Tag Archives: What We’re Reading Wednesdays

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Squanto & The Miracle of Thanksgiving

12 Nov

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Here’s a repost from the archives. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving is our favorite Thanksgiving book because of how it has led our family to celebrate the greatness of God. Read more here.

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Also, this previous post features other Thanksgiving reads that our family has enjoyed. Of particular note is Thank You, Sarah, which was a new one that we read last year. It is a delightful read about the woman who petitioned for Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. 🙂

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What We’re Reading Wednesday #6

3 Sep

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Here’s the latest installment of What We’re Reading Wednesday! I hope this series is inspiring you to discover unknown books or authors to introduce to your family (or yourself!)

WWRW #6

Duck in the Truck and Hit the Ball Duck–These are books that I was introduced to through my new Usborne business. My boys are LOVING these books with Duck, Frog, Goat, and Sheep as they get into some precarious, yet hilarious, predicaments. Jez Alborough is a new favorite author, thanks to these books!

Animal Trunk: Silly Poems To Read Aloud–I am trying to be more proactive about incorporating poetry into our literary diet. I grabbed this one by chance off the library shelf, and it has been a hit! My 4 year old and I had a pleasant, giggle-filled time reading this prose about various animals.

See Inside Your Body–This is another book that I was introduced to thanks to my new Usborne business! 🙂 We are studying the human body in Classical Conversations this year. I wanted an age-appropriate yet densely informative book to read at home with  my boys so that they could glean more details about our bodies. We have, thoroughly, enjoyed it, and the “Lift-The-Flap” component makes each page an adventure! Two thumbs up for this book from all 3 of my boys.

The Read-Aloud Handbook–“This is not a book about teaching a child how to read; it’s about teaching a child to want to read.” (p. XXI Introduction) I was introduced to this book through Usborne, whose catalog includes statistics from the book.  This book has left me speechless–Wow, just WOW! I recommend that any and all parents and educators own and read this book. The statistical data Trelease compiles will make you want to spend every minute of every day reading to your children (or at least I hope it will!). The plethora of benefits that are bestowed on children when read to by a parent or adult are astronomical.  For example, Trelease quotes a longitudinal study that found, “children who were read to at least three times a week had a significantly greater phonemic awareness when they entered kindergaren than did children who were read to less often, and…they were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading.” (page 9)

Do you want to read to your kiddos but don’t know where to start? This book will help! The beauty of this book is its two segments. The first division of the book is the inspirational, fact-based, oh-so-convincing treatise as to why we should read aloud. The last section of the book is page after page after page of book recommendations. Each book entry contains a short summary of the book and suggested age/grade for the target audience. Take this book with you to the library and let it introduce you to some classic, “read-it-again-Mom” books and authors. Here’s your subliminal message for today–Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. (Subliminal message is over.) I truly believe that all children can become book lovers, and no, it won’t always happen overnight and takes an investment of time from the parents. However, this is one of the greatest gifts that a parent can bestow on their child. As Trelease so eloquently writes, “the least expensive thing we can give a child outside of a hug turns out to be the most valuable: words” (page 16).

The Digital Invasion: How Technology Is Shaping You and Your Relationships–I first heard about this book over the summer when I read a blog post titled The iPad is Stealing My Son’s Childhood. I was intrigued by the title of the blog post and had to read it. The blogger wrote the post after reading The Digital Invasion. Does any other parent have to answer this question “Can I play the iPad?” oh, about a hundred times a day?!?!? I was intrigued by the premise of The Digial Invasion and immediately added this book to my “to read” list. My reservations going into the book were that there would be lots of scare tactics and undocumented assertions about technology. I actually began reading the book with much skepticism but, in the end, resonated with the book. The authors, a psychologist and a counselor, offered much food for thought regarding the influence of technology on families and relationships. Let’s face it. We have all been in a restaurant and noticed a table nearby where all gathered ’round the table have eyes glued on phones or devices. I always look at those scenarios and tell myself, “I don’t want that to be my family. I want us to talk to one another.” The Digital Invasion left me with much to ponder about technology, my sons, and our family. The bottom line is that technology is influencing us, whether we want it to or not. The Digital Invasion was an encouragement to me to evaluate, be aware and mindful, not oblivious, of technology’s role and influence in my life and my loved one’s lives. It has been the impetus to some healthy, on-going converstations between my husband and I about our desires for our family.

