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)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

A Time to Stand
ISBN: 9780718083038
Publisher's Synopsis:
Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.

Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.

Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable—defend the officer.

As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.

This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.
"Everything we do, and believe, and pray
doesn't stop when the breath leaves out of our bodies...
It travels down through time until everybody
but the Lord loses sight of it."
MrsK's Review:
Your heart breaks for Officer Luke Nelson as he struggles with the hopelessness of a trial. His family is trying to maintain an appearance of normalcy, yet how can an officer of the law move forward when there are so many voices in opposition to his quick response on that near fatal night. His wife Jane is standing in faith that Matthew 10:26 will bring forth the truth and clear her husband's name.

Is there any doubt that a mother's heart can pray a child through the darkest moments of life? Well for Mrs. Armistead it will be a grandmother's heart who will be praying her grandchild, Deshaun, through. As a mighty prayer warrior, this seasoned warrior will give witness to the truth of forgiveness. 

Aunt Josie is in the hospital and Adisa will be answering the call to be at her bedside even though she is in the middle of negotiating a legal case for her law firm. What Adisa was unaware of was that her law firm would be changing and she would be representing Officer Luke Nelson. For Adisa, this change will usher in her heritage. She will face the truth of about prejudices, the truth about her Christian roots, and the truth that God's hand at work is mightier than any deception.

Campbellton is a town that becomes torn between the races. It will need prayer intercessors who have strong roots in faith to keep from becoming one of those towns consumed with hatred. Those cloaked in faith will need to "suit" up for the battle that is brewing. Will false-hooded deceivers bring an innocent man to "justice?" Or, will the town have the scales removed from their eyes by the hand of God?

With a scenario we witness all over our nation, these characters are so well defined they become real life prayer warriors that you would want on your side!
"James, did you hear what the preacher said on Sunday
about the sins of the fathers landing on their children
to the third and fourth generations of people?"
 A chilling story that could be played out
anywhere in today's US!
Meet the Author:
Robert Whitlow Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. A Furman University graduate, Whitlow received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. A practicing attorney, Whitlow and his wife, Kathy, have four children. They make their home in North Carolina.
"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

A Place at Our Table by Amy Clipston

A Place at Our Table (Amish Homestead #1)
ISBN: 9780310349013
Publisher's Synopsis:
Along with his volunteer work at the local fire department, running his Amish farm keeps Jamie Riehl busy. He barely has time to eat at the family table, never mind find someone to date. But when he meets Kayla Dienner, he is smitten.

Kayla tries hard to deny her attraction to Jamie. After all, she’s spent the last year discouraging her younger brother, Nathan, from becoming a firefighter. The death of their older brother in a fire a year ago is fresh in her mind—she can’t bear the idea of putting her heart on the line every time the sirens blare.

Then tragedy strikes, and Jamie wants to extinguish any flame between him and Kayla. Can Kayla set aside her own fears to save the love she was determined to deny?

The first book in the Amish Homestead series, A Place at Our Table invites us to a quiet community in Lancaster County where love burns brightly no matter the cost.
"He needed to go back to his firehouse
and mind his own business."
MrsK's Review:
Even though Kayla is in a season of protecting her heart, there is one man that has entered her life and softened her resolve. Just when Kayla realizes that this man, in whom she knows is too painful of a reminder about her brother's death, begins to soften her heart, Jamie begins hurting her with past shadows of distrust. Will she "see beyond" those shadows and receive her blessing of a life shared with a man chosen by God or will she block her future because those shadows are hovering too closely to her heart.

Jamie Riehl convinced that there is no room in his life for a girlfriend, for romance, or for any distractions. Once his life becomes shaken my the tragic death of his mother, Jamie is determined that his responsibilities must remain focused on his families farm and his calling as a firefighter. Yet, with in every season of change Jamie will be faced with his hidden reasons for staying too busy for a relationship that might lead to the love of his life. Many of us know the struggle of wrapping our heart in self-deception, for many of us it can take a life time to overcome grief. The inevitable crossroad will arise and Jamie will need to choose occupying his life with saving others or saving his own future.  

