Posts Tagged With: summer reading

Busy Kids Summer | Keep Your Kids Reading all Summer Long

Keep your kids reading all summer long with Scholastic’s Summer Challenge.

“The Scholastic Summer Challenge is a free reading program dedicated to stopping the “Summer Slide” and encouraging kids to read more books this summer.”

Kids who log in can participate in weekly challenges, earn digital points and much more. There is even a program for the little ones in your house who aren’t old enough to read on their own yet.

There are plenty of resources for parents including recommended summer reading lists, ideas to keep your kids reading and tips on choosing the best books for your child.

The Scholastic Summer Challenge is a great way to keep your kids reading!

Categories: Book Reviews, summer reading list | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

summer reading list

I was first introduced to the writing of Mitch Albom when a friend gave me his book Tuesdays with Morrie. The book tells the story of Albom’s old college professor who had ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Because, at the time, Ron (my step-father) had just been diagnosed with the same fatal disease. That was almost 9 years ago. Since that first book, I have become a faithful fan of Albom’s writing.

I just finished reading his newest book Have a Little Faith and I just wanted to share this except from the book:

(This is from a conversation Albom has with his Rabbi friend, who the book largely centers around.)

So, have you solved the secret of happiness?

“I believe so,” he said.

Are you ready to tell me?

“Yes. Ready?”


“Be satisfied.”

That’s it?

“Be grateful.”

That’s it?

“For what you have. For the love you receive. And for the what God has given you.”

That’s it?

He looked me in the eye. Then he sighed deeply.

“That’s it.”


Good advise. I love this book so much. So far it’s my favorite of Albom’s…I have many pages ear-marked so that I can go back and read again soon. It’s tender and compassionate. It touches on the struggle of faith that is in all our hearts at one time or another. And it’s a quiet reminder of how not to judge too quickly, and to love each person as a human being rather than based on what we have (or haven’t) done in our life. Ironically, that was the basis of Pastor Brian’s sermon this morning in church. Um, someone trying to tell me something? I highly recommend this book.

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summer reading list

Annie choiHappy Birthday or Whatever by Annie Choi.

This book is just laugh out loud funny! Annie Choi tells a hilarious story of relationships, family and Korean traditions. The mother-daughter relationship between Annie, an American-born girl, and her mother, a Korean immigrant living in American, is not unlike most mother-daughter relationships with hard-to-met expectations and teenage rebellion. But Annie tells it with biting humor. Annie’s mom has a quick wit and wicked tongue and I found myself laughing. Out loud. Strangers gave me strange looks.

Annie’s recount of her choosing to become a vegetarian in a Korean household was not so much about being kind to animals but more about pissing off her Mother. I too did the same thing as a teenager. However, Annie had much more resolve. I grew tired of the nagging and gave in and ate the damn meat already.

Ultimately this book is about heartwarming relationships between family members, even if they are all Crazy with a capital C. It is a light, funny, enjoyable adventure through someone elses life.

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summer reading

I read this book on our road trip to Baton Rouge…

the sent of GodThe Scent of God by Beryl Singleton Bissell. Memoir.

As a teenager, young Beryl chose a vocation of serving God as a Poor Clare Nun. Named for “a young noble woman of Assisi left her life of privilege to follow an outrageous mendicant in his journey toward Christ”, Poor Clare Nuns live a life of poverty and enclosure.

This book follows Beryl’s teenage years in the early 1950s Puerto Rico, through her decision at 18 to become a cloister nun. I was along for the journey reading of  her years of devotion and prayer in the convent in New Jersey and finally to her heart-wrenching decision to leave the convent. Her love affair with a priest is beautiful. She is truly blessed if she is loved. Marriage. Children. Death. Love. Happiness. Sadness. Life. Faith.

Two words: Loved. It.

It’s a true testament to the survival of the human soul and what is possible with God’s love.

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summer reading…

StolenInnocence_book_cover_largeI bought this book intending to read it on what will be a very long road trip to Baton Rouge in early August, but I made the mistake of starting it and now I have to find another book for our trip! Needless to say I couldn’t put it down.

The book is a biography written by Elissa Wall(with the help of freelancer writer Lisa Pulitzer) which describes her life growing up in the Fundamentalists Church of the Ladder Day Saints (FLDS), her unwanted marriage to an abusive husband at age 14 and her courage to escape the polygamous sect controlled by Warren Jeffs.

“I don’t want to know the God of Warren Jeffs. I didn’t want to know a God who would willingly break apart families. I didn’t want to know the God who forced girls to get married. The God I knew, who I believed in and who I still believe in to this day, was real, but he had nothing to do with Warren Jeffs.”

The inner workings of the church were startling. I knew a little from news reports when the FBI stormed the Texas ranch a few years ago and took away hundreds of children from their mothers, but Wall goes into detail.

This book is more than an inspirational story about finding strength, freedom and love. (Yes, there is a sweet love story in there too.) Somehow after being brainwashed her entire life (and she uses that word in the book), she found the courage to stand up for what is right and find FAITH.

Bible Update: Although I have gotten distracted reading other books, I am still committed to reading the Bible. I finished 2 more books and I am working on Proverbs now.

Categories: Faith, Life in general | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

summer reading list.

IMG_2183Today I took the girls to the library to sign up for the summer reading program. With the suggested summer reading list for 2nd graders in hand, we searched for 1 book off that list. The deal I made with Alex was she could pick as many books as she wanted but at least one has to be a Reader on her level to keep her reading up to par through the summer break. She chose 7 books! The only book on my summer reading list is the Bible. Okay, I actually started it in February but, it’s a long book, ya know. So, how far have I gotten, you ask? Well, I am skipping around; reading what may be speaking to me at the time.

I read Matthew, Mark and Luke in honor of Easter. Luke really spoke to me. Ecclesiastes is another favorite.

“We all come to the end of our lives naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us.” Ecclesiastes 5:15 NLT

Ain’t that the truth.

So far, I have read 7 books of the Bible and even bought a study guide called “Contagious Joy” (Women of Faith Series). I am down-right inspired!

What have I learned thus far…We are not perfect. We will never live up to God’s standard. God delivers, if only you ask. Anyone can be in God’s grace, again, you must ask. I will never fully understand God’s plan. I can only trust that He does have a plan. Be in the Word, it will give you wisdom.

“The words of the wise are like cattle prods–painful but helpful.” Ecclesiastes 12:11NLT

Categories: Life in general | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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