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Book Nerd Mama Challenge

Book Nerd Mama Challenge

Calling all Book Nerds!! Are you a mama who loves to read? Do you adore books, reading, holding books, smelling books, buying books? Well, have I got a fun challenge for you!! My dear friend Arlene and I have started a fun and low-pressure challenge […]

Ring in the New Year with Freedom Soup!

Ring in the New Year with Freedom Soup!

Can you believe we are just days away from ringing in the New Year? I say it every year, but I honestly can’t believe another year has gone by! I have a gorgeous new book to share with you that would make a perfect read […]

Louder Than Words

Louder Than Words

We haven’t even finished with 2019 and I already have a giant list of book recommendations for you! 2020 promises to be an amazing year in the book world! I just had the pleasure of reading an Advanced Readers Copy of Louder Than Words by Kathy Kacer and it was amazing! It will simultaneously warm and break your heart and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Louder Than Words

Louder Than Words is the latest in the Heroes Quartet by author Kathy Kacer. It shares the story of a Jewish family during World War 2 and how one woman put her own safety on the line to help them.

The book shares the story of Dina, a 12-year-old Jewish girl, and her family. Dina’s father has passed away and her mother is forced to go back to work. Despite many objections from Dina, her mother hires a housekeeper to help out with the day to day things now that she will be gone. Nina is a sweet woman who is very eager to help the family. Nina is not Jewish, but rather of the Catholic faith. It doesn’t take long before Nina becomes a part of the family.

Unfortunately, things start to become much more heated in their small town in the Ukraine. The Nazis have invaded and it is no longer safe for Dina, her 2 sisters, or their mother. They are no longer allowed at the park or at school and they are forced to wear fabric in the shape of the Star of David on the fronts and backs of their clothes to identify them as Jewish. Then the unthinkable happens. Their home burns down and they have nowhere to go. Nina sacrifices her own safety to keep the family fed and out of harm’s way. Nina knew that the family would never be safe or given another home if they were found out to be Jewish so she had the children listed as her children.

A Must-Read

I couldn’t put this book down. Kacer writes in such a way that you feel like you are a part of the story. I felt like I was sitting with Dina and her family as they listen to the radio and learn that the Nazis are invading. I could feel the overwhelming fear that a young girl of 12 must have felt when walking down the street not knowing if any of her old friends and neighbors could be trusted. The complete panic they must have endured when the Nazis pounded on their door and demanded to search the home. How horrible it must have felt to have to deny your faith to keep yourself alive.

Amidst all of this heartache and fear though, there are people like Nina who risked their own safety to help others. Louder Than Words is based on a true story. Ludviga Pukas (Nina) was, in fact, a real person who did these incredibly brave things. She risked her own life by helping this family and she never even thought twice about it. She loved them and she knew that what was being done was wrong.

When my kids and I begin talking about World War 2 next year, Louder Than Words will for sure be at the top of my read-aloud list. It is a beautifully written, powerful story that needs to be shared. I am already on the hunt for the other books in the series because I know they will be wonderful as well. If you are studying World War 2 or the Holocaust, I highly recommend adding this book to your list!

This is a middle-grade book and I thought it dealt with an extremely difficult topic in a very delicate manner. I would so highly recommend this book for anyone considering studying World War 2. My kids are 13, 11, and almost 9 and I will not hesitate to share this with them.

For More Information

For more information on author Kathy Kacer, you can check out her website by clicking here.

You can pre-order your own copy of Louder Than Words by clicking the link below. Louder Than Words will be released in March of 2020. Thank you so much to my friends at Annick Press for sending an Advanced Readers Copy for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Link: https://amzn.to/2Z0FNhP

It’s Okay to be a Unicorn

It’s Okay to be a Unicorn

Have I ever mentioned how much I love picture books? Once or twice? Maybe? Ok…well, I really do love them. A picture book can tell a story, it can make you laugh, it can hit you right in the feels, and it can send a […]

The Other Side of the Wall Book Review and Tea Party!

The Other Side of the Wall Book Review and Tea Party!

I love it when a book inspires creativity! This happens A LOT at our house! So often we will be reading a book and all of a sudden an idea pops up for a craft, art project, or recipe! Well, I have just finished reading […]

Three Cheers for Olive Ewe!

Three Cheers for Olive Ewe!

You may have guessed by now that I really LOVE picture books…like, a lot! They are one of my favorite types of books to read and I absolutely LOVE sharing new picture books with you! Well, today I have a new book that I think you will love! It is called Olive and it is a beautiful blend of sweet, funny, and heartwarming!!

Meet Olive

I would like to introduce you to a very sweet lamb named Olive Ewe. Olive is such a happy little lamb but she tends to find herself getting into some sticky messes. She always has such wonderful intentions…but they somehow usually end up going very wrong! For example, the one time when Olive made a beautiful card for her mom…and ended up getting it glued to her own head. She always tries her best but things just keep going wrong and her family is getting frustrated with her! Will her family still love her despite her flaws?

