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, March 10, 2019

On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter

On Magnolia Lane (Blue Ridge, #3)
ISBN: 9780718090548
Publisher's Synopsis:
After two years of counseling sessions with Daisy Pendleton, Pastor Jack McReady has earned a permanent spot in her life as a spiritual leader—and nothing more. Jack would never risk losing her trust by exposing the depths of his heart, but he’s hopelessly in love with her.

Daisy loves her southern small-town life and her job at her family-run flower shop, but she doesn’t have the thing she longs for most: someone to share it with. Her recent foray into online dating has been a disaster—until she meets TJ.

Jack could kill his friend Noah for using his initials and some indistinct photos to set up a profile on the dating app Daisy is using. But when he’s finally afforded the opportunity to show her a different side of himself, he’s sucked into the plan before he has time for second thoughts.

Online, Daisy shares some of her greatest fears with TJ, but in person, Jack and Daisy are spending more time together. When a devastating family secret surfaces, Daisy knows that only her trusted friend and counselor can bring her comfort. Jack wants nothing more than to be both men for Daisy, but revealing his secret will prove to be the ultimate test of Daisy’s grace.

"...A woman who loves me and
a woman I can love and cherish in return."
MrsK's Review:
Daisy is a perfect name for the owner of a florist shop. Not only was her shop a "sensory" delight, it was always a welcoming spot for everyone who entered. Quick and often witty conversations were exchanged in the every day life Copper Creek's florist. Daisy has always been sensitive to anyone in need, especially the girls who have no where to go other than the Hope House. She longs for someone to love, commitment, and security. With the passing of her father, Daisy has had a difficult time with letting go and moving forward. If it wasn't for Pastor Jack, Daisy wasn't sure how she would be taking her mother's news.

Pastor Jack knew that Daisy was the one, the one who brought joy to his day and the one he took special breaks just to walk into her shop. He hated being tongue-tied around Daisy, what could he do, Daisy was out of his league. Everyone adored her and rumor had it that she was listed on one of those on-line dating sites. Why would she think of him as anything but her pastor? Well, thanks to his friend, Daisy will discover the man behind the podium. As TJ, Jack had a glimmer of hope.

Julia is a visitor to Copper Creek. The florist shop would be her step in discovering the truth about a family she never knew. Now that her mother has passed, it was time for her to discover where she came from. When Julia's life takes a turn, she decides that she doesn't need to return home until the summer is over. Maybe by then she would be ready to move on.

 With a sweet small town setting, that resembles the best of America, these characters quickly find a way of bringing a comfortable smile to your face. Conversations are well crafted and full of every day living.

Get comfortable, relax and take a moment to meet those in Copper Creek,
"There's only one who will never let you down..."
Welcome to Copper Creek!
Meet the Author:
Denise Hunter
Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of more than 30 novels, including "The Convenient Groom" and "A December Bride", which have been made into Hallmark movies.
Denise writes heartwarming, small-town romances. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

Denise and her husband live in Indiana, where they raised three sons, and are currently enjoying an empty nest. In 1996, Denise began her first novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books contain a strong romantic element, and her husband says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
ISPN: 978742623441
Publisher's Synopsis:
Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory.

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

"This really isn't how it's meant to be."
MrsK's Review:
Sara has been writing Amy for so long. Living in Sweden seems tucked so far away from Amy's home in Broken Wheel, Iowa. Sometimes your closest friends are those with which you can discuss the books you've read or is it the connection to life that the books bridge into a reader's life? When Sara is invited to come for a visit, Sara feels an adventurous path has just appeared. After arriving in Iowa, Sara quickly learns of Amy's death. Her vacation to read has just took a turn that Sara was not expecting. Nor did she expect to be staying at Amy's without her dear friend.

Caroline had a voice that was "determined, resolute, and to the point." It is Caroline that makes the town's decision that Sara will stay at Amy's. Sara quickly discovers that Broken Wheel is a town that has a sadness of its own. George has been designated as Sara's driver. His wife had left him and now he has Sara to show the town to. Life can be funny when there is nothing to hold onto. On a trip into town, Sara discovers a closed store. A store that Amy owned, or rather her husband had owned before he died. "Something about the shop had caught her attention."

Once Sara understood why she was in Broken Wheel, her destiny began unfolding. With all of the books that Amy had stored away... the only true purpose for those books would be to bring them to the town. If Amy owned a building and the books, then it would be Sara who would bring Broken Wheel a bookshop.

Could a bookshop change the mood of a town... absolutely! Filled with titles that have been my friends, with a "cozy" atmosphere, with a steadfast desire to open a door and invite other's in, this novel is a good choice in any season,
An unbelievable adventure that inspires one to ponder...
"... the power of a book."
Meet the Author:
Katarina Bivald Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves she can get by her. She's currently trying to persuade her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unnecessary. There should be enough space for a book shelf or two instead. Limited success so far. Apparently, her sister is also stubbornly refusing to even discuss using the bath room to store books.

