• Family Read Alouds for our Homeschool Year 2021-2022
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    FAMILY READ ALOUDS: 13 books we want to read in our homeschool in the 2021-2022 school year

    We love a good read aloud in our family and today I am sharing thirteen (not twelve like I said in the video) books we want to read aloud (aka listen to) in the next school year.

    Now, when I say read alouds what I actually mean is listen tos because I am terrible at reading aloud so we usually listen to our book together as a family while we eat our meals.

    We use an amazing Bluetooth speaker, we’ve had it for years and only have to charge it about twice a year. Here’s an updated version of our Bluetooth speaker

    My plan is for us to pick and choose from this list throughout the year. When we are done one book we’ll come back to this list and pick another.

    Oh, and while we have little ones as well, it’s the big ones we are catering this list to, they are going to be in grade 3 & 6 in the fall.

    I would love to hear what is on your read aloud list for this next year!

    And if you want to see what was on our list from last year, you can do so here!

     

    Family Read Alouds for our Homeschool Year 2021-2022

     

     

    13 FAMILY READ ALOUDS

     

    Absolutely Truly

    An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte’s Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

    Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years.

    With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edition of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.

     

    The Mysterious Benedict Society

    “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children–two boys and two girls–succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they’ll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you’re gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.

     

    Christian Heroes Series

    Written specifically to challenge readers with the powerful lives of missionaries who have profoundly shaped history, the books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series answer today’s call for positive role models and for opportunities to see how God works through the lives of those who follow him.

    The exciting life stories of these heroes will inspire readers as they witness the drama of faith and character being tested under the most extreme circumstances.

    Readers of all ages love these fast-paced adventures that take them to the heart of a nation, an era, and what it means to live a life dedicated to serving God and those He loves. Parents report that even kids who have never liked to read have eagerly read all of these – sometimes more than once!

     

     

    Wingfeather Tales: Seven Thrilling Stories from the World of Aerwiar

    Immerse yourself in a land of bomnubbles and quarreling cousins, sea dragons and book publishers, thieves and Fangs and secret maps. Here within these pages lie seven stories of the distant past, lost adventures, forgotten songs, and heartbreaking histories. The Shining Isle is restored, but Aerwiar is vast—and these authors have tales yet to tell:

        Explore the inner walls of Yorsha Doon, just West of the Woes of Shreve, on the edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, from the eyes of young Safiki in “The Prince of Yorsha Doon” from the creator of Aewiar, Andrew Peterson.
        Jennifer Trafton’s warm and whimsical writing brings to life a publishing nightmare populated by the many beasts of Skree in “The Wooing of Sophelia Stupe.”
        Learn the origins of Ollister Pebmrick’s mysterious entry in the Creaturepedia about his encounter with a raggant in “Willow Worlds” by N. D. Wilson.
        Travel with young Podo Helmer on an epic hunt for sea dragons in “From the Deeps of the Dragon King” from A. S. Peterson.
        Jonathan Rogers presents “The Ballard of Lanric and Rube,” sung by Armulyn the Bard, tale-spinner of the imaginary Shining Isle of Anniera, in On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.
        Discover what life was like for Maraly and Gammon in post-war Skree in “Shadowblade and the Florid Sword”—the first-ever Wingfeather comic—by Andrew Peterson.
        Douglas McKelvey’s epic, heartbreakingly hopeful novella “The Places Beyond the Maps” recounts a father’s journey to redemption.

    You’ll also find delightful illustrations by Justin Gerard, Hein Zaayman, Cory Godbey, John Hendrix, Nicholas Kole, Aedan Peterson, Joe Sutphin, Jay Myers, and Doug TenNapel.

    Enter a rich, imaginative world that becomes more real, more mysterious, more dangerous, and more beautiful with each story’s telling.

     

     

    On The Edge of The Dark Sea of Darkness

    Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

    Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.

     

    Rescue

    Six hundred and fifty-seven days ago, Meg Kenyon’s father left their home in France to fight for the Allies in World War II, and that was the last time Meg saw him. Recently, she heard he was being held prisoner by the Nazis, a terrible sentence from which Meg fears he’ll never return. All she has left of him are the codes he placed in a jar for her to decipher, an affectionate game the two of them shared. But the codes are running low, and soon there’ll be nothing left of Papa for Meg to hold on to at all.

