This was another fairly big reading week. Although, I have to admit that all the books I read were fairly short, and two of them were related to my younger children’s schooling. Still, this week and last week have been monster reading weeks when I look back at my reading this year. Here are the books.
After spending all spring and summer hearing about a pandemic, what type of book could be more welcome than a book about a pandemic? The Pull of the Stars is a historical fiction, set during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. Donoghue’s book takes place over the course of three days in a flu-gripped maternity ward in Dublin, Ireland. Women are pregnant, give birth to babies, and have the flu. Some even die of the flu. The story is told from the perspective of the nurse who is heading the daytime shift of this little flu/maternity ward, and features thoughts about the Great War, British rule of Ireland, the flu, and even a little romance.
This was a really enjoyable (and quick) read. It was like having a little close-up shot on one nurse’s life in the days nearing the end of World War I and the first fall of the Spanish flu pandemic. Donoghue packs a lot in, and the narrator leaves these three days completely changed as a person. In addition, I really enjoyed reading about medical care and the birthing of babies 100 years ago.
The next book I finished was The World of Mammals from Memoria Press. (Pictured is the accompanying study guide). This was a very serviceable spine to a semester study on mammals that my children (who were 4th and 3rd grade). The book features 30 2-page spreads, upon which are pictures and text detailing information about each subgroup of mammals. Sometimes these subgroups span multiple lessons (For example, there are seven lessons on primates). It’s not really a book that one would choose to just purchase though unless they were using the curriculum.
What is a Whale? goes in depth on a large and (to my children) largely unknown topic–the whale group of mammals. This groups covers whales, porpoises, and dolphins, as well as a few other varied whale species. Each page brings further depth to the subject of whales, and it is perfectly written for an upper-elementary school aged audience. If you have children in your life that are into science, Bobbie Kalman’s books could make a nice addition to their personal libraries.
Feat has played a huge role in Scarlet Hiltibidal’s life, and she shares many of her fears over the course of this book, starting with how fear entered her life during her parents’ divorce when she was a young child. Hiltibidal not only chronicles her fears, the shares how her Christian faith has transformed her to the place where she is not nearly as fearful as she once was. This doesn’t mean she’s cured, but she’s made good progress in her journey.
I have had a struggle with anxiety for much of my life, and while my faith has not miraculously healed me, it has made things more bearable and hopeful. I enjoyed Hiltibidal’s book as I laughed along with her stories and I remembered how God has brought me through some of the things I have been anxious about. I did find Hiltibidal a little preachy at times, but overall this was a good book for an anxious person.
Awaking Wonder is a book that discusses education and a parent’s role in helping their children to become curious about the world and willing to learn. The author, Sally Clarkson, paints with a broad brush, concentrating on her philosophy of education rather than putting too much detail into the mechanics of learning. Clarkson concentrates on homeschooling, and on her success in graduating all four of her children successfully as proof of how her methods and philosophy can work.
This is not my first Clarkson books, as I consider Clarkson to be a huge influence on my parenting style and philosophy. While our homeschool does not look exactly like theirs, I can look around at our homeschooling and see the influence her writing has had. This book is a welcome addition to that and is a book I would consider sharing with someone who was thinking about beginning to homeschool. Clarkson says that her writing would also be applicable to people who had children in public school or private school. However, she provides no real guidance for those parents, so this may feel completely inapplicable to those parents.
So, those are this week’s books. I plan to be back on the blog at the middle of the week to share my August wrap-up. Until then, I hope everyone has a great reading week!