It’s August already! But as I was getting ready to post reviews for the books I read in July, I realized I’m a month behind. I still haven’t told you about my six June reads, including the Larimores’ fascinating book, His Brain, Her Brain.
But I’m going to remedy that situation right now. Read on for my June book reviews, then I’ll post my July reads sometime next week.
6 Books I read in June:
Lion Down by Stuart Gibbs
Lion Down is the fifth installment in Stuart Gibbs Fun Jungle Mysteries. We’ve read and enjoyed all of them. We love the way Gibbs weaves animal facts and conservation principles into every book.
This time around, we got two mysteries for the price of one. The giraffes get sick every Sunday. Could somebody be poisoning them? Plus a Fun Jungle neighbor’s dog is dead, and evidence indicates a mountain lion is the culprit. Could he have been framed?
Teddy Fitzroy and his girlfriend Summer are soon on the assignment again. But they’re blaming one another for careless mistakes and missed clues. Can they solve the mysteries and resolve their own personal conflicts before the end of the book? You know they do. But it’s still fun finding out how they pull it all off.
Laughing at the Days to Come by Tessa Thompson
Thompson recounts a personal story of suffering and loss. Yet she does so in a very hope-filled, gospel-centered way.
The fact that Jesus suffered on our account provides not only a beautiful example of how to endure suffering, but an unending source of strength and encouragement from one who is able to sympathize with us in the midst of heavy trials.
Laughing at the Days to Come shows that, because of grace, we are able to face the future without fear. We can walk through uncertain days with confidence, because we know the One who leads us is completely trustworthy and has promised to work all things — even, especially hard things — together for our good and His glory.
Exploring Creation with Physical Science by Jay L. Wile
It took us nine months me and my middle schoolers to finish Exploring Creation with Physical Science. But we finally did. Despite a little delay at the end due to COVID canceling our co-op classes.
I know lots of moms who never before entertained the possibility of homeschooling got a taste of it this spring. Well, guess what? Some of them decided they like it!
If this describes you, let me recommend you check out Apologia’s Exploring Science series. It can’t be beat, whether you are teaching grade schoolers, middle schoolers, or high schoolers. The physical science course we just finished is typically taken by 8th or 9th graders. But the grade school books that precede it lay a strong foundation, and the high school books that come after are rigorous enough to prepare students for college or CLEP.
So if you’re new to homeschooling and wondering where to start, Apologia has you covered for science. (For my recommendations for other topics, follow this link: Choosing Curriculum.)
White Bird by R.J. Palacio
My husband spotted White Bird at Barnes & Noble and brought it home. We’re all big fans of the author, R.J. Palacio.
What he didn’t realize is that White Bird is just a graphic novelization of Palacio’s The Julian Chapter, which we’d already read in Auggie & Me.
I loved the story, but am not a fan of graphic novels. So White Bird was consequently ranked pretty low on my “to read” list. However… my daughter kept dragging it out of the book basket and flipping through it, so the two of us ended up snuggling up and reading it together.
And do you know what? I loved it. Of course, it could be those snuggles talking, but I actually enjoyed the graphic novel format much better than anticipated. And the story is a sweet and tragic one, set in WWII — a good reminder that kindness can come from unlikely places, and a caution against judging others on outward appearances.
His Brain, Her Brain by Walt Larimore MD and Barb Larimore
This book is admittedly full of generalizations. “She reads people. He reads manuals. She is so mysterious, and he is so practical.” In my own marriage, the opposite is often the case. Even so, generalizations are generally true, and the Larimores back their book with lots of scientific studies and statistics, including the latest brain research. Such sex-differentiated brain studies are a fascinating (if politically incorrect) field of study, but they give me a whole new appreciation for the way “God created them, male and female.” (Genesis 1:27)
The Larimores translate all the scientific jargon into laymen’s language, explaining “how the unique design of each sex, particularly the unique brain and hormones of each, results in different habits, tendencies, and nuances of thought and action.” This book is a very interesting read and may help you better understand your mate, including what is going on inside that head of his/hers.
The El Dorado Adventure by Lloyd Alexander
One of my sons has been reading all the Vesper Holly Adventures aloud to me. The El Dorado Adventure is the title we finished in June.
This tale finds seventeen-year-old Vesper traveling to Central America, along with her guardian, to inspect her real estate holdings. There they encounter the villainous Dr. Helvetius.
Helvetius will stop at nothing (including murder) to ensure the success of his current building project. His plans? To construct a canal which will destroy an Indian tribe’s homeland in the process.
Vesper and Brinnie match wits with the man who is to eventually become their arch-nemesis. But they soon find themselves in a desperate game of cat and mouse. Can they stop this madman in time to save their new friends?
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