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)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Candidate by Lis Wiehl

The Candidate (Newsmakers #2)
ISBN: 9780718037680
Publisher's Synopsis:
In covering the presidential election campaign, star newsmaker Erica Sparks notices that favored candidate Senator Mike Ortiz seems dependent on his wife to an unnatural degree. Celeste Ortiz is a brilliant and glamorous billionaire who—along with her best friend and confidant Lily Lau—has engineered her husband’s meteoric rise. The White House is within their reach. But the more Erica investigates the Ortizes’ strange relationship, the more intrigued she becomes.

Erica begins an investigation. But everyone material to her probe ends up dead. With each death, her foreboding grows. Is she next? And can she find out in time if the country’s beloved candidate is what he seems . . . or a threat to national security?
"No one gets to the White House without having
the media in their corner."
MrsK's Review:
At GNN, Erica is searching for new challenges or prospective stories. Now that her life has gained a calming order, she feels that her focus with her daughter Jenny will improve. Until she is informed that her viewers are dropping off. She needs a "big story" as soon as possible.

At the scene, Erica begins her coverage of the final Democratic presidential debate. As Senator Mike Ortiz and Governor Fred Buchanan exit their vehicles, there's a "flash of light" and life for Erica gets tossed into chaos. Who is to blame?

Celeste Pierce Ortiz is determined to get her husband to the White House. She is a woman who calculates the odds, outlines the necessary steps for success, and relies on Lily Lau to help them win the election. What keeps her adrenaline pumping is the power that comes from controlling the outcome of any/all situations.

Since that moment of devastation at the debate, Erica finds that her time will be spent following leads instead of with her daughter. Becky Sullivan, is an intern and seems competent to be her personal assistant. Becky would be a good "match" for Jenny when she had to be away from home.

Lily Lau is a woman destined for greatness. She is brilliant, powerful, and is steeped with a commanding presence. She met Celeste when they were freshmen at Stanford. When Mike Ortiz came on the scene, both of the women sensed that he would be the perfect candidate for their plan.

While Erica interviews Mike Ortiz, she notices a void... a type of vacancy about his actions. What could cause such a void in someone who is running for President? It's almost as if he wasn't completely engaged, unable to think on his own. Where is all of this leading?

Woven between troubles at home with Jenny and Becky, the break up with Greg, and her investigations, Erica will need to trust her instincts and look deeper into the ancient Chinese canonical. It is becoming a life and death scenario especially for Erica and Jenny.

Suspense will keep you turning the pages. The deception, the greed of power, the depth of control will keep you on the edge as good vs. evil plunders into a tunnel of fear,
"...there are some things money can't protect you from.
And there are some people who aren't what they seem."
Meet the Author:  
Lis Wiehl  
Lis Wiehl is the author "Face of Betrayal," a New York Times Best Seller.

She has also written "Winning Every Time: How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life" and "The 51% Minority: How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It."

In addition to her written work, Wiehl is currently a legal analyst for Fox News. She has been with the network since 2001.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Wiehl is an adjunct professor at New York Law School.

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

Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

The Silent Songbird (Hagenheim, #7)
ISBN: 9780718026318
Publisher's Synopsis:
Evangeline is the ward and cousin of King Richard II, and yet she dreams of a life outside of Berkhamsted Castle, where she might be free to marry for love and not politics. But the young king betroths her to his closest advisor, Lord Shiveley, a man twice as old as Evangeline. Desperate to escape a life married to a man she finds revolting, Evangeline runs away from the king and joins a small band of servants on their way back to their home village.

To keep her identity a secret, Evangeline pretends to be mute. Evangeline soon regrets the charade as she gets to know Wesley, the handsome young leader of the servants, whom she later discovers is the son of a wealthy lord. But she cannot reveal her true identity for fear she will be forced to return to King Richard and her arranged marriage.

Wesley le Wyse is intrigued by the beautiful new servant girl. When he learns that she lost her voice from a beating by a cruel former master, he is outraged. But his anger is soon redirected when he learns she has been lying to him. Not only is she not mute, but she isn't even a servant.

