Sunday, June 8, 2014


Mustard by Charlotte Graeber

Mustard is the name of a family cat. He was an Easter gift from husband to wife in their pre-parent days. Their two young children have always known mustard as part of the family, but he's getting old. At his yearly physical, the family finds out that Mustard's heart isn't as strong as it once was.

This short chapter book brings about emotions surrounding the difficult decision to say goodbye to a beloved pet. All too often this topic is avoided with children. My nine year old daughter was introduced to this book by her third grade teacher. She then introduced it to me and insisted that I read it. "I cried," she told me. Yes, this book made me a little teary-eyed but I'm glad I read it. 

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Summer Reading

This summer I hope to do a lot of reading. Most of the books will be YA (young adult) or younger chapter books to help me expand the books I'm familiar with that may be relevant to my students.

Some of the books I plan to read (or reread) this summer are:

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Mustard by Charlotte Graeber
  • Max and Me and the Time Machine by Gery Greer and Bob Ruddick
  • Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
  • Custer and Crazy Horse by Jim Razzi
  • The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • The Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl

I'm looking forward to these books and others. I will be honest when a book just doesn't grab me and I decide to set it aside. In the same light, I will let you know which books take me in and take me away.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back Again... I hope!

Hello, everyone!

I'm hoping to get back to writing on this blog.  I really enjoyed writing the few posts I have published, so I feel I need to start up again.  Even if I just say, "Hey, this is what I've read and I like (or don't like) it."

Let me know if there are any types of books you are interested in reading about.  I took a children's literature class last spring, so I might start with some of those titles.  Look for posts in the near future!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Door in the Wall

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli

Even though this book is geared toward the middle school grades, it's historical fiction genre appealed to me. Well, that and the fact that it was a free eBook through our public library.

Robin is a boy, destined to become a knight like his father. His desire is to serve his king. However, he becomes ill and loses the use of his legs. He is rescued by a caring monk who nurses him back to health. Although he regains some use of his legs with the help of crutches, he has no hopes of becoming a knight. How will he fulfill his calling to serve his king?

This book was an enjoyable read and sets an example how we can all achieve greatness while overcoming obstacles. It is a good book for disability sensitivity.  I feel this would be a great book for my children to read and would be a great addition to our middle school's curriculum.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Martha: A Novel

(This book is based in the early Christian era, during the time of the crucifixion.)

Martha: A Novel by Diana Wallis Taylor

I found this book through our public library's eBook collection. Christian historical fiction is a genre I'm really getting into. This book tells about the life of Martha, sister to Lazarus and Mary, starting before they met Jesus through the time after the resurrection.  Martha is often seen as the rigid sister, all business.

During this book, we get pulled into Martha's life. Her joys and sorrows.  Her heartbreaks and triumphs.  I found myself enthralled with the culture of these early Christ followers.  The Jewish traditions fascinated me. 

Bible stories from my childhood were shown to me in a new light. The story of Mary and Martha when Jesus and his followers came to visit - Mary at Jesus' feet and Martha in the kitchen were presented in a new way.  Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life - the emotions of his sisters and friends like I never understood before.

Putting this book down was difficult for me. I felt tied to Martha, eager to find out where God was leading her. As I read, my curiosity had me wondering what parts of the story were fiction and which were non-fiction.  I'm not a Bible scholar, so for me it was a mystery. Part of me would like to research to find out what is historical, but another part is enjoying the world the author created.  This would be an enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction from a Christian angle.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time to Read

Earlier this year, I bought myself a Kindle Fire. I love to read but sometimes carrying around a traditional paperback can be cumbersome. I've really gotten into reading and recently decided to start a blog to review what I've read - both traditional books and electronic books.

Join me on a journey to other lands, both real and make-believe. If you have any books to suggest, I'd love to hear about them. Just comment below, and I'll check them out.  I do have to admit free Kindle books are preferred, either through Amazon or my public library. Regardless, I'd love to hear what you're reading as well.