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Tag: Book Recommendation

Shutterbug is the Bees Knees

Shutterbug is the Bees Knees

Lights! Camera! Action! Shutterbug is a brand new picture book that will whisk you back in time to the days of old Hollywoodland! Everything about Shutterbug has an old Hollywood feel to it…from the old-fashioned phrases to the black and white illustrations you will feel […]

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


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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 […]

Malamander – A Must-Read New Middle-Grade Book

Malamander – A Must-Read New Middle-Grade Book

“If the impossible is possible anywhere, it’ll be possible in Eerie-on-Sea” Welcome to the sleepy beach town of Eerie-on-Sea. It is winter, and everything is different during the winter. You see, legend has it that a monstrous creature called the Malamander prowls the shore of […]

Circus Mirandus is 100% Pure Magic

Circus Mirandus is 100% Pure Magic

Circus Mirandus is 100% pure magic from beginning to end. I finished the book in two days and could not put it down. Cassie Beasley beautifully weaves a story full of magic and heart with a little mystery tied in! I can’t wait to re-read this with my kids because I know that they will absolutely adore it.

Welcome to Circus Mirandus

Micah lives with his Grandpa Ephraim and they are two peas in a pod. Micah has grown up hearing his Grandpa’s stories of Circus Mirandus, a magical circus that he visited when he was a child. Sadly, Grandpa Ephraim is dying, and Great Aunt Gertrudis has come to help take care of Micah. She is a mean and cranky woman who despises Grandpa’s stories of the circus. Micah can’t envision a world without Grandpa Ephraim in it. One day, Grandpa Ephraim confides in Micah, Circus Mirandus is real. Not only is Circus Mirandus real, but The Lightbender, a brilliant magician, owes Grandpa a miracle. Micah sets out on a quest with his new friend Jenny to track down The Lightbender and get him to save Grandpa’s life. Will The Lightbender be able to help? Will he give Grandpa Ephraim his miracle?

My Thoughts

As you may have already guessed, I LOVED this book. There are so many factors that combined together to make this an incredible read. The biggest factor for me was the magic. Author Cassie Beasley created a perfectly magical world that is Circus Mirandus. A perfect blend of possible and impossible! She writes with such beautiful detail that you feel like you are experiencing Circus Mirandus for the first time right along with Micah…and it is pure magic indeed!

Next up would be the fantastic cast of characters. There are characters that I fell in love with, characters that made me laugh, and characters that I really couldn’t stand…I’m looking at you Great Aunt Gertrudis. Also, the relationships between the characters was incredible. Micah and his Grandpa have such a beautiful and special relationship that it hurt my heart to see them both suffering so. I am so eager to see how the relationship between Micah and The Lightbender will blossom…so excited for the sequel!

The last piece for me that made this such a memorable read would be the adventure and mystery. There were so many unexpected twists and turns! Just when you thought you had something figured out, you realize that there is so much more to the story! It was a non-stop page-turner for me.

This is a book that I am going to remember for a long time. The sequel is sitting on my table waiting for me to get home from vacation and I can’t wait. I was so sad when I reached the end of the book…not because I didn’t like the ending, but because I so desperately didn’t want to say goodbye to Circus Mirandus. I am so looking forward to the next installment!

My kids are going to absolutely love Circus Mirandus and I can’t wait to share this magical world with them. I think it will be even more special to share this as a read aloud with them! The second book, The Bootlace Magician will be released on October 1st, 2019!

To order your own copy of Circus Mirandus, click here.

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All The Impossible Things- A Must-Read New Middle Grade Novel

All The Impossible Things- A Must-Read New Middle Grade Novel

  Some books have a way of simultaneously breaking your heart and making it swell. All The Impossible Things was a gut-wrenchingly beautiful story that captured my heart and attention.  I hope that my words can do this book justice because it is just so […]

The Curse of the Werepenguin Review and Craft!