Owl at Home-We are huge Arnold Lobel fans in our home! My second son is currently read this aloud to us during school time, and it is a laugh-a-minute! Lobel also wrote one of our other “Mosley favorites”–the Frog and Toad series! Introduce your kiddos to Arnold Lobel! Love, love, love his books! Here is a list of Arnold Lobel’s other books.

Pocahontas and the Strangers–We are studying American History this year…and loving it!! My oldest son is reading this book aloud, and we love the author Clyde Robert Bulla, who has written a tome of fabulous books for children. We are enjoying this Pocahontas biography. We might have to watch the Disney version and compare the movie and the book! Should be interesting! HAHA!

Pedro’s Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus, August 3, 1492-February 14, 1493–This historical fiction gem is a collection of journal entries from Pedro, a young cabin boy for Christopher Columbus during his expedition with the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. This has been a fun read for us! It offers a unique perspective on the oft-told tale of Columbus and his journey “to India,” and the literary vehicle of a journal gives a personalization to this historical event that I had missed when studying it previously.

So, that’s a wrap for this week! What are YOU reading this week?!?!? Comment below to share with us!

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Installment #5

14 May

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Happy Wednesday! Here are some of the books that we’ve been perusing through the past 2 weeks. We were on vacation last week, so the majority of our reading came through audio books while driving. I love that my boys are audio book fans. I’m sure yours can be too! To read previous “What We’re Reading Wednesday posts,” click here.

What We're Reading #5

Hunches in Bunches and Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! (by Dr. Seuss)-If you didn’t notice between “What We’re Reading Wednesday” Installment #4 and today’s installment, we are currently on a Dr. Seuss kick with my youngest son! He can’t get enough of Dr. Seuss, so we’re emptying the library’s shelves of any and all of his books. We enjoyed both books, but I was especially encouraged by the story of  Oh, The Thinks You Can Think! The encouragement of children to imagine and dream was the core theme. I feel like children these days are losing their imaginations, so read this and inspire your kiddos! AND…after you read it, let them have some paper, tape and crayons and create and imagine something new today!

The Child’s Story Bible (by Catherine Vos)-This is on our list of FAVORITE children’s Bibles! Now that Easter is over, and we finished The Word Became Flesh Easter Advent devotion, we’ve returned to The Child’s Story Bible during our “Bible Time” (as our boys call it) reading at breakfast. This was originally published in 1935 (I LOVE OLD BOOKS!!!) is a story book version for children containing both Old Testament and New Testament stories. I can’t recommend this highly enough! The quantity of Biblical stories that my sons (and ME, let’s be honest!) have gleaned from this story book Bible is astounding. It is written in a captivating, narrative format. The readings only take 5-10 minutes, but the dialog and Q&A time that you can have with your children is endless! The Child’s Story Bible is geared for children ages 4-12, and I would say that’s been an accurate fit in our home. Vos includes great detail in each story, so younger children’s attention span might be lost with its reading. (See our list of Children’s Bibles That We Love to get a detailed list of age-appropriate children’s Bibles that we adore!)

The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education (by Leigh Bortins)-We just finished our second year of Classical Conversations, and we could not have found a better fit for our family! I write about Classical Conversations on this blog a lot. If you are curious about what Classical Conversations is or how you can classically educate your child at home, this is a “must read.” I’m embarrassed that it’s taken me 2 years to read The Core. I think it would have helped me tremendously to have read it our first year. However,  I was also a Classical Conversations tutor our first year, which had a huge learning curve. I didn’t do much reading last year. ha! I love the explanation of the 3 stages of the Classical Model: Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric and how this book “freed” me up as I continue to learn day by day how to classically educate my sons at home. This book is geared towards understanding the Grammar stage and explains how to approach subjects like Math, History, Geography, Reading during the Grammar stage. If you are new to Classical Conversations or thinking about classical education for your kiddos, I highly commend The Core to you. I am also reading and enjoying Echo in Celebration by Leigh Bortins. It is a FREE .pdf download, so I couldn’t include it in the above picture.  🙂 It includes more information on the classical model of education and implementing it at home. It’s another great read for those new or involved with Classical Conversations or wanting to know more about the classical model.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic (by Betty Macdonald)-I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle as a child! One of my elementary school teachers read it aloud to us during rest time. I was excited to introduce my boys to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and they have loved her as much as I have! After reading the initial book in the series, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic, my sons have insisted that we read all of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. I happily obliged! Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a quirky old lady, who eagerly helps parents experiencing crazy behaviors from their children. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s cures usually comes in the form of a magic concoction to help with such behaviors as being a tattle tale, constantly interrupting, or bad table manners. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s magic always helps rid the child of the unsightly behavior. Our favorite cure from this book was the “Thought You Said” cure. The 3 children in this family continually fail to do what their parents instruct them because they thought they said something else. My boys laughed outloud nonstop during that entire chapter. The children’s renditions of their parents instructions was hysterical. Thankfully, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle helped the parents rescue their children using her “Thought You Said” cure. My only regret is that I can’t call Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to get this cure for my sons! ha! “Clean your room?” my boys inquire. “We thought you said, ‘swing on a broom.'” Where’s Mrs. Piggle Wiggle when you need her?!?!?

