Books I Read Aloud to the Kids, October 2018

I’ve been reading aloud to my kids since they were born, but since June, we’ve been sharing what we’ve read and what we thought of the novels.  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

We had four novels going this month, but we didn’t finish any of them in October.

We did read this shorter book, which we all enjoyed:

Journeys for Freedom: A New Look at America’s Story by Susan Buckley & Elspeth Leacock

Journeys for Freedom contains 20 stories about the various ways people achieved freedom or fought for the United States.  Stories include the Mormons moving to Utah after persecution, a woman who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Revolutionary War, and some people on the Underground Railroad, just to name a few.  All of the stories are true, which makes this even more exciting.

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:

Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

We invested 10.5 hours in this audio story, and it was well worth it!  Jefferson’s Sons is about Thomas Jefferson’s alleged illegitimate children that he had with Sally Hemings.  As there is not much record of all of the children (one of these children, Maddie, did write about it when he was older), I’m sure much of this story is speculation based on real historic facts, so I did take the different children’s perspectives with a grain of salt.

However, knowing that there were many, many children who were born that were the children of a white master and a slave woman, the problems that were brought up, such as these children getting more privileges than the other slaves, and the inability to have contact with their father when the children see him every day and watch his white children get so many privileges, well, those topics were likely universal.

I can’t recommend this book enough, and it even lead me and my husband to do some more research about Jefferson.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

Before we started listening to audio stories, we had never heard of Christopher Paul Curtis.  Now, he’s quickly become one of our favorites.  We listened to one audio story by him last month, and two this month, one of them being The Watsons Go to Birmingham.

This story follows an African-American family living in Flint, Michigan in the 1960s.  The story is hilarious and yet serious.  The oldest brother is constantly getting in trouble, so the parents decide to drive down to Birmingham, Alabama and drop him off to live with his grandma for a year.  However, they arrive just a few days before the church bombing that happens in the grandmother’s neighborhood.

The story quickly takes a serious turn, but overall, this is another excellent book.

This audio was 4.75 hours long.

Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith

I didn’t listen to Chocolate Fever because the girls were in the car with my husband when they heard this one, so I don’t have all of the details, but they told me the story line was a lot like Pinkalicious, but with chocolate.  They enjoyed this one.

This audio was 1.25 hours long.

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

In Elijah of Buxton, Elijah is the first child born into freedom in the settlement of Buxton, Canada, a destination for many runaway slaves.  Elijah continually has run ins with the temporary preacher who is filling in for the town’s real preacher while he’s out of the area.  When one woman gifts a man all of the money he needs to buy the rest of his family still in slavery, the story really takes off.  The preacher offers to help the man find someone to take the family out of slavery, but we all know how that will go.  The preacher steals the money, but that’s just the beginning of the adventure.

Again, this is a haunting story about the perils of slavery.

This audio story was 9 hours long.

Books read aloud in June, July, August, September, and October: 22

Audio stories listened to in June, July, August, September, and October: 17

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