20 Best Tips
Teaching Textbooks

Fall Read-Alouds for Middle School Boys

This fall our read-alouds are focused more on the boys and their interests (or things they will hopefully be interested in). While our girls were avid readers, our boys have more of a “meh” attitude when it comes to reading, so one of my goals in reading out loud with them daily is making it FUN and enjoyable. 

We have four books in our pile for our fall reading: 

We are currently reading The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt – and it is HILARIOUS. If you have middle schoolers (boys or girls), they will love this book told from the perspective of a 7th grade boy. And beyond that, you as the reader will love it too (I’ve laughed out loud and even teared up at a few points). 

The boys may have had to remind me IT’S NOT REAL, MOM! (For real.)

Anyway, here are a few thoughts on our choices for the fall read alouds. 

Read Aloud Tips

Maybe your family is having a hard time settling down for a read aloud time? If so, maybe one of these Six Read-Aloud Tips will help your family out {especially little ones}.

Books We’ve Previously Read Together

Here are a few other books that we’ve read together and blogged about. Click over to see our thoughts on them!

Audiobooks for Families to enjoy

 

What We’re Reading – September 2018

What’s one book you’ve read lately that you just couldn’t put down – or still has you mulling parts of it? 

It’s been about two months since I shared what I was reading and now that we’re back in the swing of school (sort of), sharing what the kids are reading as well is part of the list. 

One of my goals this school year is not only reading aloud with the boys at least 4 days a week, but making sure that I personally set aside 20 minutes of reading time for myself 4 days a week (no interruptions). This doesn’t include my “fall asleep holding the Kindle” reading time – this is reading something with a little more depth, or at least taking time to rest and regroup.

My 2018 Reading List  is slowly decreasing, just maybe not as fast as I’d like, since I keep finding great books to read and I have a hard time NOT adding a new book to my pile. I’m guessing I’m not the only one with this problem? 

Feed readers can click here to see my books for September

*all links are referral links


So far, I am LOVING Love Unending and the quick “talking points” each chapter provides.  There are also so many great fiction books to read right now – I really need to stop adding things to my pile!

What the Kids are Reading

I have to tell you all, our current read-aloud is cracking me up and also almost made me cry this week. IT’S FICTION YOU ALL! 

The boys are rolling their eyes, but I’m absolutely loving this author’s writing style and having so much fun reading it with the boys. 

 

What I Read the Last Two Months (and Quick Thoughts)

A Family Shaped by Grace by Gary Morland – This was one that came up on Amazon and grabbed my attention. I had no idea it was written by the dad of someone I know personally, which made it so much better once I realized that. 

The beginning years of this family’s life was truly rough. The dad grew up in a very dysfunctional family and their family legacy was only changed by the grace of God. This isn’t a step-by-step solution to a peaceful home, but gentle leading/nudging and encouragement that is well-worth re-reading and keeping on hand. (5/5 rating)

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate – Oh my heart, you all. This book was both heartbreaking and engrossing. Having never heard of Georgia Tann and the scandal with the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, this was so saddening to read at times.

The overall story is fictional but based on real-life happening of children that are essentially stolen from their families and then adopted/sold to other families in the late 1930s-1940s. It is unbelievable to realize how many lives were impacted by one woman and her reach, and even more that it went undetected for so long. (5/5 rating)

Amy Snow by Tracy Rees – Another book that swept me up last month. A young baby is found in the snowy woods and brought home by a young girl. The family is very wealthy, but the girl is not embraced by the parents and has difficulty fitting in with the staff and other members of the household. Her only friend is the young heiress who rescued her.

Years later, when the heiress dies young, Amy is left out in the cold again, but sent on a treasure hunt with a single clue left to her by her recently deceased friend.  (5/5 rating)

Also read the following (July/August): 


You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month? 

 

What I’m Reading (and the Kids too)

What have YOU been reading this month? 

This month I did branch out a little genre-wise, but also ending up adding some last minute finds to my book stacks. I’m a sucker for a soft cover, great title, and authors I love! 

Despite traveling this month, it wasn’t a huge chance to read since I was driving 9 hours each direction. I will say I miss plane flights with uninterrupted time to read! :) And lately – sleep is my buddy and I’m falling asleep within a few pages of reading. 

One of the books (All the Light We Cannot See) has been great, but somehow seems to be a bit long. It could be because I keep falling asleep while reading (with my Kindle). I’m honestly not sure how I found the book, but it is set in WW2 time and two different countries (France and Germany) telling the story of two different individuals. I haven’t quite figured out where it is headed yet, but seeing the war from two opposing perspectives has been interesting as well. 