Third-Grade Detectives #4: The Cobweb Confession (by George E. Stanley and Salvatore Murdocca)-My third grader was ecstatic about finding these books! Being in 3rd grade himself, he can empathize and identify with the characters in the book. 🙂 If you have a third grader or a second grader eager to be “older” (HA!), the Third Grade Detective series might hit the spot! My oldest son is currently reading this book aloud to me. The chapters are short and the story engaging, which is a win-win for him. I love to see him excited about reading; that has not always been the case! 🙂

Cora Frear (by Susan E. Goodman)-Cora Frear is a book in the Brave Kids series, which is a new-to-us series that we’ve been introduced to. Cora Frear was a real girl who lived on the prairie during late 19th century America. The book contains an Afterword and gives detail about the real Cora Frear; my boys loved the Afterword almost as much as the actual book! They were flabbergasted to learn that she was real!

 Cora’s father was a doctor, and she often accompanied him on house calls, which often involved miles and miles of travel through the prairie. The story revolves around Cora and her father making a trek across the prairie for a house call, and in the midst of their journey, they find themselves trapped in a prairie fire. I was even on pins and needles as my son read this aloud. I was the one chanting, “one more chapter, one more chapter” to him; it’s usually vice versa! If you have a child insterested in American History or if you are in Classical Conversations and looking for Cycle 3 books, Cora Frear is a gem of a book!

Audio Books that we’re “reading”:

I’ve been writing a lot recently about how much we LOVE audio books. ( If you missed the previous 3 posts that were a part of my Friday Favorites series, you can read them here, here, and here.) I’ve decided to include audio books that we’re “reading” in my What We’re Reading Wednesday posts.

Since we traveled last week, I always stack up on audio books for our journey. As I mentioned, my youngest son is currently stuck on Dr. Seuss, so we enjoyed Green Eggs and Ham and Other Servings of Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat and Other Dr. Seuss Favorites both collections of multiple Dr. Seuss books. We have previously started reading Little House In The Big Woods , but had not finished it. In my quick library run to stock up on audio books for the trip, I found the audio book version. It was a huge hit during our travels!

It’s Wednesday, so comment below and let Suzanne Shares readers know what you’re reading! Hip, Hip, Hooray for books and quality literature! Happy Wednesday!

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Installment #4

23 Apr

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Here’s our 4th installment of What We’re Reading Wednesday! Hope this gives you some great books to find at your library or buy for your home! To give you some encouragement, we’ve had a busy couple of weeks and not been able to read as much as I’d like or had hoped. And instead of beating myself up about it, I just realize…that’s reality! 🙂 (See, I told you I don’t have it all together!!! 🙂 ) Tomorrow is a new day, so we’ll start again then.  So, if you still have a pile of unread library books (like I do), give yourself grace and start again tomorrow. 🙂

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Animalia (by Graeme Base)–This is a fabulous alphabet book filled with alliteration! The book goes through all 26 letters, selects an animal to correspond with each letter, and describes each animal with hilarious alliterative adjectives. If you are studying the alphabet, alliteration, or animals, this is a great book to jump into! I found it thanks to Honey For A Child’s Heart.

RRRalph (by Lois Ehlert)–This book was leftover from our ‘clearing the library bookshelves’ of Lois Ehlert’s books as mentioned in our last What We’re Reading Wednesday post. In classic Ehlert style, the book is filled with marvelous illustrations created and built out of the most imaginative pieces of “stuff” that you might find around your house. I read this to my 4 year old, and he asked me to read it to him three times in a row. 🙂 Clearly, HE enjoyed this book!

