This post contains affiliate links.  I used to hate spending all of my time in the car driving to extracurriculars, therapy, and co-op.  Now that we’ve been home for 7 weeks, I don’t miss all of the driving, but I really do miss listening to our audio books.  We didn’t listen to any audios as a family in April (though the girls now each have MP3 players that they have loaded with audio stories.)  We did get in quite a few novels, though.  Here are the best (and worst) books for ages 8 to 12 {April 2020}:

Books We Read

We continue to read multiple books at the same time, and this month, since we were home so much, we finished 9!

The Best Books

We had three favorites this month:

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Hands down, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein was our favorite.  This book is perfect for book lovers as it takes place in a library and Mr. Lemoncello loves using the names of famous books in his speech.  The protagonist, Kyle, who has no love of reading but enjoys Mr. Lemoncello’s board games, learns that 12 kids from his school will be chosen to have a lock-in at the town’s new library before it opens.  He get to go and is delighted.  However, on the second day, there’s an unexpected competition, and Kyle realizes how much he’s been missing by skimping on reading.

This book has 288 pages.

The Little Riders by Margaretha Shemin

The Best (and Worst) Books for Ages 8 to 12 {April 2020}

In The Little Riders, Johanna’s parents leave her in Holland with her paternal grandparents while they take a trip.  However, WWII breaks out and her parents can’t get to Johanna.  Johanna looks out each day from her bedroom window and sees the little riders, 12 metal figures on horseback, which come out of the town’s clock.

When Germany occupies Holland, a German soldier comes to live with them.  Johanna must give up her room.  But the entire town has to give up the little riders so the Nazis can melt them down and use them for ammunition. . .unless the town finds a way to save them with some unexpected help.

FYI, we also watched the movie adaption of this book on YouTube, and while it bore little resemblance to the book, it was very good also.

This book has 76 pages.

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry


Misty of Chincoteague is the perfect book for a horse lover.  Paul and Maureen Beebe save all of their money so that when the annual wild mustang round up happens, they can buy Phantom, a horse they have their eyes set on.

But when the day of the round up comes, Paul finds Phantom and discovers that she has a new colt.  Paul saves the colt’s live, but can he and Maureen buy both Phantom and the colt?  And should they?  Should a wild creature be allowed to stay wild?

This book has 173 pages.

Other Books We Read

Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime by Janet & Geoffe Benge

I hadn’t heard of this missionary before, but when we read Gladys Aylward, she made a big impact on us.  (Read my full review of Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime.)

This book has 203 pages.

A Child’s History of the World by Virgil M. Hillyer

The Best (and Worst) Books for Ages 8 to 12 {April 2020}

We’ve been reading A Child’s History of the World all year for our Sonlight Level C.  I really thought this book did an excellent job presenting world history in an easy to digest way for children.  The author writes it like a grandpa telling his kids about the old days.  My youngest, who loves world history, especially enjoyed this book.

This book has 411 pages.

Words on Fire by Jennifer A. Nielsen

We read Nielsen’s Resistance last year and loved it, so my daughter choose Words on Fire for me to read aloud at night.  In this story, Audra is illiterate and living with her parents in Lithuania.  Now that the Russians occupy the area, Lithuanian books are illegal.  Unbeknownst to Audra, her parents are book smugglers.  Their secret is exposed when they are arrested and send Audra fleeing from the home with a bag that contains a single book.

Audra finds her way to other book smugglers and learns to read and become a smuggler herself.  But people in this line of work tend not to live for long.

This book is 322 pages long.

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes

The Best (and Worst) Books for Ages 8 to 12 {April 2020}

I hate to bash any book, but wow, we couldn’t even finish reading Gigner Pye.  The book started out good, about a brother and sister who decide to adopt a dog, Ginger.  They have to work up hard to save money, but they do.  They’re so excited to have Ginger, but they only have him for a few months before he’s dognapped.  The rest of the book is about their search for Ginger, but the problem is that there’s really no suspense because it’s so obvious who took the dog.

This was a serious miss in our Sonlight curriculum.

This book is 303 pages long, but we only read 244 pages.

Make sure to check out the

the best (and worst ) books for ages 8 to 12 {March 2020} that we read last month,  and

best (and worst) books for ages 8 to 12 {February 2020} that we read in February, and

the best (and worst) books for ages 8 to 12 {January 2020} that we read in January!


Books read: 9

# of pages read: 1,717

Audios listened to: 0

# of hours listened: 0

2020 STATS:

Books read in 2020: 31

Audios listened to in 2020: 13

Total books read or listened to in 2020: 44

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