Oh my goodness we just loved this story! My kids and I loved the fun rhyming of the story! When you add in the play on words with “Olive Ewe” it makes for such a fun read-aloud! We absolutely adored the bright illustrations…they worked so well with the story and added so much to the charm!

One of the best parts of this book for me was the conversations that came from it! It opened up lots of discussions about times when we are trying our best and things just don’t go our way. We talked a lot about how just because things don’t go our way, it doesn’t mean that we will be loved any less! This is a reason why picture books are so incredible…they often open up such wonderful discussions!

For More Info

I would love to thank Pink Umbrella Books for sharing a copy of this book with us! We absolutely loved it! Olive is written by Michelle E. Wilson and illustrated by Angie Penrose.

For more information on the author, you can visit her website at http://www.michellewilsonwrites.com/

To grab a copy for yourself, click here!

olive is a sweet, funny, and heartwarming new picture book
This Is BABY- Another Picture Book Hit From Jimmy Fallon!

This Is BABY- Another Picture Book Hit From Jimmy Fallon!

Picture books are my go-to gift for nearly every occasion! There is something so special about giving someone a book! My favorite time to give books are at baby showers or to celebrate the arrival of a new baby! Books are such an incredible gift […]

Hands-On Fun with STEM Lessons & Challenges from Evan-Moor

Hands-On Fun with STEM Lessons & Challenges from Evan-Moor

I will be the first to admit that STEM is not my favorite area to teach. If you were to ask me which subjects I do not excel at, I would tell you, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math…STEM! Give me all the books, grammar, art, […]

Halloween Morning Basket Fun and a FREEBIE!

Halloween Morning Basket Fun and a FREEBIE!

I am a Halloween slacker! It has never been my favorite holiday! Christmas is my jam…I go all-out! But this year, I want to add a little Halloween fun to our homeschool day! I have decided to put together a fun and easy Halloween Morning Basket to add some festive fun to our mornings! Here are some awesome books and activities that you can include…and a special FREEBIE!!

Spook-tacular Books

It seems everyone does morning baskets differently! The one thing that most of them seem to have in common is BOOKS! My favorite subject!! So of course, I wanted to come up with a selection of fun books to read aloud to the kiddos. Here are some fun chapter books and picture books you could include!

Chapter Books

First up is Amelia Fang and The Barbaric Ball. This book is amazing. This is the first book in a series by Laura Ellen Anderson and it will have you and your kids laughing-out-loud! This is full of vampires, yeti’s, and other spooky but not so scary creatures! The book is full of illustrations that will keep your kids engaged and entertained! We absolutely love this series!

Next up is one of my all-time favorite books. The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell is non-stop excitement, fun, and laughter! This would be a great read at any time of the year but fits in perfectly near Halloween with its magical and mystical beings!

Scary Stories for Young Foxes is a super spooky book featuring all kinds of stories perfect for Halloween. It is full of adventure, suspense, and heart!

Next up is Nightbooks which has a spooky factor of about a million. This is an action packed book that follows a young boy who is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her scary stories in order to stay alive. So you are getting scary stories within a scary story!

City of Ghosts is a hauntingly good book by author Victoria Schwab. This one definitely has the spooky factor perfect for halloween. The kids and I really liked this one. The sequel is out now and we can’t wait to read it!

Picture Books

If you have followed me for a minute you know about my deep love of Sleeping Bear Press Alphabet Books. They are amazing! J is for Jack-O’-Lantern is all about Halloween and it is the perfect combination of poetry and non-fiction. Awesome for all ages.

How to Make Friends With a Ghost is a fun and whimsical new book all about making friends with a ghost! This is such a fun book with a beautiful message about friendship as well!

Though not a “Halloween” book, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein definitely has a spooky feel to it! This is the story of Mary Shelley and how she came to create Frankenstein and his monster. This is a really dark book but is so beautifully done. The illustrations are so gorgeous…and I can’t get enough biographical picture books! Another great choice along the same lines is a book called She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein.

Fun-Tastic Activities

Morning Basket’s are such a fun time to add games, puzzles, and other activities! You could make some halloween slime, bake some halloween treats, and even decorate your school area with some fun decorations!

One way we love adding some fun to our morning basket is with Mad-Libs! My kids are in LOVE with Mad-Libs. Mad Libs are such a fun way to add some grammar learning to your day without it feeling like schoolwork…mama win, right??

Here is a great Halloween themed Mad-Lib book!

Puzzles are another fun addition to your baskets. My kids love to work on puzzles while I read aloud. Here is a great puzzle from Vermont Christmas Company!

Freebie Alert!

My friends at Education.Com were so generous and sent me an amazing FREEBIE to share with you!! This would be a great addition to your morning basket!

Halloween will be here soon and this crossword is a great way to incorporate the holiday into reading and writing practice! Be sure to check out more (reading activities) at https://www.education.com/resources/ela/reading/

Learn All About North America with Evan-Moor

Learn All About North America with Evan-Moor

It is no surprise that I am a huge fan of Evan-Moor products! They are consistently my go-to materials for homeschooling. As I planned for our geography unit this year I was so excited to stumble upon The 7 Continents series! We will be learning […]