Books I Read Aloud to the Kids, September 2018

A few months ago, I started keeping track of what the girls and I read aloud.  We’re always looking for good reading suggestions, so if you have any good kids’ books you could recommend, please leave a comment below.  Hopefully, some of the books we read will also give you ideas for books to read to your kids.

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Books We Read

Here are the kids’ books we read in September:

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Kathleen Ernst

I’m really enjoying the Fablehaven series!  Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star was even more interesting and suspenseful than the first book in the series.  In this book, Kendra and Seth must fight against the Evening Star, a group that is interested in collecting all of the artifacts from the preserves.  Their grandfather has called in three experts for help, but despite vetting them, one of them turns out to be a traitor.  Their lives are at risk, and they have to face nearly impossible odds to save the artifact and Fablehaven.

Raiders from the Sea by Lois Walfrid Johnson

We’ve read the second and third books in this series, so of course, we had to circle back to the first book in the series, Raiders from the Sea.  This book probably would have been more exciting if we’d read it first, but learning how all of the events that happened in the second and third books all started made this book interesting.

Melody: The Lady’s Slipper by Emma Carlson Berne

We’ve read several of these American Girl mysteries over the last few months, and the topic of Melody: The Lady’s Slipper–orchids–was, no offense, the most boring of all of the mysteries.  It was hard for me to get too worried over who stole the orchid.  However, the setting and characters made this book interesting as it dealt with segregation in the 1960s and Holocaust survivors.

Audio Stories We Listened To

We spent a lot of time in the car this month (at least 1.5 hours a day), so we got in quite a few audio stories:

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

We’ve listened to about 12 audio stories since June, and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, hands down, is my absolute favorite!  Calpurnia Tate is a 12 year old girl growing up in Texas in 1899.  She is the only girl in a family of seven children, and she really does not want to do as society expects and learn housekeeping, cooking, and sewing skills so she can be a good wife.  Instead, she is a naturalist who loves roaming the wilds of Texas with her grandfather, keeping a diary of all her finds.

This story is humorous and touching at the same time, and all of us were sad to hear the story end.  Luckily, Kelly has written a sequel, The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, which we’ve already checked out from the library!

FYI, some parental discretion is needed for younger listeners as grandfather is a Civil War vet and shares gruesome details about watching amputations.  There are also minor language issues.

This story was 9 hours long.

The Girl with the Glass Bird by Esme Kerr

The Girl with the Glass Bird is about Edie, an orphan, who is sent to an elite boarding school, Knight’s Haddon, by her uncle so that she can essentially spy on Anastasia, an unhappy Russian princess who attends the school.  Anastasia’s father is worried about his daughter because he has no regular way to contact her (which is the case with all of the girls who attend the school), and he’s worried she’s being bullied–or worse.

As Edie befriends Anastasia, she starts to learn secrets in the school.  Edie watches as Anastasia is routinely dismissed and told that she has an overactive imagination.  She’s eventually sent to a psychiatrist, but Edie learns there’s nothing wrong with Anastasia, but rather with some of the people in charge of the school.  Edie plots a plan to save Anastasia, but will she be able to?

This was a 7 hour long story, and we all enjoyed it.

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

I loved Bud Not Buddy!  Set in the Great Depression in Flint, Michigan, Bud is an orphan who is repeatedly roughed up at foster homes.  After his last run in at a foster home, he decides to run away with his friend, Bugs, to California.  However, Bud isn’t able to jump on the train fast enough, so Bugs goes on without him.  Bud has a few keepsakes from his mother, who died when he was 6, one of which is a flyer for a band.  Bud decides that one of the men in the band must be his father, so he makes his way to Grand Rapids where the band is located.

Once there, Bud’s adventures begin, and he ends up finding what he was looking for, though not in the way he had imagined.

This audio was 5 hours long.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord was a strange one, but the girls really enjoyed it.  The Thief Lord follows the story of two orphaned boys, Bo and Prospero.  Bo is only 5, and his aunt and uncle want to raise him, but they want to put his older brother, Prospero, in a orphanage.  To that end, they hire a private detective to find where the boys might be hiding in Venice.  The P.I. does find the boys, but in the end, he protects them from their aunt and uncle.

I think the story of Bo and Prospero would have been interesting enough on its own, but then, there is a magical carousel that can age the individual riding it or make them younger.  That’s when the story started getting a bit strange for me.

This audio was 8.5 hours long.

Books read aloud in June, July, August, and September: 21

Audio stories listened to in June, July, August, and September: 13

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