MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

If I Run (If I Run, #1)
ISBN: 9780310332435
Publisher's Synopsis:
Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

"There's blood on the bottom of my shoes...
Blood runs down the drain.
My heart races as though it's my own draining away,
but it's not mine."

MrsK's Review:
Are you ready to spend some time on the run? From the beginning you will be on the run with Casey.
What would you do if you discovered your friend murdered? For Casey it was all about the moments leading up to the discovery of Brent in a pool of blood.

As the daughter of a detective, it was instilled in her to respect authority. She was given a belief that you trusted the legal system.  You knew the difference between good and bad/right from wrong. And  you "used" your intelligence to "pre-think" scenarios. Yet, all of these strengths will place Casey in the "run" of her life. Once the system turned on her family, Casey began choosing avenues that would place her in the midst of a homicide within her father's Shreveport Police Department.

Dylan is home from Iraq. The last thing he expected was to find out his friend had been murdered. Once an Army Criminal Investigator, Dylan will be hired as a friend of the family as their Private Investigator. Regardless of his honorable discharge, Dylan suffers from PTSD and is willing but not enthusiastic in doing this job. That is until so much about Casey doesn't add up to being a psychopathic killer. What is the truth about why she is on the run? Any reasonable person would have called the police, being on the run usually proves someones guilt. Why does the Shreveport Police Department and Gordon Keegan think a PI should investigate her where abouts instead of their department? What had Brent fallen into?

Miss Lucy is from Shady Grove, Georgia. On the bus with Casey, she talks about her faith. She reveals how her granddaughter Laura disappeared when she was only fourteen. Miss Lucy knows she wouldn't have run away, she had been so excited about her first homecoming. Casey considers Shady Grove as a good stopping place, especially since she can't get Laura's disappearance out of her mind.

Fast paced, ultimately four crimes to unravel, and characters that will make the hours pass.
If you haven't read any of Terri's books... start with this one!
"I give in to the temptation to pray...
I have trouble believing in God,
but when I'm in a mess,
my mind often formulates quiet pleas.
I don't know what to ask for.
Time? Distance? And escape path?"

Amazing suspense... Is time running out?
Added to my shelf
Meet the Author:
 Terri Blackstock  Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She is the winner of two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist.

Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in a U.S. Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.
 Learn more about Terri's books...

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies & Toddlers

Anthony F. Porto, MD & Dina M Dimaggio, MD
ISBN: 9781607749011
Publisher's Synopsis:
A comprehensive manual for feeding babies and toddlers during the crucial first years of life, written by a team of medical experts who are also parents.
The choices of when, how, and what to feed your baby can be overwhelming. With The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers, you have the expertise of a team of pediatric medical and nutritional experts—who also happen to be parents—in a comprehensive manual that takes the guesswork out of feeding. This first-of-its-kind guide provides practical, easy-to-follow advice to help you navigate the nutrition issues, medical conditions, and parenting concerns that accompany feeding. With recipes, parenting stories, and recommendations based on the latest pediatric guidelines, this book will allow you to approach mealtime with confidence so you can spend more time enjoying your new family.
MrsK's Review:
"We believe that feeding should be fun, stress-free,
and family-oriented quality time."

This resource is divided into five age groups with developmental guidelines, medical tips, and recipes. Each stage of growth provides "realistic" suggestions for feeding your little one from breast feeding... to formula or milk... and into finger foods.

Each section is organized with how your infant/toddler is changing. There are expected abilities listed, as well as what type of feeding schedule would benefit their growth pattern. The conversations are written with a welcoming voice, as if you were gathered around a table with relatives or friends sharing personal experiences. Suggested feedings are followed with the most "asked" concerns, these Q&A points are one of the strengths for this book (so many tips are revealed and so many of the myths or misunderstood guidelines are debunked). Finally there are easy to follow recipes for making your own babyfood, soups, or snacks. The last chapter specifically deals with different medical needs (allergies, treatments, growth patterns, and visiting with specialists).