Katarina Bivald sometimes claims that she still hasn't decided whether she prefer books or people but, as we all know, people are a non-starter. Even if you do like them, they're better in books. Only possible problem: reading a great book and having no one to recommend it to.

The Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen

The Guest Book (Sunset Beach #2)
ISBN: 9780310334743
Publisher's Synopsis:
When Macy Dillon was five years old her father encouraged her to draw a picture in the guestbook of a Carolina beach house. The next year, Macy returned to discover a drawing by an unidentified little boy on the facing page. Over the next eleven years the children continue to exchange drawings … until tragedy ends visits to the beach house altogether. During her final trip to Sunset, Macy asks her anonymous friend to draw her one last picture and tells him where to hide the guest book in hopes that one day she will return to find it—and him. Twenty-five years after that first picture, Macy is back at Sunset Beach—this time toting a broken family and a hurting heart. One night, alone by the ocean, Macy asks God to help her find the boy she never forgot, the one whose beautiful pictures touched something deep inside of her. Will she ever find him? And if she does, will the guestbook unite them or merely be the relic of a lost childhood?

"When do we go?"
MrsK's Review:
Macy first noticed her father's missing photos. Since her father's death, her mother has always kept mementos that evoked emotions that Macy did not want to experience. Today would have been his birthday and for years they had celebrated. This year her mother has decided to go back to the beach, her father's favorite vacation spot. Macy is so ready to move beyond her father's ghost. What is her mother thinking? Two weeks at Sunset Beach? Immediately, Macy's mind returned to the guest book. Maybe this might be the first step. She knew her five year old daughter would enjoy this time away from the every day emotions of separation from her dad.

With special pastel pencils, Macy had first entered her drawing of the butterfly shell. So long ago, she had begun a secret exchange about her adventures at the beach with another "mystery" guest. Since her father's death, Macy had not returned to the Time in a Bottle guest house. Would she finally discover the name of her correspondent? Did her last message lead to one final entry? Would the guest book still be where she left it? Daydreams have a chance of becoming a reality, even after years have gone by.

The boy who had drawn a "shared history," who was he? With a walk on the beach, Macy discovers that after all of these years there might be someone thinking of her. The boy had left his picture in the guest book. Was God speaking to her? Could there really be a new season that had been planted so long ago?

Wyatt is just helping his dad fix up the house next door to the guest house. His father, Buzz, is so much nicer than his son. Macy is sure that her mom must remember Buzz, although her mom was preoccupied with making brownies. Sometimes conversations don't turn out like one hopes. Could Wyatt be the artist she was searching for. Oh, how she hoped not. He had grown into a man that could use some manners.

Pastor Nate believes in "living with purpose." Not only is he kind, he is caring and quite insightful. How did he know she had artistic talents? When Buzz calls him to come help Max, Macy's brother, new doors open. How is Pastor Nate going to help Buzz? What is his story?

Dockery is a local artist who is helping out at the community center where Macy's daughter, Emma, was taking a summer class while they were at the beach. Now her daughter has decided that all three of them needed to spend some time flying her kite. Of course, helping at the children's center wasn't his real job. He helped his mom run the family's cleaning business which offers time to volunteer. He seemed genuinely grateful for Macy's help in painting an art mural as the center's art project.

Funny how when a change in direction becomes full of possibilities,
Have a delightful beach retreat...
"Hope does not disappoint."
A Booked to Dine book choice!
Meet the Author:
Marybeth Mayhew Whalen Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She speaks to women's groups around the US. She is the co-founder of the popular women's fiction site, She Reads Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 26 years and are the parents of six children. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel. 
Click here to visit her site

Tell Her No Lies by Kelly Irvin

Tell Her No Lies
ISBN: 9780785223115
Publisher's Synopsis:
As children, Nina Fischer and her sister were plucked from foster care in Florida and brought to Texas by a wealthy uncle they’d never met after their mother went to prison for selling drugs. Now, as an adult, Nina loves her adopted father and wants to please him, but she’s chosen her own career path as a photographer and poet—choices state district court judge Geoffrey Fischer can’t appreciate. When she finds him murdered in his study on a night they’re home alone, she’s the prime suspect and has to prove her innocence or face her own prison term. Is she her mother’s daughter, after all?

The two men in her life want to help, each for their own reasons. Can she trust her on-again, off-again boyfriend, attorney Rick Zavala, whose political aspirations seem more important than Nina’s tragic loss? Can she trust her friend, photographer Aaron McClure, or will he use their friendship to break the biggest news story of his career?

