Monday, November 19, 2018

Recent Reads

Emerson and Princess Peep… Another Wellie Wishers book I read just to make sure I approve for someday. In this one, the girls watch some chicks hatch, learn about taking care of chicks/chickens, and are generally sweet to each other. I really do like this series and my girls already love looking at the dolls/pictures.

Friendly Tales… This was our latest “read-aloud,” a Little Golden Book collection of stories all by Margaret Wise Brown. The kids all really liked it but, just being honest, I thought it was overrated. Some old books are timeless and some are kinda meh. These all felt meh to me. 

Hearts of Fire… This is a book that I thought sounded so amazing when it popped up in my inbox from Voice of the Martyrs, about the things women all over the world go through for their faith. The women themselves are definitely inspiring, but the stories were so hard for me to read. The older I get, the more sensitive I am. It’s hard to really accept that there are people all over the world still being persecuted for their faith, but there are.     

The Long Winter… I’m pretty sure this is my favorite of the Little House series. It means so much more to me now that I’m living in a cold-if-not-heated little cabin in the woods, and now that I’m seeing it all from Ma’s perspective rather than Laura’s. It’s very interesting to see how far we’ve come… but also how much character/integrity we’ve lost in the process.

Mercy Watson Fights Crime… I first read Mercy Watson when I was teaching in Wyoming. I sat the kids down for some read-aloud time each day after lunch and the first in the series, along with There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, was a clear favorite. This one took me about 25 minutes to read on my own but I found nothing objectionable in it and put it in my stack of books-I’m-okay-with-my-kids-reading. Do I think I can actually read every single book they’ll ever read? Definitely not. Do I try anyways? Definitely.   

The Winter War… Our local Christian bookstore had a great summer reading program last year and the kids each got to pick a prize every month they read a certain number of Christian books. We read a lot of Christian books around here so we hit that number every month and my oldest three each picked a prize each month, plus each got a $10 gift card at the end!
I tried to encourage them to get mostly age-appropriate prizes, or lighter chapter books that would be okay as a read-aloud in the next couple of years, but for whatever reason A insisted on Prince Warriors, the first in a series of the same name by Priscilla Shirer. I do like Priscilla Shirer and it certainly sounded good so I shrugged and told him, “That’s fine, but you won’t be able to enjoy it for several years.”
“That’s okay!” he insisted. “I’ll be so excited when it’s time!” So I skimmed that one and liked it well enough that I thought I’d give it a good read in the future. When The Winter War, book number four, popped up as a potential review book in my inbox, I excitedly jumped at the chance. I knew I should have time to plow through the series. But then I found myself so busy and distracted with moving that I didn’t even remember to see if our library has the second two books… plus the first is in one of my many boxes labeled “books to be read.” So full disclosure, I still haven’t actually read the first three, minus some light skimming of the first one. I am not normally interested in any kind of fantastical book and I was lost several times (plus had trouble keeping the characters straight) because I’m coming into it without having read the first three books, but even still… I have to say, I really did like it. I love the concept (spiritual warfare) and I liked the writing. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if this series were someday turned into movies. At five years old, A is very into knights and dragons, superheroes, good vs. evil, etc. If he’s at all still into those things as a pre-teen/teenager (I personally feel like these books are probably best for maybe 6th-8th graders?) he’s going to love these.
*I received a free copy of The Winter War from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Also- I signed up to review Into the Deep and was so excited about it! I never got my copy of the book so she sent it again, to a different address. I never got that copy either! I felt completely terrible about it (plus disappointed since it sounds like such a good book!) and couldn’t write a review about it on the date I’d agreed to so I thought I’d at least mention it here.

Currently reading: How to Write a Children’s Book + The Librarian of Auschwitz (and still moving at a snail’s pace through Breaking Free), Heartwood Hotel: a True Home as our read-aloud. Also, I scored a “used” copy of Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing that I could swear is brand new and we’re reading a blurb from that each morning with breakfast, plus still reading entries from Indescribable and Everyone a Child Should Know as part of our science and history homeschool lessons. 

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