Weighed down by remorse for deceiving Wesley, Evangeline fears no one will ever love her. But her future is not the only thing at stake, as she finds herself embroiled in a tangled web that threatens England's monarchy. Should she give herself up to save the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

"She would never be free to go wherever she wanted,
to work and play and live in the sunshine."
MrsK's Review:
In the summer of 1384, Evangeline could sing of the morning but not choose whomever she wanted to marry. Since the king has accepted Lord Shiveley's offer of marriage, Muriel tries to encourage Evangeline that she must follow through with the king's order and not risk his anger. Given the kings refusal to reject the marriage proposal, Evangeline, knew she had no choice. She must run away!

Once Westley had insured that the little girl was safe, he once again glances towards the window in which he had only a momentary glance of the lovely young lady who had been singing with "an ethereally beautiful voice." Never did it occur to Westley that before he reached Glynval there would be an old servant or a mute joining his group as he journeyed home.

At Glynval, Westley asks his mother, Lady le Wyse, to help Eva and the old servant get settled and begin working. Trying to find some type of work for Eva would not be easy. Cooking, sewing, or churning butter would not prove fruitful. What skills did Eva have? What type of disaster might a runaway charge of the king bring upon a small unsuspecting village?

As the days passed, the only thing that Evangeline had learned well was that Westley's parents, Lord and Lady le Wyse, had married for love. If only Muriel would accept her decision to run away. Maybe they both could be happy in Glynval. What Evangeline had not noticed was the depth of Muriel's unhappiness. If Muriel does return to Berkhamsted Castle what sort of danger might follow? Would the king, or even Lord Shiveley search for her? Would Muriel be allowed to live? Would Westley understand her deception? Where should she go?

If you enjoy fairy-tale re-tellings or medieval romance novels, this story is delightfully entertaining. Both Evangeline and Westley are flawed and yet, they are both enchanting characters. The story is as old as any fairy tale, although, the fun is found in their exploits as romance begins weaving a match made for ever after.
"God, keep Evangeline safe, and make us victorious."  

Once love finds a way...
Your path becomes your destiny.
Meet the Author:
Melanie Dickerson  Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing's Best award, and her book, The Healer's Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.

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

Saturday, February 25, 2017

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart
ISBN: 9781601428912
Publisher's Synopsis:
Here are the words of hope you re looking for when your faith needs a boost or a friend needs encouragement. Chosen by more than a thousand women as their favorite verses in the Bible, each one is worth learning, worth sharing, worth remembering,
You ll find verses you already know and love: I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). Others may be less familiar but are no less powerful: Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe (Proverbs 29:25). All of them capture the truth of God s goodness, mercy, and love for His own.
Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs invites you to experience
A deeper, richer understanding of thirty-one treasured verses.
A fresh look at how these timeless truths can impact your life.
A new passion for memorizing Scripture, verse by verse.
Thirty-one creative ways to keep them in your heart forever.
With a Study Guide included, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart is a daily devotional and a small group Bible study, wrapped in a lovely gift book overflowing with joy!"

MrsK's Review:
Learning a scripture passage a day is inspiring and do-able! Not like other devotionals, this book is formatted specifically for memorization and personal reflection. What I adore about this book is the resourcing into each aspect of the chosen passages. Liz breaks apart God's word in such a way that truly adds a depth within your spirit. For some of us, memorizing scripture can seem daunting. With this book, I've discovered personalized connections with in God's beautiful words. Those significant connections has enabled God's word to germinate and produce a strong "root" system. That "rooting," in turn, creates a quicker access of recall.

Each evening, I will re-read the previous passage and ponder the moments during my day that I was able to act on God's word. Then I read the next passage. I journal my discoveries. I discuss the passage with our Lord. It is a wonderful time of discovery.