    Suddenly, an impossible chance to save her father falls into Meg’s lap. After following a trail of blood in the snow, Meggie finds an injured British spy hiding in her grandmother’s barn. Captain Stewart tells her that a family of German refugees must be guided across Nazi-occupied France to neutral Spain, whereupon one of them has promised to free Meg’s father. Captain Stewart was meant to take that family on their journey, but too injured to complete the task himself, he offers it to Meg, along with a final code from Papa to help complete the mission — perhaps the most important, and most difficult, riddle she’s received yet.

    As the Nazis flood Meg’s village in fierce pursuit, she accepts the duty and begins the trek across France. Leading strangers through treacherous territory, Meg faces danger and uncertainty at every turn, all the while struggling to crack her father’s code. The message, as she unravels it, reveals secrets costly enough to risk the mission and even her own life. Can Meg solve the puzzle, rescue the family, and save her father?

     

    Echo Mountain

    After losing almost everything in the Great Depression, Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed wilderness of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy after a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.

    Ellie is a girl who takes matters into her own hands, and determined to help her father she will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal.
     
    Historical fiction at its finest, Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Lauren Wolk, the Newbery Honor– and Scott O’Dell Award–winning author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea, weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families.

     

    Amari and the Night Brothers

    Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

    So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

    Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

     

    The Wild Robot

    Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

    When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

    As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

    From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.

     

    Father and I Were Ranchers

    Ralph Moody was eight years old in 1906 when his family moved from New Hampshire to a Colorado ranch. Through his eyes we experience the pleasures and perils of ranching there early in the twentieth century. Auctions and roundups, family picnics, irrigation wars, tornadoes and wind storms give authentic color to Little Britches. So do adventures, wonderfully told, that equip Ralph to take his father’s place when it becomes necessary.

     

    Gregor the Overlander

    This irresistible novel by Suzanne Collins tells the story of a boy who embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny — and find his father — in a strange world beneath New York City.

    Gregor the Overlander joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor’s arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland’s uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it — until he realizes it’s the only way to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever. This unforgettable novel by Suzanne Collins, the international bestselling author of the Hunger Games series, is rich in suspense and brimming with adventure.

     

    We the Children (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School)

    Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wondering if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town—with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how his dad has moved out and started living in the marina on what used to be the “family” sailboat. Maybe it would be nice if the school just stayed as it is. He likes the school. Loves it, actually. It’s over 200 years old and sits right on the harbor. The playground has ocean breezes and the classrooms have million dollar views…MILLION DOLLAR views. And after a chance—and final—run-in with the school janitor, Ben starts to discover that these MILLION DOLLAR views have a lot to do with the deal to sell the school property. But, as much as the town wants to believe it, the school does not belong to the local government. It belongs to the CHILDREN and these children have the right to defend it!

     

     

    The Whispering Wars

    From the award-winning Jaclyn Moriarty comes a spellbinding tale of unlikely friendship, unexpected magic and competitive athletics.

    The town of Spindrift is frequented by all kinds of Shadow Mages and charlatans. It’s also home to the Orphanage School, where Finlay lives with Glim, Taya, and Eli. Just outside town is the painfully posh Brathelthwaite Boarding School, home to Honey Bee, Hamish, and Victor, Duke of Ainsley. When the two schools compete at the Spindrift Tournament, the stakes are high, tensions are higher, and some people are out to win at any cost. Before long, the orphans and the boarding school kids are at each other’s throats. And then the Whispering Wars break out, and Spindrift is thrust onto the front lines. Children are being stolen; witches, sirens, and a deadly magical flu invade the town; and all attempts to fight back are met with defeat. Finlay, Honey Bee, and their friends must join forces to outwit the encroaching forces of darkness, rescue the stolen children, and turn the tide of the war. But how can one bickering troupe outwit the insidious power of the Whisperers?

     

    I would love to hear what is on your read aloud list for this next year!

  • Family Read Alouds we've read recently - middle grade books for the family
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    Family Read Alouds

    We are always reading (aka listening to) a book together as a family.

    I wanted to share some of our thoughts on the books we’ve been reading lately.

