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)

Friday, December 29, 2017

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
ISBN: 9781501115073
Publisher's Synopsis:

From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

MrsK's Review:
Elsa is an inquisitive and discerning young girl. She is full of life, compassion, and loyalty. Having had a grandmother who was spunky and fanciful, Elsa learns the value of individuality and living a life full of adventures. Granny believed that those who are "bloody" politically correct thinkers are decisively "Society" oriented. For Granny, "driving people nuts" was a "superpower."  Elsa is raised up with the wisdom that living life can be complicated.

Although Elsa may live in the city, a tenement house bursting with unique borders, Granny raised Elsa in the fairy tale world of Miamas the Land-of-Almost-Awake. For Elsa, Granny was her "army," she was "...both a shield and a sword." Now that Granny is living in Miamas, her quest has begun. She must deliver Granny's letters to certain individuals with the message, "My Grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry."

Elsa begins unraveling the Land-of-Almost-Awake with every letter she delivers. She learns so many important perspectives from the recipients. Elsa discovers that her grief is now weaving the final chapters in her Granny's fairy tale. Individuals have stories that shape their choices, "monsters can be born of sorrow," collectors can be those uniquely empowered to bring safety, and some lives are "reality-challenged." Lives become stories, stories that are "never completely realistic and never entirely made-up."

Poignant, creative, stunning, and enthralling. This is a must read-to-share novel that will be endearing for a life time. Yet, as with all good stories, will continue needing readers to keep it living.
Do not pass up this experience, open its covers and begin Elsa's journey,
"Granny never says goodbye,' only 'see you."
A beautifully-striking read! 
Added to my shelf
Excellent Booked to Dine discussion choice.
Meet the Author:
Fredrik Backman
Fredrik Backman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.
Simon & Schuster

Thursday, December 28, 2017

An Amish Christmas Love

An Amish Christmas Love
ISBN: 9780529118707
Publisher's Synopsis:

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

MrsK's Review:
Delightful tale about the Stoltzfus women. Not only do they live together, they are florists for their small community. Naomi is a creative, hard-working young lady (grand-daughter) who has many dreams and aspirations for her future, a family, and what changes might be brought to her community. Barbara is a woman of strength who brings balance between her mother-in-law and her daughter. For her to find love would mean that the right Amish man would have to be full of life, loving, God-centered, and willing to accept her family with all of their "intolerable" ways. Ruth, well she is the "spice" within the family. She is feisty, full of life, and rather cunning. These ladies were not considering any type of love to come knocking on their door... until the renters showed up carrying their suitcases.

Once the three men arrived at the daadi haus, the last thing they expected so late at night was the sight of one of the owners falling into the deep snow, nor did they expect to see the other two women making a dash from the house. Jethro (the oldest of the three) was the first out of the door. With Wayne and finally Eli arriving at the scene. With gracious concern and inspiring hospitality, this night would usher in more than a blustery wind.

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.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don't normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry's favorite wing chair. But the cat isn't the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.

MrsK's Review:
With gracious bravado and dignity, Emma soon realizes that the winter storm would be canceling her Christmas evening out. Even that frustrating cat isn't going along with her plans. Well, what could she do but accept the way the evening was unfolding. Baking Henry's favorite bars would not only fill her house with a "delicious aroma," but it would bring a seasonal welcome to the unexpected visitors that were venturing out on her behalf.

There is such a sweet reminiscent holiday spirit to this tale. I enjoyed the chattering of the young visitors. The "take over" attitude of the cat is quite charming. Yet, the memories that Emma shares with her visitors reminded me of all those women who have touched my life. It truly felt as if I, once more, had arrived home for the holidays. 

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.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn't give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He's found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discover: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly's prayers for a Christmas love be answered?

MrsK's Review:
Molly has a shy smile that touches David's heart, instilling a hope of a future family. She is steady, friendly, giving, and very loyal. She is assured in faith and very determined to live a life that is governed by the will of God. David knows who he wants to marry, yet with Bobbie showing up at the  horse auction, he will need to decide if attraction is as valuable as the heart of the woman he knows is meant for him.

Their struggle will be the turning point in their relationship. What Molly's faith will offer is the wisdom that a marriage is made up of two "whole" people, one cannot be struggling between two alternative lives. Whether David finds strength in his faith is up to him, no one can give it to him. Some times letting go, means allowing your hope to become their freedom to grow. While Molly entrusts David into God's hands, she discovers that she can help bring joy into the lives of others, even if that means being creative and making it snow for two very special children.

Kelly Irvin Kelly Irvin's newest series, Every Amish Series, began with the debut of Upon a Spring Breeze, in April. The second book, Beneath the Summer Sun, will debut in January 2018. It is a four-book series published by Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. This follows the Amish of Bee County series, The Saddle Maker's Son, released in June 2016. It is an ECPA bestseller. It follows The Bishop's Son, and 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 a finalist in the romance category of the 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest.

Kelly 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. The first series includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, published by Harvest House. The New Hope Amish series includes Love Still Stands, followed by Love Redeemed, which was an ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Plain Love Song. 

Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?

MrsK's Review:
Wow, have you ever dreamed of being given a homestead from a relative. Well, the first thing you should do is know where that house is! Given Ellie's blundering events, not only has she made a lasting impression on her neighbor, but now his daughter and her dog are inseparable.

This is a high-spirited, rollicking series of events. What is endearing about this tale is penned with in the weaving of the romance. Neither Ellie or Ezra want to fall in love, yet, falling in love is not always something we plan. A little nudge here, a push there, and a giant leap can be the ingredients for a love that becomes foundational. Ruth  Reid  Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She's a full-time pharmacist who resides in Florida with her husband and three children.

When you need the break...
between shopping, decorating, cooking,
and all things on your list...
this collection is a perfect retreat for your 
It is our Booked to Dine January choice!

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

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.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


Traits of Writing: Inking Thoughts

Booked 4 Success: Inspired Learning