Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Princess in Black by: Shannon and Dean Hale

Authors Shannon and Dean Hale have written a great beginning chapter book that may sound like the perfect girl book, but I believe that most boys will love the ninja skills this princess has.

The Princess in Black, Princess Magnolia, is being visited by the Duchess Wigtower.  As they begin to enjoy some hot chocolate and scones, the Monster Alarm rings.  Can the Princess leave her castle while a Duchess is visiting?  Magnolia isn't sure, but she knows that she must save her kingdom from the monsters.  Magnolia quickly leaves the Duchess and when she exits the castle she transforms into the Princess in Black.  With the help of her pony, she is quickly at the borders of her land fighting the monsters.  She demonstrates some great ninja skills and before long she is  back in her castle wearing her official pink princess dress, ready to complete her visit with the Duchess.

After reading this book go out and have an adventure of your own.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, March 23, 2015

Danger in the Darkest Hour by: Mary Pope Osborne

The series Magic Tree House has been a popular series for many years.  In the first Super Edition of the series, author Mary Pope Osborne has Jack, Annie and the treehouse going back in history.  I enjoy reading historical fiction and I believe that this is a great way to get our children interested in history.

Danger in the Darkest Hour takes Annie and Jack to Normandy, France in June 1944.  The battle of D-Day begins the very next day.  They need to find the right people to help them figure out the clues that will enable them to help one of their friends.  As they get close to their friend, they find others that need their help.  Can they save all those people and make it back home before morning?

I highly recommend this book to anyone.  However, if you have a child who is interested in World War II this would be a book they would enjoy and be able to relate to because I am sure most children already relate to Jack and Annie and their Magic Tree House.

After reading this story spend sometime with your family.  Find out if there is anyone in your family that has served their country during time of war.  Share family stories with each other and write them down so that future generations may enjoy the stories too.

Happy Daily Reading

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Do you like to be just a little frightened while reading?   If so, The Night Gardner by Jonathan Auxier is the book you should read next.

Molly and Kip are orphans and they do not want to live at the orphanage.  Molly takes Kip to the Windsor estate where they can work.  As they seek directions to the estate, they are told by many to turn around.  People tell them that nobody lives at the Windsor estate and nobody returns from the sour woods that you must pass through in order to find the Windsor estate.  Molly still believes that working there is better than the orphanage.  They continue on the path, finally arriving at the estate.  They find a run down house with a big tree growing right in the middle of the house.  It is a strange place with some strange people living there.

Molly and Kip start to work doing everything for the family.  When they begin to notice some strange noises and changes in the family they begin to investigate.  What could be behind the green door?  They are told to stay away.  But it is irresistible. Who belongs to the footsteps Molly hears each night?  The family living there doesn't believe there is anything to be afraid of, but Kit and Molly disagree.

Readers will be turning pages as fast as they can read to find out all the secrets of Windsor Estate.  I am not usually a fan of "scary" stories (and this isn't very scary) but I really enjoyed this book.

After reading this story go outside and play by a scary-looking tree!

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Red Pencil by: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney has written a wonderful story of hope in her book The Red Pencil.  This book has beautiful illustrations by Shane W. Evans and it is written like a poem.  It will touch your heart with the words and pictures.

Amira is a 12 year old girl living in Sudan.  She is not able to attend school and she so badly wants to learn.  When her best friend leaves their township in hopes to attend a school for girls, Amira finds herself longing to leave as well.  Amira's mother tells her that she is meant to be a wife and mother and that there is no need to learn to read and write.  Amira doesn't want the life that her mother explains to her.  When they are forced to flee their home, as their town is burned, they travel for many days finding a place to finally stop walking in a refugee camp. Life in the camp is worse than anything Amira could imagine. She receives a gift of a red pencil and soon she finds the courage to flee the refugee camp.  Will she finally get the change to attend a school?  That is for the reader to learn.

After reading this book send a note of gratitude to someone who has given you the chance to learn.  Being able to read opens the world to us all.

Happy Daily Reading

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Video Reviews

Trying something new...  A video of three book reviews.  Click on the link to see my reviews of one read aloud and the following chapter books: