It’s early Monday morning and I’m sitting here in my quiet kitchen, with the windows open, delighting in the sound of falling rain. 🌧️ Weather.com currently says: “Expect occasional rain to continue for the next several hours.” Ahhh, music to my ears! 🎵 We’ve been hovering in the 90s much of this month, just bordering on 100°. But cooler temps are rolling in with a forecasted high of 64°F, tomorrow. I couldn’t be more excited!! It’s the first real feeling of fall-ish weather. 🍂
In family news, our 7-year-old daughter attended her first gymnastics class last week and she LOVED it. Our 10-year-old son will be playing (American) flag football this year with his first practice starting tomorrow. Our 13-year-old is wrapping up his first busy summer of mowing lawns for our new neighborhood. Perhaps he’ll now begin raking leaves and shoveling snow to earn an income through the fall and winter months. Our 16-year-old started working at a Taco John’s restaurant back in August and he’s really enjoying his job there, so far. And our 18-year-old is still working for Walmart when she’s not hanging with family/friends or studying her coursework. She’s stationed in lawn and garden, so with summer ending it’s about to turn into a Christmas wonderland in that section of the store.
Also, we had our first day of “unschool” last week. It was a perfect beach and ice cream day, so why not? 😉
On to business…
If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome! Today is Monday, and I regularly participate in a weekly #IMWAYR meme. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!
This week for #imwayr, I’m reviewing two books that were published in 2020 right about the time we moved. They both, unfortunately, got lost and neglected in the shuffle of Pandemic + Packing/Unpacking frenzy. But I’m happy to share them, today, along with some other books I recently finished. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading list.
This book of anti-racist essays was incredibly moving. I’d already read books by about half of the thirty featured authors, so I knew it would be great. However, it was so beautifully written and I couldn’t get enough. Readers will come face to face with powerful voices acknowledging that we live in a racist world and revealing what that often looks like in various scenarios. More importantly, the essays make it obvious that we must all take action if we have any hope of lasting change. Nevertheless, it felt less like a “how to” book and more like sitting with a friend and listening to engaging stories from their life. I’m grateful this book is out in the world and I hope it has found a place in homes and libraries of all types! My thanks to Crown Books and to NetGalley for providing a review copy.
I’m admittedly cautious when it comes to devotional books aimed at teens for fear that they may attempt to spoon-feed or push a denominational-based agenda. But I have been pleased with this book, published by Our Daily Bread Publishing, a non-denominational, non-profit organization. The daily readings contain three parts beginning with a passage from the Christian Bible (both from the Old Testament and the New Testament, and usually with several verses to provide better context). The scripture reading is followed by some type of anecdote to provide depth to the reading. Finally, at the bottom of each 2-paged devotional, readers are left with a couple questions to take them to the next level by applying the passage to their personal lives. These questions could serve to initiate discussion in a group setting or they can act as a journal prompt in a private setting.
The Introduction to Fearless Faith establishes that a courageous faith begins with a relationship/friendship with “Someone larger than we are…” And that special connection with the Lord can be nurtured and forged through prayer and Bible study. Furthermore, the very first lesson makes it clear that Jesus is NOT exclusive. “There’s never a reason to argue or fight when we’re talking about God. Christianity is not a special club limited to the few people who fit perfectly. Everyone is welcome, no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they’ve done.”
Overall, this 90-day devotional guide seems like a good companion for any teen seeking daily encouragement in their Christian walk. My thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC and to Our Daily Bread Publishing for shipping me a print copy in exchange for my honest review.
I witnessed a Zoom author discussion interview with Jordan Sonnenblick last winter and knew we had to order a copy of this book as soon as it was published. So this ended up being our 10-year-old’s gift for Easter. He loved it so much that he could hardly wait for me to finish reading it to start talking about all the scenes from Sonnenblick’s fourth grade memoir. It’s both heartbreaking and hilarious – quite endearing. Additionally, there are some great illustrations scattered throughout. Happy to recommend!
August 31, 2021
This middle grade novel features Shenice Lockwood, a middle schooler who loves to play “bat ball” (softball). She’s the team captain of an all-Black team and she has to work hard to avoid distractions to take her team all the way. Nevertheless, she lands right in the middle of the biggest diversion when she discovers a family mystery that simply must be solved. With a diverse cast, some spooky scenes, some edge-of-your-seat games, and the hope of clearing her great grandfather’s name, this adventure is a must read for young readers! It’s a super fast read, so hold onto your hats…
One for the Murphys
Lynda Mullaly Hunt
May 10, 2012
Nancy Paulsen Books
I bought this book ages ago and decided to place it on my #MustReadin2021 list to make sure I got to it this year. Finally! It was well worth the wait, though. Twelve-year-old Carley Connors is placed in foster care after an incident with her mother and step father. She’s sarcastic and makes everything far more difficult than necessary. But she can’t help but notice the love her foster mom gives to both her biological children and to Carley. There was a twist to this one that made it so much more than it already was, to me. ❤️ So very touching!
Currently Reading/To Be Read: