What We’re Reading Lately: May 2018

Ah, May! The end of school, the beginning of spring, and (for our family) a month where our oldest child turned 13! It’s been full…but not too full to read!

In fact, having the freedom of less assigned school work has meant that my children have had many more hours to listen to audiobooks and read (and reread) dozens of books! In case you, too, are looking for excellent summer reading ideas, I will share some of the titles we’ve enjoyed below!

If you’re looking for a more guided summer reading program here are some suggestions for the kids and for mom.

This post is super crazy long, with several dozen books!  If you want to jump specifically to a certain portion of the booklist, click through these links:
All of Us
 Mom’s books
 13 year old boy
10.5 year old girl
Big kids
Younger kids (3, 6, and almost 8)

booklist reading May 2018 Mom, teens, younger kids, and family reading in May

{This post contains affiliate links. Please see disclaimer.}

All of us

Bear Grylls Survival Camp
This book has caught the interest of both young and old!

Echo
Our library e-audiobook loans are only 14 days long…too short to finish this 10.5 hour book. We are less than 2 hours from the end…and are back down to 10th in line on the hold list! The inhumanity!!

I refuse to get the paper book merely to finish the story, however, because the audiobook has been such a delightful experience. I’m glad I heeded the advice gleaned from the internet to enjoy Echo via audiobook. The element of music is so key to the themes and plot, and having the harmonica and other instruments actually playing at the appropriate points of the story really adds to the experience! I also love how there are different narrators for the 4 different sections of the story (there are several separate plots that, apparently, will come together at the end).

Sigh. So while we’re waiting in line for our turn to check the audiobook back out, I thought I could at least recommend it to all of you!

Bolivar
You guys, this book is fantastic! Thank you to my friend, Joanna, for sharing it with us! The illustrations are so detailed; I think you could spend hours looking at each one. In fact, the story only makes sense if you’re paying close attention to the illustrations; more than half the plot is in the images. I think this is one you should get a hard copy of, not kindle, just because you’ll want to be able to look closely at each page. This book is even being developed into a movie!

Mom

Mansfield Park

Hopefully you’ve already seen that I’ve been re-reading Mansfield Park. It has been such a delight that I’m in no rush to finish, savoring each chapter and delightful quote!

Simply Clean
This book and the challenge hosted on Facebook by Kara Anderson gave me the kickstart I needed to start spring/summer off with a less overwhelmingly-messy home!

Schizophrenic Christianity
While compiling my list of Sibling Fiction, I stumbled across the fact that Jerri Massi (of Derwood Inc #siblingfiction fame) has spent the last couple decades investigating and exposing a lot of the abuses within the fundamentalist church. Issues of safety and abuse within the church are heartbreaking and so important to bring into the light. This was a difficult book to read, but I was thankful to see Massi’s passion for protecting the sheep and exposing the wolves! (If you or someone you know has experienced abuse within a Christian environment, I grieve with you and believe you. I would also recommend the work of G.R.A.C.E. for those of us who want to learn more how to support and protect those who are vulnerable among us.)

Educated
This memoir was incredibly moving. It was also exceptionally difficult to read emotionally. Do you ever finish a book and feel like your brain and emotions need about a week to process all you’re thinking and feeling? It was more than a week before I could read another title once I finished this book. Have any of you read it? I definitely recommend it! Just be prepared for all the thoughts and ideas to be processed afterwards.

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky
One a much more lighthearted note, I finished this book in one day! I loved the sweet family relationships and simple love story. I loved the many allusions to other beloved books (if any of you have read it, did you catch the reference to the Four Story Mistake, one of the sibling fiction recommendations?). I don’t mind unrealistic happy endings (in fact, normally I prefer them in my relaxing reading time!), but there was 1 strand of the happily-wrapped-up ending that I found a bit too unbelievable. I just can’t buy that a violent stalker type will suddenly decide to stop stalking. I’d have preferred an imprisonment. But maybe that’s just my own violent tendencies speaking…

If you’re looking for a light and lovely poolside read, this book (and the first book in the series, Love Walked In) is a perfect option!

13 year old boy

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments
I heard about this on the Classical Homeschool Podcast and knew right away it would be something my son would enjoy!

The Freddy Books
Periodically one or the other of the kids will return to binge the Freddy series again, and this month it was my oldest son! They are delightful as audiobooks or in hard copy form!



The Science of Hitting
Another podcast recommendation (this time from Cindy Rollins on the Mason Jar) that I knew would inspire my baseball-obsessed son!

The Baseball
His friends know him so well…this was a perfect birthday gift that he read right away!

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series
What if you could read the Star Wars stories in Iambic Pentameter? Shakespeare and Star Wars…2 of my son’s favorite things combined!

Star Wars from a Certain Point of View
This collection of more than 40 Star Wars short stories (by well-known authors like Pierce Brown, Gary Schmidt, and Meg Cabot) tells the stories we already know from the Star Wars movies from a totally different point of view! (What if you could hear what the Trash Compactor monster was thinking in that famous scene from A New Hope?)

Guts and Glory: The Vikings

Guts and Glory: The American Civil War
     

10.5 year old girl

Lunch Money 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
I was so glad to hear this title recommended on the Bravewriter Podcast!

Ghosts of Greenglass House

Search for Delicious
My daughter and I had a lovely conversation after she finished reading this book!

Stella by Starlight
NC history.  Strong female character. Historical fiction.

York: The Shadow Cipher

Acting Out: 6 One Act Plays

Fly Girls
This book tells the story of the brave American female pilots of WW2. If you like to learn about history, if you like to inspire your children with stories of daring women, or if you’re fascinated by the history of aviation, this book might be for you!

Anne of Green Gables audiobooks
A momentous motherhood moment has finally occurred : my daughter has fallen in love with Anne Shirley. This is in spite of my mistakes.

I was so eager to share my delight that I think my oldest kids were maybe 6 and 4 (7 and 5?) when we first listened to the audiobook on our way to and from swim practice. And for 5/6 long years since, my daughter has declared that she “really doesn’t like” Anne of Green Gables.”

*Sobbing and heartbreak*

I’m so relieved that, with a bit of gentle encouragement from mom to give it just 1 more try now that she’s older, she is able to relish the descriptive words and moving relationships.

But learn from my mistakes, Grasshopper.

Don’t get so excited you introduce things too soon! Yes, your children are brilliant. Yes, great literature has no age range.

But still.

Maybe wait. Just a little.

The Secret of Zoom, If the Magic Fits, and The Left-Handed Fate: These 3 titles she feels a little “blah” about, but I’ll share them anyway. Perhaps they would be more appreciated by a younger reader.

Both Older Kids

Redwall – The Graphic Novel

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming (a hysterical recommendation from Raising Poppies on Instagram)

The Younger Kids (almost 8, 6, and 3)

Audiobooks they’re loving:

The Lighthouse Family series

Hank the Cowdog

All of a Kind Family series

Little House on the Prairie series

Picture books

Blue on Blue

Pancakes, Pancakes

Tops and Bottoms

Shaking Things Up
Such a great read about inspiring women from history to modern times!

Bloom

Independent Reading

The Kingdom of Wrenly: The Lost Stone

My almost-8 year old loves to listen to audiobooks. She loves to do anything that is remotely related to athleticism. She rarely to never, however, picks up a book to practice reading-with-her-eyes. (As opposed to all the reading-with-her-ears that is a daily occurence.) ;)That’s why I’m always thrilled to find a book that draws her in enough to inspire her to keep reading even after the assigned practice time is up!
Last week we discovered a new series, The Kingdom of Wrenly. She loved book 1, so I was delighted to discover a dozen more in the series.

If you’re looking for a book with high interest but low to medium reading levels for your more reluctant readers, check out The Kingdom of Wrenly!

(I was trying to remember where I had originally heard of this book to put it on hold at the library. I think we most recently saw it on a list of hi-lo books from Homeschooling With Dyslexia, although I know I’ve seen it mentioned other places as well.)

What are you reading lately?

Do you have more time to read now that we’re heading into summer, or less?  I would love to hear your book suggestions or goals!  Make sure you’re subscribed to the Humility and Doxology email list, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!  And if you enjoy these blog posts, would you consider sharing them with your friends?  Thank you!

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