    I have all the books listed below but if you want to know what we thought of each of the books, be sure to watch the video.

    If you have any suggestions on books we should read soon that you’ve enjoyed, let me know!

     

    Family Read Alouds we've read recently - middle grade books for the family

     

     

    FAMILY READ ALOUDS

     

    BOOK SCAVENGER

    For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game.

     

    SWEEP

    It’s been five years since the Sweep disappeared. Orphaned and alone, Nan Sparrow had no other choice but to work for a ruthless chimney sweep named Wilkie Crudd. She spends her days sweeping out chimneys. The job is dangerous and thankless, but with her wits and will, Nan has managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.
     
    When Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, she fears the end has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself unharmed in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature—a golem—made from soot and ash.

     

    Hatchet

    Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother’s infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, killing the pilot, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present.

    At first consumed by despair and self-pity, Brian slowly learns survival skills—how to make a shelter for himself, how to hunt and fish and forage for food, how to make a fire—and even finds the courage to start over from scratch when a tornado ravages his campsite. When Brian is finally rescued after fifty-four days in the wild, he emerges from his ordeal with new patience and maturity, and a greater understanding of himself and his parents.

     

    FEVER 1793

    During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

    Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie’s world upside down. At her feverish mother’s insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

     

    Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione

    As the Knights of the Prince await His triumphant return, they are steadfast in their mission to take His story into the kingdom and recruit as many as are willing. But when a new and dangerous threat is revealed, their mission is jeopardized.

    Sir Kendrick and his young charge, the impetuous Sir Duncan, are sent on a mission to discover the identity and origin of a secretive new order known as the Conquistero Knights. They travel to the city of Bel Lione where Lord Ra has been enticing young people in the kingdom to join his festivals, after which many choose not to return home. Their families keep quiet for fear of repercussion.

    When Sir Duncan disappears while trying to discover the truth of Lord Ra’s castle, Sir Kendrick attempts to find and enlist the help of a mysterious warrior. Time is short for he must save Duncan and call upon the knights of Chessington to join in the battle against the evil Lord Ra.

    Journey to Arrethtrae, where these knights of noble heart live and die in loyal service to the King and the Prince. These knights are mighty, for they serve a mighty King. They are…the Knights of Arrethtrae!

     

    Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court

    Sir Bentley, an honorable young knight, abandons his calling in order to seek the truth of the Prince. Choosing to live as the Prince did, he forsakes his former lifestyle and wealth to live as a pauper. His travels take him to Holbrook, where the townsfolk live in poverty, paying high taxes to support the lavish lifestyle of Lord Kingsley and his court. But something even darker is lurking in the shadows of the beautiful castle.

    Bentley soon befriends Eirwyn, a mysterious but compassionate young woman who often distributes food among the poor. When Eirwyn is kidnapped by a ruthless tribe to serve as a sacrifice, Bentley battles a vicious mountain creature to save her life. But when he discovers who is really behind Holbrook’s downfall, he’s faced with an even bigger challenge–battling the Dark Knight’s most evil commander and his Shadow Warriors as they attack the castle.

    Will greed destroy the kingdom the way it destroyed Lord Kingsley? Or can Sir Bentley and Eirwyn work together to restore order and prosperity to the kingdom through the compassion and grace of the Prince?

     

    Wonder

    I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. 
     
    August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

     

    Loren Cunningham: Christian Heroes Then & Now

    Without warning, a huge map of the world appeared in Loren’s mind’s eye. Loren blinked, but the map was still there. Soon it was covered with ocean waves beating on every shore. Then the waves turned into the faces of young people flowing over every nation. Was Loren being given a glimpse of the future? If so, what part was he going to play?

    Ever since he was a young boy dreaming of writing “God is Love” on the moon so that all the world’s people could see it, Loren Cunningham has committed his life to reaching the whole world with the Good News of Jesus Christ, ministering in every nation on earth.

    Through his unswerving belief that nothing is impossible for God, Loren’s vision of waves of young people became the reality of Youth With A Mission, unleashing young Christians in missionary service when that was unheard of. Today, through the mission he began, multiplied thousands of believers- young and old- are working together to bring the gospel to the whole earth.

