Isaiah’s Top 5 Easy Reader Books

Isaiah wanted to share some of his favorite easy reader books.  Here are his top 5 easy reader books (or series of books).  All of these books we have gotten from our local library.

Isaiah's Top 5 Easy Reader Books

This top 5 is in no particular order.

1.  Wild Kratts (Step into Reading) – From Isaiah:  “These books have a little story (like the show) but also lots of animal facts. Each book talks about three main types of animals.”

Here are some of them Isaiah has enjoyed:

2.  National Geographic Readers – If Isaiah sees an animal book is from National Geographic, he’ll usually check it out and read it.  These two are his favorites and have been in our home many times.

“I like Prehistoric Mammals because I learned a lot about the mammals that lived back then.  Some of them were big like dinosaurs. This book does have creation mistakes, but these animals God created are amazing.”

“I like Weird Sea Creatures because it doesn’t only talk about the weird one.  It compares types of fish and says how they are similar.”


3.  Animal Superpowers    “I like this because it shows how amazing God created the animals.  There are multiple creatures that have the same power.  For instance, the flea and the panther both jump well. This book isn’t just about animals but it gives you the feel of a super hero while learning about animals. I learned how the octopus could look like many different sea creatures like a toboggan shark. The octopus can also look like a giant sea scorpion. I got this one out from the library more than once.  This book even includes a pangolin.”

4.  Nate the Great   “Nate the Great is a detective series.  One of the books was called Nate the Great and The Phony Clue. It taught me about invisible ink.”

5.  Elephant and Piggie.  “Elephant and Piggie is a funny series.  They are easier than the ones I already listed. They are about an elephant named Gerald and his friend Piggie.  They have funny adventures, and some of them they seem like they are really silly and they aren’t thinking.  These books are LOL funny.”

Here are three of his favorites in this series:

There you have it – Isaiah’s top 5 easy reader books.  What books do your children love in the easy reader section?  Do you have any new suggestions for Isaiah?


This post contains affiliate links.

Reading Aloud in 2014 (Part 1)

I set the goal of reading aloud at least 12 books to my children this year.  I’m excited to share what we have read so far.  Having the goal of 12 books (and at least 1 a month) has been great for me.  If the end of a month is coming, and I’m not done reading a book, we work extra to get it all in.  I love seeing what others are reading and thought you might enjoy what we have read as well.

reading aloud in 2014 (part 1)

Here’s what we have read so far this year (not all pictured):

  • Ginger Pye is the story of the Pye family and their dog Ginger.  There’s a great deal of suspense when Ginger ends up missing (for more than 6 months), but it was not too scary to put down or troubling to the kids.  The suspense did keep us moving forward in our reading.  When we finished this book, my 6 year old suggested with make “funny pages” about the story.  In the book, the two children make these comic strips often, and it turned out to be a fun little project to review the plot of the story.
  • Twenty and Ten is about children in France during World War II.  It’s a great story to introduce my children to the courage people had in hiding Jews without being too overwhelming for them.  I did make the mistake to read this book just before bed so I wouldn’t suggest that.
  • Snow Treasure is a book my mother-in-law remembered reading as a child and bought for us. We really enjoyed the bravery of the children with the Nazi soldiers invading Norway.  I loved the work ethic of the children as they took care of the nation’s gold.  Elijah and Ruthie wrote a little paragraph about how Peter was brave after we finished this book.
  • The Chimney Sweep’s Ransom is a Trailblazer book (Christian historical fiction) that I have on my Kindle.  When I shared about using a kindle with my children, I mentioned this series.  I enjoyed doing a read aloud from my Kindle since it is so much easier to keep your place in the book and look up words that are unfamiliar.  This particular book is about a poor mining family in Northern England during the 18th century.  The family has contact with John Wesley and the Methodist Society as they help the main character pay “the ransom” for his younger brother Pip.  We enjoyed seeing what life was like for a poor family in this time period, and my children are really glad that they don’t have to work in a mine starting at age 5.  My dad’s father worked in a factory by age 8 so this book led to some good discussions.
  • Rainbow Garden is a book I remember from my childhood.  Growing up, I had most of Patricia St. John’s books, and my mom bought them for me as an adult after having children.  All of her books include characters wrestling with sin and give great illustrations about salvation.  This book follows a very selfish girl who is sent to live in the country with a family that she doesn’t know.  I don’t want to give away the story, but I love that there is a bit of suspense in this book with the robbery involved.  God used it to bring the main character to repentance and to create some plot twists.
  • George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans is a biography about a man with an amazing faith.  I could barely read parts of this without getting choked up or teary-eyed.  I love that he just trusted God to provide for his ministry so that others could see God’s faithfulness.  The story of the 300 orphans sitting down to breakfast with no food on the table and him thanking God for the food he would provide was probably my favorite.  My children and I really enjoyed this book and seeing how he worked for the Lord until he no longer had breath.      
  • Dolphin Adventure:: A True Story is a short book about a man’s experience with a wounded baby dolphin.  I read this book years ago to my big children as one of their first chapter book read alouds and decided to read it again to my little boys.  Just like the first time, we didn’t manage to even wait a whole day to finish but read it in one sitting.
  • Five True Dog Stories is another short read aloud that my bigger children already heard.  Since there are five different stories, Ruth and I took turns reading the chapters to the little boys.  We finished this one in one sitting too.  I particularly like that the stories are not all in the same country or time period.    
  • The Whipping Boy is a smaller chapter book about a prince and his whipping boy.  The prince decides to run away and take the whipping boy with him.  Their adventures are very exciting, and the prince grows up.  My kids really enjoyed this book and thought the concept of having a whipping boy was such a silly idea.  This book gives a small glimpse into the Middle Ages and what life was like then.  

Now, I just need to go pick out our next book to read.  Any suggestions?  


This post contains affiliate links. 

Soldier Fritz: a review and a giveaway (contest ended)

Not too long ago, the kids and I read an enjoyable read-aloud called Soldier Fritz and The Enemies He Fought.


First, the review:

This book takes place in Germany in 1525.  The main character in the book is the son of a Count (Fritz).  Fritz has always wanted to be a soldier and wishes for a sword for his birthday.  Instead, he finds out about a different kind of sword and chooses a Bible for his present.  This leads the family to faith in Jesus Christ and many conflicts with the priest of the castle.  I don’t want to give away the plot to this wonderful book, but I do want to share a few of the great discussion topics we had with this story.

Soldier Fritz led to discussions about the following topics:

  • The importance of God’s Word and how blessed we are to have it
  • How God’s Word can teach us even if we have nothing or no one else
  • That we need to follow the Lord Jesus and not just a man (even a great Christian leader – in the book’s case, Martin Luther)
  • How low Jesus Christ humbled Himself when He came to Earth.  This is brought up in the book when someone’s situation is humbled greatly, but not nearly as great as the Lord.
  • How to be a soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • How we still have to battle our old sin nature even after becoming a Christian.  The struggles that Fritz had with pride, impatience, and other sin are written out in such a way that my kids really started to understand the battles against the “old man” that we face.
  • The importance of just doing the Lord’s work wherever we are.  There are people of different occupations and economic standings that just continue to faithfully serve the Lord and proclaim Him.

Now for the giveaway:

Salem Ridge Press has graciously provided a copy of Soldier Fritz and the Enemies He Fought for our contest.  If you’ve never heard of Salem Ridge Press, they are a small publishing company run by a homeschool graduate.  They re-publish carefully selected older books.  There are a number of books about Church History as well as other topics.  I think I first ran across them at a homeschool convention a few years ago and usually pick up a few of their books each year.  The main Church history set of books is still a little old for my children, but we have 3 books from the Junior Church history set (Solder Fritz being one of books) as well as a few other young readers they sell.  Anyway, if you are unfamiliar with their books and looking for some great reading, you might want to check them out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Travel into history with the Imagination Station books

Imagination Station seriesImagination Station books are the most-read, most-loved books in our home.  As my kids said, “You can travel into history with the Imagination Station books.  You can go on an adventure traveling through time with your mind.”

My thoughts:

  • My kids have developed a love of history and a love of reading through these books.  This really was the first series that they read on their own.
  • We get a chance to see how Christians acted throughout history.
  • Beth and Patrick’s adventures are read over and over again.
  • My children have taken on the responsibility of paying for these books.  They save up their money and pre-order the latest book on amazon as soon as it is possible.  In fact, they have already pre-ordered Captured on the High Seas (Book 14) due out in May.  By the way, the benefit of pre-ordering (beside that Amazon will charge you a lower price if the price drops before it ships) is that the book will come as soon as published.  With book 13, it was supposed to be released in January, but came just before Christmas.  We added it to Ruth’s stocking.  The surprised look on her face was priceless!
  • My older 2 children are going to start reading the first book out loud to the younger 2 very soon – a plan I love!

Elijah and Ruthie’s thoughts:

  • I like that the book tells you something about what I’ve already learned about in history (from CC memory work).
  • I like that Beth and Patrick always find one friend and travel around with them.
  • The books are scary, funny, and exciting.
  • Beth and Patrick have friends and foes.
  • They experience Bible history or meet up with Christians in the books.  In fact, in one book, they go to see Jesus being born.
  • Beth and Patrick get to dress up in cool clothing from the time periods (Ruth especially loves all of Beth’s dresses).

A quick reference list for history topics (although reading the series in order makes the most sense – I like to refer back to certain books when we hit that topic)

  1.  Voyage with the Vikings  – Vikings
  2.  Attack at the Arena – 5th century Romans
  3. Peril in the Palace  – Mongols (Kublai Khan)
  4. Revenge of the Red Knight – 15th century England (and the Crusades)
  5.  Showdown with the Shepherd  – David and Goliath
  6. Problems in Plymouth – founding of Plymouth Colony
  7. Secret of the Prince’s Tomb – Egyptians (with Hebrew slaves before Moses)
  8. Battle for Cannibal Island – Fiji Island in the 1850s (and a missionary wanting to share the gospel)
  9. Escape to the Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom during World War II
  10. Challenge on the Hill of Fire – Saint Patrick in 5th century Ireland
  11. Hunt for the Devil’s Dragon – Saint George and the dragon in 13th century Libya
  12. Danger on a Silent Night – the birth of Jesus
  13. The Redcoats Are Coming! – Revolutionary War (Paul Revere)

Note for CC families:  #13, #14, and #15 are supposed to all be about the American Revolution.  Book 14 comes out in May, and if their pattern of releasing books continues, Book 15 should be in the fall.  This should be great for Cycle 3.

I really can’t say enough good things about these books in our family.  What series of books does your family love?  

The Hundred Dresses

089Somewhere I saw this book recommended, and honestly, I didn’t think it would grab my family’s attention.  I mean, we are mostly boys here.  I was wrong about that.    The Hundred Dresses is a great story that shares lessons about how we should treat people different from us.  I remember our great discussions about how to treat others, why we need to speak up if someone else is being mean, and how we should act toward those who tease us.

Since I read it to the kids, the the big two have enjoyed reading it again themselves.  (When I got my daughter to pose for this picture, she got so wrapped up in re-reading it that she forgot I was taking her picture.  That tells me again that this is a good book.)