Even though I haven’t put as big of a dent in my 2018 Reading List,  I’m adding a few books to the stack – I’m telling you, I’m a sucker for a new release! I’m also excited to be a part of the launch teams for both Just Open the Door and Raising World Changers. Both of the authors are ladies I know (and love), so reading and hearing their heart makes the books even more special! 


Feed readers can click here to see my books for April

  • Just Open the Door (finishing)
  • Raising World Changers
  • The Lifegiving Parent
  • The Great Alone
  • All the Light We Cannot See

I’m very much enjoying Just Open the Door so far, and really can’t wait to dig into Raising World Changers and The Lifegiving Parent

What the Kids are Reading

I’m so looking forward to finishing up reading with Kaleb – not because I don’t enjoy it, but because it will be such a huge milestone for him. Zachary and I also decided to change our read-aloud this month to include The Hiding Place, since we are hoping to visit her home when we visit the Netherlands in May. 

Read aloud – The Hiding Place

McKenna – The Importance of Being Earnest

Zachary – A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck (we got sidetracked with another book last month)

Kaleb – All About Reading Level 4  (we’re halfway thorugh!!)

What I Read in March (and Quick Thoughts)


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Oh MY WORD. Written with so much humor, description, and at times sobering views, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society gives readers a glimpse into a post WW2 community after a German-occupied English island shares their stories with Juliet, a writer contemplating her next book topic. As the letters travel back and forth between the members of the society and Juliet, readers are drawn into life on the island as well as the back stories of the various characters. I honestly had no idea what to expect reading this book, but as I finished it I found myself wishing the story would continue. Literal laugh-out-loud moments while reading. (5/5 rating)

Blessed are the Misfits – Hansen writes in such an approachable way that his books are easy to read, digest, and apply practically. So much food for thought in this book – and even if you aren’t sure you are a “misfit” – it’s likely you are. So many dog-eared pages in the book I need to go back to and re-read. (5/5 rating)

Orphan Train – Some tough content at times, but an interesting look at the life of an orphan in “modern” times paralleled with an orphan from about 80 years prior. The friendship between an 18 year old with a troubled past and a 90+ year old with hidden secrets develops and blossoms as the story progresses. (4/5 rating)

Also read the following: 

  • Romancing Daphne – sweet story and love this author (4/5 rating)
  • The Innkeeper’s Daughter – newer to me author (3.5/5 rating)
  • The Truth According to Us (by one of the authors of Potato Peel Society) – not worth the read. A disappointment after the other (2/5 rating)
  • My Sister’s Intended – a new to me author (not Christian), but clean and sweet (4/5 rating)

You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month? 

 

Kindle Freebies To Grab!

 

If you are anything like me, my Kindle is one of my best buddies. It’s easy to drop in my purse and at night my lighted cover makes it easy for me to read without keeping my hubby up. 

But even better are FREE Kindle books! Here are a few current freebies, and below I’ve listed a few $1.99 deals as well. Both are listed in their own sections. Please note: these were free or extremely discounted at the time of posting, so check the prices to make sure they still are if you click over to Amazon! 

(Feed readers, you’ll need to click the post title above to view the books in your browser – sorry, Amazon terms of service.)

Free Kindle Books


Books $1.99 and up


 

Happy reading!! 


What I’m Reading (and the Kids too) – March 2018

What have YOU been reading this month? 

I’ve been trying to branch out some in my reading genre (i.e. I’m a huge historical fiction fan and tend to get stuck in an era or genre). There are some books coming to movies and also a few that people have been raving about, so I added a few of those to my February reading list. 

One of those, The Girl on the Train, is a title I read incorrectly, and consequently read The Girl  FROM the Train first – and the two are very, very different. The second title was a translation and I believe there were some things a little lost in translation. Overall it wasn’t bad (and honestly I enjoyed it more than the one all the fuss is about), but when I realized I’d read the wrong book – oy. 

I honestly don’t feel like I read a lot during February (in comparison to my normal book intake), but overall finished six books – five fiction and one non-fiction and started a few others.  While my Kindle is my “go-to” at bedtime, I’ve literally been falling asleep almost as soon as I’m in bed, so reading is a moot point. For this upcoming month, I’ve picked one additional book from my 2018 Reading List to focus on along with finishing one I started last month, and have at least two non-fiction books I’d like to read as well. 


Feed readers can click here to see my books for March

  • Blessed Are the Misfits
  • With All Due Respect
  • Just Open the Door
  • Eve
  • Romancing Daphne
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
     

I’m very much enjoying Blessed Are the Misfits so far, and really can’t wait to dig into Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt! 