Discover the blessings and treasures of these passages,
"Be still, and know that I am God..."
PS 46:10
Meet the Author:
Liz Curtis Higgs
Former Bad Girl, grateful for the grace God offers. Happy wife of Bill, one of the Good Guys. Proud mom of two grown-up kids with tender hearts. Lame housekeeper. Marginal cook. Pitiful gardener. Stuff I love? Encouraging my sisters in Christ—across the page, from the platform, online, in person. Unpacking Scripture. Traveling wherever God leads. Listening to his heart. Leaning into his embrace.
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."
Blogging For Books

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Eight Keys
ISBN: 9780385740302
Publisher's Synopsis:
Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.
When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn.
Choose to..."
MrsK's Review:
Elise is starting middle school. During one of her hardest years, she will need to discover her truest sense of self. Thankfully, she is given many opportunities to unravel the mystery of the keys. Each key presents an opportunity to unlock eight rooms. Each room not only leads to an amazing discovery, but provides an insight into her inner perception about life. Can Elise discover the truth about her parents? Will she discover what a "true" friendship really means? How do these keys unlock a "treasure" for a life time?

Franklin is the one friend that knows Elise the best. Yet, now that middle school has begun he finds himself in the dilemma of protecting Elise or letting their friendship go. Thankfully, he has some great science opportunities to keep him going. Yet, when friendship begins to change not everything can be forgiven.

Caroline is the best friend of Elise's locker partner. A locker partner who is a bully, who is mean and nasty to Franklin, and a locker partner who is determined to make Caroline miserable. In reality, Caroline doesn't agree with how Amanda is acting. So when Elise asks her how she feels about a room filled with books, it was a great opportunity to discover a new friendship.

Every key unlocks a new discovery. Each discovery offers a better insight into what the mysterious messages are really about. Every character has a delightful depth of perception about Elise. Every room offers a challenge to embrace a strength.

This novel is worth sharing, discussing, and cherishing the changes that every one can aspire to.
Unlock a great read and then enjoy the journey,

Delightfully crafted! 
A must for every classroom and school library.
Meet the Author:
Suzanne LaFleur  
I grew up outside Boston in Newton, and later Natick, MA. During the school year I went to Catholic school, did a lot of homework, and read a couple books a week. During the summer I read a couple books a day and spent hours swimming and playing outside at our local pool or beach. I was very much a planner, dreamer, and writer, creating plays and shows for my siblings and the neighborhood kids to be in and filling up entire notebooks with novels. I always read late into the night and slept with a book under my pillow.

I went to college in Lexington, VA at Washington and Lee, where I studied English and European History; I went to grad school in New York City at The New School, where I studied Writing for Children.

Now I divide my time between Natick, MA and New York. Due to my frequent travels, I don't really have a "typical" day, but most days I spend some time writing, reading, exercising (swimming, lifting, or walking), and visiting with friends. I like to warm up for writing by playing computer games. I do my best writing at home in my pajamas, though a lot of days I will venture out to a library to work (in jeans and a sweatshirt, rather than PJ's!). Most days I take a nap, which I tend to do with a book on my chest, whether or not I was actually reading it before I fell asleep. I still read before bed, and, now that I'm older and have a big bed to myself, I slide the book I'm reading under the pillow next to me (rather than the one I'm planning to sleep on!).
Penguin Random House Canada logo

Monday, February 20, 2017

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman

Love Bears All Things (Amish Secrets, #2)
ISBN: 9780529118721
Publisher's Synopsis:
Charlo­tte Dolinsky needs time to recover after breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan. But when a surprise visitor shows up on her doorstep in Texas, she’s forced to put aside her own worries to help her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Soon she is entangled in a web of deception—and this time, she isn’t the only one keeping secrets.

Daniel Byler struggles each day in his Amish community to heal from his fiancée’s betrayal. When he discovers that a member of his family is in danger of being shunned, his pain turns to fear. His only way to help is by partnering with Charlo­tte, a woman he barely knows who has already deceived them all before.

Charlo­tte begins building a friendship with Daniel that she’ll need to lean on when more surprises surface from her past and she once again finds herself torn between two worlds. Will Charlotte’s friends in the Amish community be able to show her the power of redemption and lead her home? And can she help young Jacob realize that God offers second chances at happiness when she isn’t even sure herself?

"I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry."
MrsK's Review:
Charlotte's "visions" are getting more haunting. Unsure of what these images are trying to tell her, Charlotte knows that she is loosing grip on daily life. Could the stress of a break-up and then her brother's suicide be the "trigger" that is setting off these visions, the headaches, and the chest pains?

