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)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

Where the Fire Falls (Shadows of the Wilderness #2)
ISBN: 9780735289567
Publisher's Synopsis:
Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as "pervaded with divine light."

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford fashioned her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region's wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he's faced with the choice of becoming a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark helps open Olivia's eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park's story as its vistas-- a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

"Following Frank into the gallery,
she glanced around at her paintings---
as though her heart was on display for everyone to see."
MrsK's Review:
Beginning in July of 1929, Olivia Rutherford is preparing for the gallery showing of her latest painting. Having changed her name, Olivia is hopeful that her painting will provide enough money for her Aunt to provide for her younger sisters. Sometimes living in the art world of California is taxing, a facade is required and can be extremely wearisome.

Frank Robinson is Olivia's art dealer. He is a man of action and a man who takes many risks. Even though he knows Olivia's art has a quality of light that is rare, he is very active in making decisions for Olivia that aren't in her best interest. 

The art show begins an insightful journey for Olivia. At the show, she is introduced to Sophie and Marcus Vanderbilt. At the show she finds out that she will be traveling to Yosemite National Park, for a month! Scenic Magazine has requested her illustrations for an upcoming article. Even though this is a "gig" that her career needs, Yosemite is the last place Olivia ever wanted to paint. It is not a situation that she is ready to confront.

Clark Johnson is the guide that has been hired to lead Olivia around the park as she paints the majestic views. Within a minutes of meeting Olivia, Clark knew that she was opinionated, demanding, and too much like a minx. What is she thinking that he could be her model?

Perhaps Olivia could add a bit of "class" to her paintings by adding Sophie to her landscapes. She is sure that Clark Johnson would work well in some of the scenes. His words had an unnerving "touch" within Olivia's plans or was it someplace deeper within Olivia?

With delightful conversation, Olivia's visit to Yosemite becomes a nightmare. Even though her painting is inspirational, some one is either playing games or is setting her up for an extreme step over a cliff. Beautiful landscapes are revealed, park history is expertly woven with in Olivia's story, and a few hints of romance between villainous scenes provides delightful reading.

If you enjoy National Parks, being outdoors, and history... this series is perfect for any moment of escape,
"Perhaps Yosemite could return everything her father had stolen."
An adventurous outing... Delightful!
The Road to Paradise: A Vintage National Parks Novel (Shadows of the Wilderness #1)
Meet the Author:
Karen   Barnett  Karen Barnett is the award-winning author of the Golden Gate Chronicles (Out of the Ruins, Beyond the Ashes, Through the Shadows) and MISTAKEN. She lives in Oregon with her husband, two kids, and a bevy of furry friends. 

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

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

Imperfect Justice (Hidden Justice #2)
ISBN: 9780718083489
Publisher's Synopsis:

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

"Your client's name is Kaylene Adams?"...
"She won't be meeting you at court.
She's headed to the morgue, and suspected of shooting her daughters."
MrsK's Review:
Attorney Emilie Wesley knows first hand what is to fight against abusive oppressors. Legally, she fights for her clients in every way possible to ensure her clients are set free from their abuser. She believes in what is known as "justice," yet she knows that deception is a cunning manipulator.

Just as she is ready to go before the judge, her client Kaylene Adams ends up dead. With every ounce of experience, instinct, and determination, Emilie begins a twisted journey of investigation that tests her endurance level, survival skills, and faith.

Reid Billings numb with disbelief. Who wouldn't be! How could he have missed what was going on with his sister Kaylene. What is happening with his surviving niece? How can he help when Kaylene's husband is unwilling and blocking him from any contact? He knows he has to make contact with those who were working with Kaylene. Her attorney might be the key he needs to move forward and forgive himself for not taking the time for his sister.

Emilie quickly discovers that Kaylene's youngest daughter knows the truth about that fatal morning. If she recovers, Kaylene must speak with her before she leaves the hospital with her father. Nothing seems right, especially when a video shows her client and daughter fleeing out of the front door... bleeding! Haunted by that video, Emilie's instincts are in overdrive, every day she is growing more uncomfortable about someone watching her. As if her days aren't filled with enough paths to follow, now her faith is being tested. When you hold onto an investigative rope of unknowns, it leads to an end that is frayed, unraveling, and dangerously close to pushing uncertainty into every area of your life. Emilie might be holding on, but will there be enough rope to make a difference?

Written with perfected twists and turns this novel will keep you reading with your own guesses, tension that causes you to put the book down and walk away, and determination to stick with Emilie, Reid and Kinley.
"Justice might have been imperfect..."
Fascinating investigations!
Meet the Author:
Cara C. Putman
Cara C. Putman lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She’s an attorney and a teacher at her church as well as lecturer at Purdue. She has loved reading and writing from a young age and now realizes it was all training for writing books. She loves bringing history and romance to life.
An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska, George Mason University School of Law, and Krannert School of Management, Cara left small town Nebraska and headed to Washington, D.C., to launch her career in public policy.

Cara is an author chasing hard after God as she lives a crazy life. She invites you to join her on that journey. She's currently writing her 26th & 27th books with more on the way.
"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

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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