What We’re Reading Lately: June 2018

Mom and 5 kids, 40+ summer reading books
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I’ve driven approximately 1,200 miles in the past 2 weeks. We’ve seen: 2 Grandmothers/Great-Grandmothers. 1 aunt, uncle, and cousin. 2 friends, 1 of their husbands, and 8 of their children. 2 National Parks (both Revolutionary war battlefields, by chance). 2 beach visits and 1 sea turtle talk (check out Humility and Doxology on Facebook or Instagram for more details). In the middle we had a baseball tournament, and our son’s team won the championship!  Now we’re on to All Star practices for the 13 year old, a (free!) science camp for the almost-8 year old, home repairs…and lots more life.  We have so much to be thankful for, and I’m looking forward to the adventures to come in this sometimes-crazy, ordinary life to which God has called us.

All these travels have not curtailed our reading habits! (Well, they have curtailed some of my personal reading, but 22+ hours in the car meant I got a lot of podcast listening in.)  I look forward to sharing some of our recent discoveries with you.  Hopefully it can inspire you with new titles for your own summer adventures, whether reading by the pool or traveling in the car!

What We’re Reading Lately: June 2018

40+ books for summer reading for Mom and kids

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclaimer.)

Traveling Audiobooks (or reading with our ears)

Anne of Avonlea

The Blue Bay Mystery (a Boxcar Children story…and have you ever noticed how the Boxcar Children follow a very unschooling kind of life?  They’re taken to random places, given opportunity to show ingenuity, provided with books to read and journals for notebooking…it’s a pretty sweet deal.)

My Side of the Mountain (This was a favorite book when I was growing up, and is a favorite for my kids.  All 5 children enjoyed listening to it again!

The Younger Sisters (almost-8 year old girl and 6 year old girl) are Reading

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In our family, you have to read the book before you watch the movie.  Unless, apparently, you’re the youngest sibling who somehow has managed to watch All. The. Movies.  Alas.  My girls enjoyed listening to this audiobook together so they could watch the movie together at the same time.  Stories are always more fun in community.

Read-Alouds with the Younger 3 (the 8 and 6 year old girls and the 3 year old boy)

We had lots of fantastic nature read-alouds this month!  Spring and summer always make me want to read more nature books.  Is it that way for you?  One of the things I love about all the titles I’m about to share is that the illustrations are every bit as delightful as the text!  I highly recommend all these books!

Monarch and Milkweed, by Helen Frost and Leonid Gore

The Long, Long Journey by Sandra Markle (I had never heard of the amazing Godwit.  It flies nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand.  I totally geeked out while reading this book!)

An Egg is Quiet, A Rock is Lively, and A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston (essential additions to your read aloud time!)

Creep and Flutter, by Jim Arnosky (If you’re not already familiar with this incredible illustrator, author, and naturalist…go check out all his books from the library immediately.)

Just Ducks, by Nicola Davies

I’m a Duck, by Eve Bunting

Other picture books:

The Boy and the Blue Moon, by Sara O’Leary

On the Other Side of the Garden, by Jairo Buitrago (I really loved the illustrations, but the text is a bit lacking, in my opinion)

In a Small Kingdom, by Tomie dePaola (Fantastic!)

We the People- The Constitution of the United States, by Peter Spier (I really want to like this book.  I love the concept: it takes the preamble to the constitution and illustrates it with historic and modern scenes of American life.  Spier is an inimitable illustrator.  But as I read it to the kids this time, I was really struck by how very “white” all the pictures were.  There is barely any diversity at all in the illustrations.  This doesn’t make it a bad book or not worth reading, but it did strike a bit of an off-note with me.)

The almost-11 year old Girl is Reading

She is really into knitting these days, so gets a lot of audiobook time in.  She also is such a prolific reader that she says she’s forgotten most of what she read this month.  Additionally, she read several titles that she said are not even worth sharing (we were sadly disappointed by the inferior selections given on a summer reading list by a popular curriculum).  All those caveats aside, here is what she has to share:

Anne of the Island, by L. M. Montgomery

Rilla of Ingleside, by L. M. Montgomery (this is actually the book that got her interested in the rest of the Anne series)

Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming, by J. Anderson Coats

Charlotte Sometimes, by Penelope Farmer

Family from One End Street, by Eve Garnett (#siblingfiction!  She recommends this to anyone who likes All of a Kind Family)

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson (Fantastic!)

Shakespeare with Children, by Elizabeth Weinstein (She really hopes to find some friends willing to act our a play or two with her!)

13 Year Old Boy is Reading

Do I even need to mention the constant presence of Tolkien in our life? I guess there are worse obsessions…

Here’s Looking at Euclid, by Alex Bellos (He really enjoyed this title.  I would note that there were a couple excerpts he read aloud to me without understanding a double entendre or two.  Nothing terrible, but just to make full disclosure.  This is a book with a grown-up audience.)

The Last of the Lost Boys, by N. D. Wilson (If you have an older child who loves fantasy or scary stories, have them look into N. D. Wilson.)

Watching Baseball Smarter, by Zack Hample

Shakespearean Star Wars audiobooks by Ian Doescher

The Atlas of Middle Earth

Hobbitus Ille (Yep.  The Hobbit translated into Latin.  Made my heart happy.)

4 books assigned by Mom: The Screwtape Letters, The Peacemaker- Student Edition, Only 2 Religions, and Discerning Truth

Mom is Reading

There were a whole lot of podcasts as I drove!  I did get a little bit of actual reading in, however.

Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen (I savored every drop of this reread.  Yep.  Still my favorite Austen, I think!)

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore (This was an enjoyable fantasy read.  The view of marriage as bondage and free love as safety and security made me a bit irritated, but it was really fun and clever otherwise!)

One of Us is Lying (Another YA book that made me vacillate between enjoyment and irritation.   A clever modern spin on the closed-room mystery.  The “secrets” of the 4 suspects were predictable, but the end had a twist I did not see coming.  I wouldn’t recommend this to actual teenagers, but as a grownup it was amusing to read.)

Multiplication Facts that Stick and Division Facts that Stick by Kate Snow (I was fortunate enough to receive review e-copies of these amazing books.  They’re fantastic!  Stay tuned, and make sure you’re on the Humility and Doxology email list and following us on social media: next week there will be a full review and a GIVEAWAY!)

What are you reading lately?

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