The Curse of the Werepenguin Review and Craft!

The Curse of the Werepenguin Bolt Wattle is an orphan. He has spent most of his life at Having spent most of his life at the Oak Wilt Home for Unwanted Boys, all Bolt wants is to find his real family. One day Bolt learns […]

Out of this World Books for your Astronomy Unit!

Out of this World Books for your Astronomy Unit!

We are just at the beginning of our astronomy and space unit! The kids have been looking forward to this unit for months! I have spent so much time collecting resources, books, supplies, and organizing activities and I can’t wait to share it all with you!! I am hoping to have lots of posts with ideas for books, projects, and supplies! This post is going to be ALL about the amazing out of this world books to add to your unit! As you well know by now, all of our units are super book heavy…we just can’t get enough! So, let’s get to it!

Out of this World Space Books

Narrowing down this list was nearly impossible…but I limited myself to just sharing my top 6…and I didn’t even include my very favorite books from Usborne Books & More…which could fill an entire blog post in itself…actually…it probably will! Anyway…on with it!

1.) Planetarium

Not to be dramatic…but you need this book. If you are a fan of Botanicum or Animalium…this is the newest installment from Big Picture Press. It is just gorgeous and so packed full of information. I can’t recommend these books enough. Awesome resources to use again and again.

 2.) Seeing Stars: A Complete Guide to the 88 Constellations

If you plan to cover constellations YOU.NEED.THIS.BOOK. I have only had this book for 3 days and it is incredible. Not all books will contain all 88 constellations, but this one does. Not only does it show you the constellations but it also explains to you how they came to be named, the brightest star in the constellation, and where and when to see it. I think my favorite thing about this book (aside from the fact that it smells fab) is that it breaks the constellations down into the “ancient” constellations and the more modern ones. So well organized and just gorgeous.

3.) A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky

I have had this book forever and have only recently opened it. It is incredible. I loved the way it was organized so much that I planned much of our unit based on this book. It is so beautiful but it also explains things in such an easy way that it is easy for kids to understand! It also comes with glow in the dark star stickers and a cool star finder!

 

4.) What We See in the Stars

This one can best be described as Gor-Geous. It is such a wonderful combination of science and myth. It is packed with so much goodness. I ordered this one before even seeing it in person because I had a feeling it would be a keeper and it absolutely IS!

 

5.) G is for Galaxy: An Out of this World Alphabet

No Homeschool by the Beach unit would be complete without an alphabet book from Sleeping Bear Press. These are my go-to books for creating homeschool units. I wrote about my obsession with them here. G is for Galaxy is another home run. It is packed with information and in usual alphabet book fashion has gorgeous illustrations and tons of facts! S is for Saturn, T is for Telescope, and J is for Jupiter are just a few of the pages you will find. Absolutely awesome book!

 

6.) Star Stories: Constellation Tales from Around the World

I literally just got this book this week! I was supposed to have it yesterday on it’s release day but my friends at Amazon were a little late getting it here…not pleased my friends! Anyway, it was worth the wait. This book is GORGEOUS! Star Stories is FULL of the tales and mythology surrounding the constellations. You will read about stories from Ancient Greece, China, India, North America, Egypt, and the South Pacific. We are starting this book this afternoon. I read the first few stories and it is awesome. The illustrations are SO lovely and the stories are ones both you and your kiddos will love!

 

As I mentioned above, this is just the tip of the iceberg of awesome books. I have created an Amazon list with several more…and if you love Usborne Books & More…I am hoping to get a list up with those amazing books as well!

To view my Amazon list click here.

 

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Llama Destroys the World is a Laugh-Out-Loud Gem

Llama Destroys the World is a Laugh-Out-Loud Gem

You guys…have I got a hysterical book recommendation for you! What was the last laugh-out-loud hysterical book that you’ve read? I can’t remember the last book that had me cracking up as much as this one did. Llama Destroys the World is a brand new […]