This summer, we’ve been rocking the reading time.  We’ve listened to several great audios, but we’ve had a lot of time to read aloud some really good books!

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Books We Read

We finished 5 books in June:

Sticks Across the Chimney by Nora Burglon

In Sticks Across the Chimney, Siri and Erik are growing up in Denmark, and are raised solely by their mother as their father passed away.  Life is tough, and money isn’t plentiful, but the family found a nice place to stay at a reasonable price because a Viking grave is on the land, and the rest of the town doesn’t want to come near it.

Siri and Erik and cheerful, industrious children who help their mother in many creative ways.  The family faces the town bullies (a husband and wife and their child), but they begin to get nervous when there is a knock on the door at night and no one is there and when a strange green mist comes from the grave.

Luckily, their grandfather comes to town and begins to excavate the grave.  The family finds that what lies beneath will change their lives forever.

Luciana: Braving the Deep by Erin Teagan

Here’s a secret–my daughter LOVES Luciana, but I can’t stand her stories!  This is the second Luciana book we’ve read, and each time I find Luciana a bit self-centered and a know-it-all.  In Luciana: Braving the Deep, Luciana goes to camp and wants to spend time aboard Cetus, but there are obstacles in her way, namely a one person.

Meet Marie-Grace by Sarah M. Buckley

Marie-Grace has just moved to New Orleans, and she tries to find her place.  She wants to make friends with Cecile, but she is shy.  She also experiences bullying from one of the girls in the town.  Can Marie-Grace learn to stand up for herself and make a friend?

Lyddie by Katherine Paterson

In Lyddie, Lyddie and her brother, Charlie, run the family farm by themselves for a winter because their dad had run off, and their mother, who is clearly mentally ill, took the younger two children to stay with her sister because she’s sure the end of the world is coming.  Then, come spring, Lyddie gets a letter from her mom that she and Charlie have both been sent out to work for others to pay off family debts.  Lyddie ends up going on her own to Lowell, Massachusetts to work in the textile mills.

The girls and I loved this book; actually, I’ve loved all the books I’ve read by Paterson.  Excellent read.

Tales of Robin Hood by Tony Allan

I’d never read Tales of Robin Hood before, so this was a new story for me, too.  We found the stories exciting, and we were cheering for Robin Hood even when my 9 year old turned to me in the middle of the story and said, “There’s no way this would actually happen!”

Audio Stories We Listened to

We got in several good audio stories in June:

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

In Home of the Brave, Kek has fled Sudan and moved to Minnesota.  He doesn’t know where his mother is, and the rest of his family has been killed.  He misses his old country and his way of life, so when he sees a cow in the pasture, he asks to stop.  He develops an unlikely friendship with both the cow and the woman who owns the cow.  He also makes friends with a girl in foster care, Hannah.  Eventually, he discovers his mother’s fate and changes the cow’s fate.

This book was like listening to poetry in the way that things we take for granted are described.  For instance, Kek calls an escalator “the melting stairs.”

This audio was approximately 2.75 hours long.

Notes from a Liar and Her Dog by Gennifer Choldenko

In Notes from a Liar and Her Dog, Antonia (Ant for short) believes she’s adopted because she feels no one in her family loves her.  To make matters worse, every year or two, her dad changes jobs and moves the family.  Now, they’re settled in California, and Ant finally makes a good friend, Harrison, and she has her beloved dog, Pistachio.  However, Ant tells lies constantly, much to her parents’ chagrin.  When one of Ant’s teachers, Just Carol, takes Ant under her wing, Ant’s life begins to change in ways that she couldn’t imagine.

The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech

In The Castle Corona, Two poor peasant children find themselves living in the Castle Corona, acting as tasters for the King to make sure none of his food is poisoned.  However, by the end of the story, their lives have completely changed, and they find a permanent place for themselves among those who live in the castle.

This audio is 4.75 hours long.

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

I’ve loved most of Lois Lowry’s books that I’ve read, and I enjoyed The Willoughbys at the beginning, but my enthusiasm diminished as we listened.  One of my daughter’s loved this book, and the other couldn’t wait until it was over.  The story follows two terrible parents who leave their children behind and the four kids left behind with a nanny.  The children hope the parents die, and the parents hope to never be bothered with the children again.  I don’t know if it was the narrator’s voice or the story, but I didn’t care for this one.

The Wish by Gail Carson Levine

We loved The Wish.  What a sweet audio!  Wilma is in 8th grade and is decidedly NOT popular.  When she helps an old woman, the woman grants her one wish–Wilma wishes to be popular at her middle school.  Immediately, popularity is Wilma’s, but the magic will only last for so long.  What will happen to Wilma when it ends?

This audio is approximately 4 hours long.

Blackwater by Eve Bunting

Brodie is looking forward to enjoying the summer, but then his cousin, who Brodie doesn’t like, comes to visit.  Brodie takes his cousin to the local swim hole, but when Brodie sees the girl he asked to the movies kissing another boy, jealousy gets the better of him.  He pulls a harmless prank, but tragedy ensues.  Brodie wants to tell the truth, but when his cousin lies about the incident, Brodie follows along.  When he receives notes from someone who obviously saw what happened, Brodie knows he needs to tell the truth, but how?

Books read in 2019: 14

Audios listened to in 2019: 32

Total books read or listened to in 2019: 46