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, January 12, 2020

Chosen People by Robert Whitlow

Chosen People (Chosen People #1)
ISBN: 9780718083045
Publisher's Synopsis:
During a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her four-year-old daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.

Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, typically uses her language skills to represent international clients for an Atlanta law firm. When her boss is contacted by Jakob Brodsky, a young Jewish lawyer pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of the woman’s family under the US Anti-Terrorism laws, he calls on Hana’s expertise to take point on the case. After careful prayer, she joins forces with Jakob, and they quickly realize the need to bring in a third member for their team, an Arab investigator named Daud Hasan, based in Israel.

To unravel the case, this team of investigators travels from the streets of Atlanta to the alleys of Jerusalem, a world where hidden motives thrive, the risk of death is real, and the search for truth has many faces. What they uncover will forever change their understanding of justice, heritage, and what it means to be chosen for a greater purpose.

"To walk with the Almighty all the days of your life."
MrsK's Review:
Jerusalem, welcoming to visitors... or dangerous?
Hannah, a scriptural name. A chosen name. When she was young, her uncle Anwar had spoken a blessing over her... Today, Hana works for a law firm in Atlanta. With her language skills, background, and as an international lawyer she is chosen to lead an investigation into what might be an international terrorist killing.

Contracted by Jakob Brodsky, Hana quickly realizes that this case will need someone living in Israel. In today's world, getting information will mean having someone with connections, as well as someone that will provide protection while opening doors to what really took place. Like Jakob's father, Jakob had a fierce determination for freedom and for pursuing cases until the truth was revealed. After hearing Ben Neumann's reasons to want to know if his wife's murder and daughter's disfigurement was an act of its own making or supported by others. Jakob knew he would be seeking help in this investigation. Ben wanted to help other families to have a voice against terrorists. Jakob knew nothing about this case would be considered easy and everything about this case would mean that finding truth would become an endangerment that would require all of the strength, support, and trust in the other investigators.

Hana also recognizes the moment that she would be committed to this investigation. The truth had to be uncovered for Sadie, this case had to be revealed and resolved. For Sadie had a smile of an "overcomer," which ushered in the peace-filled determination for Sadie to fight for this little survivor. What Hana isn't prepared for is all of the false leads, lethal alleys, nor the emotional strain of going home to a land that had become so deceiving. Would she be able to trust either Jakob or Daud?

Although Daud Hasan was an Arab, he knew technology... and he was the one trained in all areas of the Middle East. He would be the man that could guarantee protection. For Hana, he would be the one who appears to be a traitor.

Have you ever stepped out in faith into a situation that had to begin with a prayer of protection, plus an added mixture of strength, guidance, and trust? The rest of this story is action packed and every character is ingrained in a truth that would create the empowered vs. those seeking a wicked control. Expect at least one sleepless night...

Terrorism is based on belief, not ethnicity!"
 A chilling story that could be played out
anywhere in today's US or abroad!
Meet the Author:
Robert Whitlow  Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. A Furman University graduate, Whitlow received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. A practicing attorney, Whitlow and his wife, Kathy, have four children. They make their home in North Carolina. 

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

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Best Family Ever by Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell

Best Family Ever (Baxter Family Children, #1)
Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell
ISBN: 9781534412156
Publisher's Synopsis:
Brooke is the perfect older sister. For that reason, Kari and Ashley work hard to make their parents just as proud of them as they are of Brooke. Each girl has her own talents. Brooke is an excellent student. Kari is a great soccer player. Ashley, a talented artist. And they are always there for each other. But when the news comes that Dr. Baxter is moving the family from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Bloomington, Indiana, and the Baxters need to leave the only home and friends they’ve ever known, no one is happy. Saying goodbye is hard but the family still has what’s most important—their faith and their love for each other.

In the first book in the Baxter Family Children series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell tell the story of what it was like to grow up in the Baxter family, the best family ever.

"Your very best friends are the ones around the dinner table each night."
MrsK's Review:
This novel is one of the sweetest stories newly crafted. The younger Baxter family moments are full of life, joy, struggles, and acceptance. The book begins in winter, it is Ashley's joy that they are studying snow flakes in her 4th grade science class (school memories of snow and snow days is my joy). When the news that the family could be moving from their beloved Ann Arbor, every family member must trust in their strength, as a family, to see them through this season of change.

Growing up isn't ever easy. In a family of seven, the emotions and insecurities are met with loving guidance. The siblings (ages 6-13) learn the value of self-worth, sharing, and supporting each other in their uniqueness. With parents who are taking their responsibilities seriously, they strive to provide a nurturing environment in which each child's individuality is guided, encouraged, and embraced.

Take a moment and consider the following:

  • Can you have fun without perfect decorations?
  • Is it possible every day to "see" and "know" how to help others?
  • Can you be confident in who you are when others hurt your feelings?
  • When did you learn that being perfect isn't your path... instead faith would see you through to completion?
  • Is it possible to offer grace to someone by offering them the benefit of doubt?
With the technology gap growing in our relationships, this is a perfect novel to settle into the rest our winter days. I encourage you to gather your family, add some comfortable lighting, put on some pajamas, role out sleeping bags, grab the stuffed animals and spend a few nights reading... discussing... sharing... and being family.

Happy New Year,
"Many years from now, even when everything seems
like it has changed,
you'll still have each other."
An adventurous outing... Delightful!
Meet the Authors:
 Karen Kingsbury  Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development with Hallmark Films and as major motion pictures. Her Baxter Family books are being developed into a TV series slated for major network viewing sometime in the next year. Karen is also an adjunct professor of writing at Liberty University. In 2001 she and her husband, Don, adopted three boys from Haiti, doubling their family in a matter of months. Today the couple has joined the ranks of empty nesters, living in Tennessee near five of their adult children.

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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