Books Read in May & June

Niagara: A History of the Falls by Pierre Berton is a fascinating story on the history of Niagara Falls. After reading the boys Pierre Berton’s children’s book I looked up more titles by him and discovered he’s written a large collection of books on Canadian history. Intrigued I borrowed this one from the library and was thoroughly engaged throughout the entire book. It helped, I’m sure, that I have been to the Falls many times. The excitement over Nik Wallenda walking over the Falls earlier this month was an additional interesting point to this book, which covered in detail the earlier dare devils which were banned in 1896.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – I am probably the last person in the world to read this book (Thanks mom, for buying it for me and Stacy for reminding me to read it!!) I really enjoyed the story, but when I spent most of one night trying to get to the end of the story I was reminded why I try to avoid fiction! Good stories draw me in and I have a hard time getting much else done.

Voice in the Darkness by Della Letkeman is an intriguing account on the life of the apostle Paul. I am not quite finished it, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the interesting, chronological account on his life. And it’s pretty cool that the author was my Sunday School teacher growing up!!

Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture by Karen Andreola. I am so torn as to whether I should include this as a book I’d recommend or not, so know that while it is on my list of books I enjoyed this month, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest one reads this. I enjoyed what this books message was, but did not enjoy the delivery of it. Karen Andreola has been a huge force in the Charlotte Mason movement, and I have really appreciated all her other writings. Pocketful of Pinecones purpose is to encourage mothers to use Nature Books with their children and to show, through a fictional story, how a mother can involve nature observation in ones daily life.
The problem with her delivery is two-fold. First, while I learned a few useful ideas through the book and enjoyed several Charlotte Mason quotes interspersed throughout the story was quite dull.
Secondly, while the book was written in 2002, she chose to have the story take place in the 1930’s. Life in the 30’s and life today (or in 2002, when published) aren’t remotely similar to each other and I think it would have been more practical had she written a story about how nature study can be done today with the challenges and technology we now have at our disposal.

I have been keeping the Chapter Books for Boys list updated as we finish books with them, so be sure to take a peek there if you’re interested in chapter books for kids!

Jessica Lynette

5 Comments

  1. LOVE Pierre Berton! I'm pretty sure I learned most of my history from my mom reading aloud his War of 1812 and other books…

  2. I just read The Help recently too and I have THE SAME problem with fiction books!! I didn't want to do anything else until I finished it 😉

  3. Yep, when you want Canadian history the first place to go is Pierre Berton. My parents had the entire collection but when I was younger the size of them was too daunting. I hope they held on to them!

  4. I haven't read The Help yet, so you're not the last! 🙂 I always get too involved in fiction too…the house, kids, etc all suffer if I start a good book! :-p

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