     

    George Muller: Christian Heroes Then & Now

    George Muller stared at the beggar girl. She was no older than five and was piggybacking her little brother. Her mother had died in the cholera epidemic sweeping England. Her father had never returned from the mines. Standing in the muddy street, this little girl gave a face to Bristol’s countless orphans.

    With scarcely enough food or money for his own family, George Muller opened his heart and home. Sustained by God’s provision, the Muller house “Breakfast Club” of thirty orphans grew to five large houses that ultimately over ten thousand children would call home.

    George Muller trusted God with a depth rarely seen. His faith and generosity set a standard for Christians of all generations.

     

    Mildred Cable: Christian Heroes Then & Now

    Standing atop a mound of rocks, Mildred wrapped her blue padded jacket tightly around her and squinted against the sand-laden wind. To her right the Great Wall wound east for fourteen hundred miles until it reached the Yellow Sea. Before her lay the rocks and sand of the vast Gobi Desert. She would enter this feared place in peace God was here too.

    Missionary trio Mildred Cable (1878-1952) and Evangeline and Franscesca French were the first Englishwomen to cross the infamous Gobi Desert, living for years among the diverse peoples of northwestern China in places few Europeans ever reached.

    Educated and rich, Mildred Cable once planned to be a concert pianist. Instead she served the people of China through wars and revolutions. Whether speaking the truth to a brutal general who held her prisoner, educating generations of Chinese girls, building self-sustaining Christian communities, or traveling the ancient Silk Road on a mule cart, Mildred followed Jesus with grit, determination, intelligence, and faith.

     

    THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE

    Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
     
    So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

     

    VIEW ALL THE BOOK LISTS HERE

  • 12 Great Chapter Books for Grade Two - novels that can be read independently or as read alouds
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary

    12 Great Chapter Books for Grade Two

    This year my son is in grade two, so I wanted to create a list of books for him to read this year.

    He is at the point where he is just starting to read easy chapter books but I know at this rate he’ll really increase his reading ability this next year.

    So, I wanted to create a list of books for grade two that would have some diversity.

    There are definitely some easy to read books on here as well as some that are a bit harder.

    Oh, and because I know my son I’ve also included some funny books, because those are his favorite.

     

    12 Great Chapter Books for Grade Two - novels that can be read independently or as read alouds

     

    12 Great Chapter Books for Grade Two

    The first book in this series, Almost Super, has been a favorite of his lately so it seems only right to add book two to the list!

    Searching for Super

    The superheroes of Split Rock are hunkering down, which is really just a fancy way of saying they’re hiding. Ever since those supervillainous Joneses took away their real powers, the Baileys and the Johnsons have been living in fear. But Rafter has had a taste of what saving the day feels like, and now he’s desperate to do something important.

    So when he gets an opportunity to fight with a real superpower—as long as he promises not to tell his parents—he is going to take it, no questions asked. With the help of his brother Benny, his cousin Thimon, and his best friend, Juanita, Rafter Bailey is searching for super.

     

    Encyclopedia Brown

    Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information—it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!

     

    The Boxcar Children

    Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are brothers and sisters. They’re orphans too, and the only way they can stay together is to make it on their own. When the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to call it home―and become
    the Boxcar Children!

     

    Magic Tree House – Night of the Ninja’s

    Have you ever met a real live ninja? Jack and Annie do when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to ancient Japan, where they find themselves in the cave of a ninja master. Will they learn the secrets of the ninja? Or will the evil samurai warriors get them first?

     

    Canadian Flyer – Searching for Gold

    After being transported to the Cretaceous period in Danger, Dinosaurs! Emily and Matt, the inquisitive duo, are ready for another time-traveling adventure. So with sketchbook and digital recorder in hand, they once again rub the sled’s magic logo. This time, they find themselves in the gold rush of the late 1800s. They soon catch Klondike Fever, but will they find gold or lose their shirts? The people are colorful, the land is rugged, and the adventure is unlike anything Matt and Emily have ever experienced. Dean Griffiths’ black and white illustrations add detail to this daring tale.

     

    The Littles

    The Littles live in the walls of the Biggs’ house. But when the Biggs go on vacation a messy family comes to stay, the trouble begins. Mice! Cats! How much can one small family take? Will Tom and Lucy, the littlest Littles of all, be able to save the day

     

    Stuart Little

    Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure.

    Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

     

    Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

    Meet Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle! She lives in an upside-down house with a kitchen that is always full of freshly baked cookies. She was even married to a pirate once! Best of all, she knows everything there is to know about children. 

    When Mary turns into an Answer-Backer or Dick becomes Selfish or Allen decides to be a Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has the perfect cure. And her solutions always work, with plenty of laughs along the way. This is the book that started it all!

     

    Little Dog Lost

    Mark is a boy who needs a dog. But he can’t get his mom on board with his plan.

    Buddy is a dog who needs a boy. Buddy has an owner already, but not one who understands what a dog really needs.

    Mr. LaRue is a neighbor who needs a community. He’s alone all the time in his huge old house—and everyone needs more than that.

    Over the course of a summer thunderstorm and one chaotic town council meeting, these three characters cross paths and come together in a timeless tale ripe with emotions. They’ll realize they all need the same things: love, understanding, and a sense of belonging—plus a place to play a game of fetch!

     

    The BFG

    The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

     

    The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls – The Beginnings

    The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series follows siblings Peter and Mary and their dog, Hank, as they discover ancient scrolls that transport them back to key moments in biblical history.

     
    In the first adventure in the series, Peter and Mary find themselves witnesses to the creation of the world just as God is speaking it into existence. Can they unlock the mystery of the scrolls before they get trapped in history forever? Children will discover the answer as the two characters ride rhinos, meet the angel Michael, and talk to a certain snake in the Garden of Eden. Riveting text and engaging illustrations bring this beloved Bible story to riotous life.
     

    Henry and Ribsy

    From the first moment Henry found Ribsy, the curious mutt was poking his nose into things he shouldn’t be. Whether terrorizing the garbage man, chasing cats, or gobbling Ramona Quimby’s ice-cream cone, Henry’s four-legged pal has walked himself into one problem too many. So when Henry asks his dad if he can go along on the big fishing trip, Mr. Huggins agrees, but on one condition: Ribsy must stay out of mischief for two whole months. Henry is confident in his loyal dog…until Ribsy goes overboard with his appetite for chaos…literally!

  • Family Read Aloud Books we want to read together as a family this year
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    12 Books on Our List for Family Read Alouds This Year

    With a new school year approaching I wanted to compile a list of books for family read alouds.

    For us the term family read aloud mostly means family audiobooks since we still mostly just listen to a book together as a family at meal times.

    But, I think some of the books on my list for this year don’t have audiobooks, so maybe this will be the year that I finally learn how to read chapter books aloud (if you have tips, let me know! I think my biggest problem is that I am reading ahead in my head way further than where my voice is).

    We’ve actually gotten a head start on this list and have already finished a book so I may need to make a part two in a few months and add some books to our list.

    What are you reading as a family this year? Are there any good books you’ve finished lately?

     

    Family Read Aloud Books we want to read together as a family this year

     

     

    12 Books on Our List for Family Read Alouds This Year

     

    We just finished Book Scavenger and all enjoyed it, the Book Scavenger game sounds so fun and we are determined to do it where we live!

    Book Scavenger

    For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game.

     

    This is actually our current audiobook, I read the book earlier this month and just knew we need to do this one as a family.

    Sweep

    It’s been five years since the Sweep disappeared. Orphaned and alone, Nan Sparrow had no other choice but to work for a ruthless chimney sweep named Wilkie Crudd. She spends her days sweeping out chimneys. The job is dangerous and thankless, but with her wits and will, Nan has managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.
     
    When Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, she fears the end has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself unharmed in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature—a golem—made from soot and ash.

     

    This is by the same author as Sweep and I want to give this one a try.

    Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

    Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.

     

    We love this series and this is one of the few we haven’t listened to yet.

    Christian Heroes: Charles Mulli

    When Charles Mulli was a child, his family repeatedly abandoned him, and he lived in fear of his abusive, alcoholic father. With an extraordinary will, the young Kenyan struggled to feed and educate himself and, encountering hope in the gospel, found a reason to live and to forgive.

    Later, as a multimillionaire and father of eight, the entrepreneur sold his businesses to devote himself to caring for street children throughout Kenya. Since 1989, Charles and his wife, Esther, have taken into their protection thousands of the most vulnerable through Mully Children’s Family, revealing in the midst of brokenness God’s astonishing redemptive power (1949 – ).

     

    I read this one a few years ago and think my kids are at a good age for it now.

    The War That Saved My Life

    Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
     
    So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

     

    Fever 1793

    During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

    Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie’s world upside down. At her feverish mother’s insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

     

    Chains

    As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

     

    The Great Shelby Holmes

    Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen–always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.

    When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both their talents to crack.

     

    Wish

    Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite.

    But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is, until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

     

    We listened to this one a few years ago and I think it’s time for a re-listen!

    Echo

    Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

    Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.

     

    I’m realizing this is the only classic I put on this list, part two will definitely need more classics!

    Heidi

    At the age of five, little orphan Heidi is sent to live with her grandfather in the Alps. Everyone in the village is afraid of him, but Heidi is fascinated by his long beard and bushy grey eyebrows. She loves her life in the mountains, playing in the sunshine and growing up amongst the goats and birds. But one terrible day, Heidi is collected by her aunt and is made to live with a new family in town. Heidi can’t bear to be away from her grandfather; can she find a way back up the mountain, where she belongs?

     

    This one sounds cute, we may try this around Christmas time.

    A Boy Called Christmas

    Eleven-year-old Nikolas-nicknamed “Christmas”-has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.

    Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things-if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . . .

     

    You can see more of our book lists here.

  • Great Chapter Books for Girls - read aloud novels and audiobooks for girls from preschool until grade four
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    Chapter Books for Girls – Novels Girls (& Boys!) Will Love!

    I recently shared a book list that included 18 great chapter books for boys and today I wanted to come and share some good chapter books for girls!

    Honestly, I think both genders would like all the books on both lists but I mostly tried to keep the books on the girls list to have female main characters and the books on the boys list mostly have male main characters.

    The books on this list are great from preschool up to grade four, I’ve tried to list them so the books at the beginning of the list are for the younger kids and then as the list goes on they are for older kids.

    I would love to hear which books you would add to this list!

     

    Great Chapter Books for Girls - read aloud novels and audiobooks for girls from preschool until grade four

     

     

    I would love for you to come over and subscribe on YouTube!

     

     

    GREAT CHAPTER BOOKS FOR BOYS

     

    The Littles

    The Littles live in the walls of the Biggs’ house. But when the Biggs go on vacation a messy family comes to stay, the trouble begins. Mice! Cats! How much can one small family take? Will Tom and Lucy, the littlest Littles of all, be able to save the day

     

    The Boxcar Children

    Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are brothers and sisters. They’re orphans too, and the only way they can stay together is to make it on their own. When the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to call it home―and become
    the Boxcar Children!

    The Hundred Dresses

    At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.” This powerful, timeless story has been reissued with a new letter from the author’s daughter Helena Estes, and with the Caldecott artist Louis Slobodkin’s original artwork in beautifully restored color.

     

    This book is so sweet and it’s in free verse, a favorite of mine.

    Little Dog, Lost

    Mark is a boy who needs a dog. But he can’t get his mom on board with his plan.

    Buddy is a dog who needs a boy. Buddy has an owner already, but not one who understands what a dog really needs.

    Mr. LaRue is a neighbor who needs a community. He’s alone all the time in his huge old house—and everyone needs more than that.

    Over the course of a summer thunderstorm and one chaotic town council meeting, these three characters cross paths and come together in a timeless tale ripe with emotions. They’ll realize they all need the same things: love, understanding, and a sense of belonging—plus a place to play a game of fetch!

     

    Little House On The Prairie

    Laura Ingalls and her family are heading to Kansas! Leaving behind their home in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they travel by covered wagon until they find the perfect spot to build a little house on the prairie. Laura and her sister Mary love exploring the rolling hills around their new home, but the family must soon get to work, farming and hunting and gathering food for themselves and for their livestock. Just when the Ingalls family starts to settle into their new home, they find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict. Will they have to move again?

     

    Ramona

    Having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona isn’t always easy for Beezus Quimby. With a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos, Ramona makes it hard for Beezus to be the responsible older sister she knows she ought to be…especially when Ramona threatens to ruin Beezus’s birthday party. Will Beezus find the patience to handle her little sister before Ramona turns her big day into a complete disaster? 

