Remember back when kids could run free all summer, having new adventures and exploring an ancient old mansion for excitement?
No, neither do I. But in children’s literature, there is a classical repertoire of children’s adventure books, all rather delightful and full of fun. (more…)
The stories of Elizabeth Smart and Stephanie Nielson are not that similar. Yes, both had a hard year that they wrote about in a memoir, and both are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). But there the similarities end.
Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bed at knife point as a 14 year old and raped repeatedly before being reunited with her family 9 months later; Stephanie Nielson is a mother who was burned on over 80% of her body, and yet lived to experience the pain and joy of rejoining the world afterwards.
But despite the differences in their stories, both memoirs celebrate the strength of the human spirit to overcome adversity. Reading the two books at this time of year seems just right. It’s helped me appreciate the blessings I do have and to prepare myself to enjoy this next year of my life as well as I can. The human spirit is strong in the face of adversity.
After all, a lot can happen in one year. (more…)
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is a biography of the 1936 Olympic mile-runner Louis Zamperini. Zamperini came in seventh place that year, so he was not the winner in that respect. But his subsequent story is incredible and inspiring. (more…)
I finished reading a lengthy nonfiction book about two weeks ago, and I am still only half way through Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. I really enjoyed The Cave and the Light. It was deep but I learned much about philosophy and history by reading it over the course of two months. I have started making a post about it. Someday I’ll post it.
I used to have Homer on my side table. Now I have Little Golden Books. I used to spend my evenings reading for pleasure. Now I prepared for the next day of homeschooling, created products that help teach various concepts, keeping my hyper-active toddler busy, and so forth. Way back when I began this blog, I thought it was crazy when people said they did not have time to read. No time to read! Insane. Reading is a daily necessity.
I have come to a new part of my life. Reading is still a huge part of my life, but it is not for my own pleasure so much as it is an addition to my parenting, a requirement for getting other things together. In other words, I choose not to read when I do get some precious quiet moments. I choose to do something else. Watching a brain-numbing television show is much easier when my brain is tired! So if I ever say, “I don’t have time to read!” I really just mean, I’ve chosen to do something else with my time.
I’ve been thinking that maybe I’ll start a weekly or bi-weekly “Kids Corner” or “Baby’s Sunday Salon” to highlight some of the wonderful children’s books I’ve discovered. There are so many wonderful books out there. One of these days I’ll find the right balance again.
What do you choose to do when you aren’t reading? What are you reading right now?
Friends of Liberty by Beatrice Gormley is a chapter book about two girls living in Boston during the early years of the American Revolution. One of the girls (Kitty) is from a wealthy Tory family, and the other girl (Sally) is from a more modest family that supports the revolutionary leaders. Although the girls are friends with many interests in common, as the events unfold, Sally must decide what her priorities are and what she believes about the political situation. Further, Sally and Kitty’s friendship is tested as they encounter new struggles.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It seemed like a perfect girls book. I think I would have really liked it when I was young because of the issues of friendship and the difficulty of making decisions, especially having to choose between friends and family. It is hard to imagine the situation that Sally was in, but the book seems to bring it to life.
I had intended to give this book to my young son to read — he is a good reader and he enjoys learning about the American Revolution. I’ve decided not to at this time, mostly because the issues of conflicting loyalties is a difficult one for the young child to understand. Maybe in the future he’ll be able to weigh in with his opinion. For now, though, I would recommend it to 8-12 year old girls interested in historical fiction.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers for review consideration.