Gather Around Inspirations: Poetry

In case you missed what Gather Around Inspirations is all about, let me fill you in. It is about introducing quality literature (but also art and music) into your home. Looking for a good book to read as a family? I’ve got you covered! Through Gather Around Inspirations, I am sharing some of my favorite (past and present) read-aloud books. I believe we cannot effectively pass on a love of reading to our children by nagging them to read more. Instead, we need to be willing to come alongside them and share the joy of reading with them, together. Which leads me … Read more…

Teen Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daugther of Smoke and Bone is the first book in a series by Laini Taylor that falls into a currently popular genre for teens: Fantastical Romance. I must admit my bias against this genre. In fact, my dislike of it is so strong, that I almost quit reading this book after chapter one. I felt like I was reading Twilight. At times, I had to laugh, and sometimes gag, at the overly dramatic, sensual language. Bias aside, I have friends and family who genuinely enjoy reading this genre. I will not judge you, or hold it against you in any way if you like … Read more…

Teen Book Review: Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer Life As We Knew It is most certainly a page-turner! Its storyline is one that has been very popular lately: There is a catastrophic event and the world changes forever. We see this over and over again today in Zombie lore, books like The Road, and movies like The Day After Tomorrow. It addresses questions such as “What would people do in this situation?” or “How would humanity cope?” Ultimately, it is a book about familial love and survival. In the book, a meteor hits the moon and moves it closer in orbit to the earth. This … Read more…

Teen Book Review: I am the Messenger

(As you can tell from the picture, it is a Printz Honor Book, which is a high honor. It was beat out by another young adult book I will eventually review: Looking for Alaska by John Green.) First of all, I chose this book for a teen book review because after The Book Thief became so popular, so did I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I am glad I chose this book because I think parents need to be aware of some of the content, and while I think it is a worthwhile book with positive, solid themes, I would not recommend it for anyone under … Read more…

Teen Book Review: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

As promised before, I want to do a monthly teen book review. My goal is not censorship, rather awareness. If you are aware of the content in the books your pre-teens and teenagers are reading, it will allow you to have real discussions about the choices the characters make and the choices your teenagers will make. I also hope that this will help you decide what age to recommend these books to your child for free reading or for a class assignment. Because if we’re honest, maturity levels and reading levels vary from child to child. And that’s ok. A short overview … Read more…