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories and Fox in Socks (by Dr. Seuss)–A faithful reader and friend, Lorie recommended that I look at the Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, so I quickly snagged it at the library. It’s a fascinating book if you’re a Dr. Seuss fan. It’s filled with seven short stories written by Dr. Seuss that were published in the 1950s but virtually “lost.” If you’ve read all of Dr. Seuss’s books, you’ll enjoy this “new” one. As we were perusing the Dr. Seuss section of the library, I came across Fox in Socks and realized that we’d never read the book. We have enjoyed the silly, spit-all-over-each-other-as-we-read tongue twisters. Much like Animalia above, it’s filled with excellent examples of alliteration. The literary device of alliteration came up in our phonics curriculum this week, so it was great fun to connect what they learned in phonics with Fox in Socks and Animalia.

The Beginner’s Bible-This was on son #2’s reading list for school (thanks to Sonlight!). He’s enjoyed reading it, and I can hardly stop him from reading the day’s “assignment.”

The Case of the Two Masked Robbers (by Lillian Hoban)-I picked this up for son #2 at the library. He’s eager to read “big” books, so I was hoping he could read this and feel confident that he had read a “big” book. He read this with me and his 2 brothers, and we all enjoyed it.

The Mystery of the Wild West Bandit  (by Gertrude Chandler Warner)-If you’re read any of the previous What We’re Reading Wednesday posts, you’ll notice a theme–The Boxcar Children! My boys love Boxcar Children–no secret. In this book, Henry, Benny, Violet and Jessie attend a Wild West Festival and stumble upon a mystery.

Tippy Lemmey (by Patricia C. McKissack)-My oldest son is reading this book about a neighborhood dog, Tippy Lemmey, that is giving the neighborhood children fits. The story is set in the United States during the years of the Korean War. My son’s eyes lit up when he read “war in Korea” since we had just been learning about the Korean War in Classical Conversations! This book is a great read for a kiddo who loves dogs.

Our current Audio Books selections have consisted of: Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Andersen’s Fairy Tales. I’ve been writing a lot recently about how much we LOVE audio books. ( If you missed the previous 3 posts that were a part of my Friday Favorites series, you can read them here, here, and here.) I’ve decided to include audio books that we’re “reading” in my What We’re Reading Wednesday posts.

It’s Wednesday–what are YOU reading?!?! Please comment below! Can’t wait to discover great books from you, my fabulous readers!

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Installment #3

9 Apr

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Welcome back for installment #3 of “What We’re Reading Wednesday.” See previous posts here. As always, please comment and share what you’re reading!

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The Field Mouse and the Dinosaur Named Sue (by Jan Wahl)–I was excited to find this book at Goodwill a couple of months ago. 🙂 It’s taken us that long to read it. ha! 🙂 Our family went to Chicago last year for vacation. We visited the Field Museum, so I wanted to read this with the boys and learn more about Sue. If you’re heading to Chicago and the Field Museum in the future, this book is a great way to introduce “Sue” to your kiddos before you meet her in person! Just a disclaimer that I had to do some “editing” on the fly as we read it. It tells of how many millions of years old the dinosaur bones were.

Time for Bed (by Mem Fox)–This sweet bedtime book is a classic that we’ve just now discovered! My parents were in town when we got this book, and my Dad was able to read it to my boys. My boys will always remember this book as “Pop’s book” that he read to them. 🙂 I love how books create lasting memories with loved ones.

Books by Lois Ehlert–As I mentioned in the last installment of “What We’re Reading Wednesday,” I have introduced a principle into our family since reading Honey For A Child’s Heart. Once I discover a recommended author or an author my kiddos idolize, I check out copious amounts of books written by him/her. One of this week’s “clean off the library shelf” author selection was Lois Ehlert.  We checked out about 10 of her books! We have enjoyed Color Zoo, Color Farm, Pie in the Sky, Nuts to You!, and Snowballs this week. I enjoyed the nature themes in the books that we read, but most of all, I adored the vibrant colors, unique mediums used to create the illustrations. To say that they were pleasing to the eye would be an  understatement. These books are written toward a preschool audience, but even my school agers enjoyed them! We haven’t read it yet, but I’m hoping to read Leaf Man by Ehlert with them this week. We actually used leaves to make a man during Fall a couple of years ago. (Thanks to Pinterest!) Now, I know that the idea was probably inspired by this book.