When Jacob leaves Lancaster County and arrives at Charlotte's doorstep, her communication with Hannah is rekindled. A friendship will always be a vehicle towards inner strength, that is if Charlotte will accept the invite to come and re-start her life in Lancaster. Is it possible to be forgiven?

Daniel is a man of strong principles. When Charlotte first came to Lancaster in search of answers, Daniel like Hannah wanted to help her. Once her deception became apparent, he knew she was not someone to trust. With her return, others might be willing to forgive but for him, her deception was his reason to stand convicted against her entering his life. If getting her brother's house readied for sale would get her further from Lancaster, then he would do what he could.

Shame, will cause much hurt. For Charlotte shame will bring an avenue for healing. For Jacob, shame will bring choices that could lead him home. And for Daniel, shame will open a door for discovering forgiveness and love.

"Never say never..."
"Home. Charlotte wondered where her home was going to be."
Another great story in the series!
Meet the Author:
Beth Wiseman "I wish I had the time to review books and chat with you here, but my writing deadlines just don't allow it. Please like my Fans of Beth Wiseman Page on Facebook where I try to post any news and interact with readers."

Beth is the best-selling and award winning author of the Daughters of the Promise series - Plain Perfect, Plain Pursuit, Plain Promise, Plain Paradise, and Plain Proposal. She is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Her other series--the Land of Canaan Novels--begins with Seek Me With All Your Heart, then The Wonder of Your Love and now, His Love Endures Forever. Seek Me With All Your Heart is the first Amish fiction book selected as a Women of Faith novel in 2011. Beth has also written three contemporary Christian fiction novels, Need You Now published in 2012 and The House That Love Built in 2013. In The Promise, (2014) Beth jumps way outside the box.

This story takes readers far away from Amish Country and small Texas towns to a dangerous place on the other side of the world. Inspired by a true story, Beth believes this is the book she’s been working toward for a long time. 2015 brings Beth back to the Pennsylvania Amish with her new series, Amish Secrets. She is currently working on book #2 following much success with book #1, Her Brother's Keeper. 

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

A Royal Christmas Wedding (Royal Wedding #4)
ISBN: 9780310344537
Publisher's Synopsis:
It’s been five years since Avery Truitt and Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom fell in love. But he broke her heart with no explanation.

Fast forward to present day, and Colin is Brighton’s most eligible bachelor now that cousin Stephen has married. When Avery’s father dies of a heart attack, she puts her life on hold and returns home to St. Simons Island, Georgia, to help Mama with the family restaurant. But Mama misses Avery’s sister Susanna, who lives four thousand miles away in Brighton Kingdom—and is expecting her first child. So Mama insists she and Avery spend the Christmas season in Brighton.

Colin and Avery are going to see each other a lot while she’s visiting. But she can’t forget the way he hurt her, and he didn’t expect his feelings to still be so strong.

Avery is torn between considering a future in Brighton and taking a coaching job in Georgia, and Colin is finally pushed to pursue what he really wants. Is it too late to convince Avery that she is his true love? And even if he does, will she make it to the chapel on Christmas Day to give him her heart?
"The good Lord doesn't forget His own, does He?"
MrsK's Review:
In 1834, in the Brighton Kingdom, Prince Michael was determined to climb the Pembroke Chapel's bell tower and ring the bell for his true love. It had been a long standing tradition to ring the bell announcing a royal wedding on Christmas day. Alas, it was not to be... for icy steps and slight push sent Prince Michael to his death.

In the present, Brighton is getting ready for its annual Christmas season. Prince Colin is dodging the crowds, as well as those persistent ladies of the Madeline & Hyacinth Live show. To Colin it appeared that he would be doing a civic duty by going on their show to promote the Christmas season. Never did he imagine that a taunting session about when he might ring the Christmas bell could ever become a possibility. At least not until Avery came back into his life.

Avery was only returning to Brighton because her mother wanted to spend the holiday "praying over" her eldest daughter and the soon to be baby prince or princess. With the death of her father, her mother just wasn't joyous. The news of her sister's pregnancy brought such determination back into her mother's spirit, there was no way Avery could refuse. Even though she never wanted to go back to Brighton. Will Avery be strong enough to handle being around Colin after he had dumped her? "Stowed away emotions" would begin to undermine the peace Avery was able to recover.

