This week (and much of December 09) we have been talking about Australia's animals and the country. (I think every child must go through an "AustraliaThis week (and much of December 09) we have been talking about Australia's animals and the country. (I think every child must go through an "Australia" phase). Needless to say, Australia is fascinating, and this book is a good kid's eye view of it - from the view point of a family that takes a three month journey around the island/country/continent....more
The girls and I read this one several times this week as we are studying different Christmas traditions around the world. This story, as the title sugThe girls and I read this one several times this week as we are studying different Christmas traditions around the world. This story, as the title suggests, tells of the poinsetta and how it became one of the traditional flowers of Christmas. And, pairing that with the art of Tomie dePaola makes it a winner....more
I have to say, I wasn't as knocked out by this book as I expected to be. We love Cynthia Rylant books in our home, and so when I was looking for a falI have to say, I wasn't as knocked out by this book as I expected to be. We love Cynthia Rylant books in our home, and so when I was looking for a fall read-aloud with the girls, I pulled this off our shelf. The book was a sweet story - a mama squirrel and her babies were left out the elements when their old tree comes down in a terrible ice storm. With the help of a chocolate labrador, a bat named Murray, and a hermit crab, it all works out in the end even though the mama squirrel is temporarily separated from her little ones.
My issues wasn't with the story, but with little things inserted into the story. Gwendolyn the crab gives everyone a palm reading, Murray the Bat says that Alex Trebek (from Jeopardy) is his idol. They are little things, but I didn't like some of choice of wording in the book, and since there are so many other great things out there to read, I doubt we'll read it again....more
These are stories revolving around 4 children: Rush, Mona, Randy & Oliver and of course they get into all sorts of adventures. :) I've read the fiThese are stories revolving around 4 children: Rush, Mona, Randy & Oliver and of course they get into all sorts of adventures. :) I've read the first book, The Saturdays, and loved it. The Saturdays is about the adventures that the children have on Saturdays - they come up with the idea to pool their allowance money so that they can take turns doing something that they REALLY want to do on their Saturday. One goes to a concert, another goes to a museum, and, of course, adventures happen. These books were written in the early 40's so the children have more freedom (i.e., able to do these things without parental supervision) that children today wouldn't have. Right now, I'm reading The Four-Story Mistake and already enjoying it. These books really are wonderful and I am going to look forward to adding them to my library for my girls.
I think these are ones that I am going to recommend passing on. In my Bible study last week (we are studying Isaiah), we read and discussed Isaiah 57:I think these are ones that I am going to recommend passing on. In my Bible study last week (we are studying Isaiah), we read and discussed Isaiah 57:3-4: But you, draw near, sons of the sorceress, offspring of the sdulterer and the loose woman. Whom are you mocking? Against whom do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of deceit..." As soon as we started talking about these verses, I thought of this series. Every character in this series, EVERY ONE, is a product of immorality (a Greek god or goddess and a human/mortal). It is just so casually there in the story that it didn't even dawn on me at first. As I mentioned in my review, we will study the Greek gods and their stories as they intertwine with history some day, but to read about them as if they are flesh and blood and how they so casually "stick out their tongue" at the things of the Lord ... I'm not sure that I want to hand those over to my children so casually.
Edited to add: I've reread this book (March 2011) and am still processing when I would let my kids read them. I think (now having read the whole series) these would be a great fun supplement to a middle school study of Ancient Civilizations and Greek. When they would read it, will depend upon the maturity of the child....more
"Wait," I told Chiron. "You're telling me there's such a thing as God." "Well, now," Chiron said. "God - capital G, God. That's a different matter alto"Wait," I told Chiron. "You're telling me there's such a thing as God." "Well, now," Chiron said. "God - capital G, God. That's a different matter altogether. We shan't deal with the metaphysical." "Metaphysical? But you were just talking about-" "Ah, gods, plural, as in, great beings that control the forces of nature and human endeavors: the immortal gods of Olympus. That's a smaller matter." "Smaller?" "Yes, quite. The gods we discussed in Latin class." "Zeus," I said. "Hera. Apollo. You mean them."
A few weeks ago when we rented a movie, I saw a preview for the movie Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. I had never heard of the series of books by Rick Riordan and was intrigued enough by the trailer to reserve the first book, The Lightning Thief, at the library. This is my somewhat convoluted review. :)
This book is the story of Percy Jackson ... a kid who is in and out of schools and doesn't really fit in anywhere. Between his dyslexia and penchant for finding trouble, he is branded as a misfit. Little does he know, he is a misfit for a good reason. Through a series of misadventures (some with tragic results), Percy finds himself at Half-Blood Camp - a summer camp for children who are half-bloods. Each has one mortal (or human) parent; their other parent is a Greek god or demi-god (think Zeus, Athena, etc.) You can imagine Percy's shock at finding out that the gods of Olympus weren't just the myths that he learned about it his Latin class ... and that he was related to them!