The Moon Shines Down (by Margaret Wise Brown)–Our second “clean off the library shelf” author for the this week was Margaret Wise Brown. If you’ve read only one children’s book, there is a high likelihood that it was Brown’s Goodnight Moon, clearly a classic. We have read lots of Margaret Wise Brown’s books; she wrote heaps of books. I was drawn to The Moon Shines Down because the book’s cover indicated it was a lost work of Brown’s. The book is based upon the prayer, “God bless the moon, and God bless me.” A little koala embarks around the world, visiting various locations. The koala’s trek around the world was especially joyous to read with my boys because of the numerous connections with the Geography locations we learned this past year in Classical Conversations Cycle 2. So, so fun! Here is a list of other books by Margaret Wise Brown, including two others that we enjoyed this week–The Sailor Dog and Four Fur Feet.

Who Was….? Series (by various authors)–My oldest son has been devouring these books! He adores history, and he also adores reading on our family Kindle. He broke his arm last week, and it was his writing hand, which has impacted some of our schooling plans. 🙂 Therefore, he’s had lots of free time on his hands, so he’s wanted extra time on the Kindle. When any of our boys ask  to read, we try not to squelch it! 🙂 He has gotten into these “Who Was…?” books, and we can check out the Kindle version of many of them via our local library. Who Was George Washington?, Who Was Davy Crockett?, Who Was Paul Revere?, and Who Was Jackie Robinson? have been some of his favorites. If your child is eager to start “chapter” books on his/her own, these might be a good place to start.

Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother (by Carolyn Mahaney)–I am reading this with some younger women from my church. It is based on Titus 2 and walks through 7 virtues of a godly wife and mother. I read it 7 years ago when I was a young mom, and I loved it. I’m enjoying reading it as the “older” mom with the younger moms. This is a great read for any woman! If you are a young woman and desiring to be mentored, grab this book and an older, godly woman and read through it together. Or, if you’re an older woman and desiring to mentor younger women, this would be an excellent resource for you. There are study questions at the conclusion of the book that can be used to guide small group discussion.

Audio books that we’re “reading”

With the past two Friday Favorites posts (read them here and here) about our love of audio books, I thought I would include audio books in our “What We’re Reading Wednesday” series. Our boys are enjoying these books this week: How to Eat Fried Worms (by Thomas Rockwell) and two Boxcar children audio books: The Boxcar Children The Great Bicycle Race Mystery and  The Boxcar Children Collection Volume 43 (by Gertrude Chandler Warner).

So, that’s a wrap for Wednesday! Please comment and share with all of us what you’re reading this week!

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What We’re Reading Wednesday: Installment #2

26 Mar

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

It’s Wednesday! Time to take a peek at “What We’re Reading” around our Casa! I hope that you find some books to pick up for yourself, your kiddos, or your family! You can view past “What We’re Reading Wednesday” installments here or click on the tag cloud on the right side of the blog.

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A Tale of Two Cities (by Charles Dickens)-I read this book my junior year of high school with my amazing English teacher, Mrs. Wilhite. One of the history statements that my boys (and their mom! 🙂 ) learned in Classical Conversations this year was about the French Revolution. When I hear “French Revolution,” I always, always, always think about this book, and all year I’ve wanted to re-read this book. After finishing Anna Karenina, I decided that A Tale of Two Cities would be my next book. I got it as a free Kindle book a year or so ago and had forgotten about it. I was glad to make this discovery on my Kindle a couple of weeks ago when perusing through its contents. I am glad to be re-reading it after ______ years (No, I’m not going to confess how many years have transpired since my junior year of high school. ha!). I’m surprised at how much I remember…as well as how much I’ve forgotten. 11th grade was a long, long, time ago. 🙂

The Word Became Flesh (by Faye Maynard)-Our family is continuing to journey through this devotion for Lent. This is our 4th year to use it, and we love how it puts our family in the Word, reading together about the life of Christ, culminating in the joyous celebration of Easter morning! To read more about this book and how to use it with your family, see my previous post.