     

    The Secret Garden

    When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle’s great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has nearly one hundred rooms, and her uncle keeps himself locked up. And at night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors.

    The gardens surrounding the large property are Mary’s only escape. Then, Mary discovers a secret garden, surrounded by walls and locked with a missing key. With the help of two unexpected companions, Mary discovers a way in—and becomes determined to bring the garden back to life.

     

    Make sure you watch the 1995 movie afterwards (NOT the Shirley Temple one).

    A Little Princess

    Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to settle in and make friends at boarding school. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father gain, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for hard work and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and genorosity are all the riches she truly needs?

     

    The Witches

    Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

     

    Best Family Ever

    Brooke is the perfect older sister. For that reason, Kari and Ashley work hard to make their parents just as proud of them as they are of Brooke. Each girl has her own talents. Brooke is an excellent student. Kari is a great soccer player. Ashley, a talented artist. And they are always there for each other. But when the news comes that Dr. Baxter is moving the family from Ann Arbor to Bloomington, Indiana, and the Baxters need to leave the only home and friends they’ve ever known, no one is happy. Saying goodbye is hard but the family still has what’s most important—their faith and their love for each other.

     

    This was a favorite of mine back when I was in grade four!

    From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

    Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away…so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped — right into a mystery that made headlines!

     

    Everyone raves that these are better than Nancy Drew, that’s some high praise!

    Trixie Belden

    Trixie’s summer is going to be sooo boring with her two older brothers away at camp. But then a millionaire’s daughter moves into the next-door mansion, an old miser hides a fortune in his decrepit house, and a runaway kid starts hiding out in Sleepyside!

     

    Island Of Blue Dolphins

    In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind. — This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.

     

    The Penderwicks

    This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.

    The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.

     

    Princess Academy

    Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king’s priests have divined her village the home of the future princess. In a year’s time, the prince will choose his bride from among the village girls.

    The king’s ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess. Soon Miri finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires. Winning the contest could give her everything she ever wanted–but it would mean leaving her home and family behind.

     

    Rain Reign

    Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different―not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.

    When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.

     

    Bliss

    Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Singing Gingersnaps.

    Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke locked away while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. “Aunt” Lily rides a motorcycle and also whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, non-magical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily—a lot less fun.

    So Rose and her siblings experiment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke. A few Love Muffins and Cookies of Truth couldn’t cause too much trouble . . . could they?

    Kathryn Littlewood’s culinary caper blends rich emotional flavor with truly enchanting wit, yielding one heaping portion of hilarious family adventure.

     

     

    Book Scavenger

    For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game.

    Racing against time, Emily and James rush from clue to clue, desperate to figure out the secret at the heart of Griswold’s new game―before those who attacked Griswold come after them too.

     

    Great Chapter Books for Girls - read aloud novels and audiobooks for girls from preschool until grade four

  • The Best Chapter Books Audiobooks and Novels for Grade One
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary

    12 of the Best Chapter Books for Grade One

    I recently shared my daughter’s favorite chapter books from her year in grade four and today I wanted to share my son’s favorite chapter books from his year in grade one!

    Grade one is kind of a tricky year for chapter books.

    Kids are learning to read but generally not ready to read chapter books on their own.

    The books on this list are either ones we read together or (and mostly) books he listened to on audio on his own.

    I love audiobooks for many reasons, but one of which is how it helps kids who are not quite ready to read difficult books but they are ready to listen to them.

    Listening to audiobooks still counts as reading.

    My son has an excellent vocabulary and I think that is largely in part to all the audiobooks that he listens to.

    Another reason I love audiobooks is because they allow kids who are naturally more fidgety and who have hands that always need to be doing something to both listen to a book and do something with their hands at the same time (playing Lego is a common activity alongside audiobooks in our house).

     

    The Best Chapter Books Audiobooks and Novels for Grade One

     

    It’s only recently happened that my son has really gotten into listening to audiobooks and I’m working hard to keep up with him to keep finding new books for him to listen to.

    That being said, all of the books on this list he’s listened to multiple times. I was going through all the books he had listened to in the last while and he only chose the best of the best for this list.

