag the Nameless and his minions for their rightful place as the rulers of Anniera.

We're only a couple weeks into a new year and we're nearly done with our first read aloud. So far, it's garnered lack-luster excitement. We shall see if it makes our favorites list for 2020. Stay tuned...

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