Saturday, May 24, 2014

March/April Book List

This is going to be my most paltry book list to date as first April and now May have proven to be very packed and wearying months. I actually gave up on reading my books most nights in April and some of May and watched entire episodes of Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife on Netflix. I don't regret that time, I just wish I had made more progress on my stacks of books too.

Favorite Chapter Books

Doctor De Soto by William Steig
This is not a new book for us, but it is one that Laura pulled out and asked me to read to her several times. You can tell by the front cover that Doctor De Soto is a mouse dentist. He treats all sorts of small animals until one day a fox shows up with a horribly aching tooth and Doctor De Soto and his wife have to decide if they will help him. A clever story of wits and courage.

Chapter Books

Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome
This is our third book we've finished in the Swallows and Amazon series. We picked it to read through the winter and enjoyed it just as much as the first two books. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this series of books. We have not decided which book in the series we will read next, but we are looking forward to further adventures.

The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum
I read this first for myself and now I am reading it aloud to Seth as part of our Morning Time.  It follows the life of a Dutch family during the German occupation of World War Two, especially the two young brothers who find themselves performing dangerous and bold tasks to help their country and their family. This is the second Hilda van Stockum novel I have read since I read The Borrowed House last year, but Seth did not. Perhaps he will be ready for that more mature title next school year. But this one is perfect for him and he is enjoying each chapter and is very disappointed when each one is over. It gives him a different perspective about what life was like was other children at different times in history without exposing him to the utter horrors of war time just yet.

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner
A quick-paced story about a German boy, Emil who is sent by train to visit with his relatives. The adventures that follow are wonderful and fun. I read it first and then passed it on to Seth to read on his own.  It is not a war time story, it just is about boys being boys. Excellent story.

Classics and Other Such Books

Persuasion by Jane Austen
It took me a little over a year, but I finally made it through all of Jane Austen's novels for my very first time. And Persuasion was the last one to read. It was a story of young love put off and finally regained as a mature love. Anne Elliot appears to be a bit of a martyr, but not a despised, cliche one, but a resolved and disciplined one.  While I was sad to have finished all the novels, I know that they all deserve a good rereading ever few years or so, which is something to look forward to, like the visiting of old friends.


  1. Heather,
    My Ella loves Hilda van Stockum. And- regarding the Swallows and Amazon series-- do you not have to read those books in order? We're going to have to check those out. I had perused them a couple of years ago and decided they might be a bit too old, yet, but I need to take a closer look now that time has passed. Thanks for the recommendations!

    1. Stacy,
      Thanks for writing!
      Here is the link to the list of books as they were published according to Wikipedia.
      This is the order we are following, except for wanting to read Winter Holiday while it was winter here. :)
      The stories are very enjoyable and do contain a fair amount of sailing lingo which would be more easily understood with a sailboat diagram and an understanding of what "tacking" is.
      Glad to hear that Hilda van Stockum is enjoyed at your house as well. I have to track down some of her other books.

  2. Loved the Winged Watchman. I thought Borrowed House was a bit different to most of her other books. Maybe because it is directed to an older audience.

  3. Kathleen11:18 AM

    I always like your book posts, they go right into my library-request list. I love the look of the Emil book. Dr. De Soto is a favourite around here, too.

    love - k


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