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)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle, #1)
ISBN: 9780718095468
Publisher's Synopsis:
A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France's picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother's bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer's, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family's history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty--the castle so named for Charles Perrault's beloved fairy tale--and unearth its secrets before they're finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods--the French Revolution, World War II, and present day--The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

"Crumbling walls were rare, beautiful things."
MrsK's Review:
Within every quest is a journey that should lead you beyond what you have accepted into what could be a discovery within your soul. For Ellie, her quest for her Grandma Vi would bring her to the place where one life took a different path and her life would begin. Staying at the estate house on the grounds of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in France, Ellie is blocked from any entrance to the ruins. Titus Vivay is the only one who could get permission for her to go beyond the gate. His grandson Quinn is not supportive, yet Ellie is determined to uncover the truth before her Grandma Vi can no longer recognize her.

In 1789, Aveline receives news that would change her engagement party into a horrifying path of death and destruction. Once Aveline awakens, Robert the master winemaker for the Duc et Vivay estate will oversee her recovery. He must keep her hidden, there is too much unrest from the revolt and she was still being sought.  

In 1944, SS guards were searching for any enemy. Bombings, ruins, scarcity of food and deep distrust would lead Viola into the forest of Loire Valley, France. Julien discovers Viola in the ruins of the chapel, where ever he leads her only prayer and faith can ensure her safety. Anywhere will be safer than where the SS patrols. 

As charming as a Fairy Tale. As intriguing as an espionage novel. As lovely as a French landscape. This story entwines the lives of three generations of women as they love, survive, and journey beyond their era into your imaginings.
"A whisper of stories, hushed for generations,
drew Ellie like a string had been tethered to her heart."
A journey of hope...
Meet the Author:
Kristy Cambron  JESUS girl • Wife • Momma/3 boys • Vintage-inspired Author @TNZfiction & Bible studies @ThomasNelson • Friend to coconut mocha lattes #VerseMapping #storyroads

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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix

The Space Between Words
ISBN: 9780718086442
Publisher's Synopsis:
"There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."
When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn't left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they'd planned before the tragedy.
"The pages found you," Patrick whispered.
"Now you need to figure out what they're trying to say."
During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before--her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.
"I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival."
Determined to learn the Baillard family's fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn't understand. Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica's survival?

"... my life may end today.
Or it may stretch its final throes into another dawn.
Existence is a flimsy thing.
I savor its fragility with every breath I take." 
MrsK's Review:
In 1695, Adeline and her family must flee once again. Her Grandfather's words were once again ringing true. She was taught to tell "God's story well." Honesty, nobility, and strength were the measure of life.

"Paris in November," should have been a season in which there is a glimmer of hope, new discoveries, and some days to travel. For Jessica, those days would be a painful path of recovery. With her friends, Patrick and Vonda, Denver would be a past life and France would not be the adventure she had envisioned.

Patrick has a passion for life, for "picking," and for traveling the French countryside. His "Grab a shovel and believe in gold," proved to be always infectious causing Jessica to swap out her plans and embark on quests in promising places. 

Vonda may be younger, bolder, and unbridled in her determination to live life to the fullest. The trip to France meant freedom to grab all of the opportunities that any young heart could desire. Her request to change their evening plans and "live a little," would bring about a change that wasn't on their itinerary.

Once Jessica realizes that the horror of the shooting was real, instead of returning home to Denver, she follows Patrick's lead into the countryside as a "healing" pathway. Vonda returns home and Jessica relinquishes her desire to flee France. With Patrick's insistence, Jessica follows her instincts to continue their treasure hunting plans.

In a beautiful village in southern France, Jessica becomes charmed by the owners of the cottage in which Patrick had their B&B reservation. Grant, Mona, and Connor become the balm for the healing that Jessica will require. Days after the shooting, on a treasure hunt in a "ramshackle" barn. Patrick leads Jessica to the discovery of an old map, a bible, and a dark walnut sewing box. Hidden within the box is a small notebook. It will be this discovery that creates a distraction from the pain of the shooting. Given a new quest, coupled with the support from Grant and Mona, as well as the truth of Connor's observation, Adeline's story will finally be revealed.

