Everything, Everything

Wow, wow, wow. I felt so many emotions during this read. I identified with each of the main characters and could feel for them as well as withthem.


Imagine being a teenage girl trapped in a sterile house with just your mother, a nurse, the occasional tutor. No friends, certainly no boyfriend. No prom, or homecoming. You haven’t seen the outside world since you were diagnosed with an allergy to the world. Imagine that there may be a chance that you could live a different life, a life outside of your house with people and mistakes and love. Imagine one day a new boy moves in next door and he brings with him questions of “what if” and a reason to want out of the only world you know. Would you risk your life to find out who you are outside of that world, what love feels like and what it feels like to breathe?

Now imagine you are a woman who lost her husband and son leaving you with single  daughter. The daughter starts to get ill, like children do, but fear of losing her makes you overreact and one might say obsess, over her life. You would do anything to keep her safe, even if that means convincing her and yourself that isolating her is the best way to do that.

I am a daughter and a mother and I have been in a place wear I trusted my mom with my life. Now I am the one that someone has placed all their trust into. What extent would I, or you, go through to keep a child safe? Would I risk losing her in the end? Would I take away her life to keep her in mine?


A Promise Stitched in Time: Book Review

I requested A Promise Stitched in Time because I’m preparing to teach a WW2 study and hoped this would be a good addition to our read alouds for that unit. I would gladly add this to my lineup. The content is mature in nature in the sense that the holocaust is a mature subject regardless of the words used to discuss. Colleen Rosinski did a great job of surrounding a tough subject to navigate with a story that intertwined the present and the past.


Maggie made a promise to her dying dad that she would enter an art contest to attend an art school and continue their shared past time. In searching for inspiration she came across a tweed coat that seemed to be calling to her. Once Maggie brought the coat home she started having dreams and flashbacks and interactions with a girl from the past. The coat gave her what she need to draw but the coat gave her so much more than that. With the help of her sister, Patty, and her boyfriend, Taj, as well as a friend she met through a senior center volunteer gig, Maggie was able to discover things about the past and herself. Maggie discovered she was someone more than she once thought and more than she knew she could be.

I would recommend this children’s fiction work to children 10 or older. I think the subject matter would be too much for a child younger than that. That’s my opinion based on teaching a child that age.

*Thank you NetGalley and Schiffer Publishing for the chance to read this Advanced Reader Copy. All opinions are my own. *

Rush: Book Review

rushI picked up Rush by Lisa Patton off the library new release shelf because I had heard from fellow book bloggers that it was fantastic and an unexpected read. They were right and I am so glad I gave Rush a chance and I highly recommended it to all of my friends.

What I expected based on the little information I had seen and I didn’t read the book jacket, not really sure why, was an easy, fun story about a sorority at Ole Miss and all that that life entails. What I got was a story about inclusion, acceptance, and empowerment. Women coming together from all sides of the social ladder and from all races …both of which have been and still are in some areas, particularly in the south, difficult to overcome.

Cali is a new pledge. She had to earn and work hard to gain her spot in the sorority due to her lack of pedigree, legacy, and money. But her personality and welcoming soul earned her a well deserved spot in the Alpha Delt house.

On the other side of the social ranks is Lilith, the new House Corp President and her daughter, 3rd generation legacy, Annie Laurie. Lilith is well to-do, high society and every move she makes is calculated. She lined up her daughters roommate, Ellie and reconnected with her Alpha Delt sister, Ellie’s mom, Wilda, all in a big scheme to secure her daughters bid.

Behind the scenes of the Alpha Delt house is Miss Pearl and the other house workers.  When Cali and Ellie realize that the workers that had been a second family to the sorority for years and years and saw multiple generations come through the house, did not have health insurance she was shocked. But when something happens to one of the workers, they decide to take action, until the are blocked by Lilith.

In order for Lilith to change her mind she was going to have to overcome her generational racism, classicism, and face that the world she once knew has changed. She would need to open her heart and see what her daughter and the other co-eds saw…despite color, despite family means, despite backgrounds, everyone deserves to progress in their life.

Several times throughout the book I saw examples of microaggressions towards those of color, those of poor families but I also saw many examples of empowerment. Women lifting other women so they could grow and blossom.

Rush was a beautiful novel that reminded me to always be better than I was yesterday, to see the gifts in others and do what I can to help them use those gifts to the fullest. Thank you Lisa Patton for sharing these words.

“The shortest distance between the human heart and the truth is a story.”

-Lisa Patton, Rush


The Great Depression

The Great Depression is not one of my favorite subjects to teach but it had to be done so I tried to make it as hands on and light as possible. For Poetry Tea Time we made depression cake or I’ve heard it called crazy cake. The idea was to show how making a cake can be done with little, and uncommon, ingredients and little cooking utensils or bowls, and for sure no Kitchen-aide. It was delicious!

The library didn’t have many picture books or even young reader chapter books on this topic but what I found were great.

The Gardener is a great book about a little girl that has to go live with her uncle in the city until her father finds a job. She loves plants and gardening which is hard to find in the city so creates her own garden and in turn opens her uncles heart.

The Storytellers Candle is a story of two children that immigrated from Puerto Rico to New York. They are both homesick but a librarian visits their classroom and shares stories and opens their eyes to the library and the world that can be theirs through books.

