Turn Homeward Hannah Hannalee by Patricia Beatty ***
This was a 4th grade book. It's set during the Civil War. It involves a family in the South who were cloth mill workers. Their mill was shut down and burned in their small Georgian town and the workers--mostly children--were sent to the North to work as servants or in northern mills. It was a pretty good book. The best part was learning about a facet of the Civil War that I didn't know about previously. I also love that Mark has read so many books from opposing sides. It has created a clearer picture of a terrible war with good people and bad circumstances on both sides.
Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling **
This book was hilarious. Mindy Kaling is very funny. I skipped sections and entire chapters of it because it didn't pass my appropriate test. I did see something that caught my eye at the end of one chapter that I didn't read. It said that all Mormons are going to hell.
Fingers crossed that's not true.
The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha ***
This was a good book. It is about a young boy that was shot and killed and the aftermath for both his family and killer. There was a surprising twist or two and a lot about forgiveness and surviving. One of the characters swore a lot so I started skipping his sections. (If anything, I'm a world class skimmer.) So I probably missed some of the book. What can you do though?
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt ****
Loved this book. I read it aloud to Mark for school. You will be shocked to learn it was set in Civil War days. It wove a five year tale of a family and how the Civil War affected their lives. It's a coming of age story as well. It was well written and made me cry.
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah **
I like anything by Kristin Hannah. This was not one of my favorites by her though. It was sort of predictable. It was nice to read something kind of fluffy after reading The Crying Tree though. This book is set in Washington like Kristin Hannah's book are. It's about a mother and daughter who are estranged. Both of their lives fall out from under them and they end up, without really wanting to, staying together at their family's summer home in the San Juan islands. (There's other stuff in the book too. If you want a real review I'm sure one exists somewhere.)
Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder **
(not to be mistaken with Fifty Shades of Grey!)
Another Civil War book. I think I'm tired of Civil War books but this was the last one. I think I liked it better than a few of the books we read about the War though. It's about a boy from the South whose entire family died. He had to go live with his aunt and uncle. His uncle didn't fight in the war so he thinks his uncle is traitorous/cowardly and has to work through the angst of that and come to the realization that there were good people on both sides.
Here's a book I won't be reading: Old Yeller. Yesterday it was on the school desk because it's the next book in our curriculum. Mark said, "I am not reading that book."
I started to cajole him and he gathered up all the righteous indignation he has and told me there was no way I was going to get him to read that book. He said, "The dog dies and I won't ever read another book or see a movie when a dog dies."
We stared at each other for awhile (picture a gun duel from an old Western). Then I said, "OK. You don't have to read it." Who am I to break my boy's heart?