Magical Reads with The Sisters Grimm & Pip Bartlett

I haven’t been participating in the discussion much about them, but I did read both of the chapter books for November and December’s Family Book Club.

the-sisters-grimm-fairy-tale-detectivesThe Sisters Grimm is the first book in The Fairy Tale Detectives series, where all the fairy tale characters we know from stories turn out to actually live in a town in New York. They’re trapped under a spell and have had to make lives for themselves there, and it’s very funny learning what the various characters do. Snow White as a Kindergarten teacher was one of my favorites.

It’s a cute story, and while I wasn’t motivated to read more in the series for myself, I can imagine giving it to my kids to read for themselves when they get older. At least in the first book, there wasn’t anything I’d object to content-wise, and it was a fun re-imagining of familiar fairy tale stories.

pip-bartletts-guide-to-magical-creaturesPip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures was really amusing – I loved Pip and was so entertained by her Unicorn mishap. I loved how Pip’s world was so recognizable as ours, with just the added element of oh, yeah, there are magical creatures. I will be looking for the next in this series when it releases next year.

This is one where I think the print version is preferred to the electronic version – I read it via Kindle, and there are some illustrations that were either hard or all but impossible to see. It wasn’t essential, but they are fun, and when I have my kids read this, they’ll be reading it in print.


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Two years ago: November 2014 Recap

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Have a MAGICAL November and December with Us

We’ve had a really nice discussion about the Modern US books featured in the Family Exploration Book Club in September & October. While we’re still discussing Stuck in Neutral, I wanted to be sure and share the titles for November and December in time for everyone to locate the books.

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For the youngest readers, the picture book selected is The Boy from the Dragon Palace adapted by Margaret Read MacDonald, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa

For November’s chapter book title, we’re reading The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley, illustrated by Peter Ferguson

December’s selection is Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater

Chat about the books

We’d love to chat about the books with you in the Facebook group – tell us what you & your family think about the titles, or share additional ideas for books (or crafts, or food) that connect to the theme!


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Next Up: Staying in the US in Family Book Club

Apparently we all took the summer off, but you’ve got time to join in for the final months of our family book club as we look at books set in the United States! We’ve also got a new co-host, Kate of Moms’s Radius.

What books are we reading in September and October?

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For the youngest readers, the picture book selected is Grace For President by Kelly S. DiPucchio, and illustrated by LeUyen Pham (can’t find it at your library? I’ll be back soon with a post on some other options, but do look for this one, as it is wonderful).

For September’s early elementary / middle grade title, we’re reading Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel M. Zubizarreta.

October’s selection for teens / adults is Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman.

Chat about the books

We’d love to chat about the books with you in the Facebook group – tell us what you & your family think about the titles, or share additional ideas for books (or crafts, or food) that connect to the theme!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Book Review: The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner

A Book Club Reading Fail

The Slightly True Story of Cedar B HartleyI’ve had my first complete book club reading fail for the year: I didn’t read either book for the family book club this month.

Not for lack of trying, at least as far as the picture book goes. I’ve had Possum Magic on hold from the library for months (literally). I’m still waiting for it, although I did read a ton of other picture books instead.

The chapter book we were to read this month was The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley. And I tried … really I did. But I was forcing myself to read it and not enjoying it at all. I finally gave it up.

Instead, I read Audrey of the Outback, which was a charming story, and one I’ll be reading with my kids later this year (when my daughter reaches Australia in her around-the-world Kindergarten plan).

Hopefully others had more success than me as far as the month’s reading goes.


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Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Book Review: Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
Two years ago: New on My Bookcase (vol. 23)
Three years ago: Bookish Links

50 Picture Books about Australia

On Monday I shared the books we’ll “officially” be reading as part of our Family Book Club. But perhaps your library doesn’t have Mem Fox’s Possum Magic, or perhaps you just want one or two dozen others to read because your kids are like mine and can’t get enough picture books. In that case, I’ve compiled a list of 50 possibilities for you.

50 Australia picture books

Headed to the library? I’ve got a printable for that.

If you want to look for any of these titles at your library, here’s a PDF printable of all 50 books.

And some others, which I didn’t have the chance to preview:

Still Want More?

Despite including several titles by Mem Fox already in this list, she’s got plenty more – not all of them very Australia-heavy on their content, but every one of hers I’ve read has been worthwhile. My kids are particularly partial to Where Is the Green Sheep?

In addition, Bronwyn Bancroft has many additional picture book titles besides the three listed in this post, and all are very Australia-focused.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

Family Book Club Destination Australia!