Once Percy finds this out ... and finds out who his Olympian father is ... he is called to embark upon a dangerous (most likely fatal) quest to find a missing object and settle a quarrel against the gods before war breaks out. With the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must journey across the United States to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction – Zeus’ master bolt. Along the way, he must face a host of mythological enemies determined to stop him. This story is very well written - full of adventure and excitement and an incredibly original storyline, in my opinion. If one enjoys the likes of The Mysterious Benedict Society, the Eric Rex books, Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter, etc., then these would be right up your alley. The part that I question is how heavy the books are into Greek mythology. Yes, this is fiction. Yes, the gods of ancient Greek are history and part of any classical education. I'm sure this is something that (down the road) N1 and I will spend some time reading about and discussing. However, there is a difference between studying something and rubbing it all over yourself and letting it become part of you, which is sort-of what happens to me when I find myself in a good book. All that said, this was a really, really good book. I'm going to hold off final judgment a bit and read the second book in the series, but if I was a parent of a 5th/6th/7th grader, I would preread this series before handing it over to my child....more
This book was DELIGHTFUL. I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a little longer chapter book read aloud for the little ones. My oldest who isThis book was DELIGHTFUL. I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a little longer chapter book read aloud for the little ones. My oldest who is 6 could not get enough of this book and was always asking for one more chapter....more
This book is another good example of well-done Christian mystery/suspense fiction. The main character Brill Jessup is still the police chief of SophieThis book is another good example of well-done Christian mystery/suspense fiction. The main character Brill Jessup is still the police chief of Sophie Trace. This time, however, the threat that has entered the town is looking for her. An old case from her past has return, leaving injured (and worse) officers in its wake. Unfortunately, Brill is unable to focus on fully on the case at hand. At the same time officers are been attacked under her watch, there is an upheaval on the homefront which blindsides both her and her husband.
This is a book where it is obvious that the author is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that is played out surprisingly in the last pages of the book. (Not giving away any secrets here). :) I found myself rooting for and sympathizing with the characters.
If you are a fan of authors like Dee Henderson or Terri Blackstock, I heartily the suggest Kathy Herman's Sophie Tracie Trilogy. At least books 1 and 2! I'm glad that there is one more book in this trilogy to look forward to ... I'm enjoying them! ...more
I've enjoyed the writings of Mike Mason ever since I discovered The Mystery of Marriage while engaged. When I heard that he had written a children's/yI've enjoyed the writings of Mike Mason ever since I discovered The Mystery of Marriage while engaged. When I heard that he had written a children's/young adult book, I was eager to see what he would do with it! The Blue Umbrella tells the tale of young Zac who is orphaned after his mother's tragic (and weird!) death. He is sent to live in a small town with his two spinster aunts and that is just the beginning of the strange things that start happening to him!
The start of this book reminded me so much of the Lemony Snicket books. (I've only read the first couple of those). Everything is going wrong. Everything. Even when you think it might not get stranger or worse, it does! However, from what I read, this book is a great option for kids if you are looking for a Lemony Snicket-look-alike from a trusted Christian author.
I would say more about the book - because I was very much enjoying it - but my own tragedy befell me while reading this book ... I left it in the hotel in Memphis when we went to the zoo! *gasp* Imagine my shock and sadness when I got home to finish this and couldn't! :) So, this book will be going back on my list to add to my library for my girls when they get older AND myself so I can see how it ends!! :)...more
Give me a good historical fiction novel and you will suck me in every. time. This book (while definitely it's own creation and original work) remindedGive me a good historical fiction novel and you will suck me in every. time. This book (while definitely it's own creation and original work) reminded me so much of the Brock and Bodie Thoene series that came out almost 20 years ago. Full of history yet with well-developed and written characters, this is the kind of book that I want to be able to hand to my teenage girls as we study World War II (after we have done the factual study). Two thumbs up on this one. :)...more
Yet another that I had recommended to me over and over where the bad language and such overruled how much I was enjoying the book. I wanted to read toYet another that I had recommended to me over and over where the bad language and such overruled how much I was enjoying the book. I wanted to read to the end, but too many 4-letter words sidetracked me.
If you want a good series about women that get together and quilt (not knit), I recommend Jennifer Chiaverini's series!...more