What I’m Reading – Sort of.

Woof and Arf by Spencer Quinn

I love dogs, and when I  find a great dog book, I always want to share.
Now let me preface this by saying I am pretty particular about my dog books. The dogs cannot under any circumstance…die.
I mean it.


Spencer Quinn has the quirky ability of being able to step into a dog’s mind, and this makes these  books unique and equally charming to me.
Bower, a rescued pup, becomes the hero and companion of a fiercely brave little girl named Birdie who has a nose for solving crimes and the ability of getting into some serious trouble in the process.
Add to the mix a snarky grandmother, a handful of peculiar treasures as friends, and a slew of colorful town’s people and you have  Louisiana Bayou charm and mayhem on each page. The stories burst with personality.
I read the first book in the series, Woof, with my 4th and 5th grade Book Club at school, and we loved it. Arf, the second book in the series,  was my first summer read and just as much fun.
The third book in this Birdie and Bowser series, Bow Wow,  was released on May 30th, and I just ordered it for my class library!
In a world of increasingly yucky (a high falootin’ term for bad)  and dark children’s novels, Spencer Quinn has given me hope.

The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

Just finished this fun kid’s novel with a group of independent readers at school…

My  group of boys loved it! Action, magic, and OH MY GOODNESS…the  marvelous candies! Amazing enchanted candies! Think  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kind of candies!

Four young friends try to outsmart an evil magician who uses wickedly delicious candy to ensnare their town…

A battle between magicians ensues! Crazy fun! Weird creatures! Even a little time travel!

A delicious adventure indeed!  5-7 grade readers…

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brusker Bradley

2016 Newberry Honor book

This was a terrific afternoon read! My heart was instantly drawn to young Ada, a girl born with a club foot, abused, neglected and hidden away from people by her cruel mother in this World War II story. She sneaks away with her younger brother Jamie during the evacuations of children  to the countryside during the bombings in England. A powerful story!


The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller

Christian fiction…historical fiction

Post Civil War… Katie Calloway and her young brother runaway from her violent and unstable husband to the sanctuary and anonymity of an 1870s  Northwoods logging camp. Great read… Women Bible Cafe Book Club selection for January.


The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein

A summer adventure for Billy Gillfoyle in  Dr.Xiang Libris’s mysterious lakeside cabin. The only thing stranger is the island in the center of the lake where Billy and friends are able to read book character’s into existence. Chaos and fun begins. This children’s novel  is packed with references and characters of  some 3oish children’s classics.  A fun read for 4th and 5th graders, it reminds me of Grabenstein’s book  Escape From Dr. Lemoncello’s Library which also includes a variety of book references. This book girl gives this book 3 hearts…


Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts – December 2015


I had the sweet privilege of being on the book launch team for Sara Frankl and Mary Carver’s book, Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. I used it as a companion piece with  my advent devotional by Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift during December this year.


Choose Joy was the type of book that I know will linger in the pages of my heart for a long while. It has already reframed my mindset as I look at the new year. It was not a book I was able to plow through, but it was one I read, paused, pondered, highlighted, underlined, and dog-eared. This copy will remain on my shelf. I will share the title with others, buy as a gift for friends, but my copy will not be shared. Choose Joy was personal…It is a 5 heart read for this girl!


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