It's been a busy season for us. Our oldest graduated in March and our youngest is embarking on potty training. Crazy, huh? Our read-aloud time was shorter this spring, but we still got a few good ones in:
Blue Willow is one of my favorite read-alouds. Set in Fresno County where I grew up, Blue Willow is the story of a Dust Bowl depression era family and their struggle to make ends meet. Several parts make me teary, and the end just makes me flat-out happy cry.
We live in a farming community and are surrounded by hard working immigrants from many interesting places. Their stories of escaping poverty, persecution, and war can be heart-wrenching, and I want my children to have a compassion for those around us who are working so hard to make a new life here. Goodbye Viet Nam chronicles the escape of several families from Viet Nam just as communism took over in the 1970's. Very readable and quite enjoyable, but with a solid dose of reality as the reader is exposed to what life on a refugee boat and in a holding house is like.
My 10-year-old and I were perusing the bookstore shelves last month when we happened upon a recommendation for Once Upon a Marigold. Well, what a fun treat! The 11-year-old was hesitant about having to listen to me read it (she detests any romantic gooshiness) but a chapter in and she was hooked. There is a tad bit of gooshiness, but there is a whole lot of spunk, adventure, and fun.
The moment the last page was read of Once Upon a Marigold, my girls begged for me to order Twice Upon a Marigold. We're only three chapters in, and it's not disappointing us. Perfectly fun summertime reading!