Family Read Alouds for Ages 8 to 12–August, 2019

August just seemed to fly by!  We got in several good books and audios, but my favorite family read aloud was Puritan Girl, Mohawk Girl.  For those who don’t know, every month we read aloud kids’ chapter books for ages 8 to 12, and then I recap them here.

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Books We Read

We were reading so many books at the same time this month, but we managed to finish several:

Harriet Spies Again by Helen Ericson

Harriet is back in Harriet Spies Again, and this time there’s a mystery right under her roof!

Her nanny, Ole Golly, is back, but she’s not the same.  She’s withdrawn, depressed, and leaving the house to go on mysterious errands.  She was married last year and moved to Canada, so why is she back in New York as Harriet’s nanny?  Harriet is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

We loved the first Harriet the Spy book and also enjoyed this sequel.

More Stories from Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson

We read In Grandma’s Attic previously as part of our earlier Sonlight curriculum, so we were pleased to find the next book in the series, More Stories from Grandma’s Attic included in our Sonlight curriculum this year.  Like the previous book, this book shares more sweet stories from grandma’s childhood in Michigan years ago.  If you’d love a book that reflects on simpler times and good morals and values, this is the book for you.

Britfield & The Lost Crown by C. R. Stewart

Britfield & The Lost Crown was a surprisingly good book that also helped us learn more about British history and geography.  Read our full review here.

Audio Stories We Listened to

We got in several good, long audio stories in August:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Remember last month when we read the first Harry Potter book and I was so excited the girls liked it?  Cuddle Bug did fine with the first book, but this month, we listened to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and it was too much for her.  She couldn’t finish the audio.  Plus, there were several nights where my husband or I had to lay in with her when she went to sleep at night because she was too scared.  Lesson learned.  No more Harry Potter books for now.

This audio was approximately 12 hours long.

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall

The last of the Penderwicks series, The Penderwicks at Last jumps forward in time to when Lydia is 11 and Rosalind is in her mid-twenties and about to be married.  While this story was good, we continue to like the earlier Penderwicks books better.  I think because we got so attached to Rosalind, Jane, and Skye, but in each book after the first two, they more or less disappear as another character takes the narration lead.

This audio was approximately 8 hours long.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

My husband and daughters listened to The Invention of Hugo Cabret on a trip to Phoenix, so I didn’t hear any of it!  But they all enjoyed it, even my husband.

This audio was approximately 3.5 hours long.

Memories of Summer by Ruth White

In Memories of Summer, Lyric and her sister, Summer, are excited to move from Virginia to Michigan with their widower father.  However, Summer, who has always been a bit odd, rapidly goes down hill once they move to Michigan.  Lyric knows something is wrong with her big sister, but when Summer starts hurting herself, Lyric learns the name for what ails her sister–schizophrenia.  This is a poignant, sad story about one sister’s descent into mental illness, and her sister and father’s desperate attempts to bring her back, to no avail.

The girls did fine listening to this story, but I didn’t realize it was for 7th to 10th graders.  The content was a bit heavy, and had I known, I would have waited to listen to this audio.

This audio was 3.5 hours long.

The Last Wild  by Piers Torday

In the dystopian story, The Last Wild, Kester is put in a home for troubled kids.  He lives in a world where there are no longer animals–they’ve all died from the “red eye.”  The only creatures still living are vermin, or so Kester thinks, until several pigeon make their way to his room.  He’s lead on an adventure where he discovers that things are not what they seem, and that the rest of the world is much different than he ever imagined.

This audio was approximately 8 hours long.

The Road to Paris  by Nikki Grimes

In The Road to Paris, Paris has had a rough life.  Her father isn’t around, and her mother is an alcoholic who goes out regularly with her latest boyfriend, leaving Paris and her brother, Malcolm alone.  The two kids are brought into foster care where they’re mistreated.  Malcolm steals money from the foster parents so he and Paris can run away, but they’re caught, and Malcolm is soon put in a home for troubled youth.  Paris moves to another foster family, the Lincolns, and she expects more mistreatment, but to her surprise, the family is nice and caring.  Parish is settled into life with the Lincolns when her mother calls and says she’s changed and wants Paris and Malcolm to come home.  What should Paris do?

This audio was approximately 3 hours long.

Puritan Girl Mohawk Girl  by John Demos

This was one of the most fascinating audios we listened to this month.

Puritan Girl Mohawk Girl opens in 1704.  Eunice Williams is seven years old, and her mother has just given birth to a baby girl.  Eunice also has three brothers.  Their simple Puritan life is disrupted when Mohawk kidnap everyone in their Massachusetts village, burn down the village, and take them all on a trek to Canada through the cold winter.

Eunice is separated from her family and taken to live with a Mohawk family.  She desperately wants to return to her family, but as the years pass, she finds herself thinking of family as the Mohawks, not her own family.  This book is based on a true story.

This audio was approximately 2.75 hours long.

Books read in 2019: 18

Audios listened to in 2019: 45

Total books read or listened to in 2019: 63

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