What I’m Reading

in reverie

The War That Saved My Life

By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


There is a reason this book is #1 in the Amazon’s best seller within the Children’s Historical Fiction section. The book contains an exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War I. Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who takes the kids in.

I decided to read this book since my two tween/teen daughters had read it and loved it. Since I was between books I picked it up and was immediately sucked into this wonderful story. I found myself cheering Ada on as she faced obstacle after obstacle. Her determination as she encountered the world beyond her mother’s dirty, small and abusive home was heroic. Her ignorance and lack of experience with the “outside world” subjected her to great turmoil and protection all at the same time. Protection because in many cases she was unaware what certain words or things were yet she struggled to learn about new things even if it meant she had to allow herself to be vulnerable to those around her.

This book would work well as required reading for World War I for any middle school or high school student. I love learning about history from stories that aren’t in a traditional textbook. Readers are exposed to history in this book by learning about bomb shelters, war volunteers, soldiers and the risks they took as they engaged the Germans as well as spies and how the local people were asked to flush them out. The story puts the lens of the people of England on the reader and how their lives were affected by the war. Food rationing, bomb sirens and sending children to live with strangers outside of London’s city limits are all details the reader of this story is exposed to.

I loved this book and I am looking forward to reading the sequel: The War I Finally Won.



What I’m Reading

in reverie

Me Before You

by Jojo Moyes

The main character, Louisa Clark is an ordinary English girl living very bland and ordinary life all within the confines of a tiny village. After losing her job she takes a badly needed job working for the Traynor family caring for their wheelchair bound son Will Traynor.  Prior to a devastating accident Will had always lived an adventurous life— extreme sports, worldwide travel and complicated business deals. Will is no longer certain that this new life confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic is worth living. 

Will is sarcastic, moody and bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. The characters within this story all must make their own choice with regards to a strong and powerful moral question with regards to assisted suicide 

This story is a heartbreakingly romantic novel that forces readers to contemplate what you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart. 


The story is well written allowing you as the reader to experience the desperation, joy and moral dilemma Lou faces throughout the book. This is an excellent summer beach read for those of you who love to read while soaking up some warm sunshine. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did!


The Best Sleepover Guide For Girls


** Get a free copy of this ebook starting May 18-May 22, 2017 for Kindle on Amazon. Click here to find out more!

The Best Sleepover Guide For Girls

by – E.M. Evans

Plan the sleepover of your dreams! The only thing more exciting than a sleepover is planning one! Filled with awesome slumber party ideas for girls, this book guides party hosts from planning to clean up. Inside, you’ll find tons of ideas for crafts, activities, yummy foods and snacks to help you with your totally unique and super fun sleepover. This book includes examples of themed sleepover invitations, 3 detailed DIY craft projects and a big list of games and how to play them. You’ll even find the most amazing pancake recipe to make for breakfast the next day!

Whether you want to have a simple pajama party or go all-out with a theme party, this guide has all you need to plan the epic party you and your friends will never forget!

* * *

This handy guide will provide you with tons of ideas to help you throw the best sleepover party ever! Maybe you are a single father trying to help your daughter host her first sleepover – no worries, this book will help you to make sure your daughter’s sleepover is the best ever.

As a mother of 4 kids I have a lot of experience with sleepovers. I love to host parties and have been helping teach my two oldest daughters how to throw a great bash with their friends.

I hope you enjoy the book – if you do please leave a review so others can hear what you have to say about this book!


What I’m Reading

in reverie

The Charm School

by Nelson DeMille

(Here is the description of the story via Amazon)

#1 New York Times bestselling author, Nelson DeMille, delivers an explosive thriller of international intrigue and high-voltage political tension set in contemporary Russia.On a dark road deep inside Russia, a young American tourist picks up a most unusual passenger a U.S. POW on the run with an incredible secret to reveal to an unsuspecting world. The secret concerns “The Charm School,” a vast and astounding KGB conspiracy that stands poised against the very heartland of America. Arrayed against this renegade power of the Soviet state are three Americans: an Air Force officer, who will fly one last covert mission into the center of a mad experiment; an embassy liaison, who will have her hopes for a saner superpower balance brutally tested; and the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station, who will find his intricate dance of destiny and death reaching its devastating conclusion.