Rekindling a love takes a twist of fate when on the night of the Harvest Celebration, the tower bell rings out for the first time since 1834. Is the tower haunted? Is someone playing a cruel joke for the press? Could the bell have been rung as a "nudge" forward for Colin and Avery?

This story is such a delightful read, it will bring a smile to your face as these two perfectly "un-fitted" characters try to deny their feelings.
"God what are You doing?"
Completely joyful!
Excellent read for season!
Meet the Author:
Rachel Hauck  New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.

A RITA finalist and winner of Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues.

She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and sits on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers..

A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Urban Meyer.
"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Revenants by Scott Kauffman

Revenants: The Odyssey Home
ISBN: 9781637327811
Publisher's Synopsis:
A grief-stricken candy-striper serving in a VA hospital following her brother's death in Viet Nam struggles to return home an anonymous veteran of the Great War against the skullduggery of a congressman who not only controls the hospital as part of his small-town fiefdom but knows the name of her veteran. A name if revealed would end his political ambitions and his fifty-year marriage. In its retelling of Odysseus' journey, Revenants casts a flickering candle upon the charon toll exacted not only from the families of those who fail to return home but of those who do.
"We would want someone trying to get him home to us."
MrsK's Review:
Are you looking for a story that will take you beyond your troubles. A story that will leave a mark upon your heart. A story in which someone's life is "calling out" for a listening ear?

In December of 1973, Betsy would be struggling with so many memories about her brother Nathan. They would be attending his services tomorrow and nothing in her life felt normal. When her choices begin spiraling, her father encourages her to volunteer at the VA hospital. At first the pain and suffering is beyond what Betsy wants to deal with, yet with the supportive wisdom of her father, Betsy realizes that her brother could have ended up in a VA ward.

At some point in our lives, we have had one of those forks in the road, one in which we must choose "grit" as our vehicle down a road not normally traveled. For Betsy, Ward 7 will be that road. As each of the veteran's stories begins to weave a bond within Betsy's heart, she begins having dreams in which her brother tells her something. What is he trying to share?

"Sometimes your patriotic duty is not to stand up but to scream, No!"
Why is there a floor upstairs that no one is allowed to enter? Who is receiving medical attention so closely guarded that no one is willing to discuss him with Betsy? With the help of Filbert, Betsy will begin a quest to uncover the truth about this veteran. Doesn't he have family? Wouldn't someone want to know where he is or that he is still alive? Could Bartholomew help this aging, sightless, veteran tell his story by using Morse code?

Betsy finds herself trapped in a race against time. Not only will she need to discover the identity of the veteran, but she will be facing opposition from Congressman Hanna.

When a story touches your heart in a way that it quivers, you know it's a story to be shared,
"You will learn soon enough, young lady, that everyone has their price.
Anyone can be bought. Anyone."
Uniquely written, mysteriously woven, and heart-touching!
Meet the Author:
Scott  Kauffman    Scott claims his fiction career began with a in-class book report written in Mrs. Baer's eighth-grade English class when, due to a conflict of priorities, he failed to read the book. An exercise of imagination was required. Scott snagged a B, better than the C he received on his last report when he actually read the book. Thus began his life-long apprenticeship as a teller of tales and, some would snidely suggest, as a lawyer as well, but they would be cynics, a race Oscar Wilde warned us knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. Scott is the author of the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences, and a recipient of the 2011 Mighty River Short Story Contest and the 2010 Hackney Literary Award. His short fiction has been appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review. He is now at work on two novel manuscripts and a collection of short stories. He is an attorney in Irvine, California, where his practice focuses upon white-collar crime and tax litigation with his clients providing him endless story fodder. He graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and in the upper ten percent of his class from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where he was a member of the Environmental Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Conflict of Laws.

"I received this book for free for this review"

The Cherished Quilt by Amy Clipston

The Cherished Quilt (Amish Heirloom, #3)
ISBN: 9780310341963
Publisher's Synopsis:
Emily Fisher is eager to meet the new employee at her father’s shop in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. But when Christopher Hochstetler arrives, his cold demeanor freezes her attempts at building a friendship.

