I always have the best of intentions about posting reviews of the books I read early in the month. But then LIFE happens, and the month is almost over before I get around to it.
I finished seven and a half books in June (including Lynda Mullaly’s Fish in a Tree), and quite a variety of books at that. Here’s the full run-down, in the order I finished them:
The books I read in June:
Pack Up & Leave by Jennifer Flanders
I spent the first week of June proofreading and putting finishing touches on my own newest title. If you’re longing to take a stress-free, affordable, and memorable vacation, this is the book for you. Pack Up & Leave is jam-packed with tips to make traveling with children of all ages easier, as well as more economical, educational, and enjoyable.
It covers everything from the early planning stages of a trip and efficient ways to pack your bags to choosing souvenirs that won’t clutter your house and tending to laundry once you get home. You’ll learn how to keep the kids entertained in car without using digital devices, how to chart a course that ensures the journey is as memorable as the destination, how to find fun in unexpected places, and how to stretch your vacation dollar further than you ever dreamed it could go.
NOTE: For a very limited time, Pack Up & Leave is available as part of the Smart Travel Super Bundle (on sale now).
Pocket Size Sudoku by Papp Puzzles
The second book I finished this month was a gift from my son Gabriel. He knows how much I love math games and logic puzzles, so Sudoku is a perfect fit.
This particular Sudoku book has one puzzle per page, in large enough print I can do them without even wearing my reading glasses.
I try to complete at least one sudoku puzzle a day, to help keep my mind sharp and to stave off Alzheimers. Although some research suggests only highly challenging activities such as learning a new language produce that desired effect. I’m not sure the beginner puzzles would qualify, but the expert puzzles in the back would probably fit the bill.
No, I didn’t “read” this book in the traditional sense of reading, but I did complete it. And, as it took me a couple of months to do so, I felt like the accomplishment deserved a little recognition on my “Books Read” list. Ha!
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
I fell in love with the characters in this book. The protagonist is a young girl named Ally who is gifted in many ways, but struggles with dyslexia. The object of merciless bullying at school, she has grown to accept the “stupid” label one emotionally brutal classmate has assigned.
But when her school teacher goes on maternity leave, the man who takes over the class recognizes and opens Ally’s eyes to her own strengths. She finds out there’s far more to her — and to everyone else — than can be summed up in any label.
Having myself raised a few children who struggled with reading, Fish in a Tree affirmed what I already knew: Great minds don’t always think alike.
Parents Rising by Arlene Pellicane
One of the moms at my homeschool co-op put a copy of this book in our “Freebie Pile,” and on a rare day when I finished all my grading duties early and was wont for something to do during the last hour of the day, I picked it up and read the first three or four chapters.
There were several books to choose from that day. I picked this one because I was familiar with the author and had especially enjoyed Growing Up Social, a book she’d authored with Gary Chapman several years back.
Parents Rising did not disappoint. In it, Pellicane examines eight cultural trends plaguing families today and how parents can face them victoriously. At the end of every chapter, the author provides thoughtful follow-up questions, a powerful prayer, and some simple actions steps to take next in fighting for your family.
The Secret of the Desert Stone by Frank Peretti
One of my sons is what you might call a reluctant reader. He’s a bit of a “fish in a tree” in that respect and needs extra encouragement. Lately he has been reading Frank Peretti’s Cooper Kids Adventures aloud to me and anybody else who’ll listen. We finished the fifth in the series last month.
This installment follows Biblical archeologist Dr. Jacob Cooper and his children Jay and Lila to Togwana. There they attempt to uncover the secret behind a two-mile-high Stone that mysteriously appeared overnight in the desert. Where did it come from? Who could’ve placed it there?
The Coopers face challenges and dangers galore — including a firing squad — as they work to uncover the mystery surrounding the appearance of this colossal stone. The Secret of the Desert Stone is another riveting addition to the action-packed series that turned my reluctant reader into an avid bookworm.
Meet Martin Luther by Anthony Selvaggio
I listened to the audio version of this book, almost entirely while folding laundry last month. I’ve read several books about Martin Luther’s life before and have watched a couple of biopics as well. But this biography was packed with stories of Luther I had never heard or read before.
It was another free title from ChristianAudio, which is truly one of the best deals going. Every month, they offer a free audiobook download (their choice of titles) — no strings attached.
This one was the selection for last October — a fun way to commemorate Reformation Day. It would be a good book to go through with your children, as well, during a Reformation study. It had lots of interesting points for discussion.
Saxon 76 by Stephen Hake and John Saxon
I’ve always been a huge fan of Saxon Math. For more than two decades, I’ve been passing down textbooks from one child to the next to the next to the next.
Last month, I completed my tenth reading of this particular level of Saxon. As #11 has been doing two lessons a day in a bid to catch up with his older brother, I’m about a week away from finishing my eleventh reading, as well.
With the exception of one minor concept, I love the way Saxon explains everything. The straightforward format really suits my teaching style, and the extensive drills and reviews have helped my children thrive mathematically.
That wrap’s up last month’s reading for me. Have you read any good books lately? Tell me about them in the comment section below.