What the Kids are Reading

Something has truly “clicked” with Kaleb over the last bit and reading has been less of a struggle – which is beyond thrilling (really, truly). February had us going back and forth a lot in the afternoons, so we didn’t accomplish a lot of reading aloud at all, hence the reason we are still reading Gregor together. :)

Read aloud – Gregor the Underland Chronicles

McKenna – Ivanhoe

Zachary – A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

Kaleb – All About Reading Level 4

What I Read in February (and Quick Thoughts)


Godspeed by Britt Merrick – This book still has me mulling over so many things. The overarching theme is that we are called to “mission” in our lives – and it doesn’t necessarily involve a going out all over the world, but can mean little things (mission vs. missions). It isn’t that it’s super earth shattering, but it’s practical and presents topics in a way that you really stop and re-think the why behind some of your beliefs. Honestly one of my favorite books read to date. 

For Love or Honor by Sara Eden – if you love period dramas, this was another fun book in the Jonquil brothers series by Eden. I read it in a little over a day and a sweet story. Not my favorite in the series, but still fun to read and see past characters. 

The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley – fourth book in the series of six adopted sisters who lost their father. Each book chronicles the life of one sister in the months following their father’s death as they search deeper into their birth heritage. This has been a really interesting series as it flips back and forth between present time and back sometimes a hundred years or more to share history (one included Beatrix Potter). This one had a little more ‘edge’ to it, but nothing explicit. 

I’m trying to balance out my reading genres a little, but bedtime is typically my “pick up a piece of fiction” time, sometimes via Kindle and other times a good ol’ paperback book. Here are links to four of the six books I read in February. 

You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month? 

 

What I’m Reading (and the Kids too) February 2018

The first part of January had me curled up in the living room with a blanket rather frequently. We’ve had some rather chilly days, so a warm fire and cozy blanket seemed the perfect opportunity to squeeze some reading in. The last week though felt a bit overwhelming and I didn’t have as much time to sit down and read between dentist appointments and a few other commitments that needed my attention…and not a book. :(

All of the books from my 2018 Reading List are on the bookshelf and waiting for me, so I pulled off three fiction books to read and managed to get through all but half of one along with a few from my non-fiction list. Two were ones that I normally wouldn’t have picked up, but ended up really enjoying! 


Feed readers can click here to see my books for January

I’m very much enjoying Godspeed so far, but this is one that is requiring a little more focus for me as well (not just a light read). It is very good though! 

What the Kids are Reading

Laurianna has been a little busy with her schoolwork and hasn’t had as much time for fun reading the last bit, but the three others are getting in their reading time with the following books. One thing I am really enjoying is seeing Kaleb branch out a little in his reading as well, so finding books that he enjoys makes my heart happy. 


 

Read aloud – Gregor the Underland Chronicles

McKenna – Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Zachary – The Bronze Bow

Kaleb – AAR Level 3-4, What is the Superbowl? and Who Was Jackie Robinson? 

What I Read in January (and Quick Thoughts)

I’m trying to balance out my reading genres a little, but bedtime is typically my “pick up a piece of fiction” time, sometimes via Kindle and other times a good ol’ paperback book. Here’s a look at the eight books I read in January. 


 

You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life by Eleanor Roosevelt – a friend suggested this one to me, and quite honestly, it was almost as if this book could have been written recently, rather than over sixty years ago. So much of it practically applied to today, although I did find myself at times wondering how Mrs. Roosevelt would view all the busyness that we have in our society today in comparison to the timeframe from which she was writing. 

Reading People by Anne Bogel – again, another book that I wouldn’t normally have picked up, but it was rather interesting. Bogel looks at the various personality tests and how different personality types interact and may react. It does have me rather curious about a few. My hubby and I were talking about how our personality types have shifted over the twenty or so past years. I am definitely more outgoing/extroverted, but during the last ten years have really pulled closer to home and what is familiar, rather than wanting as much energy from others. I’d much rather curl up with a book and recharge quietly. An interesting read! 

A Name Unknown and A Song Unheard by Roseanna White – these are both by one of my favorite historical fiction writers and a newer series from her. I absolutely LOVED both of them. The main characters are part of a group of pickpockets that have adopted each other over the years and become a family. One by one they are approached to do specific “jobs” for a mysterious man and in the process find both love and relationships with God. Both books were well-written and I can’t wait for the next book (and sibling) in the series. 

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley – this is a random series I picked up at the library last year to start reading and they are still in process of being released. Each book in the series follows one of six adopted sisters and their search to discover their roots after the death of their father. This one follows Star as her clues lead her on a hunt stretching back 100 years and to a different country. 

You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month?