We’ve kept up with our reading goals pretty well this month! The kids have read aloud every day this month as well! Lillian hit a break through this month and was feeling confident enough to read by herself! We got her a few books that had the sounds she knew and she worked hard at putting those sounds together. She felt a little self conscious since I read faster, and Ryan reads faster, but I told her with practice she would get there. I even showed her that I need to sound out a lot of words still. As she would practice her books she was starting to recognize the words and not need to sound out all of the words. She got quicker and quicker and more and more confident. It really was a treasure to see!
Ryan is doing great at reading and is working his way through the 13 Story Treehouse series. I love hearing him read and point out the “crazy” or “weird” parts. He will also read at night to Lillian in bed and that’s a great way for them to calm down together.
I’ve done well for my goal of reading as well and I’m happy to say I am ahead of schedule! I read 10 books this month, which is what I was hoping for. (Lots of YA/Middle grade books so the reading was quicker and easier.) According to my Goodreads reading challenge I am 5 books ahead of schedule. Gotta build up for the summer when I have less audio book time, and I fall behind a little bit! I’m surprised I hit ten books this month because kids only have been in school 5 days this month and I only read read(instead of read and listen) when they are home, I try not to do headphones when they are around and lots of my books aren’t suitable for them to hear. Good thing I stress at bedtime and reading is what helps me fall asleep without the worries! (Good for my reading, bad for my sleep!)
Books the kids have been liking lately:
Captain Underpants: This is a series that Ryan loves! He loves the pictures and the silliness of the stories. Its like a graphic novel, but more words than pictures. Its great to help engage him with the story and really get into this book.
52 Story Tree House and the 65 Story Tree House: He is almost done with the 65 Story Tree House and he has read all the previous ones. The series starts with the 13 story Tree house and goes up by 13s each book. I hear him laughing a lot while he reads these ones. He even put off reading his new Captain Underpants book to keep reading this series, so its a huge hit. Its the same type of book as Captain Underpants which he loves.
Book of Bones: Is a picture book I read with the kids. Both of them really liked it and it was fun to try and guess what animal these skeletons belonged to. Lots of cool facts in this book.
Bob Books: Set 1 beginning readers. This is a fun set of 12 books that start off easier and get harder and harder with each book. They build on each other so new sounds are only added once you’ve mastered previous sounds. Lillian is really getting her confidence in reading with these books!
See Zip Zap: This is a cute little book with simple sounds for young readers. (Not as easy as Bob books.) She needed a little help with some words, but now she flies through this book.
Poof a Bot: Another book with Zip in it. This one is a little harder than See Zip Zap, but still really fun! She still needs a little help with this one, but she is constantly getting better!
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments book 1) by Cassandra Clare: I’ve been listening to this one on Audio from my Library and since the kids have been out of school for most of the month its taken me awhile to finish it. I wish I had more time to just listen to bigger chunks at a time, but what can you do? This is a good book if you like Buffy the Vampire type stuff. Its about a human girl that all of a sudden can see a supernatural world. There are shadow hunters that fight demons (and bad werewolves and vampires.) I like this one and give it 3.8/5 stars.
The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer: I also listened to this one on Audio from my library. Again this month I didn’t really have time to listen to big chunks at a time and I wish I was able to with this book as well. I really enjoyed this one and Stephanie Meyer said she got inspiration from the Bourne books/movies. I think Meyer is a great story teller and I LOVE all her stories. (Twilight series and The Host). I really enjoyed this one as well. I did think it was geared more towards woman for a spy thriller novel (Although I haven’t read many that were written by men either, so maybe not? I also think men still would like this one.) Its about a woman chemist who worked for the government to get information out of people. Now the Government wants her dead and she is running for her life. I give this one 4/5 stars and would probably rate it higher if I could have listened to it more quickly.
The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams: I really want to like Beatriz Williams and I almost do, but I think her stories have things in them that just make me a bit too uncomfortable. I had to skip over a lot of parts because it was a bit much for me. Her stories almost drag me in enough where I wouldn’t mind, but there’s always something in her story line that is a bit too cringey for me. (I think its the characters and their lack of growth?) This is about an Aunt who mysteriously disappeared, but her niece ends up with her old bag and the niece wants to solve the mystery of her missing aunt. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, but lots of people loved it…so… I gave this one a 2/5 stars. I also am taking a break from Beatriz Williams, I want to like her, but she isn’t clicking with me.
Since I needed a break from Beatriz I went to some other tried and true authors for me, Gary D. Schmidt and Shannon Hale. Good clean stories, that I could get through quickly!
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminister Boy by Gary D. Schmidt: I love Gary D. Schmidt! All his books are a little sad, a little funny, and have a lot of heart! They all have tons of hope in them. Lizzie Bright is no exception! Its about a boy who is the minister’s son. They move to a new town that he just doesn’t fit in. He finally makes a friend, but the town hates her. Race, standing up for whats right, and finding friends in unlikely places are all themes in this book. I highly recommend it (and all Gary D. Schmidt books to everyone, even if they are middle grade/YA books)! 5/5
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt: Orbiting Jupiter has a character from Okay for Now (Another Gary D. Schmidt book). But I think this is still a good stand alone book! Its about a boy whose family takes in a foster boy that happens to be a father himself (at 13/14!) The boys bond, despite warnings from concerned adults. I loved this one as well and give this one a 5/5
Pay Attention Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt: This is the third (or fourth book, if you count Orbiting Jupiter) in the Wednesday Wars series. This series isn’t a typical series, but has carry over characters in each book. This is about a boy whose dad is stationed overseas. Their family is struggling and a butler shows up at their door. The butler teaches the boy and his friends cricket. 5/5
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: This is the first book in the Bayern Series. I’ve been wanting to read this series for several years now and have bought the books as they’ve gone on sale. Now that I have them all, I figured it was time to start them. Goose Girl is a YA/fantasy type book. There’s talking to animals, talking to wind. A young princess is leaving her country to marry a prince in another kingdom. Along the way there is a mutiny and she runs for her life. She escapes and hides out as a Goose girl in the new kingdom taking care of the king’s geese. I’d give this one a 4.5/5
Enna Burning by Shannon Hale: This is the second book in the Bayern Series. This book is from the perspective of Enna instead of Ani/Isi (book one). Enna developed fire speak and uses her new skills to fight for her kingdom. 4/5
River Secrets by Shannon Hale: Book three in the Bayern Series. This story focuses on Razo as he is living in Ingridan, a city in the country from the south. The same country they were just at war with. 4/5
Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal- the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin: I really found this book fascinating and I learned so much about building the Nuclear bombs of WWII. I didn’t realize that there was such a race to build them, and that the Soviets were stealing all the secrets/technology of nuclear weapons. 4/5