The only aspect that would have made this reviewer happier, would have been the addition of photos (recipes, allergy-related signs, play-time toys, and of course great book resources).
Excellent resource for parents and their newborns-toddlers.
 "We created this book as a resource to provide easy access to
common feeding questions from the minute an infant
is born through the toddler years."
Meet the Author's:
Anthony F. Porto is a board-certified pediatrician and board certified pediatric gastroenterologist. Anthony is interested in nutrition, especially in the care of children with difficulty gaining weight, feeding issues, and celiac disease. He loves teaching and educating parents and gives lectures to parents thoughout Connecticut.
Dina M. DiMaggio is board certified pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of NYC. She is dedicated to educating parents on baby and toddler nutrition and gives talks to parent groups thoughout New York.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Penguin Random House

Sunday, July 17, 2016

An Unbroken Heart by Kathleen Fuller

An Unbroken Heart (Amish of Birch Creek #2)
ISBN: 9780718033187
Publisher's Synopsis:
One minute, Joanna Schrock was arguing with her parents, and the next, her parents’ lives were claimed in a hit-and-run buggy accident. Her body is broken, but her heart is in even deeper pain— after all, how do you cope with your parents’ deaths when your last words were spoken in anger?

After an extended stint in a physical rehabilitation center, Joanna re-enters her Amish life. But nothing is the same—not even her feelings for Andrew Beiler.

Joanna has loved Andrew since the age of twelve, and her feelings have not changed throughout the years. She is thrilled when Andrew wants to get married, but she wonders whether it’s love he’s feeling, or pity. As the couple’s wedding date approaches, Joanna isn’t overcome with the deep joy she was hoping to feel; instead, she’s wracked with anxiety and guilt.

Joanna hears God whispering to her, Be strong and courageous, but she’s afraid that courage looks a lot like walking away from her dreams and into the plan of her Heavenly Father.

If Joanna takes the first step toward healing, will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? Or could God be changing the desires of her heart?

MrsK's Review
Back when Joanna was twelve, there was a moment when Andrew defended her against the school bullies. A moment in which, Joanna realized she loved Andrew and one day... one day they would marry.

Eight years later Andrew and Joanna were on their way to marriage, that is until Joanna "botched" their marriage proposal. Before she could make things right, her life changed during that fatal night when a car crashes into her parent's carriage. Rehab will require more than therapy to walk without the crutches. Johanna will need forgiveness, strength, a willingness to move beyond her regrets, and love.

In Langdon, Ohio, Cameron Crawford finds himself on the run. It's been six weeks since his daughter was born and his wife died. Now, everything about his life in Langdon reminds him of everything he has lost. How could he ever think of his wife without anger, or that fatal night without guilt?
Irene is Andrew's sister, she is devoted to her brother and hopes that one day she too will be married. Yet, right now her mind just keeps focusing on Sol. Asa had left Birch Creek five years ago. Now he has returned to his parents farm. He isn't a boy of sixteen any longer and Irene's childhood crush reminds her that sometimes life rekindles a youthful dream.

A leap of faith will bring God's will to fruitition. Following His will... takes courage,

"Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid;
don not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you
wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9


A Reluctant Bride (Amish of Birch Creek #1)
 MrsK's Review for book #1
Meet the Author:
Kathleen Fuller  Kathleen is the best-selling author of over thirty books, including the Hearts of Middlefield Series and the A Middlefield Family Series. She lives with her husband and three children in Northeast Ohio. Kathleen loves to hear from readers.  Learn more about Kathleen's books...

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble

Mermaid Moon (Sunset Cove, #2)
ISBN: 9781401690281
Publisher's Synopsis:
Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.” Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point. Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart—and left—without a word, years ago. When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye. As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.
MrsK's Review:
Mallory is a creative sea-glass jewelry artisan. At the moment, she is taking her twenty pieces around to various store owners in Bangor, Maine. Not only are these pieces delightfully crafted, but her signature mermaid adds just the right uniqueness for all customers. Her daughter, Haylie, is at that age, as a fourteen year old, where all she wants is her mother to just "Chill out." For the past week, she has had that inner feeling that someone has been watching her. Why would anyone care about her or her whereabouts? Was it a bill collector? 
"Love you...always.
Tell...Haylie. Love her.
Should have...known better."
What was her dad talking about? Was he having a heart attack? Oh, how she wished she could turn the clock back. Warden Kevin O'Connor, dreaded the phone call to Mallory. Not only had Kevin looked up to Edmund, he also knew the depth of assistance that Mallory will need to move beyond her father's death. Will he be able to provide that assistance know that Mallory is heading home? It had been so many years since Mallory had left Breakwater Cottage and Mermaid Point. Aunt Blanche and Haylie were all that is left. What happened?

"I'm here Sadie...
The familiar pang struck him at her sightless eyes...
pulled her on his lap,
relishing the little girl scent of strawberry shampoo."

 Kevin wasn't expecting how shaken he would be in seeing Mallory again. Given the agony of today's discovery, all of the emotions and doubts had drained Kevin. Yet, coming home to his eight-year old daughter proved to be the salve that his disquieted heart would need, at least for the time being.

Mallory's life begins a fast-paced unraveling. What begins with her father's death quickly spirals into chaos. Rocks with messages, watchers in the woods, a burglary in her home in Bangor, then a near brush with a fiery death will rekindle a bond with Kevin. Yet, with so many twists and turns in the murder investigation... is it possible to bring down the walls between them?

For me, as a reader, I was hooked the minute I met Mallory. The mystery is so well woven between Mallory's story, her feelings for Kevin, their daughter's friendship that you will find it difficult to put the book down. Characterization is at its best!

The pacing will be like a siren's song... calling you back... until the last page is turned.

Entertaining... Perfect blend of mystery and romance... Delightful page turner!

Meet the Author:
Colleen Coble  USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print. Learn more about Colleen's books...
"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Longing in Me by Sheila Walsh

The Longing in Me: How Everything You Crave Leads to the Heart of God
ISBN: 9781400204892

Publisher's Synopsis:

Do your desires have you going around in circles?
You may be looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places.

You vowed you d never repeat the same mistakes yet you find yourself right where you started. What is it that keeps drawing you back into the same old traps? The fact is, your longings are built from the blueprint of your needs: for protection, for love, for God. And those needs aren t going anywhere.

Sheila speaks candidly about the trials in her life, including the heartache of her first marriage, and intertwines her story with the biblical saga of King David. As both Sheila s and David s stories make clear, some cravings are misguided, but they all stem from the same hunger and they will haunt you until that hunger gets satisfied properly.

If you keep reaching out to the wrong people at the wrong times in your own life, The Longing in Me will help you understand that your cravings are not the problem. It s where they lead you that makes all the difference."
God is so much bigger than your past. He is so much more merciful than your sin. He is so much stronger than your weakest moment. 
MrsK's Review:
It is with great honor that this review is being written. Over the course, of a few years, Sheila has been inspiring women to know and grow in a relationship with our Lord. Through Women of Faith, Sheila's witness has always... always inspired the next level in my faith walk.

With her newest book, Sheila is inviting us to walk with her and King David towards discovering the longing within our souls.
"The human heart longs for closure and understanding."
It's my "forever beginning," my point at which life tips and I begin looking for a life-preserver. Often times my searching takes me to others that might not be available. Ultimately, I reach for God's words... then I begin a renewal.
My prayer for you right now, dear reader, is that God
will grant you the grace and courage to pursue Him and,
along that broken path, discover how much God 
has always loved and relentlessly pursued you."
Sheila explains the "slow and endless drip, drip, dripping" as a soul is damaged. When we replay the "agonizing, shame-filled tapes" over and over and over in our heads we become powerless against the warfare that begins a battle against our soul. We long to win the battle and to take refuge under the care of a champion or victor.
"Christ has called us to be people who speak the truth and live in the light,
who openly settle our conflicts
rather than withdraw and embitter ourselves."
 If you are a gardener, you know all about those weeds that will choke the life out of a plant. Encrouching the good soil until the plant itself is over-ran with the weed's webbing. Within our minds, conversations and actions can thrive if we give attention to those deceiving "weeds."
"What God offers you is grace and forgiveness in the present
and hope for the future."
Eventually that "longing in me" begins prompting me to make everything right. What did King David do? How can the word of God direct our path? "How do you live when things can't be quickly fixed?"
Accept Sheila's invite, joining many women of faith and King David along this path of victory.
Healing brings sweet freedom,
"The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located
 will betray us if we trust to them;
it was not in them,
 it only came through them,
 and what came through was a longing...
  For they are not the thing itself;
 they are only the scent of a flower we have not found,
 the echo of a turn we have not heard,
 news from a country we have never yet visited."
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Inspiring forgiveness, renewal, strength, and self-discovery.
Meet the Author:
Sheila Walsh  Sheila Walsh is a powerful communicator, Bible teacher, and best-selling author with more than 4 million books sold. A featured speaker with Women of Faith®, Sheila has reached more than 3.5 million women by artistically combining honesty, vulnerability, and humor with God's Word.

Author of the best-selling memoir Honestly and the Gold Medallion nominee for The Heartache No One Sees, Sheila's most recent release, The Shelter of God's Promises, has also been turned into a DVD curriculum and in-depth Bible study. The Gigi, God's Little Princess book and video series has won the National Retailer's Choice Award twice and is the most popular Christian brand for young girls in the United States.

