Sunday, March 15, 2015

February 2015 Book Report

Stout Hearts and Whizzing Biscuits: A Patria Story by Daniel McInerny is the first is a series (of two novels and one novella, so far) that has been highly recommended to me from a variety of sources. I was a little nervous because it looked like they might be self-published and sometimes those books were refused by publishers for good reason. I thought it was pretty fun and offered it to First Son (11) who declared it fantastic and read it in a few hours (over two days). First Daughter (8) is reading it now and also enjoying it. It seems to be just challenging enough for her. I had to request it through inter-library loan, but after I suggested it to the library, they have ordered both of the books. My kids are really excited to read the second one! (inter-library loan)

Happy Times in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren is a sequel to The Children of Noisy Village (recommended by Mater Amabilis for Level 1A and a truly delightful book). I learned only recently about the sequel and was thrilled when the library purchased a copy. It's just as delightful. The first book includes a bit more than a hint that Santa Claus does not actually deliver presents which I modified a bit when I was reading it aloud because we like St. Nicholas around here and I didn't want to ruin the fun too early for the girls. There's nothing like that in this book, so I'm comfortable handing it over to First Daughter (8) who will read it independently for her lessons when she finishes the Patria book. (library copy)

The Call of the Wild by Jack London was a book I was going to pre-read for First Son, but decided we'd just listen to it when I saw the library had it on audio CD. I have never read anything by Jack London myself. There were a few scenes in which animals were cruelly treated (most often by other dogs) and one fairly gruesome scene at the end where Buck attacks and kills a large number of people. As far as I know, it was all historically accurate (though fictionalized) and it was certainly beautifully written, but I probably would not have let my girls (6 and 8) listen to it if I had read it myself beforehand. They handled it without comment or gasp, though. It would have been worthwhile independent reading for First Son (11) either for school or summer reading. (audio CD from the library)

The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the Home by David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler - my review. (purchased copy from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts)

The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) by Lemony Snicket
We listened to the audio CD read by Tim Curry. It was delightful. Though awful things happen to the children, just as promised, there are frequent moments of laughter and ridiculousness. We love Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, and can't wait to hear more about them. (audio CD from the library)

The Bible Compass: A Catholic's Guide to Navigating the Scriptures by Edward Sri was recommended as background reading for Volume 1 of Connecting with History (Ancient History). I read The Drama of Scripture, which Kansas Dad recommended, but thought it would be nice to read this one as well for a Catholic perspective. The first part of the book was a little frustrating as I felt like he was telling me only what the Catechism would tell me about the Bible (which I could look that up myself), but as the book progressed there was more detailed information about Scripture and how to read it. Overall, I feel like it's a good overview, especially for someone who is feeling intimidating about reading the Bible. (purchased copy from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts)

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden is recommended by Mater Amabilis in year 2 of level 1A (third grade) for People and Places. I did not consider it for First Son when I saw the plot focused on Japanese dolls, so this is the first time I've read it. A family comes together to create something beautiful and perfect, in the process providing a path for a young girl to establish herself in a new home. First Daughter is going to love it! (library copy)

In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World by Gabriele Galimberti - my review. (review copy from Blogging for Books)

Bleak House by Charles Dickens - my review. (library copy)

Priest on Horseback: Father Farmer, 1720-1786 by Eva K. Betz is a book I read about but was always daunted by the high price as it is out of print. I was delighted to discover it on LibriVox coincidentally as we were studying colonial American history. First Daughter loved the story but the others were not as interested. This book gives a look at what colonial life was like for a traveling priest at a time when many people distrusted or outright hated Catholics. The reader is not my favorite, though I am glad she recorded this book. (listening with the children on LibriVox)

Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love by Dietrich von Hildebrand - my review. (inter-library loan copy)

Books in Progress (and date started)
Links to Amazon are affiliate links. As an affiliate with Amazon, I receive a small commission if you follow one of my links, add something to your cart, and complete the purchase (in that order). My homeschooling budget is always grateful for any purchases. 

Links to RC History are affiliate links.

Links to Sacred Heart Books and Gifts are not affiliate links.

These reports are my honest opinions.

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