Disclaimer! My eldest two children have showed me some amazing growth and maturity these last few months. Since we tend to read, a lot, I have trusted them to tell me of any objectionable material for OUR family standards. If and when they do, I read it and get an idea of how the story will play out. Sometimes I don’t even have to do that, they have chosen to set it aside in favor of some other exciting read without the tension of something “bad” within the book. Each family will have their own standard and if you tend to have more conservative viewpoints it would be a good idea to pre-read the books for yourself to make sure it aligns with your values.
From the book basket of my 10 year old daughter (blog post coming soon about said baskets) these were her favorites reads from the past 4-6 weeks or so.
Midnight Rider by Joan Hiatt Harlow
This was a library find for us! What a fun twist and spin on the Revolutionary time period. My Emma didn’t stop talking about this book. Each time she spoke of it, sparkles lit her eyes and her inner Anne Shirley came out. Very theatrical moment. Amazon has 5 stars on this book! Apparently, my daughter is not alone in her opinion of this read.
She has written it on her Christmas wishlist. I guess it is shelf-worthy. 😉 Warning: Some sensitive children may have a hard time with death of love one may find this less than enjoyable.
We have another book by the author that we REALLY enjoyed, and it was this author’s familiar name that drew us to this Midnight Rider. The book we own and love is Star in the Storm. Fascinating information about Newfoundland dogs as well as sheepherding.
Sunday Sundaes (Sprinkle Sundays) By Coco Simon
Author of the popular Cupcake Diaries come another tale about BFF’s who work together to stay together. Every Sunday the work in the ice cream shop and come together over cones and sugar… and some fun recipes that every one is sure to want to try. Can they survive the stress of working out the business side of their friendship enterprise? My daughter kept telling me all the flavors they were trying. If I recall correctly, there is several literary references in this book. Emma and I had a time looking some up that we never heard of. Thank you to my friends on Instagram who enlightened me about a character from the Hunger Games. (A series I have yet to read). Some thing to be aware of are parents divorcing, pesky brothers (if you don’t like family squabbles), and some name calling. All in all, more of a sweet read than a historical novel as in above.
For the record, Emma has read some of the Cupcake Diaries and says that she much prefers this one since it doesn’t seem to be “as full of drama.” Her words, not mine.
The War I Finally Won By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
When I read the first book aloud last year for our WW2 literature history read, we were all entranced with Ada’s story. We fell in love with the family and was overjoyed to hear that the story continued. When it arrived, Emma was quick to unwrap it and then seclude herself with Earl Gray and a cozy blanket… in the middle of one of our hottest summers ever! Ever the romantic. I do not even know how long it took her to read, I didn’t see her often for the next few days (after school and chores, of course). I finally have taken possession of the book and look forward to catching up on all that I missed. I refuse to let Emma tell me anything until I have read it. I am a booknerd that way. Sometimes a mom just can’t be THAT self-sacrificing… sometimes…
I would like to point out that when I announced we were reading The War that Saved My Life as our WW2 read aloud, I got many messages concerned about us not know the content of that book. I have yet to do much research but I would like to say one thing. I went into the book fully prepared, and I saw NOTHING. I saw a young woman that went to college when her Pastor father frowned upon it. I saw her became bosom friends with another young woman and become heart broken when said friend died. But nowhere did it make me think of anything more. So, just throwing that out there. *Please read note at bottom of post*
Now, let’s talk about my 9 year old. I first would LOVE to share something with you. I know I have talked about this before, but for the new subscribers and readers out there, this is for you. When I first began homeschooling I had an idea of what everything would look like. Seasoned and wonderful homeschool veterans kept telling me to relax and not worry so much, but I was NOT going to fail this homeschooling journey! So at age 6 it was time for him to learn to read. Oh the struggles! He was not interested. He hated it. I was frustrated to tears. I was worried that I was doing it wrong. I was stressed that someone would question my parenting. Worst of all, would my son ever love reading? It was about this time that I was struggling with some other things in our school at home. Charlotte Mason method came into my life and I held off pushing him. But I also did a backwards thing with the Mason method. I went a grade lower in reading then he was. Suddenly within the last year or so, his reading has taken off. He just finished over 300 page book! It took him 9 weeks but he did it! And loved it! And yes, that will be shared down below. So, these are the ones he has enjoyed recently so some are below a 4th grade reading level and some are above– just enjoy and gather some ideas.
Tornado By Betsy Byars
What child doesn’t love stories where animals touch the heart of the family. Tornado is no exception. This short, 64 page, book kept Stephen up past his bedtime because he just didn’t want to put it down once he started. Since it was so short, I obliged. I always say that the review of a good book is how the children respond afterwards, considering the fact that a few days later they decided to have a dog in their Macgyver adventures name Tornado, I am assuming that the story stuck with Stephen. He also loves natural disasters (which by the way, they have devoured these series) so a dog named Tornado that is brought to the family’s farm by a tornado, it was a perfect match.
Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine by Caroline Starr Rose
Possible objectionable material: two boys run away from an abusive father and head out for the Klondike Gold Rush.
This is a historical novel, but also adds a bit of mystery which my son LOVES a good mystery. This book is 6th grade reading level and 304 pages! I was trying to find Klondike historical books for history reading and came across this one on Goodreads. I put a request in for it but it did take some time for it to come in. However, it was well worth the wait in my opinion. I had to renew it 2 times (for a total of 6 weeks checked out) and I want to talk a second about that because it just showed me how much he enjoyed it. Normally if I have to renew a book for him he loses interest and moves onto another book. I don’t make a big deal about it. He did tell me a couple times, “mom they said a bad word” ( I think it was a D– or Stupid, or maybe taking God’s name? that is all I can recall to be honest) and I think one time there is some bathroom humor. I actually have this in my Amazon cart because Emma took it and began reading it but we have no more renewals and she can’t finish it in 24 hours… 😉
Now, I have read her books. The children are not docile sweet angels. Just sayin’. You are not going to be reading a family such as Five Little Peppers. If this was the only series in which he was reading, I would probably be careful about giving too much, but its not and we enjoy the conversations. Stephen really got excited when I came home from the library with the others in the series. He flew across the room and grabbed them all and hugged me tight. That is when I knew that I hadn’t realized how much he loved it. As he transitions into those older years, I think he really enjoyed having a pal like Henry that still enjoys being a kid and finding his foot in both worlds of wanting to be treated as a grown up and still enjoying the fun of being a kid. That is MY perspective on the matter, however. Stephen is my quiet one. There are certain tell-tale signs of what he enjoys and doesn’t. If a book sits on his reading shelf for several weeks without the bookmark moving, that tells me he is not interested and I put it on the main bookshelf without saying a word. However, if I see the book left in the bathroom or on his bed at night, then I know that he is enjoying it. I had to look for the signs though. He reads a lot more than I give him credit for.
By the way, I found Gary Paulsen’s Woods Runner on his bed tonight… and I still haven’t been able to get him to turn in The Shakespeare Stealer for his history read. Hmmmm
So! There you have it! Hope you enjoyed a quick look at what our eldest children are enjoying right now.
*At the time of writing this my good literary buddy was cozy sleeping away. The perils of time differences. I contacted her and she enlightened me! Here are two articles that the AUTHOR wrote about the lesbian situation.
A HUGE thank you to Life With the Tribe I knew I could count on you!