King of the Wind (by Marguerite Henry)-My dear friend and fellow book lover, Whitney, told me about this book. She loved horses as a girl and enjoyed this book as a child. I, not loving horses as a girl, did not read this as a child. 🙂 I found it over the weekend for $1 at a used bookstore. After Whitney’s rave review, I picked it up. After all, if it was a dud, I had only spent $1. 🙂 Once I started reading the book, though, I couldn’t put it down. The story is about Sham, a horse from Morocco and Agba, a young boy who was Sham’s caretaker. Sham and Agba have many adventures–both tragic and exhilarating–that lead them from Morocco to France and finally England. Their adventures drew me in, broke my heart and made me smile. This will be a book that I read aloud and share with my boys. I also reveled in this book because of its setting. After college, I lived in North Africa for a year and spent some time in Morocco.  The accuracy of Henry’s description of the culture, language and people was spot on. The story transported me back there and made me homesick for a place I grew to deeply love.

A Fly Went by (by Mike McClintock)-This was on my middle son’s reading list from Sonlight.  The story is about a fly who went by a little boy, and each page gives you a greater understanding of why the fly…went by. It is in the Dr. Seuss Beginner Book series, so I was surprised that that we had not heard of it. I wanted to highlight it here because you might be like me and not heard of it either. It’s delightful! Plus, it was published in 1958, and I just love old books that have stood the test of time. 🙂

A Big Ball of String (by Marion Holland)-This was also on my middle son’s reading list and is another Dr. Seuss Beginner Book that was unfamiliar to us. It, too, was published in 1958 and appears, sadly, to be out of print. Maybe you can find a copy at your local library. The little boy in the story finds many creative uses for his big ball of string. It reminded me of how the simplest things–like a ball of yarn–are often the most entertaining for my boys. I love how such simple things breed their creativity.

The Berenstain Bears (by Stan & Jan Berenstain)-As you’ll notice there are 4 different Berenstain Bears books in the pictures. Those 4 books were only about a third of the Berenstain Bears books that we checked out from the library last week. This is a principle that I follow thanks to reading Honey for A Child’s Heart. Here’s my principle–When I find an author that my kiddos enjoy, I check out any and all books that he/she wrote or has written. I created this principle which our family adheres to during library visits based on—logic. 🙂 If we enjoy one book by a particular author, surely we will enjoy other books that he/she penned, right? Since initiating this principle, my logical conclusion has been right more often than it has been wrong. There have been a few duds along the way, but the majority of the time we have enjoyed multiple books by the same author. Plus, it’s really fun to go to a shelf at the local library featuring a particular author and empty its contents into your library bag. (At least that is really fun for me. ha!)

Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World (by Douglas Wood)-We have been continuing in World War II readings since it was highlighted for a couple weeks in Classical Conversations. FDR and Churchill were two WWII leaders highlighted one week, so I picked this book up when I noticed it at the library. My boys eat, sleep, and breathe history, so I thought they’d enjoy learning more about these two men. This book was a fun read. Churchill ‘s fireball personality was displayed in one of the stories the book recounts from his visit to the White House the Christmas of 1941. Upon first speaking to the press after arriving in D.C., Roosevelt and Churchill sat behind a desk in a room filled to overflowing with members of the press. Roosevelt told Churchill that he wished the media could see him better. Churchill responds by climbing on his chair and standing upright in it; the media immediately embraced this memorable man. After reading the book with my boys, it became evident to me why the British unwavered in their opposition of Germany during WWII–Winston Churchill. His determined will to oppose the Axis Powers became his country’s will. I think I’m going to have to add a Winston Churchill biography to my “to read” list. Any suggestions?

What are YOU Reading this week?

 

What We’re Reading Wednesday-installment #1

12 Mar

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

I am probably the most excited about this new series, “What We’re Reading Wednesday” on Suzanne Shares. I just love a good book. That’s all there is to it! I love learning about quality literature with a powerful plot line, hustling to the library to check it out, and reading it. Now, I will admit my book-reading quantity hit an all time low when my boys were teeny-weeny. I remember talking to an older, wiser woman at our church about it at the time. She said, “You’re a ‘reader’ trapped in a mother-of-toddlers body.” She reminded me that there would again be days where I could sit down peacefully (and quietly) and enjoy a book. At the time, I didn’t believe her, but our sons are now 8, 6, and 4. Those days are slowly returning. So, if you’re a mother to teeny-weeny ones and are, as I was, a “reader” trapped in a mother-of-toddlers body, give yourself grace. Your days of reading quality literature will return. Seize the opportunity to read quality children’s literature to your teeny-weeny ones; you’ll love it too.

So, here’s how “What We’re Reading Wednesday” will work. 🙂 I’m hoping to post weekly, but it may be more realistic to post twice a month. I’m all about keeping you on your toes and holding you in suspense! I’ll post a picture of the books we’re reading. I hope to give you a little background on each book in hopes that it will whet your appetite to read it for yourself (or not, if it’s a book I’m reading but not currently enjoying). I will include books that my boys and I are reading, too. “Read Aloud Books” are a staple in the Mosley home/homeschool. Some days that is the only reading that I get around to, so those will be noteworthy, too.

And, again, because I don’t have it all together and never want it to appear that way, please know this is not my attempt to ‘flaunt’ what we’re doing in our home. Also, please note that if you successfully read one book this week (and if the author’s first name is “Dr.” and his last name is “Seuss”), that is AMAZING! I plan to share for this week’s “Friday Favorites” a dearly beloved book that has been the most influential document (and, consequently, my family’s) regarding how to incorporate literature into my life and the life of my family. At this point, I’m four years into the process, and I had no idea where to begin or what to read. I definitely started with small goals, small books, and you can, too. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time.

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These are the books we delved into over the past week, and please note that none of them were completed in a week. We wrapped up a few, continued on in some and started some new ones.

Corrie ten Boom (by Janet & Geoff Benge): One Christmas when I was in high school, I received a copy of The Hiding Place. I couldn’t put it down. For 72 hours I read and slept; that was it. I was taken in by the story of Corrie and her family during World War II, their imprisonment for assisting Jewish families in escaping the Nazis, but most of all the presence and might of God in Corrie’s life during those difficult days of jail. I couldn’t wait to introduce my sons to Corrie ten Boom, and since our studies with Classical Conversations have been about World War II, I thought this would be the perfect moment to let them meet her. We are HUGE fans of the Christian Heroes Then and Now series, so I was excited to see they had one about Corrie ten Boom. We started it this week, and it has drawn in my boys. 🙂 (Other recommendations from that series that we’ve read and enjoyed: George Muller, Gladys Aylward, Lottie Moon, and Eric Liddell)

The Blue Fairy Book (by Andrew Lang): This is currently FREE on Kindle (woot!). I love old books that have stood the test of time, and The Blue Fairy Book is one of those! However, I have only learned recently about the Fairy books by Andrew Lang. There are multiple volumes, and they are all “color” names: Crimson, Orange, Green, Blue, etc. Lang compiled these books beginning in 1889 with the Blue Fairy Book and continued with many more. Each book is a compilation of fairy tales and myths that you have probably previously been introduced to via Disney or Pixar–Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, Rumplestiltskin, etc. We read a few selections out of here, and it was enjoyable to read the “old” versions of many of these popular movies. As with any book made into a movie, they are not always the same, and I always enjoy the book better. ha! We were introduced to The Blue Fairy Book by a book that we use in homeschooling called, Writing With Ease. “Writing With Ease” is an excellent series of leveled workbooks to practice the classical skills of Narration, Copywork, and Dictation. One of my favorite bonuses from “Writing With Ease” is that it has introduced us to multiple, classic pieces of children’s literature that we had not heard of previously; The Blue Fairy Book was one of those!

Viking Adventure (Clyde Robert Bulla): Our “Read To Mommy” books, as they’re called in our home, come from Sonlight. Sonlight has a set of “Readers” recommended per grade, and we have used those since our oldest was in 1st grade. This is a great resource to find quality children’s literature; we have enjoyed every book that Sonlight has introduced us to! “Viking Adventures” is the book that our oldest is currently reading. He’s read a couple of other books by the same author this year, and he’s loved them!

