Mom’s Summer Reading List

Summer means free time for the homeschool teacher!  I’ve been able to cross a few books off my  reading list and I wanted to share them with you.  This year I started reading more middle grade fiction, all those stories we heard about in school but never read.  They are quick reads and, oh, so satisfying. I’ve been reading while my kids are playing in the pool and with their friends in the backyard.   My summer reads include: a couple stories I will teach on this fall, one to be a better teacher, and a couple more just for fun!

 

Here is what I have read so far this summer:

Ember Rising, #3 in the Green Ember Series by S.D. Smith-

This was a family reading challenge.  We met the author at the Homeschool Convention this Spring, and wanted to read his books before we met him.  We bought the previous books in the series on Kindle and Lynn, my husband and I raced each other to finish, teasing the plot to those behind us.  We had to take turns with Ember Rising when we bought the paperback set. The series is incomplete right now, but there are other titles in the Green Ember universe.  Ember Rising continues the epic story of Picket and Heather a pair of rabbit siblings thrust in a war for their very existence.

“we have to keep loving what’s on the other side of this fight—the other side of this rescue— and that will have to make us brave.” -Ember Rising

My boys are reading it too, but they behind the rest of us as they have to wait for it to be read aloud.  They finished Ember Falls (#2) this week. I’m enjoying listening again and catching bits of the story I missed the first time. To me, its a mark of a good story to enjoy it more the second time!

 

Miracle on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen-

“When you have done a great many good things, you forget to speak of them. It is those who do very little who must talk of it.” -Henry in Miracles on Maple Hill

I’d never heard of this book before.  I”m teaching a literature class this fall and this is on the course list.  I’m previewing all the books so i can plan.  It was a very quick read but very satisfying. Its about a girl whose family moves to a place called Maple Hill in Pennsylvania. It takes place after the Vietnam War and includes one veteran’s struggle to re-acclimate to civilian life. The family moves to the country and the neighbor promises the girls a Miracle every week she visits. Its a middle grade novel I will be teaching to 4-6th graders. There was a richness to the story and a great reminder to slow down and look around as the seasons change and appreciate the people who are in your life.

 

Trumpet of the Swan by EB White –

I remember hearing Trumpet of the Swan as a kid.  We did a conservation project at my school  promoting the protection of the swans in a nearby lake. This is another book I was previewing before I teach it in the fall.  E.B. White, the author, also wrote Charlotte’s Web. I’m not really a fan of either book.  The stories are too simple and slow moving for me to enjoy it for my own reading.  I think its a great first read aloud for younger students.  I can relate to Sam Weaver in the story, since he liked to observe and take notes.

“Every night, before he turned in, he would write in the book. He wrote about things he had done, things he had seen, and thoughts he had had. Sometimes he drew a picture. He always ended by asking himself a question so he would have something to think about while falling asleep.” 

 

Better Together by Pam Barnhill

I picked this one up at the Great Homeschool Convention in the Spring. I was working in the Homeschool Helpdesk booth Barnhill shared with my friend Colleen Kessler.   The focus of the book is on a homeschool method called “Morning Time”. Its the idea of combining all your students for some subjects and adding some ritual to your schooling routine. Using Sonlight last year led us to doing a morning time last year and it was awesome!  We did Poetry, History, Science, and Art together before everyone did their own assignments.

I really liked how using a morning time format simplified our schooling. As I start planning for next year with it  in mind, it was a great read to look for some new ideas.  Pam Barnhill is very practical  in her ideas and also shares snapshots of a variety of families and what Morning time looks like for them in different seasons and family sizes.   It was a great for reading at the pool. I could pick up in small chunks to apply and think about.

 

Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series by Mary Rose Wood

The 6th and final book in the series was released last month and was highly anticipated at our house by both Lynn and I after we read the series last year. We first heard about it on the Read Aloud Revivial Podcast.  Its full of mystery, a trio of children appear acting like wolves on a English Estate and the Lord of the estate insists on taking them in and hires a nanny to care for them. the first five books in the series leave us with more questions than answers as to where these Incorrigible Children came from and how they fit into the Ashton family tree.

With so many great twists and turns to the story, I thought it best to start at the beginning with Books 1, The Mysterious Howling before enjoying the new release. Last year Lynn listened to the audiobooks while I read them.  Katherine Kellgren does an excellent job narrating the first 5 titles, she passed away before the sixth was released and Fiona Hardingham narrates the Long Lost Home.  Lynn’s reading skills have grown this year and she was surprised to discover she can comfortably read them herself now.

 

Reading Tip:

Each year I set the goal to put 24 books on my reading list by the end of the year. I use GoodReads to help me keep track of what I read. Reading 2 books a month doesn’t usually feel like a lot but it adds up. Its a great feeling to look back and see how many I’ve added.

What have you been reading? Do you set a reading goal for yourself?

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