Sheila co-hosted The 700 Club and her own show Heart to Heart with Sheila Walsh. She is currently completing her Masters in Theology.

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free for this review."

Thomas Nelson

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

An Amish Market by A. Clipston, K. Fuller, K. Irvin, V Chapman

An Amish Market
ISBN: 9780529118684
Publisher's Synopsis:
Love Birds by Amy Clipston
While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller
Every week, Hannah Lynne brings her home-churned butter to the local market. And every week Ezra stops by to purchase some. Hannah Lynne knows not to read too much into it—Ezra is a confirmed bachelor and barely even glances her way, despite any hope to the contrary. But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can’t stop her heart from taking over her mind. Could Ezra finally be in the market for love?

Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin
Shattering a jar of pickled beets wasn’t the impression Isabella hoped to make on her first trip to the local Combination Store of Bee County, Texas. But as embarrassed as she was by the accident, she didn’t think it warranted the frosty reaction from the handsome manager of the store, Will Glick. As she soon learns, though, Will’s heart has been broken one too many times. And now, for some reason, Isabella finds herself determined to be the one to repair that broken heart and renew his faith in love.

Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman
Stella Schrock works at the Old Mill in Nappanee, Indiana, with new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower. When strange happenings begin occurring around town, it appears as if someone wants to close the mill. Stella and David have to work together to solve the mystery of what is happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they might just find that God has more in store for their future than they would ever have dreamed possible.

MrsK's Review:
 Love Birds by Amy Clipston
"I was hoping that someday you'd figure out how I felt about you
and then decide to love me too."
After the death of her big brother, Ellie must find a way to make ends meet for her, their land, and her mother. Yes, there are so many that are willing to help. Yet, somehow Ellie must find a way to provide and working at the Bird-in-Hand store is the answer. Lloyd was Seth's closest friend, he promised to help at the Lapp farm even though his father's dairy farm required every minute of day light. Burdened with the grief of Seth's death, frustrated by lack of time, and amused by Ellie's attempts at farming there had to be a way to balance the needs of both farms.

 A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller
 "Did it matter that the man of her dreams barely knew she existed?"
Hannah Lynne has a butter stand at the Middlefield Market. She has such a hard time being tongue tied whenever Ezra stops by to purchase her butter, she gets so flustered by his unpretentious ways. She knows that Ezra is a confirmed bachelor, who just happens to like butter, somehow she must find a way to overturn his bachelorhood. Even though Ezra can't resist a good deal, he was running out of room for his butter purchases. For Ezra, bringing a smile to Hannah's face was all he wanted... even if he must buy a quilt or create an agreement for Hannah Lynne to help him with curtains and cleaning in the house he was renovating. What ever it will take to get Hannah Lynne into his life, Ezra will find a way.
 Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin
 "I'm not one to run off with folks I hardly know."
Isabella was so excited about their first canning season in Bee County, Texas. Leaving behind Tennessee promised a new beginning. She just knew that she could fit in here and her family would be happy. At eighteen she was hoping that her transformation into a woman who could "reserve comments" would finally bring her the man God has chosen for her. Will works in Bishop Leroy's store. He is a hard worker who has no intention of experiencing the painfulness of love any time soon. And yet, Isabella's spunk wavers on the edge of  being endearing to the point of distraction. Can he open his heart, letting go of the bitterness that has threatened to close the door on life and love? When Will is given the store and a new vocation, it is apparent that following God's calling is also leading him toward the one woman who might provide support, strength and contentment.

 Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman
 "Why can't he stay at his assigned post?"
David is known as a man that is "quick thinking and calm in a crisis," a valued employee at the Old Amish Mill. Stella has the same instincts as David, yet she has never married and is known for having a "sour disposition." David will do more than just ponder what Stella's story is, he won't forget how she responded to the grandmother and the little girl that was choking. Either it will prove to be foolish or wise, David has to find out if there is more to Stella's "sharp tongue and bitter spirit." After all, he had been raised by parent's who were an "example of faith in daily life." His marriage still resonated comfort and love. Could Stella prove to be compassionate and tender?