While cleaning out her father’s things, Nina discovers a box of old letters and photos, revealing the secrets her father had been concealing for so long. When her biological mother makes an appearance at Geoffrey Fischer’s funeral and asks to be welcomed back into her daughters’ lives, Nina is even more determined to find the truth about her past. Following the evidence leads her on a journey of discovery about her father’s shocking masquerade as a law-abiding, family-loving Christian. Unlocking these secrets could prove deadly, but it’s the only way Nina will ever be able to trust love again.

"Every judge has supporters and detractors."
MrsK's Review:
Nina is in her lab developing her latest photos completely unaware of how her life was being changed. After turning down Rick's invitation to a party, Nina ventures downstairs. That is when her "unexpected" reality began to shift. Sirens signaled that help was coming, yet the help Nina will need won't be easily accessed. 

Rick is all consumed with lining up his supporters for his state representative campaign. Nina is the one person that can help him attain his future. To what lengths will he be willing to involve Nina now that the Judge has been killed? 

Aaron and Nina have been close friends since their university days. He just might be the only person she knows that isn't connected to Nina because of her "well-connected" roots. Aaron must do his job as a photo journalist, even though Nina and her family are involved in the investigation of the Judge's death. To what extreme will Aaron agree to help Nina? The stakes are high, "personally and professionally." 

King is the investigator that just doesn't quit. His technique is to seek truth with all of the anxiety he can create. Why is it that every time a lead begins unraveling, someone dies? He's good at his job, there's only one question remaining... can he keep Nina alive long enough to prosecute?

Secrets have a tendency to become "unveiled" once a death occurs. Secrets can be a source of self-evaluation or complete destruction. When faced with the truths about the Judge, her mother, her siblings, and then all the targeted deaths during the investigation... Nina must dig deep within her character to locate the grit to persevere

A true crime unfolds when the clues are as small as a grain of sand. With anxiety, frustration, and more than enough trips for comfort food... this novel will lead you to late night page turning!
"Chin up!"
"Fischer's don't lie."
Just how far can a reconnaissance plan go?
Meet the Author:
 Kelly Irvin Tell Her No Lies is Kelly Irvin's latest foray into romantic suspense. It debuts in November 2018. Kelly's newest Amish romance series, Every Amish Season, includes Upon A Spring Breeze, Beneath the Summer Sun, and the latest release, Through the Autumn Air from 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.

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

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

Murder at the Flamingo (A Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery #1)
Publisher's Synopsis:
Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand.

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo night club.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.

"I will do something on my own,
and I will be good at it."
MrsK's Review:
Hamish thought he had accomplished his placement in a prominent law firm. He has always thought rationally, even though he suffers lapses when he becomes overly stressed. The last thing he needed was the awareness that his father has interfered in his college and his acceptance within a Toronto Law firm. Enough was enough, he had to make it on his own. It was time, he was heading to his cousin's in Boston. He couldn't give in to the humiliation of the legal masterminds seeing him at his weakest, he would find a way to "seize the day."

Luca is a man who is always on the top of life. People follow his lead and are willing to do whatever he needs. If anyone can support Hamish in his recreation, Luca would be the one.

Reggie has always wanted an adventure. In life, Reggie realizes that a movie always begins in the middle of an adventure not in the reality leading up to it. It was her quest for adventure which lead her to a boarding house in Boston. With every independent step, Reggie can cross off one more accomplishment in her "Journal of Independence." Reggie's "high breeding" has been cultivated nicely into her spirit, yet she has so much more to learn about life and those you might not want to trust. Gaining employment is her next independent step, even if it might be in a nightclub that promises a grand style for the upper class. 

With the "classy" opening of the Flamingo comes a bit of roughing up Luca, some unwarranted attention, and of course the murder of the Flamingo's newest employee. High adventure is now a reality for Reggie. Hamish will need to use all of his legal training to bring justice for his cousin. And Luca, well let's just say that Luca will need to decide between the addictive power he craves or the instinct to do the right thing that his cousin believes is still within him.

With excellent setting details, a splattering of quick-witted conversations, you will be reminded of the crime movies of days gone by,
"Sometimes stories are in the people whose life's pages 
no one thinks of turning."

An adventurous sleuthing duo... Delightful!
Meet the Author:
 Rachel McMillan Rachel McMillan is the author of the Herringford and Watts mysteries, the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary romances set in opulent Vienna, and the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries praised for bringing an authentic 1930’s Boston world to life while normalizing the fictional conversation surrounding mental illness. Her first work of non-fiction, described as a romantic’s guide to independent travel, releases in 2020. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada.