What began as an endearing friendship and love story, erupts in a mysterious quest to help Adeline's story to reach her descendants. Life can take many twists and turns. What becomes an opportunity to bring closure to someone else will have a mutual blessing of healing for those willing to move beyond tragedy. Engagement in the life of these characters doesn't seem adequate in expressing the profound crafting of this story. Enmeshment is not an eloquent "enough" term for the depth in which you will experience Jessica's healing. What could be discovered is a story entrusted for your sharing!

Hope grows and healing begins once you open the covers of this story,
"The pages found you... Now you need to figure out what 
they're trying to say."
A story of two women in differing times and cultures.
A story entrusted for sharing!
Meet the Author:
Michèle Phoenix  Raised in France by a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle is a mentor, author and speaker with international sensitivities. She taught for twenty years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own work as an advocate for Third Culture Kids. She now travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students and Marvel movies.

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

The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble

The View from Rainshadow Bay (Lavender Tides #1)
ISBN: 9780718085766
Publisher's Synopsis:
After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.

When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.

Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.

In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.

"I need you to mail this box to Lucy.
I'd do it myself, but I have to disappear for a while.
I think he's on to me."
MrsK's Review:
Shauna never tires of flying her chopper over the Pacific NW, nor of the charm of her town Lavender Tides. She had to do this for her son Alex, she had no one else to turn her since Jack had died. Her own father was too unreliable. She had to ask Zach for help, even though she would never forgive him for Jack's death. Alex was more important and right now he needed a father role model. She knew Zach was it.

Zach built the Hurricane Roost Airport. As a "dare-devil junkie," Zach knows that Shauna is hurting. But, so was he. After all Jack had been his best friend. When Shauna requests that Zach go on a father-son hike with Alex, Jack had no reservations in saying yes. Could this be a chance to make things right for Alex and Shauna?

What begins as answer to a call from Clarence, soon explodes into a deceptive web of murder. Who would want to kill Clarence or Lucy? Is their daughter's death also involved? So many questions! 

When a friend asks you to do something for them, you usually would. If they ask you to keep something safe or deliver it, well that wouldn't be a problem. Unless what is hidden inside the box is exactly what is desired by the killer.

From the beginning, this novel became a source of intrigue and frustration. As each piece of the mystery surfaced, it began to unravel. As a reader, I felt that I was looking at a tapestry in which every thread is intricately woven to the plot. As you followed one thread, another secret was discovered. Shauna, Zach, and Alex will not be safe until all secrets are revealed. Not even a super hero could keep them from the destruction that is exploding around them!

Can murder be delightfully intriguing? Not only did Lavender Tides take your breath away with beautifully detailed settings, the characters are crafted with a mixture of real life turmoil. As a reader, you will discover that this is a mystery that could be a "true to life reality."
"Love was a funny thing--experience in life sifted thoughts and feelings
until you looked in someones eyes and found a match you weren't expecting."
An adventurous outing... Delightful!
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.
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber

Reclaiming Shilo Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, #2)
ISBN: 9780718080945
Publisher's Synopsis:
Trapped on the ice-planet of Delon, gamer girl Sofi and Ambassador Miguel have discovered that nothing is what it seems, including their friends. On a quest to rescue her brother, Shilo, a boy everyone believes is dead, they must now escape and warn Earth of Delon’s designs on humanity. Except the more they unearth of the planet and Sofi’s past, the more they feel themselves unraveling, as each new revelation has Sofi questioning the very existence of reality.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sofi’s mom, Inola, is battling a different kind of unraveling: a political one that could cost lives, positions, and a barely-rebuilt society, should they discover the deal made with the Delonese.

