Tuesday, April 17, 2012


We have been reading sooo many books at our house the last little while and I wanted to say a few words about some of them:

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson- My kids all loved this book.  My oldest had read it before and so she sometimes gave away the next part but the younger two didn't seem to mind.  This story is good for boys and girls and is full of adventure and pirates.  It is also a fairly short book which is nice to have sometimes.  

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter- I read this to my girls each night before bed.  Their rooms are right next to each other so sometimes I would sit on the floor outside their rooms and read to them while they were in their beds.  The book is so wonderful! It has so many inspiring examples of gratitude and happiness and we have found ourselves playing the "Glad" game several times since we read this book.  I let the girls watch the movie after we finished the book and as usual they liked the book better, although this newest movie that we watched was very well done.  I would highly recommend this book for all girls.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling-  The girls listened to the first five together and then Olivia finished the last two books on her own.  We have been trying to get her to love reading and I think these books were the trick.  I also liked that she listened to the first several and then read the last few- I think by listening first it got her into the story and by the last book she was staying up late just to read.  We let her watch the movies when she finished the book which is a good incentive for her.  She is now obsessed with all things Harry Potter and we have at least one conversation a day based around the topic.  

Kaya (an American Girl)- Jayda and I have been reading this series.  Originally we started the books for the Liberty Girls group she was to be in but it fell through so we are just doing it on our own.  These books are so great for younger girls- they teach lessons that can easily be applied today and at the same time teach a lot about history.  We just finished a book today and have one left in the series.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall-  I read a review of this book in a magazine and it said that if your child likes books like the Narnia books, they will like this book.  I completely agree with the review and would add that no matter what your child likes to read, they will like this book.  All of my children loved it- we listened to it in the car and my kids would want to stay in the car to listen even after we had arrived at our destination.  This book is a modern classic with stories of adventure, family honor and friendship.  My kids couldn't wait to start the second book.

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall-  I can't decide which of the Penderwick books I liked better because each has something different to offer.  The first book was full of summer fun while the second book is full of school pressure and some love drama (not anything crazy).  It gives the reader a lot to think about  and my kids keep comparing situations to the Penderwicks and how it reminds them of how so-and-so would act.  We have the third book, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette on order and the library so hopefully we can start that soon.  We finished this book today while we made rolls- I think it will make a good memory for all of us.

The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis- We had read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe last year and we all loved it, but I have to say I love The Magicians Nephew even more.  It tells the background of Narnia and how it came to be and introduces Aslan and the Witch and is so full of imagery and magic that I found myself having the strangest dreams.  I love the parallels that can be drawn to the Gospel and the beauty of the writing- it's too good- I can't even put it into words.  A definite must read!  My kids all loved it.  We listened to this one as well and the narrator Kenneth Branagh was sooooo good and did so many different voices that I forgot it was only one man reading the whole thing.

Uncle Tom's Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe-  It was my turn to pick a book for book group and this is the book I picked.  I had read it and loved it before and no one else in the group had so I thought it would be a good one.  I was again struck by the beautiful writing and descriptions by the author and loved the lesson that it teaches of forgiveness and faith.  We had a great discussion about it and I think everyone in the group loved the book.

The Seven Miracles That Saved America by Stewart and Stewart-  This is the book we are reading this month for  book group and so far it is so enlightening and interesting.  I haven't finished it yet but have learned so much about the history of this country that I didn't know before.  I think anyone who is interested in America and history would love this book.