Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book basket

Over at The Happy Housewife you will find a newer meme that is right up my alley. I haven't had time to participate until this week (and, even this week time is in question), and I could not let another week go by without sharing some of what we have in our "book basket."

We follow Ambleside Online and currently have kids in Years 2,4,and 6 as well as a couple pre-K "students." So, while our complete reading list includes all of the books scheduled for week 29, I figured this would be a great space to highlight our favorites, and maybe some of our not-so favorites.

My books:

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God (by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald) -- I just got this on hold at the library, after thinking about it for many months. I have just barely cracked the cover and already have been both challenged and encouraged. I'll share more next week when I have gotten further into the book.

Practicing His Presence (by Brother Lawrence) -- This book really opened my eyes to how much of my day I live apart from God's moving in my life. This habit has attracted my focus and really pricked my conscience to develop more intentionality into my daily obedience to Christ. A short read, but by no means easy to apply!

I Kings and II Kings -- Elijah and Elisha led captivating lives. Yet, they struggled as any human does. Amazing to discover their humanness and revel in the depth of their relationships with God. So many amazing experiences and reflections of God's glory in their lives.

Read Alouds:

Around the World in 80 Days (by Jules Verne) -- We read this in little bits at a time and spread it out too much. The kids did all enjoy it, but it was still a little anti-climactic since we had seen the movie and despite the differences the ending have a lot of similarities. A worthwhile and intriguing story regardless! Read it online here.

Amy Carmichael: A Chance to Die (by Elizabeth Elliot) -- We always follow up Bible time with a Christian biography and Amy has already taught us much, and she hasn't even gotten to India yet! I pray that God would use me to instill so great a faith in my own children as Amy's parents helped pour into her.

Cricket in Times Square (by George Selden) -- We always have an audio book for car rides and we must have spent a lot of time in the car this week, because we finished this in less than a week. Definitely geared toward younger kids (my 5 year old says she loved it more than any others we have heard recently), but enjoyed by all. I loved the audio version also, because they had cricket noises in the background playing the appropriate songs throughout.

We are also listening to Brighty of Grand Canyon, and while it is a charming story, it has not had the great reception in the van that many stories have enjoyed. Moves a little slowly in places.

Blake (11 yo):

Never Give In (by Stephen Mansfield) -- Biography of Winston Churchill. Offers a summary of Churchill's life and reveals his fingerprints on history. Also, digs into the character of this unforgettable personality. Well written and insightful, but the format is a bit repetitive. It summarizes his life then breaks it down into topics and many of the events of his life are then categorized to show greater insight into the man.

Paige (9 yo):

The Story of Helen Keller -- We talked a little about the book before she started reading it, but Paige dove right in and couldn't wait to tell me all she had read the next day. Aside from Cam Jansen, I have not found too many books that she reads with enthusiasm, but this one grabbed her attention.

Abigail Adams (by Natalie S. Bober) -- Although a required book for school work, we are both really enjoying this book. I get disappointed when she reads ahead without me, but that's okay. Engaging and informative, this book has given us an intimate glimpse at early United States history from a personal perspective. Portraying life in both the familial and political realm, the author gives a complete picture of daily life in the Adams' household.

Faith (7 yo):

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa (by Erica Silverman) -- My cowgirl hardly ever comes away from the library without at least one of the books in this series. Written at about an early second grade level, she can read them on her own and they leave her with wonderful cowgirl dreams even after the book ends.

Twenty-one Balloons (by William Pene du Bois ) -- Oddly similar to around the world in 80 days, but not as polished, this has become the bedtime story for Faith (I read to her). Right now we are in the diamond mines of Krakatoa and have enjoyed the bumpy balloon ride it took to get there. Others try to listen in as well, so I would say it is being enjoyed by many, but it is a longer read.

Brooke and Nathan (5 and 3):

Life Size Animal Counting Book (Dorling Kindersley Publishers) -- One of our book sale finds from last week, I have a soft spot for DK books ever since attending a book show at a friends house years ago. I love the real life pictures and the animated conversations they prompt in the midst of exploring each page together.

Where the Buffaloes Begin (by Olaff Baker) -- I sometimes shy away from Native American tales for little ones because they generally have a spiritist perspective, but this story we could enjoy as just a story. We made simple "blankets" with paper bag, cut fringes on the edges, and decorated with markers. A fun activity while the "big kids" participated in gym class.

Take a peek in some other Book Baskets.


Wendi said...

I read the Passionate Housewives book last year ~ I loved it! It gave me a much-needed change in perspective :)

5intow said...

Wendi -- I'm glad to hear that. It is always great to have our "vision" checked and refined. I don't know why it has taken me so long, but I can't wait to read this book!

Amanda P said...

Wow! You have a great list, i'll have to take down some titles! Thanks!

The Happy Housewife said...

Thanks for linking up! I loved Around the World in 80 Days. I read it because my daughter was reading it, but I think I liked it as much as she did! I am checking out Where the buffaloes begin, hopefully my library will have it soon!

Amy said...

I love your list! I am a big Charlotte Mason fan, so I'm sure I'll be back. :)