My take on the book:

I really enjoy reading spy/espionage stories especially when the characters are well-developed and you as the reader don’t know who to trust. This book delivered in both of these ways. The struggle between what is right and wrong morally versus duty as a patriot really makes the reader stop and think through what they might do in some tough situations.

With the current tension between Russia and the USA rising this book was a good reminder of the past and how truly difficult both sides have in trusting another. It also makes you wonder whether or not the “Charm School” philosophy and functionality is (or was) possible.

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I did!

What I’m Reading

in reverie

As members of our local library we have access to many wonderful resources. One resource we use quite frequently is Hoopla. Hoopla is an online resource for audiobooks, ebooks, movies, tv shows and music. We have access to all of these sources through our local library’s account.

Recently I checked out the book The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss in audiobook format for our family to listen to together. We have been listening to it in the morning during breakfast and during lunch. I love that someone else is reading it to us so that I can have my hands free to do things like make meals, pick up clutter and just sit and listen to a good book.

This classic book first published in 1812 was at first a little difficult for my kids to get used to since the style of writing was different from that of more modern literature. After a chapter or two they have finally adjusted and are really enjoying the story.

We home school our kids so one teaching method I use during our read-aloud books is to have the kids (or me) jot down words that they hear but don’t know their meaning. Every so often I pause the book and ask 1) what is happening? and 2) are there any words we need to look up? It took a little while for the kids to start identifying words that they didn’t know and shout them out to me but they certainly have the hang of it now!

I have also been writing down all of the places and geographically important details that the author includes in this story. My intention in doing so is to assign the kids the project of drawing a map of the island the Swiss family is shipwrecked on after we complete the book and presenting it to the rest of us as a graphic display.

Through Hoopla the amount of time it will take to listen to the audiobook is just a bit over 12 hours. Since I used my cell phone to download the story through the online app we can listen to it anywhere even if there is no wi-fi. It is so convenient for us – it even bookmarks the location in the audio where we left off so all I need to do when we resume listening is press the play button. Simple!



Ultimate Anne of Green Gables Collection

Inspiring Women (1)

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Ultimate Anne of Green Gables Collection

Anne of Green Gables fan get ready – the Ultimate Collection of Anne stories + many more great works written by L.M. Montgomery, the author of the Anne books are now available exclusively on Amazon.

The timeless stories, unforgettable characters and beautifully written prose are what make the Anne stories and other books by L.M. Montgomery so memorable. Maybe your first time reading them you were in middle school and became lost in the story – dreaming of being Anne’s best friend Diana? Or you felt angered by the taunting and teasing Gilbert Blythe poured out onto Anne? This is a common occurrence – once you read the Anne books you can’t help but be drawn into the story!

** BONUS **  Included with the Anne collection is a free e-book just for you if your purchase through Amazon! The free ebook, Secret Garden Crafts, 10 Nature Inspired Crafts, provides readers with an inspiring craft project that uses natural materials to enhance the stories they read in classical literature. For example, Anne is often referred to as “Carrots” by Gilbert Blythe in the Anne books – the free craft book has a fun project where you make a carrot bunting! I find that this method is a great way to engage young readers so that the stories they read are brought to life through simple crafts projects.

Get your copy of the Ultimate Anne of Green Gables Collection today – only on Amazon!



Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland


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Alice In Wonderland Collection

“Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?” Down the rabbit hole you go into the magical, curious and very strange place called Wonderland. Follow Alice as she meets some of the most unforgettable characters in literature including; the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Caterpillar, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledee, Tweedledum, the White Rabbit and the loathsome Jabberwocky.

Included in this great collection are three separate works by Lewis Carroll, each elegantly formatted for ease of use and enjoyment on your e-reader device. Illustrations included in the collection are by Sir John Tenniel and as Alice says “what is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?”

Each book has an individual Table of Contents that is easily accessible from the main Table of Contents.

**BONUS MATERIAL** The Secret Garden Craft Book by E.M. Evans. This special craft book encourages you to explore the Alice books further through fun creative arts and craft projects.

Get your copy of this great collection on Amazon