Saturday, May 4, 2013

April 2013 Book Report

Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy is a poetic telling of a young child's life in a ghetto during World War II. It's quite good. A young reader could read it, but I do not intend to share it with my children anytime soon. Though the most awful horrors of the concentration camps are not in this book, the great number of people who disappear, die, or are shipped off in train cars never to return would still be distressing to a young child. Don't get me wrong; we'll study the Holocaust, but I'm not going to cover it with my young children. I think this book, though written in simple language, is a powerful story and recommend it. (Kindle version borrowed for free from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library)

A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms by Lisa M. Hendey (inter-library loan)

Athanasius by Simonetta Carr (inter-library loan)

Legends of the Saints by E. Lucia Turnbull is a book of legends, small stories of a number of different saints. I had read of these saints and some of the particular legends in the past, but this is a wonderful version. We're lucky the library has a copy of it. I'm going to put it on First Son's pile for his independent reading and will give it to First Daughter to read when her skills improve a little. I think it's a touch too easy for First Son, who is in third grade now, but he'll still enjoy it. Hopefully the library doesn't discard it before my other children read it; it's already usually in storage. (library copy)

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (library copy)

The Jack Tales by Richard Chase is a collection of tales from the American Southeast, all about Jack, who shares much in common with the heroes of many fairy tales we've read in The Blue Fairy Book and The Red Fairy Book. I originally found it on a list of good books for boys at Memoria Press. First Son will begin reading it independently to finish out third grade and probably into the summer. I hope he enjoys it; I thought it was highly entertaining. (library copy)

Seeds of Faith for Children by Rosemarie Gortler and Donna Piscitelli (a review for The Catholic Company)

Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pond by Steve Voake is the second volume with Daisy Dawson. I think it's just as sweet as the first and have put it on First Daughter's reading list for next year (first grade). It's a little heavy-handed in the environmental message, but I felt more compassion for the author when I read the note in the end in which he said his favorite outdoor haunt was destroyed just as described in the book. (library copy)

The Kitchen Madonna by Rumer Godden is the tale of a young boy who finds his voice in creating a gift for his family's cook. I'm considering it as a read-aloud for our family next year. It's a sweet story, but there are some frightening tales of wolf hunts from the cook's childhood. (library copy)

Big John's Secret (Living History Library) by Eleanore M. Jewett is the wonderful story of a young man who serves as a page and squire in England and the Holy Land during the time of the Fifth Crusade. He is searching for his place in the world and his father. It has a surprisingly balanced presentation of the Muslims in the Holy Land, with whom John lives for a year. St. Francis of Assisi makes an appearance as well. It's highly recommended. I want First Son to read it, but haven't decided yet if he'll do so independently in fourth grade (next year) or if we'll wait until sixth grade when we'll be cycling back to this time period is history. (library copy)

The Light Princess by George MacDonald must be the original source of the idea for Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) (one of my favorite picture books, though I haven't yet written about it on the blog). It's more sophisticated and more complex, but still a nice short story. (free Kindle edition)

Books in Progress (and date started)

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