When Stella discovers the story about David's son in law, she begins noticing that David is a man that goes "against human nature." Or at least what she has deemed natural. If only that man wouldn't bother her with his constant presence! 
Delightful novella's, Great moments that inspire goodness, love, friendship, family, and faith.
Take a moment to enjoy these women, these men, and their stories. 
Life is meant to be lived, comforted like a quilt made out of love...
 Amy Clipston  Hi, I’m Amy Clipston. I am an author of Amish and Christian fiction with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Most of my books focus on the Amish community, faith, and love. I also write romance novels and young adult inspirational stories. Learn more about Amy's books...

Kathleen Fuller  Kathleen is the best-selling author of over thirty books, including the Hearts of Middlefield Series and the A Middlefield Family Series. She lives with her husband and three children in Northeast Ohio. Kathleen loves to hear from readers. Learn more about Kathleen's books...

Kelly Irvin  Kelly Irvin's latest book in the Amish of Bee County series, The Bishop's Son, released in October. It is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Beekeeper's Son, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer called it "a beautifully woven masterpiece." The Beekeeper's Son was also an ECPA bestseller. She has novellas in The Amish Christmas Gift and The Amish Marketplace, both of which were also ECPA bestsellers. She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Amish Amish series. Learn more about Kelly's books...

 Vannetta Chapman Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of many novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, and Plain and Simple Miracle series. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She currently writes Christian suspense, Amish romance, and Amish mystery. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country.  Learn more about Vannetta's books...

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Blue by Joyce Moyer Hostetter

ISBN: 9781590788356
Publisher's Synopsis:
Ann Fay Honeycutt accepts the role of "man of the house" when her father leaves to fight Hitler because she wants to do her part for the war in this Parents' Choice Silver Honor Book. She's doing well with the extra responsibilities when a frightening polio epidemic strikes, crippling many local children. Her town of Hickory responds by creating an emergency hospital in three days. Ann Fay reads each issue of the newspaper for the latest news of the 1944 epidemic, but soon she discovers for herself just how devastating polio can be. As her challenges grow, so does her resourcefulness. In the face of tragedy, Ann Fay discovers her ability to move forward. She experiences the healing qualities of friendship and explores the depths of her own faithfulness to those she loves—even to one she never expected to love at all.

MrsK's Review:
Ann Fay Honeycutt a perfect name for a strong and courageous young lady. Around 1944, most children were not growing up in a season of playing and being disconnected to what was happening in the world. The war against Hitler was taking fathers, brothers, uncles, and cousins from the homes. Food rationing meant life or starvation for everyone. Everyone was doing their part, and yet sometimes a sickness spreads and causing even deeper scars within the hearts of families.

Ann Fay will watch over her siblings while her mother is attending to Bobby's needs. She will long for her Daddy's return from the war. She will experience heartache when life can seem to be cruel. And she will learn to trust in the support of her neighbors, friendship, and a girl who isn't so different than she.

The epidemic of polio was sweeping the nation. Fortunately, for Ann Fay and her family the town had opened the Hickory Polio camp. Although this historical fiction novel is written with a child like perspective, the reality of life in a small town during the mid-forties is so much more. Ann Fay will be responsible. She will be facing tough decisions. She will need courage to move forward when her world is at a standstill. She will forge ahead in friendships that are supportive. She will learn to shut out the negative in order to accept the possibilities.

Every student in fourth grade (+) should experience Ann Fay's story. Every element of the Six-Traits is beautifully woven in a time in which town's were facing such a depression that went deeper than a lack of money. Either as a read-aloud or a sharing of certain passages, this is a story to be shared!

"I tell you what's the truth.
When I looked at that polio sign next to the blue star flag Momma
hung up there for Daddy being a soldier,
I felt like I was looking down a double-barrel shotgun...
and fixing to get blowed all to pieces." 

A must read and share novel. Excellent for a class room read-aloud.
Needs to be added to every school library shelf.

Meet the Author:
  Joyce Moyer Hostetter is the author of four historical novels, including Blue, winner of the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award, and its sequel, Comfort. She lives with her husband in North Carolina, close to her two adult children and nine grandchildren.
As a child, I was fascinated with family photos. At our house we had a red album with black pages.  The pictures were tucked into little white corner tabs. But we also had a random collection of photos in a gray shoebox. I loved to scrounge through that box.
There were images of me at various younger stages in my life. And some of me with my siblings, all lined up in stairstep formation.  (I was the second smallest girl.)
As I child I was:
  • a chatterbox
  • the only girl in class with pigtails (I just hated that!)
  • a bookworm and a dreamer
  • good with words – not so good with numbers
  • lover of creeks
  • master creator of playhouses in barns and sheds 

MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

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