A funny story for this month. We drove to Michigan in October, which is a 28 hour drive, and we brought a ton of audios. But none of the rental cars have CD players anymore! So I went to Target and bought a portable CD player, but it was terrible and skipped constantly after the first disc for every.single.story we tried to listen to! We ended up only hearing the first or second disc to about nine stories. It was so frustrating! Since we’ve been back, we have been trying to finish up all those audios we started on our trip to Michigan. Here are the family read alouds for ages 8 to 12 that we read and listened to in October, 2019:
Books We Read
Apparently we were on an animal theme this month!
Hero Pup of World War I by Laurie Calkhoven
Cuddle Bug found Hero Pup of World War I at the library, and I’m glad she did! This book is part of the G.I. Dogs series and is told through the eyes of Stubby, a dog who goes to France in WWI with his American G.I. owner. Stubby learns how to salute. He warns the soldiers when they’re under a gas attack before the soldiers can even smell it.
The historical notes at the back explain that Stubby really was a dog who served in WWI with his owner. There were plenty of pictures of him in his own soldier uniform. I’d like to read the other book in this series. What a great way to teach younger kids about WWI!
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Continuing on with our theme of World War I books, War Horse tells the story of a horse who is living a fairly contented life at a farm. The farmer’s son, Albert, has a bond with the horse, Joey, so he’s devastated when his father sells Joey to go to the war. Albert vows when he’s old enough, he’ll join the war effort so he can find Joey again. This story is told in the horse’s perspective and is all about his experiences in the war. We really enjoyed this book.
(I discovered this book has also been made into the movie, War Horse. I’d love to show it to my kids for family movie night, but my husband and I likely will preview it first since it’s a PG-13 movie, I’m guessing because of the war violence.)
The Door in the Wall by Avi
I read The Door in the Wall once with Bookworm. The girls and I listened to it on audio about a year ago, and we read it again with our Sonlight curriculum. Luckily, this is a good story that can withstand many readings. I especially love the message of finding the door in the wall–finding a way or an opportunity even when life seems difficult.
Audios We Listened To
As I mentioned, we were listening to so many audios at the same time this month! We managed to finish several:
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
We all loved Princess Academy! What a sweet story! Miri is 14 years old and living in Mount Eskel in Danland. She, along with the other girls on the mountain, receive the news that the priests of the nation have determined that the princes’ future bride will be from Mount Eskel. This region produces linder, a type of valuable stone, but is looked down upon by the rest of the country. A Princess Academy is quickly established and all girls from Mount Eskel ages 12 to 18 must attend. At the end of the year, the prince will come for a dance and choose one of the girls to marry.
However, a lot happens in that year including Miri learning how to use quarry speech, a telepathic way of communicating, learning how to read, and learning how to excel in commerce. We were quite curious who the prince would choose, but in the end, he made the right decision for himself and for all of the girls in the academy. This is an excellent story!
This audio is approximately 8 hours long.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This audio is approximately 4.75 hours long.
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
In the first of The Land of Stories series, The Wishing Spell, twins Alex and Connor receive a book from their grandmother who travels frequently. Alex soon discovers that the book can transport them to the land of stories. Once there, they run into popular fairy tale characters such as Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack in the Beanstalk and many more. My girls loved this fantastical story, and even my husband enjoyed it!
This audio is approximately 9 hours long.
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
What a beautiful book! The War that Saved My Life tells the story of Ada and Jamie, two children growing up in London with their abusive mother. Ada receives the bulk of the abuse since she has a clubfoot, and her mother is embarrassed by her and keeps her locked up in the house. However, when WWII begins, officials urge the residents of London to send their children to the British countryside to protect them from potential bombings. Ada and Jamie are sent off, and for the first time in their lives, they experience freedom and true love.
In addition to being a fabulous story, this novel is rich in WWII history from the perspective of Britain.
This audio is approximately 7.5 hours long.
Books read in 2019: 28
Audios listened to in 2019: 54
Total books read or listened to in 2019: 82