    So, here are the best chapter books/audiobooks that my son listened to in grade one.

     

    The Best Chapter Books, Read Alouds & Audiobooks for Grade One

     

    This is my son’s absolute favorite book and, no joke, he’s listened to it about 100 times.

    PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

    Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. Whether Pippi’s scrubbing her floors, doing arithmetic, or stirring things up at a fancy tea party, her flair for the outrageous always seems to lead to another adventure. 

     

    I came across this book about a month ago and he’s already listened to it multiple times, it’s definitely one of his favorites from the year.

    Almost Super

    Everyone over the age of twelve in the Bailey family gets a superpower. No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it’s their duty to protect the world from the evil, supervillainous Johnson family. *shake fists*

    But when Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny get their superpowers, they’re, well . . . super-lame. Rafter can strike matches on polyester, and Benny can turn his innie belly button into an outie. Along with Rafter’s algebra class nemesis, Juanita Johnson, Rafter and Benny realize that what they thought they knew about superheroes and supervillains may be all wrong. And it’s up to the three of them to put asides their differences and make things right. They may not have great powers, but together, they’re almost super.

     

    The Boxcar Children

    Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are brothers and sisters. They’re orphans too, and the only way they can stay together is to make it on their own. When the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to call it home―and become the Boxcar Children!

     

    When listening to Ramona he usually gets the full audio collection of all the Ramona books but he was adamant that this one is his favorite of them all.

    Beezus and Ramona

    Having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona isn’t always easy for Beezus Quimby. With a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos, Ramona makes it hard for Beezus to be the responsible older sister she knows she ought to be…especially when Ramona threatens to ruin Beezus’s birthday party. Will Beezus find the patience to handle her little sister before Ramona turns her big day into a complete disaster? 

     

    CHARLOTTE’S WEB

    Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

     

    Winnie-the-Pooh

    Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A. A. Milne, who wrote two books of Pooh’s adventures for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave them shape through his iconic and beautiful illustrations. 

    These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.

     

    A to Z Mysteries

    Dink writes to his favorite author, mystery writer Wallis Wallace, and invites him to visit Green Lawn. To Dink’s amazement, Wallace says he’ll come! But when the big day arrives, Wallace is nowhere to be found. The police think he just missed his plane, but Dink suspects foul play. It’s up to Dink and his two best friends, Josh and Ruth Rose, to find the famous writer–before it’s too late!  

     

    Calendar Mysteries

    In the first book of the Calendar Mysteries—an early chapter book mystery series—Green Lawn has a problem! When Bradley Pinto wakes up in the night to strange lights in his backyard, he wonders if there are aliens in town. When he sees three-toed tracks in the snow, he’s sure of it. His twin, Brian, and friends Lucy and Nate aren’t so certain. But then Lucy’s cousin Dink, the twins’ brother Josh, and Nate’s sister Ruth Rose all disappear. Are there really aliens in Green Lawn? And where could they be taking Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose?

     

    Holes

    Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

    It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

     

    How to Eat Fried Worms

    Billy isn’t one to back down from a bet.

    But this one is gross: If he eats fifteen worms in fifteen days, Alan will pay him fifty dollars. Billy takes the bet and tries worms smothered in ketchup, drowned in mustard, even breaded and fried.

    Worm by worm, Billy gets closer to victory, and to buying the minibike he’s always wanted. But Alan won’t let him win that easily…

     

    THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE

    In this imaginative adventure from Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, a young mouse named Ralph is thrown into a world of excitement when a boy and his shiny toy motorcycle check in to the Mountain View Inn.

    When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come a lot of obstacles. Whether dodging a rowdy terrier or keeping his nosy cousins away from his new wheels, Ralph has a lot going on! And with a pal like Keith always looking out for him, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle.

     

    Little House in the Big Woods

    Little House in the Big Woods takes place in 1871 and introduces us to four-year-old Laura, who lives in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. She shares the cabin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their lovable dog, Jack.

    Pioneer life isn’t easy for the Ingalls family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But they make the best of every tough situation. They celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do their spring planting, bring in the harvest in the fall, and make their first trip into town. And every night, safe and warm in their little house, the sound of Pa’s fiddle lulls Laura and her sisters into sleep.

     

    Check out all our book lists here.