But there’s a secret deeper than all that. One locked away inside Sofi and ticking away with the beginnings, endings, and answers to everything. Including how to save humanity.

"Lord Ethos, Inola, please... let's just all calm down.
I'm sure none of us intended it to go this far."
MrsK's Review:
During the "taking," Sofi dealt with her father's death, her mother's abandonment, and her little brother's kidnapping. Normally that would be more than anyone could handle. For Sofi, her life on the farm, her family's survival after the fourth world war, and now her survival and quest to save her little brother would consume her heart, detour the rescue, and use all of her mental intelligence to stop the evil plans of the alien Delonese. 

Inola is the mother of Sofi and Shilo, but more importantly she is earth's CEO of Corp 30. She is a woman of calculated risks. Her raising up a society after the devastation of the war has offered her a status and  following that brings her to the point of life or death. With her daughter being hunted, Inola seeks an ending to the contract with the Delonese. Of course there will be a cost and Inola will need to decide to what lengths will she push and/or at what price will she pay.

Miguel is a man of honor. Those who are his friends are family. Those he is placed in charge of are his to protect. As an Ambassador for Corp 30, he will not let anything keep him from his assignment. Sofi must be brought safely away from this alien ship, if only there wasn't such a bothersome ache that is causing a delay in his thoughts.

Most readers and movie goers are aware of the good vs. evil in any Sci-Fi conflict. Yet, when an author weaves together our current realities with a futuristic outcome, your skin begins to crawl. You begin wondering "what-ifs." Sofi Snow will not be denied. Her mental strengths and skills will be tested before the end of this saga. Miguel will need to rely on his heart-moves and ability to overcome physical weakness. All of earth's survivors will need to rebel or...

Warning, do not try this book until you have the freedom to read well into the early light! This story line is understandable as a stand alone read due to the seamless weaving of both stories. The quest pushes the reader to "go back" and reread as a way of dealing with the plot twists. The climax will have all readers engaged with powerful emotional outbursts!

Be ready, Sofi Snow is reclaiming her life and future,
"That we are alive at all is a testament to the ingenuity of our forefathers...
Because arrogance at its worst masquerades as goodness.
It deceives itself and others that it is for the people.
But my friends..."
A chilling look into what our future might become!
Mary  Weber  Mary Weber is the multiple-award-winning author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series (all by HarperCollins). An avid high school, middle school, and conference speaker, Mary's passion is helping others find their voice amid a world that often feels too loud. When she's not plotting adventures involving tough girls who frequently take over the world, Mary sings 80's hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Comic-Con, and the ocean.
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Saturday, June 16, 2018

An Amish Heirloom by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin

An Amish Heirloom: A Legacy of Love, The Cedar Chest, The Treasured Book, A Midwife's Dream
Various Authors
ISBN: 9780310351887

A Legacy of Love by Amy Clipston
"Surely all married couples fell into that comfortable relationship eventually.
Didn't they?"
Publisher's Synopsis:
Local volunteer fire fighter Leon King agrees to repair his ex-girlfriend Susie Bontrager’s grandparents’ antique rocking chairs for her future home with her fiance and is forced to acknowledge that his feelings for her have not quite gone away. As Susie spends time with Leon, she begins to recognize she is marrying the wrong man for all the wrong reasons.

MrsK's Review:
For Leon, Charlie's funeral served as a reminder that life is fragile and just how alone he really was. It had been a few years since he had seen Susie and she was still just as beautifully sweet as when they had been teens. With a request to fix her grandparents rockers for her soon-to-be home, Leon is sure he can do the work as a wedding gift. Yet, in his noble offer of friendship, love begins to find a way to replace loneliness with hope. 

Susie is sure that just "checking in" with Leon every week is all about her grandparent's rockers. After all, she has begun sewing the wedding dresses. Planning a wedding provides many opportunities to be in town and stop by to see the progress Leon is making, but it also becomes a time for a heart to begin recognizing that maybe she isn't ready to marry the man she thought she loved.