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

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone
ISBN: 9780312577230
Publisher's Synopsis:
Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

" don't stop loving a person when they're hurt.
You get stronger so they can lean on you."
MrsK's Review:
In 1974 Leni is once again the new girl in school. Not only is junior high a rough place to fit in, her dad and mama are always fighting. Since her dad came home from Nam he just isn't right in the head. Mama thinks Dad's problems get worse when he has suffered through the POW nightmares. Once again he has been fired from his job. Could life get any worse?

Hope comes in the mail the day Leni's dad gets a letter from Mr. Harlan. His son, Bo, had been in Nam with her dad. He was offering them his son's land in Alaska. Forty acres with a cabin! Once they arrive, Leni realizes that the area, the cabin, the people, and her life just got harder.

Large Marge might look rough, she definitely can take care of herself. At first, Leni isn't sure about Large Marge, it's difficult readjusting to new people. What Leni doesn't know, is that Large Marge might just be the one "sane" voice in this part of Alaska.

Matthew is so easy for Leni to be comfortable around. He is quiet, thoughtful, and the one that will lead Leni into a real life beyond the dysfunction. His grandfather had come to Alaska during the Great Depression. When he met his Grandma, they got married and decided to homestead. His dad and mom are divorced even though his mom has a place on the homestead. Life is different for his family. A life that has its own sort of craziness.

Muddling through life is about all you can do when you're thirteen. As the nights grew longer, Leni's dad began his craziness. Snow-covered the ground, and Matthew and his mom ended up missing. Now every thing in her life seemed "fragile." By January, Matthew has gone to live with an Aunt in Fairbanks. It's only for a short time. A season of time that will offer him some assistance with the trauma of his mother's death. Time for some school before college and maybe some hockey or flying lessons. For both of them, letters will be their stabilizing hope.

This book is an extreme read. Nothing about dysfunction ever is normal. If Alaska makes you a strong survivor, a dysfunctional family will make you willing to take chances and hope for a life worth living. These characters have been crafted with a depth that intermingles with those moments in your life when you want so desperately to make a change. The story line is complex and causes you to ponder just what would you do. The truth for Leni and Matthew begins and ends somewhere in the middle of their parent's choices.

Read this book with care, with some reality breaks, and with a dash of hope,
"Up here you can make one mistake.
The second one will kill you."
An extreme read... nothing about dysfunction ever is normal.
Meet the Author:
Kristin Hannah  Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People's Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.

Kristin's highly anticipated new release, The Great Alone, will be published on February 6, 2018 (St. Martin's Press). The novel, an epic love story and intimate family drama set in Alaska in the turbulent 1970's is a daring, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival and the wildness that lives in both nature and man. It has been listed as one of the most anticipated novels of the year by The Seattle Times,, PopSugar, Working Mother, Southern Living, and Goodreads.

Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

Let's Get Ready for Bed by Michael W. Smith and Mike Nawrocki

Let's Get Ready for Bed
ISBN: 9780310767480
Publisher's Synopsis:
From Grammy Award-winning artist Michael W Smith and the co-creator of Veggietales Mike Nawrocki comes Let's Get Ready for Bed, the second in a series of bedtime books in the Nurturing Steps line. This sweet and sleepy picture book will lull your little one to sleep with their favorite stuffed animal characters the Nighty Nights.

As an added bonus, this book includes a link that allows readers to listen to Michael W. Smith singing the lullaby from the story.

Founded by Michael W Smith, Nurturing Steps is an infant and toddler series of children’s music and books with a simple mission to enliven a child’s journey with hope and faith through music and storytelling.

MrsK's Review:
Sleepy Puppy is taking a bath before he gets ready for bed. For all of us, there is a point in our little one's growing up that bed time just isn't their favorite time of the day. This is one of the sweetest, most enjoyable, get ready for bed stories. The characters are perfectly illustrated with humorous motions that brings forth the giggles. Their character voices are just as silly sounding, which only creates even more giggling.

Of course what is a good-night moment if not for a quick lullaby. Eddy the bear and Lamby the sheep are more than willing to take out their best lullaby... you will be their best goodnight moment because you just "gotta sing" them into a blessed slumber.

You can't go far from the goodnight "huggle-snuggles" without one more read!
 Rock-a-bye... little ones!

Meet the Authors:
Award-winning musician Smith and VeggieTales co-creator Nawrocki team up again for the sequel to Nighty Night and Good Night. In this sweet bedtime picture book, your favorite stuffed animal band—the Nighty Nights—returns to lull your little ones to sleep. Includes a link to Smith performing the lullaby from the story.
Award-winning musician Smith and VeggieTales co-creator Nawrocki team up again for the sequel to Nighty Night and Good Night. In this sweet bedtime picture book, your favorite stuffed animal band—the Nighty Nights—returns to lull your little ones to sleep. Includes a link to Smith performing the lullaby from the story. Ages one to 4. 24 pages, hardcover from Zonderkidz.

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