I love to share new books and stories with my kids. I love to see them engrossed in a good book, but the story I really want them to grab on to and hide in their hearts is this one: “the story of how God loves his children and came to rescue them.” This story written down for us in the Bible, is "the story of all stories." It is life-changing and it is life-giving. A great way to introduce them to this story, to help them understand what the Bible is all about, is to read them The Jesus Storybook Bible.
I loved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories when I was a kid. I love them as an adult too. Although I have to admit, reading them from a parent's viewpoint adds a whole new layer to these classic books. As a kid, I loved the cures Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle would use to heal children of "diseases" like selfishness, never-want-to-go-to-bedders, and fighter-quarreleritis. (Ah, if only!) Her cures felt so out-of-the box, extreme, and funny. As an adult, her cures feel a lot like using natural consequences to teach a lesson. (Hmm, I wonder if the author had an ulterior motive...)
The Mysterious Benedict Society is one of my favorite books ever. It is the story of four kids who are asked to accomplish the simple task of saving the world.
I find myself drawn to characters and stories in which ordinary people are called on in extraordinary circumstances to do the impossible. When this story line is done well, we see the humanness of the characters as they doubt themselves and often wish for an easier path. And yet, they always continue down the impossible path they are called to because it is the right thing to do. And, thankfully, they almost always end up saving the world in the process.
The Little Rock 9 are a well-known group of brave African American students who enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The following year, the Little Rock High School (with the blessing of the governor of Arkansas) made the decision to close instead of allowing desegregation to take place. The Lions of Little Rock follows an unlikely friendship between two junior high girls in 1958, the year the high school closed. This was a piece of history that I was unfamiliar with, and I loved learning about it through the eyes of Marlee.
Set against the back drop of the American Revolution, Chains explores Isabel’s search for freedom along side of America’s fight for the same. The first book in the trilogy introduces us to Isabel and her sister Ruth. The second book, Forge, follows Curzon as he joins the Patriot army at Valley Forge. The third book, Ashes, brings Isabel and Curzon together as they search for Ruth and decide which side of the conflict is worth fighting for.
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom is an amazing little book. Set in one of the darkest times and places in recent history, it shines with hope, wisdom and love. I thought it might be a hard to read because parts of this story, parts of Corrie’s life, were unimaginably hard. Instead, I found that it was filled with reminder after reminder of God’s presence in the midst of the unimaginable. Reading it was not a dark and despairing experience, but a hope-filled one. Even the saddest parts were filled with hope because of God’s work in the lives of his servants.
FYI, there is one box set/series I intentionally left off my recent list. It is a series that is one of my very favorites. The reason I left it off is one of great excitement and sorrow. The series is not complete, BUT, it will be next spring. The last and final Penderwicks story will be released on May 15, 2018. I am both excited to read, and sad that there will be no more as the Penderwicks are some of my favorite bookish friends.
If you have never read the Penderwicks, let me tell you a little bit about them.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has become a holiday tradition at our house. I look forward to reading it out loud to our kids every year. And every year, I find myself crying over the final pages as the Herdmans experience the Christmas story for the first time and share it in a new and profound way with everyone listening in. Far from ruining the pageant, the Herdmans truly make it the best Christmas pageant ever.
This is one of those books that sticks with you long after you have read it. Watching Rose grow and evolve through her relationship with Rain is a joy. Her bravery in the face of hard circumstances and tough choices is inspiring. She has a lot to teach those who read along, young and old alike. I hope you will consider Rain, Reign for your young readers. It is most definitely one of the good ones!
Watching your child learn to read is an exciting experience. Listening to your child learn to read, can be a painful one. The right book, a book that can be enjoyed by the new reader and the older listener, can make all the difference. Mercy Watson to the Rescue is indeed a book to do just that.
... a book that illustrates how bad choices can change our lives in big ways and how forgiveness can do the same. I loved the story, the characters, and the ultimate messages that family is important, love makes a difference and forgiveness heals. A well told story that pulls at your emotions and keeps you turning the pages, this is a book you want to add to your kids’ TBR list and your own as well.