With characters that have been woven in and out of previous Lancaster legacies, this story sweetly reminds the reader that our friends, families, and communities are like gems with facets that work together to illuminate God's will and the brilliant glow of hope.

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.

The Cedar Chest by Beth Wiseman
"I do not know God's plan for my having stumbled upon you by the 
river, but I can be certain there always is a plan.
Our Father sees to that." 
Publisher's Synopsis:
Decades after inheriting her great grandmother’s cedar chest, Emma Fisher decides to pry it open only to discover a beautiful love story in the form of letters between her great grandparents. But as Emma immerses herself in their story, family secrets are revealed, and she must decide whether to share them to preserve family history or honor her great grandparents’ decision to leave them hidden.

MrsK's Review:
What does a legacy mean? For Emma it's a blessed childhood with parents that knew how to cherish each other. As a mother, when your child is showing signs of disquiet your heart seeks guidance and solace from your faith. Could a cedar chest and it's box of letters bring her daughter's hidden worries to the surface. Would she be given a chance to be a gentle support while they spend time reading the private letters of her grand parents? Will her daughter discover strength and wisdom to find a living spark of hope?

For Catherine, her relationship with her husband appears to be falling apart. How could Abram become so distant? Is there a way to stop the festering bitterness that is threatening their hope? As God's timing becomes an opportunity, it will require a willingness to accept that God's will is rarely revealed all at once. On the day that Catherine and her mother are in search of a box of books, they discover the cedar chest. With determination, Catherine is driven to pry the chest open. What has been lovingly packed inside will usher in a journey of discovery. 

If only... I wonder how many of us would love to discover a hidden chest from our bloodline? I know that it would have been a blessing for my mother and I to have made a discovery like Catherine's and Emma's. Both women will find a legacy of love, hope, and God's plan.
"... when a kindness is done to a person,
that person needs to carry it with him until he sees fit to
double the kindness for someone in need."
Meet the Author:
Beth Wiseman 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.

The Treasured Book by Kathleen Fuller
"Her life was at a standstill.
Working with Shane those six months had been a splash
of excitement."
Publisher's Synopsis:
For the past two years, Shane Broyles has felt God leading him to join the Amish. He’s staying with his friends Noah and Ivy Schlabach in Birch Creek, OH, where he is reunited with Lucy Fisher, an old friend of Noah’s family. Shane and Lucy have never revealed their feelings for each other, but when they stumble upon an antique Bible at a flea market, they feel drawn to each other and to the mystery of the contents found within.

MrsK's Review:
Lucy has been sent to Cervilla's in Birch Creek. It will be a good chance to spend some time helping her great-aunt's friend recover, and yet, she is burdened with leaving her parents even for a short span of time. Upon her arrival, she never expected to hear the voice of Shane.  Why was he in Birch Creek? Why was he sent to pick her up? Struggling to take courage by trusting in God, Lucy reminds herself that everything will be okay, it will be okay!

When Shane's friend Noah mentioned that he had to arrange for a taxi to pick up Lucy, Shane 
"jumped at the chance to see her again." Since those months they had been working together, he began recognizing that Lucy had an inner strength that profoundly witnessed to his need for a life changed and renewed. Now that his life is on a new path, he will discover that a leap of faith means letting God lead you. Once lead, Shane becomes determined to trust that God will allow Lucy to be a part of his renewed life.

This novella is the sweetest tale about two sojourners. It is filled with moments of truth, hope, tenderness, and wit. Conversations between Lucy and Shane are seamless. It will be a satisfying discovery that inspires a spring to your step. Sometimes plans change, sometimes we can live blessed.
"...sometimes plans change."
Meet the Author:
Best-selling author of Amish fiction. Also a wife, mother, crafter, coffee addict, football fan, and chocolate aficionado.

