Books I Read Aloud to the Kids, April, 2019

After this month, it will be a year since we started listening to audios, and we’ve heard so many good stories in that time!

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Books We Read

We finished two books in April:

The Friendship by Mildred D. Taylor

The Friendship was a great history lesson for my girls about one white man and one black man in the Deep South during The Great Depression.  Mr. Tom Bee, an elderly black man, refuses to call the white store owner Mister, in fact he calls him by his first name, which puts Tom Bee in jeopardy.  However, there’s a reason why he dares buck tradition.  This is a powerful, little story, but there was repeated use of the n-word, which I wasn’t yet ready to introduce to my girls, so I always replaced that word for another when reading this one aloud.

Billy Graham: America’s Pastor by Janet & Geoffe Benge

When I was little, I saw Billy Graham on TV and knew who he was, but I didn’t know that much about him.  I loved reading Billy Graham: America’s Pastor to learn more about his life and his amazing wife.  I was surprised by what a rough life he had when he was young, and it was fascinating to see how he found his faith.

Audio Stories We Listened To

We listened to a number of really good audio stories this month:

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

In A Single Shard, Tree-Ear is a 12 year old orphaned boy who spends his time with Crane-Man, rummaging around their town for food or other goods.  They live in 12th century Korea, and while life isn’t easy, Tree-Ear and Crane-Man make do.  All that changes when Tree-Ear begins to work for Min, the most accomplished potter in the area.  Min is grumpy, but little by little he begins to take to Tree-Ear.  When word comes that the king is looking for someone to create new pottery, Tree-Ear knows Min is excited; this is his dream.  However, his dreams are dashed, and Tree-Ear begins an adventure to resurrect Min’s lifelong dream.

Cuddle Bug and I loved this story; PB & J Girl wasn’t a fan.

This audio is approximately 3 hours long.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Nikolas, nicknamed Christmas by his parents, was a poor child.  His only toy was a turnip doll.  However, he loved his father, and when his father goes on a mysterious adventure and leaves Nikolas with his angry, vindictive aunt, Nikolas goes on a journey to join his father.  When he does, he’s appalled by what his father is doing, and he makes a life changing decision–for both his father and himself.

A Boy Called Christmas is a fun, whimsical story that explains the life of Santa Clause in a way that you’ve likely never thought of before.

This audio is approximately 4.5 hours long.

Flunked by Jen Calonita

Sometimes, the kids listen to the audio, and I just can’t follow along because traffic is busy or my mind wanders.  This was one of those stories for me, but I can tell you that the kids loved it and want to listen to the next three in this series.  Flunked is about Gilly, who lives in a shoe with many brothers and sisters and steals so her family can eat.  After she’s caught the third time, she goes to Fairy Tale Reform School, where she discovers a villain and a secret battle.

This audio is approximately 5 hours long.

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady took me a bit to get into because of the narrator’s British accent, but after I got used to it, I loved this story!  Sherlock Holmes’ sister, Enola, has run away from home and is in hiding in the open, acting as the wife of a detective so she can do the detective work herself.  She’s trying to discover what happened to a young lady, Lady Cecily.  Meanwhile, Sherlock Holmes is looking for her.

This audio is approximately 5 hours long.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

This is another book where we look forward to reading the next book in the series.  In Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Morrigan has the unfortunate luck to be born on Eventide, and she knows she will die on her 11th birthday.  However, right before her 11th birthday, she’s taken to a mysterious place where her birthday comes and goes and she’s still alive.  Her benefactor, Jupiter North, has entered her into a competition to join the Wunderous Society; if she fails the four activities, she will have to go back home–and die.

This audio was 11 hours long.

Museum of Thieves by Lisa Tanner

Museum of Thieves was one strange, but fun, book.  Jewel grows up in a world where all children are protected by Guardians and has to wear a silver chain until Separation Day.  Her Separation Day is interrupted, and she runs away.  She eventually finds herself at a museum that is constantly changing and there is a villain that she must stop.

This audio is approximately 7 hours long.

No Talking by Andrew Clements

In listening to many audios, we’ve found another writer we really enjoy, Andrew Clements, who writes stories about 5th and 6th graders.  In No Talking, the entire 5th grade class is noisy all.the.time.  Until one 5th grade boy challenges another 5th grade girl to a silence challenge with specific rules.  The challenge runs for 48 hours, and during that time, the teachers and kids must find a way to communicate without speaking.

This book is approximately 3 hours long.

Books read in 2019: 7

Audios listened to in 2019: 20

Total books read or listened to in 2019: 27

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