Thursday, March 5, 2015

Reading Round-Up ~ February

Reading Round-up @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I’ve spent the past two months sick, which means life has been chaos and unproductive around here for the whole of 2015 (because nothing gets done if I’m not standing over someone enforcing it, argh!!). Reading, however, is what does happen. And it’s times like these that I am more grateful than ever that my boys love to read.

Luke and Leif have tackled the book stack with characteristic enthusiasm.

A few of the books they have enjoyed in the past month:


:: What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? (Wells of Knowledge Science Series) is a simple picture book that does a great job of introducing molecules and atoms. I now know what a quark is. Well, I know more about quarks now than I did before reading this book (which was nothing).

United States

:: Government (Chester the Crab's Comix with Content). I was delighted to discover this educational comic series, and the boys have been devouring each one I purchase for them. Nothing like a comic book to make economics, government, civil rights, and the reconstruction of the South accessible to elementary-aged boys.

:: The Skippack School by Marguerite de Angeli, published in 1939, is a sweet, easy chapter book set in a Mennonite community in Colonial America

:: Eli Whitney, Master Craftsman by Miriam Gilbert, published in 1956, is another sweet and simple chapter book.

:: The Story of Eli Whitney by Jean Lee Latham. This is a slightly longer biography of Eli Whitney, written in 1953.

:: Robert Fulton Boy Craftsman by Marguerite Henry, published in 1945, is a simple chapter book about another key player in the Industrial Revolution.


:: Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Russia retold by Virginia Haviland. We own many books in this series, and Luke in particular loves them.

:: Classic Tales and Fables for Children by Leo Tolstoy

:: The Language of Birds by Rafe Martin. A picture book Russian folktale.

:: Hidden Tales from Eastern Europe by Antonia Barber. Another picture book with several tales from Eastern Europe.

England and France

:: Perrault's Fairy Tales. Fairy tales written by the French author Charles Perrault in the late 1600s.

:: Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectations by Diane Stanley. I love Diane Stanley’s meaty picture book biographies.

:: Charles Dickens and Friends: Five Lively Retellings by Marcia Williams is written in comic-strip form.

:: Oliver Twist (Eyewitness Classics) by Charles Dickens. We own several of the DK Classics. These illustrated retellings include many factual details and historical content that correspond to the story.

:: We are still reading aloud A Tale of Two Cities, and will be working on that for some time. It fits in beautifully with our current history studies (England and France around the time of the French Revolution). I read slowly, and we stop often to discuss or clarify.

:: We also watched Les Misérables (the movie) together one afternoon. (I fast-forwarded during a couple scenes.) I spend so much time feeling unsure of myself and a great deal of time feeling guilt for the things I know I do poorly, but occasionally I have a moment in which I think I must be doing something right. That afternoon was one of those moments. My boys love Les Miserables, and they love the music, which they sing at the top of their lungs. At one point Luke said, “This is my idea of fun.” See, I’m doing something right.

Short Fiction Chapter Books

:: The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson. This darling book, published in 1958, is set in Paris, France.

:: All Alone by Claire Huchet Bishop. A ten-year-old boy on the French Alps faces a challenge.

:: The Last Little Cat by Meindert DeJong. This is a short chapter book written by the author of The House of Sixty Fathers and The Wheel on the School.

:: A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy. We have read Kate Seredy’s The Good Master, The Singing Tree, and The White Stag, so I was excited to see that A Tree for Peter had been republished. Philomena and The Chestry Oak are next on the to-read list.

Challenging Fiction [Fantasy]

:: Here, There Be Dragons (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica). Luke re-read all seven books in this series.


[I’ll share Levi’s and my reading in separate posts.]

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