The Midwife’s Dream by Kelly Irvin
"Until you're ready."
Publisher's Synopsis:
Iris Beachy serves as a midwife in her district where she longs for a family of her own. When her friend’s brother Mahon Kurtz seeks her help in delivering the baby of two young teenagers who have sought refuge in their town, they begin to see each other in a different light. Unprepared for parenthood, the young couple leave their baby girl behind in an antique crib quilt resembling the one destined for Iris when she becomes a mother. Mahon and Iris come together to take care of the baby as they try to find her parents, and they begin to see new possibilities for their future.

MrsK's Review:
Iris is a midwife and with the arrival of her best friend's newest baby, Iris is reminding herself that this is a time to be joyful. A time in which she must call upon her inner strength to celebrate their blessing. Yet calling upon that type of strength has become a trial to accept contentment and turn over her deepening sense of a life that isn't complete. Does she really have plenty of time left for her longing, for God's timing?

Mahon is not exactly a pleasant man. He can be terse, yet a straight shooter and honest. His passion is in his drawings. Putting his pencil to paper is a passion that Iris can share for her passion has always been spending her quiet time with a book. In is own way, Mahon will become the pillar of  strength for Iris, especially since the unexpected newborn has become a gift for the time being.

When Iris agrees to help deliver a baby to a young couple, she wasn't prepared for God to answer her prayers for a child. Especially if the child could be reclaimed by either parent. Yet, when God brings a blessing into your life you muster up the strength to take each day as a gift and walk by faith into your tomorrows.

This story has an elegance woven within its characters. The story line is poignant, tenderhearted, and refined with style. The best dialogues come between those in whom life has veiled their feelings, for Iris and Mahon their hearts will discover more than the little blessing that has placed them on the path to joy in the fullest measure. 
"To open herself up to Mahon, to trust him, was to trust God.
God was waiting for her too."
Meet the Author:
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.

Just what a reader needs... some time away from the hustle and bustle.
All four of these quick tidbits will rejuvenate any frazzled day. 
Sweet Retreats!

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

Saturday, June 9, 2018

If I Live by Terri Blackstock

If I Live (If I Run #3)
ISBN: 9780310332541
Publisher's Synopsis:
Casey is hiding again—in Memphis this time—but it’s different now. She knows without a doubt that Dylan believes her and is doing all he can to help bring Brent’s killer to justice. He’s become an unexpected friend . . . and even, maybe, something more. Hope makes everything more bearable.

Casey makes a deal with the DA to turn over all the evidence she and Dylan have gathered against Keegan and Rollins—only to discover that the DA is in league with them too. After a desperate escape, who can they possibly turn to now?

Time is running out for Casey, but master suspense writer Terri Blackstock will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last, utterly satisfying page.

"When I stand, my image in the mirror startles me,
as if someone I don't know is in the room with me."
MrsK's Review:
Casey Cox is on the road, running from law enforcement. Being on the run is getting tiring, yet she can not afford to bring any more death to those connected to her. It wasn't the smartest move to flee the scene of her friend, Brent, but she was in shock and knew there were too many questions about the "who" killed Brent.

Dylan Roberts quickly changes his hunt for Casey once he discovers someone in law enforcement isn't exactly working with him. Could Casey's case not be on the up and up? With the help from Dex, Dylan begins an investigation board while taking a step in faith that Casey will be killed unless he can get to her first.

With "page-turning" intensity, Casey's run will leave you breathless and sleepless. Each character is well defined and crucial to the unraveling of Brent's murder. How can so many be so corrupt? Well in today's world evidently more than we could imagine. Yet, for Casey the end of her journey will be determined by her grit, determination, quick thinking, and a "blink of an eye" timing.

Completely consuming... be ready for a sleep-deprived race against time,
"No! You have to get out of there,"
 "A chilling series that keeps you running out of time!"
If I Run   If I'm Found
Series link
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.
"I received this book 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.”

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