Longing for a fresh start, Christopher travels from Ohio to Bird-in-Hand to work at his uncle’s shop. Christopher’s heart is still wounded from memories of home, and making new friends is the last thing on his mind—he knows the pain that comes with losing those you love. When Emily is kind to him, he tries to remain distant, but he soon finds himself stealing glances at her throughout the day.

When Christopher shares his tragic reasons for leaving home, Emily decides to make a quilt for him as a gesture of their friendship. Even though he is not a member of the church, she’s found someone with whom she can imagine a future. The two are quickly falling in love when a family emergency calls Christopher back to Ohio without warning.
"If you come to God broken, he will heal you
and make you whole again."
MrsK's Review:
Christopher is running from the horrible truth that he was responsible for his younger brother's death. Leaving behind his family's horse breeding and training business, Christopher is hoping to find some peace with his uncle in Lancaster County.

In Lancaster County, Emily is working on the accounting books for the Bird-In-Hand Harness Shop when Christopher arrives for his first day at work. With a welcoming spirit, Emily hopes that if she befriends Christopher she might find a way to help him move past the death of his brother.

For Emily helping Christopher will not be an easy road to travel. She will need to search her heart to see if she can be patient while Christopher moves beyond his pain. For Christopher he will need to rely on a listening heart, one in which his confessing the truth of his brother's death just might open a pathway for trust. When he gets a call to come home, the only hope Chris can accept is one that Emily has embedded within his heart. Will she understand his decision to leave without saying goodbye? Would "the pain slicing through his soul ever fade?"

Given the talents of the author, this endearing read brings back all of the characters from previous stories. Each of these delightful characters are so well crafted that it is truly a joy to see what is happening in their lives beyond where there story had previously ended.

Coming back home to Lancaster county is so sweet,
Beautifully sweet, a place where love has taken root!
Meet the Author:
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.

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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles

Each Little Bird that Sings
ISBN: 0439881765
Publisher's Synopsis:
Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has attended 247 funerals. But that's not surprising, considering that her family runs the town funeral home. And even though Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a heart attack and Great-great-aunt Florentine dropped dead--just like that--six months later, Comfort knows how to deal with loss, or so she thinks. She's more concerned with avoiding her crazy cousin Peach and trying to figure out why her best friend, Declaration, suddenly won't talk to her. Life is full of surprises. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them.

"I come from a family with a lot of dead people."

MrsK's Review:
Comfort doesn't have a typical home life. Her family lives in a home above the funeral parlor. For generations her family has taken care so many of the locals in Snapfinger, Mississippi. Each family member has their own truly unique position, Comfort is known for her gifted word choice and her optimistic outlook, that is why she became the one who writes the obituaries for the local paper. At 10, it is rather an important position.

Declaration has been Comfort's best friend forever until school begins and then somethings just aren't as cool as it once was. With such tension between friends, the girls are no longer spending time together, that is until Aunt Florentine's death.

When the rains had swollen Snapfinger Creek, Comfort, Dismay, and her cousin Peach were heading to Listening Rock. That's when life took the most unexpected turn. Comfort will learn courage during the "messy glory" of life.

Crafted with delightful characters, insightful "life" sayings, and a heart-filling journey, this book is an example of life, friendship, and death. It would be a great book study companion to Tuck Everlasting and Bridge to Terabithia.
"When someone you know dies, it's your job to keep on living."
Amazing experience for every student in 3rd-5th grades!
Every school librarian will gladly add this to their shelves...

Meet the Author:
Deborah WIles. high-res photo credit: Sonya Sones  Deborah Wiles was born in Alabama and spent her summers in a small Mississippi town with an extended family full of characters. She writes about them and they live on in her stories.

She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College and taught at Towson University in Maryland, Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at Vermont College.

Deborah has written three novels about growing up in the south. They are known as the Aurora County Trilogy: Love, Ruby Lavender, Each Little Bird That Sings, The Aurora County All-Stars.

Scholastic Reading Club

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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