MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Friday, July 19, 2019

Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston

Seasons of an Amish Garden
ISBN: 9780310354307
Publisher's Synopsis:
As the young people of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, plant a garden in memory of their friend, Katie Ann begins to worry that her older brother, Ephraim, is dating her best friend. What if she somehow loses them both? But Christian, a new boy in the community, also works in the garden—and falling for him may be exactly the distraction, and lesson, that Katie Ann needs.

Home by Summer
Clara Hertzler is surprised when Jerry Petersheim, her old friend, comes to the garden to drop off his younger sister—especially because Jerry has been gone for years, and now seems to be living as an Englisher. As the friends get to know each other again, Clara pushes Jerry to examine why he abandoned his Amish beliefs. Will Clara help Jerry renew his faith in God, and will they find love beneath the summer sun?

The Fruits of Fall
Tena Speicher has come to live in Bird-in-Hand after her fiancé left her for an English woman. When a homeless veteran comes to the fruit stand one day and asks for food, Tena is not sure how to respond—but Wayne intervenes and offers to let him stay in the barn. Afraid to trust Englishers, Tena must learn, with Wayne’s help, that everyone is a child of God and deserving of kindness.

Winter Blessings
Ephraim and Mandy have dated for some time and now have plans to marry. But after a series of unexpected events and misunderstandings, they wonder if they should go their separate ways. What will happen when their friends at the Amish garden conspire to bring them back together?

MrsK's Review:
These vignettes are woven with tenderly crafted story lines around those who tend the newly planted garden on Emma Bontrager's farm. The garden idea began in the winter while they were visiting Emma. Emma's reflection's of love for her late husband Henry sparked the idea for the community garden and produce stand.

What does God have in store for Katie Ann
now that her brother and best friend are
growing closer?
Spring is in the Air: As Katie Ann joined the garden meeting, she wasn't all to happy with her brother Ephraim. His loyalty to his girlfriend Mandy is why she didn't have a ride for the meeting. Ephraim and Katie Ann shared in a closeness that was now becoming fractured due to Mandy. Her mission for the night is what brought her to the meeting. She discovered that they could not donate the produce to the Bird-in-Hand shelter, but they could donate any sales to the shelter if they created a roadside stand. Chris had come the his first meeting with his cousin. He is a cabinet maker who offers to help build the produce stand.  From the minute Katie Ann joined the discussion, Chris began wondering if she might be the girl he was hoping for. If he could win her friendship, then maybe her heart would follow. 
When God comes through with an answered prayer,
could it be Clara's faith helps to lead a heart back home?
Home by Summer: Clara couldn't help but wonder if she would ever fall in love like the others who worked at the community garden. When a former friend brings his sister to the garden, Clara is happy reunite their friendship. The only challenge lies within the truth about why he left his Amish upbringing. Jerry brought his sister to Emma's house so that she could join the group tending the garden. It had been a while since he had connected with his past friends. Once there, he discovered that they were in need of a plumber. Clara was always the one who pulled at his "heart strings." He knew he needed to feel "God's call" before he committed to the church. What was this "tiny thread of longing beckoning him back" to his roots?

Can Tena learn to trust in God's promise. 
Is everyone a child of God's?
The Fruits of Fall: Tena has come to live with her Great-Aunt Emma. During a surprise rain storm an Englisher approaches the stand for food. Becoming startled, she replies with a "no." Within the next moment, Wayne has not only offered one of her cookies but has invited the stranger up to her Aunt's house. Why would he do that? Doesn't he know the danger he is putting them in? Could Alex be the person that God will use to help bring healing to Tena's heart? Alex was a foster child who made the decision to join the military. Now that he has returned from the Middle East he is having difficulties finding his way. Could an outreached hand be the avenue for a new life beyond his nightmares?
Will God's answer to prayer lead 
Mandy and Ephraim on an unexpected path
to happiness or separation?
Winter Blessings: Mandy and Ephraim have been courting and on the path to marriage. When Ephraim's sister and her family come home, their needs become a focal point for Mandy. She begins questioning if they should postpone their wedding until Ephraim's parents can help Darlene. Ephraim won't accept the changes that Mandy is wanting to discuss. His life is on his father's farm. Why would Mandy even consider postponing their wedding? She must not truly love or trust his decisions. How could she even suggest an alternative life?

Welcome back to the Bird-in-Hand community...
Sometimes it is simple joy to a reader when they can come home to characters that are inspiring, filled with hope and wisdom, and true to a comfortable life style of love,

An opportunity to just enjoy some well deserved break-away moments,
as well as cherished characters. 
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 from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

Child of the River
ISBN: 9780718083106
Publisher's Synopsis:
Persomi’s dreams are much bigger than the world of poverty and deprivation that surround her in the Bushveld of the 1940s and 1950s in South Africa.

Persomi is young, white and poor, born the middle child of illiterate sharecroppers on the prosperous Fourie farm. Persomi’s world is extraordinarily small. She has never been to the local village and spends her days absorbed in the rhythms of the natural world around her. Her older brother, Gerbrand, is her lifeline and her connection to the outside world. When he leaves the farm to seek work in Johannesburg, Persomi’s isolated world is blown wide open. But as her very small world falls apart, bigger dreams become open to her—dreams of an education, a profession, and of love. As Persomi navigates the changing world around her—the tragedies of WWII and the devastating racial strife of her homeland—she finally discovers who she truly is and where she belongs.

A compelling coming of age story with an unlikely and utterly memorable heroine, Persomi’s English language publication solidifies Irma Joubert’s important place in the canon of inspirational historical fiction.

MrsK's Review:
Persomi is a bright young lady with enough "grit" to make a change for her future. In 1938, her brother left to find a job in Joburg. Nothing in her home was easy. Nothing appeared to have a future beyond surviving through the ages. Living in an open veld meant the land was bare, open, stony, and scorched. By 1941, Persomi has been given the opportunity to attend school, which meant that she would be boarding at the school. This would be her first time away from the veld.

Yusuf works in his grandfather's store. At the end of Persomi's first summer vacation, he helps Persomi to begin purchasing a few "selfish" items. Imagine the value of your first nightgown! Beyond the items, Yusuf has revealed that someone is placing money in an account. Persomi believes it is money from her brother until she learns that her life might not be as she thought.

Boelie is the son of the Fourie farm where Persomi's family works. His friendship with Persomi can provide insights into the real world around Persomi. As an Afrikaner supporter, he causes concern for everyone around him. Including the division within Persomi's heart.

Gerbrand is Persomi's brother, her lifeline for hope and strength. Throughout her life, Persomi has relied on his teachings, his guidance, his protection, and his conversations. When the fatal news is given at school, Persomi returns to the veld.

Through the years, Persomi becomes an even stronger woman. Yet, when the truth becomes reality sometimes it takes a strength greater than what you have... sometimes it takes faith with a lot of hope to overcome past decisions.
A novel that will grow a universal truth within your spirit.
Meet the Author:
“The Girl from the Train” by Irma Joubert – Mi Baile Perfecto  International bestselling author Irma Joubert was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She's the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels.
"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.”

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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