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First, let’s start with a pick for older elementary/middle school kids. My daughter and I read this together: Black Star, Bright Dawn by Scott O’Dell
Scott O’Dell wrote this great book about a teenage-aged Eskimo girl from Alaska, Bright Dawn, who spent her young life learning to hunt bearded seals with her father. When a hunting accident forces her father to give up his livelihood, the family is forced to move from their village to a small Alaskan town. While living there, Bright Dawn and her father learn to race dog sleds. Her father receives a sponsorship to race in the Iditarod. When he becomes injured again, Bright Dawn takes his place. Follow her struggles and triumphs as she runs the race of her life.
Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
In America, we like to think we are open-minded, and are not prejudiced against other cultures. But sometimes we are. Especially after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against our country. We took out our frustration on Muslims living in our own neighborhoods. Amani describes what it was like to grow up as a Muslim girl in America. She has heartbreaking stories about the way she and family members were treated. We can’t change the past, but we can most certainly do better in the future.
Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
I do not normally read Zombie Apocalypse books. It is not my thing. I am not even sure why I picked up this book (maybe it was a dare from one of my kids?). Once I started reading it, I just had to finish. I really enjoyed the story line of this book. The Apocalypse starts as an infectious disease and an offbeat reference to flu vaccines….which is an eerie parallel to what we are facing now! I did finish this book right before coronavirus took over our lives, but man there are a lot of comparisons I am making to the book and what we are going through now!
Believe Me by Yolanda Hadid
Have you ever been horribly sick, and no one believed you when because you seemed fine on the outside? Inside your body was being ravished by a disease doctors could not pinpoint. This is the story of Real Housewife star and model Yolanda Hadid and how she suffered from Lyme Disease for years before doctors figured out what was making her so sick. Along the way, she learned that conventional medicine did not always have the answers and she turned to some alternative medicine to supplement her healing. Yolanda is a brave, beautiful soul. She has a very kind heart that is rare among celebrities.
Looking for more reading suggestions?
The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
True friendship is hard to find. A group of friends that lasts a lifetime is even harder to find. Five young mothers gather in a park in Palo Alto in the 1960s, discovering a love of books. Encouraging each other, they start writing. At first it is pretty basic journal writing. Soon they become each other’s harshest critics as they tackle difficult subjects. They rally around each other through illnesses and marital crises. Several of the women become published authors, and they all end up on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show”, leaving Johnny speechless at their antics! The bonds of the women in this book are exceptional, and you feel like you are a part of their group.
The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy
If you are a history buff you will like this book. The Beilski Brothers, Tuvia, Asael, Zus, and Aron, saved approximately 1200 Jewish lives during World War II by hiding in the forests near what is now Belarus. They beat incredible odds to stay alive and constantly moving through the forest to avoid the Nazi Germans. But the Nazis were not their only enemies. Some of the local gentiles and even some members of the Russian Army (who they were helping out) turned on them, making their lives even more difficult.
Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs
Are you a Foodie? Do you enjoy watching cooking shows? I do not, but this lovely novel about Augusta “Gus” Simpson and her antics was a fun read! Imagine you are about to turn 50, and you are the darling of a food network. Suddenly, you are in danger of being replaced by younger hosts, beauty queens, and 10 minute internet videos. What crazy ideas would you come up with to save your show? Find out how Gus reacted!
Kinda Like Grace: A Homeless Man, A Broken Woman, and the Decision That Made Them Family by Ginger Sprouse and Thomas Nelson
For several years, the residents of Clear Lake, Texas helped out Victor, a homeless man on a busy street corner. A little bit of help here, a little bit of help there, but he always kept slipping through the cracks as there was nothing the authorities could really do for him. One day, Ginger drives by Victor’s corner and feels a pull of some unexplained force to help him. She leaves; God just keeps putting Victor back in her path. With all that she has done wrong in her life, how can she possibly be qualified to help him? She has just re-built her own life, and now God wants her to help Victor? She accepts the path the Holy Spirit gives her, and dives in headfirst to help get this man the help he needs.
What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments below!