We also read the first book in the Kit series from American Girls and then watched the movie, which by the way, is nothing like the movie!

Next up… World War 2

Arctic Animals

After our study on Australasia we moved to animals of the Arctics. The weather here in south GA made it a little difficult to feel the climate these unique animals live in but we made it work. img_0519For Poetry Tea Time we read a collection of poems about animals and made polar bears with mini ice cream cups, chocolate chips, Hershey drops, and mini vanilla wafers. We made several through out the week actually because there were so many leftover ingredients! No complaints from anyone!!

A few years ago I found this matching game in the dollar spot at Target and I’ve been holding on to it until now. It has been a great way to review animal habitats as we add more to our overall animal study.


Did anyone else have these Tupperware stencils as a kid? I am so glad my mom saved mine! These are a favorite for the kids and can be used in almost any lesson.

I collected library books, flash cards, and any book we had with arctic animals and we used them to work through our Nature Thinking-tree book.

Last but not least I found these tiny rubber animals at Hobby Lobby and they had several habitats and species packs. They were a huge hit with the kids!  Next up…animals of the ocean.

Everything, Everything: Review

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon was a book I chose at the last minute from my library’s Overdrive account because I was able to check it out immediately, and sometimes that’s all it takes. I am so glad it was available. Everything, Everything was an unexpected gift and a reminder that life is worth living despite the consequences of pain and heartache. A reminder that love can be rewarding and love can kill. That the love and fear of a mother can transcend all understanding. img_0551

Maddy has a life threatening disease caused by an allergy to the world, literally. She lives in a special filtered and monitored house with her mom and only receives visits from her nurse Carla and infrequently her tutor but only after they have been decontaminated. She never leaves and no one every comes in. While, this isn’t the life Maddy would like to live it is the only one she knows and is resigned to that fact until Olly movie in next door and her world is forever changed. Maddy will risk her heart, safety, and even her life for the chance to live and love.

Nicola Yoon reaches the heart of mothers, the heart of anyone that has ever wondered what life would be like if things were different and to the heart of anyone that has ever loved beyond comprehension.

I give this novel 5 stars because I felt every emotion and came to feel the characters emotions as well.

The Dying of the Light: Review

img_0476Secrets of the south? Yes please! The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick was a great read from the beginning. I love historical fiction and suspense and this book combined those genres perfectly. This book was sexy, sad, angering, and a glimpse into the secrets that pedigree in the south in known to keep hidden. The characters were well developed and hilarious, sad, and intertwined. Saratoga, a house, old and infamous, located in Virginia, is the setting. The time and ambiance is the south between the World Wars. Starting with Diana trying to save her family from a financial disaster in a way similar to that of Reba McIntire’s Fancy and ending with a fire, but the secrets, romance, death, loss, coming out, misunderstood feelings between the beginning and end is where the true story lies. I started to see the writing on the wall so to speaking a few chapters from the end and wasn’t entirely shocked by the final moments. I give this 5 stars and more if that was an option.

When God Gave Us Words: Review

When God Gave Us Words by Sandy Eisenburg Sasso was a beautiful book! The illustrations by Darcy Day Zoells were stunning. I read this with my 7 and 10 year old kiddos and they both stayed engaged and asked to look at the pictures a little longer.

God always has our best interest in heart and even something as seemingly simple as the words we use can break His heart. God gave us all of our words; silly, long, strong, and hurtful but it’s up to us to know when to use the words God gave us in a glorifying way. When man kind starts to use words to lie and hurt and curse, the angels ask for God to take them away. Can God change the hearts of humans and can humans make better choices?

Great conversation on why what we say and how we say it holds power in both a positive and negotiable way.

*Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to view and review. All opinions and reviews are my own.*

Animals From Down Under

We recently finished out study of animals in the Australasia area. We really enjoyed this study and had a lot of fun with not only the animals but a little bit of culture too.

Counter clockwise: We read a few books and used them to work through our Nature Journal from Thinking Tree.

We learned that Koala’s eat only eucalyptus for their liquid and food so we diffused eucalyptus oil while the watched Wildest Australia and listened to the didgeridoo.

One of the kids favorite activities right now is building whatever we are studying on Minecraft. For this unit they built a koala and a baby dingo.

For Poetry Tea Time we had fairy bread (bread with softened butter and sprinkles) and Crystal light (I was out of ideas for the day and there was one packet left…sometimes it’s about just making it work!).

Now we need to pack our bags and head down under…anyone want to invest in the kids education and pay for this dream field trip?

The Circus Thief: Book Review

The Circus Thief

By Alane Adams

Illustrated by Lauren Gallegos

img_0484Set in the 1920’s, The Circus Thief is a sweet story about a little boy, Georgie, that just wants to go to the circus in town. Upon permission of taking a friend along with them, Georgie and his father head to the circus. After being chosen to ride the star of the circus, an Arabian named Roxie, Georgie finds himself in a situation. Georgie’s father saved the day for not only Georgie, but Roxie too.

The illustrations were beautiful and detailed. My seven year old said that the expressions on the character’s faces helped to show the emotion of the story.

I read The Circus Thief to my ten and seven year old and they both loved it.

The Circus Thief  publishes on November 6, 2018.

*Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this as a pre-release*