Sometimes you just need to read a trusted author,
Sometimes you just need a "dash" of hope,
Trusting that this book journey will bring a few moments of goodness,
"Lay your burden's at God's feet.
He will heal your heart."

Always an inspiring and wholesome journey
 with any of Amy Clipston's stories.
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."
Thomas Nelson

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Book That Mattered Most by Ann Hood

The Book That Matters Most
ISBN: 9780393354096
Publisher's Synopsis:
Ava’s twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood—one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
"Until I feared I would lose it,
I never loved to read.
One doesn't love breathing."
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
MrsK's Review:
Ava's story is intertwined with the book choices and stories from those in her book club. What will keep you intrigued will be your interpretation as to why each of the book club members choose the titles as their book that mattered the most. Many of them have deep personal changes, some of them have a memory that mattered most while they read the book. For Ava, she only remembers the title of a book and doesn't know the mystery behind why that book is important. Once her story unfolds, all you will think is a resounding, "Wow!" 

Most reader's are intrigued with books about books. If you are like our Booked to Dine book club, we knew that this book would lead us into sharing which book mattered the most in our lives. So many choices, some of us could name many... other's named one or two. What was interesting was our discussions around the books that Ava's book club chose.
"Find out what you already know
and you will see the way to fly."
Meet the Author:
Ann Hood
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I remember. My favorite books when I was a kid were Little Women and Nancy Drew. Later, I loved Marjorie Morningstar, Les Miserables and Doctor Zhivago, obviously choosing books by size!

A Rhode Island native, I was born in West Warwick and spent high school working as a Marsha Jordan Girl, modeling for the Jordan Marsh department store at the Warwick Mall. I majored in English at the University of Rhode Island, and that's where I fell in love with Shakespeare, Willa Cather, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Prairie Girl's Faith by Stephen W. Hines

A Prairie Girl's Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder
ISBN: 9780735289789
Publisher's Synopsis:
A Prairie Girl's Faith provides the first extended, in depth discussion of the Christian faith of one of America's most beloved pioneer women--Laura Ingalls Wilder. Although the faith of the Ingalls' family pervades books in the Little House series, the more specific details of Laura's faith have never been fully explored. It took extraordinary pluck for anyone to survive the harshness of frontier life--from the heartbreak of sudden crop losses to murderous storms to unrelentling loneliness. This book reveals how in surviving, the brave Laura drew not just on her character, but found encouragement, strength, and hope in her relationship with God.

The beloved author of the Little House books was not only one of America's great pioneer storytellers but a woman of vibrant faith.
MrsK's Review:
Little House on the Prairie, there was no better experience for a young third grader! To enter the school's library doors, to run to the "W" section under the bay window, and then to pull off of the shelf the next Little House book. I could hear my heart beat with joy and anticipation about Laura's next adventure. Even the cover gave me a sense of pure family living in a time of calico, log homes, winter chills, and sunny afternoons fishing by a stream. Could life be any better?

I was so honored to receive this book. It was like taking a promised journey home. Now as an educator/Librarian getting ready for retirement, what more could I learn about "my" Laura? What insights might get I get from Laura's faith that I could replant in a new generation of readers? How could Laura's faith resonate with my readers within my classroom?  All good thoughts!

What I learned, well that might just be easier for you to discover for yourself. What was confirmed, now that is something I can reveal. This book is more than a biography about Laura's faith, you will get a second perspective from her daughter, Rose. As this biography unfolds, Laura's faith is compared with the faith of Rose. I had no idea that Rose helped her mother write some of the books. I did not know that Rose was an accomplished writer. Nor did I know the extent of Laura's writing beyond the endearing series.

Faith. What every pioneer needed for survival. What if church faith was not as reliable as your home-schooled faith? What if you didn't discuss faith... you lived it! 
A read that will bring a renewed love for the series!
An irreplaceable depth into a childhood favorite.

Meet the Author:
STEPHEN HINES is a recognized authority on Laura Ingalls Wilder and has authored several best-selling volumes on her life, including Little House in the Ozarks. He grew up in the midwest in an area where Wilder once lived. Hines was the founding Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services and has held several editorial positions in magazine, newspaper, and book publishing. The author is a contributor to a He lives with his wife, Gwen, in Nashville, Tennessee.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books 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


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