Alvin C. York:Young Marksman (by E.H. Weddle): Sadly, this book is out of print, so I hope your library has a copy like mine did! We have also been studying World War One with Classical Conversations recently. I wanted to track down a book about Alvin C. York. As a Tennessean, I had heard of Sergeant York recalling that he was heroic and instrumental in some war, but that was the extent of my knowledge. This was a delightful “Read Aloud” with the boys. Of course, they were engrossed with the tales of hunting and York’s gun. 🙂 (Mothers of sons will understand that sentence!) I enjoyed the multiple references to the geography, towns of Tennessee and being able in my mind’s eye to see each location mentioned. York’s valor in World War One was epic; however, he, with great humility, never asked for the accolades he received. Greater still was his investment in the lives and education, particularly children, of those from his region of Tennessee. We were so enthralled with the story and the fact that he was a Tennessean that we are hoping to visit his home in the next couple of months! This book was published in 1967, and it is an interesting commentary on how things have changed when fast forwarded ahead 50 years. This secular book, part of the “Childhood of Famous Americans” series, does not omit or candy coat the faith of Alvin C. York, who was a professed Christian. Having known nothing of him previously, I was encouraged to see how York’s faith intersected with his life. This was a memorably “family read.” The longevity of its impact on my sons is already being felt. As they dress up and play “war” since finishing the book, my sons fight over who gets to be “Alvin C. York.” I love how exposing my sons to real men and women who have done or experienced extraordinary things inspires them to aspire to great things.

Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy): This is a book that I’ve always heard about and remembered that was previously an “Oprah’s Book Club” read. However, I knew nothing of the story line. I got Honey for a Woman’s Heart over the Christmas break, read it, and was inspired to tackle some Classics that I’ve never read. She recommended this one, so I got it at the local library. Well, I had no idea that one of the major plot lines is about Anna and her affair with a soldier name Vrnosky. “Awesome,” I thought. “My first choice is a “smutty” book.” I was also slightly intimidated by the 4 point font and 800+ pages, but just overlook those things if you pick up this book. 🙂 ha! I enjoyed the book and now understand why it is a classic. Tolstoy’s writing is magnanimous. Some sentences I just re-read again and again because….they were beautiful. The love story tragedy of Anna and Vrnosky is paralled with the joyous love story of Kitty and Levin, which was a refreshing aspect of the book. There were some moments when I was reading about Levin’s book on agriculture in Russia that made me dose off on more than one occasion, but overall, I am glad that I journeyed through this book. I will say that if you want to affair-proof your marriage this book is for you. The pain and consequences that Anna goes through as a result of her affair, particularly in losing contact with her son, were not lost on me. It led me to pray for God’s protection over my marriage and family.

Well, friends, it’s Wednesday! Don’t forget to comment and share what you are reading!

Happy reading!

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What We’re Reading Wednesday & Friday Favorites

6 Mar

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

FRIDAY Favorites

I probably have 4, 276, 321 blog posts rumbling around in my brain. Every day a conversation is had or something I do makes me pause and think, “I  need to blog about that.” However, life often gets in the way, and those posts have yet to be written. (and I’m okay with that! After all, I’m first a wife and mother….blogger is w-a-y down on the list.) In an effort, though, to give myself some structure with the topics I enjoy writing about–books and favorite resources, I decided to have 2 on-going series moving forward with Suzanne Shares–“What We’re Reading Wednesday” and “Friday Favorites.”

What We’re Reading Wednesday–These posts will be related to books that I have or am currently reading myself or to my boys. If it’s not evident already, I’m a huge lover of books. I’m always eager to pass along a good book find. Hopefully, many of you will have additional books to offer to the conversation; I love when YOU share with me and my readers, too! So, get ready!

Friday Favorites–This will be a smorgasbord buffet on Fridays. These posts might be favorite recipes, tips from the kitchen, homemaking helps or the like. I might even sneak in a book here and there if it’s a favorite book that we’ve read in the past.

Frequency-I hope to post once a week in either “What We’re Reading Wednesday” or “Friday Favorites.” That is my goal, and as I’ve already confessed sometimes life sneaks in–6 and 8 year old league baseball games are to be watched (aren’t they just too cute in those little uniforms?!?!), church planting activities to plan or attend, a house to clean (oh, wait! I can always skip that one! ha!), or naps are to be taken. The weeks that life doesn’t creep in, though, I’ll be eagerly ready to share. It’s going to be fun! I look forward to sharing and…hearing from you guys as well!

FREE GIVEAWAY–Tomorrow will be the first installment of these two series. Since tomorrow is Friday it will be a “Friday Favorites.” I’m sooooooooooo excited to get this started, and I’m excited to announce that tomorrow’s post will include a FREE GIVEAWAY! So, come back tomorrow to read the first “Friday Favorites” and enter to win this favorite of mine! 🙂