I read a whopping 11 books this month! I'm so pleased! I'm even more pleased that I finished Emma...that keeps me on track for my goal to read a classic each month.
The Best Christmas Ever by Sylvia Green. This was my 8 year-old daughter's "break-through" book. She hasn't been a huge reader, and until recently it was a struggle for her. She saw this book at the bookstore and instantly wanted to take it home and read it. I was surprised because it was much bigger than the other things she was reading. She read it and loved it, and it was my honor to indulge her wish for me to read it too. Now she is reading more often and more willingly, and fondly remembers how great this book was.
The Fire Within by Chris D'Lacey was a book that my 12 year-old son wanted me to read. It was not the best piece of literature, but it did have some fantasy/adventure elements without anything questionable. Personally, I was not too thrilled with it. But since said 12 year-old is also reading The Hobbit, I figured I'd let him learn about good fantasy literature by himself.
Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson is a book that I first saw in a bookstore in London. I love Bill Bryson; I don't love Shakespeare. No, that's not quite right. I get very tired of hearing how very god-like Shakespeare was. I've never been a fad-chaser. But this book is very balanced and enjoyable to read. It was a nice brief overview of Shakespeare and what we know about him (not much actually).
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. How I wish that I'd read this back when my kiddos were new! He spends a lot of time talking about public schools and "at-risk" families, but there is a lot of other pertinant information. I borrowed it from the library, but ended up buying a copy.
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. What can I say? I love Ramona. Always have, always will. I read this aloud to Melinda. We both enjoyed it very much.
Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. I wanted very much to like this book better than the Read-Aloud Handbook. I had such high hopes for it. I will use it for the book list, but the first half of the book was nowhere near as valuable to me as the first half of the other book. It was written/published within a Christian framework, and I felt like this was very limiting. It seemed as though the author was very consciously trying to defend some of her opinions (and indeed she has been blasted on Amazon reviews for recommending Harry Potter, so it was not unwarranted) and as a result felt watered down and nearly meaningless to me. Bummer.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel was great fun to read! This all in spite of the fact that most of it takes place on the ocean--of which I'm not the biggest fan. Chris, my husband, has been wanting me to read it for some time. I'm very glad I did.
Growing Up in Coal Country by Susan Bartoletti was one of our school books. It is included in Winterpromise's American Story 2 package. I love how Winterpromise approaches history. This was a great book!
Little Britches by Ralph Moody. This was my second time around for this book. I read it to myself last year, and just finished reading it aloud to my kids for school. I cried both times at the end. I'll be reading the next in the series to myself sometime later this year.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. Fun to read, like The Tale of Despereaux, with humor, heartbreak, and lovely illustrations.
Emma by Jane Austen. I love Jane Austen. Emma is no exception. This book is filled with the social workings like Pride and Prejudice, but with the special treat of being inside Emma's head. Fabulous.