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I had high hopes of reading enough books in December that we’d hit 100 books read or listened to for the year, but, alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  Cuddle Bug was sick twice and PB & J Girl once, and we were busy, busy, busy in December like everyone else, so we fell just a bit short of 100 books.  Here are the family read alouds for ages 8 to 12 {December 2019} that we read:

Books We Read

We continue to read multiple books at the same time, but this is the only one we finished:

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

PB & J Girl chose Faith, Hope, and Ivy June. The story is about Ivy June and Catherine, two girls from Kentucky who take part in an exchange program.  Ivy June, from the Appalachian Mountains, goes to Lexington to stay with Catherine; and Catherine later goes to Ivy June’s home to stay with her.  This is a great story of friendship and of learning different cultures.  While we enjoyed the book, I felt like it never took off.  I kept waiting for a climax of the story, and it did happen, but only in the last 30 pages.

Audios We Listened To

We listened to some fabulous audios this month:

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Seriously, if you have kids ages 8 to 12 (or even older), get this book for them!  Borrow it from the library or listen to it on audio.  Out of My Mind is just too good to pass up.

Eleven year old Melody has a photographic mind, but she also has cerebral palsy.  She’s confined to a wheelchair, and she cannot speak, so no one knows how bright she is.  She’s repeatedly labeled slow and incapable of learning.  But, when Melody gets an electronic communication device, that all changes.

Melody tries out for the quiz bowl team and not only makes the cut, but she also earns the highest score on the qualifying test.  However, not everyone is ready for someone with an obvious disability to be on the team.

Maybe because my brother had cerebral palsy, had a wheelchair, and used a communication device, this story really resonated with me.  However, my girls, who never got the chance to meet my brother, adored this story and now want to listen to the rest of Sharon M. Draper’s stories.

This audio is approximately 7 hours long.

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Last month we listened to Bradley’s The War That Saved My Life and loved it.  This month, we listened to the sequel, The War I Finally Won, which is another fabulous book.  In this book, Ada’s clubfoot has been fixed, and she finds out that her mother has died.  Slowly, Ada starts to trust that her caretaker, Susan, will always be there for her.

However, when soldiers requisition Lady Thorton’s home, she must move in with Ada and her family.  Ada is uncomfortable with Lady Thorton living with her, and the tension only increases when Mr. Thorton brings home Ruth, a Jewish girl, to live with the family.  Yet through the tension, Ada chooses to do what’s right, even if it hurts or angers others.  She also learns to find worth in herself.

I wish there were more books in this series!

This audio is approximately 8.75 hours long.

Stepsister from the Planet Weird by Francess Lantz

What can I say?  Stepsister from the Planet Weird is one quirky book.  The story follows two families–the Colas and the Larsens.  Mr. Cola and his daughter, Ariel, are actually aliens from Zircalon-6.  They create human bodies for themselves, and Mr. Cola quickly falls in love with Ms. Larsen, who has two children, one of whom, Megan, dislikes Ariel and knows there’s something strange about her like the fact she never uses the bathroom.

Megan and Ariel do everything they can to keep their parents apart, but then they discover life just might be better if their parents stay together.

This audio is 4.5 hours long.


Books read in 2019: 36

Audios listened to in 2019: 61

Total books read or listened to in 2019: 97

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