We’re into July but it’s not too late to join in our family book club as we head to Australia! We’ve got a new co-host, Breanne of This Vintage Moment.

What books are we reading in July and August?

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For the youngest readers, the picture book selected is Possum Magic by Mem Fox, illustrated by Julie Vivas. (Can’t find it? I’ll list some other suggestions on Thursday).

For July’s early elementary / middle grade title, we’re reading The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley by Martine Murray. August’s selection for teens / adults is [Follow the] Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington (a.k.a. Nugi Garimara), our one and only nonfiction pick for the year. (You may find the book under either title, depending on the edition your library carries)

Chat about the books

We’d love to chat about the books with you in the Facebook group – tell us what you & your family think about the titles, or share additional ideas for books (or crafts, or food) that connect to the theme!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Three years ago: Book Review: A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri.

Shadow Spinner (and a link-up)

Shadow SpinnerMay kicks off a new theme for our family book club – Iran – and the first book is Shadow Spinner, a retelling of the Shahrazad story by Susan Fletcher.

Once again, it’s not one that I read to my kids (they’re too young for it), but I reread it to be able to participate in the discussion in the Facebook group. Although I didn’t actually participate in the discussion at all, as most of it took place when I was on vacation and not spending time on Facebook. 🙂

Jessica (Quirky Bookworm) shared in the Facebook group that there is a new retelling of Shahrazad’s story, called The Wrath and the Dawn, and I’ve already requested it from the library. I did like how Fletcher made me think about what it would really have been like in that situation for everyone, and am curious to read Ahdieh’s interpretation.

If you read Shadow Spinner, either for yourself, or with your family, what did you think of it? Were you familiar with Shahrazad’s story, and did that impact your feelings about this reinterpretation?

If you’ve written a post about the book (or other books related to Iran). Any posts linked here will show up on the joint linkup, hosted by Katie (Cakes, Tea and Dreams) and Jessica (Quirky Bookworm). Add your post once from any one of our sites, and it will automatically appear in the linkup on their blogs.


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Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about reading this book or one of the themed picture books. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to one of the host’s posts.

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting us permission to use and/or repost photographs or comments from your linked post.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Reading about Iran

Interested in joining in with us for the Reading Together: A Family Exploration Book Club? Our theme for May and June is Iran, and you’ve still got time to find the books and join our new co-host Katie from Cakes, Tea, and Dreams for the discussion.

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What are the three books we’ve selected? The picture book is Forty Fortunes by Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Alisher Dianov. (Can’t find it? I’ll list some other suggestions below). The elementary grade book to be discussed in May is Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher, and the middle grade / teen book for June is Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

Want some additional picture book options?

If your kids are anything like mine, you can run through a half dozen picture books in a day, and they like nothing more than doing just that. In case you can’t easily locate Forty Fortunes, or if you just want more options, here are some more possibilities. Asterisks (*) mark ones I especially enjoyed, and the tilde (~) denotes one I haven’t actually seen, thanks to it vanishing off my library holds shelf before I could borrow it.

Chat about the books

We’d love to chat about the books with you in the Facebook group – tell us what you & your family think about the titles, or share additional ideas for books (or crafts, or food) that connect to the theme!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Savor by Shauna Niequist

When My Name Was Keoko (and a linkup)

When My Name Was KeokoApril continued with the theme of Korea for our family book club, and the book selection is a favorite of mine: When My Name Was KeokoWhen My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park, by Linda Sue Park.

Because of the ages of my children (my oldest is only 6), it’s not one I read aloud to them, but I do plan on either having them read it themselves eventually, or reading it to them when they’re older.

I’m reasonably well-read about World War II and that era, but I hadn’t realized that Korea was occupied by Japan before and during the war. Or at least if I’d heard it it hadn’t really sunk in at all. Park’s story brings that time period to life, and yet does so in a way that’s not too graphic for younger readers, although as always I’d recommend that you know your reader if you’re worried about suitability.

If you read When My Name Was KeokoWhen My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park, either for yourself, or with your family, what did you think of it? There’s also a blog linkup if you posted about the book (or theme), and any posts will automatically show up on the joint linkup, hosted by Moira (Hearth and Homefront) and Jessica (Quirky Bookworm). Add your post once from any one of our sites, and it will automatically appear in the linkup on their blogs.


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Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about reading this book or one of the themed picture books. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to one of the host’s posts.

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting us permission to use and/or repost photographs or comments from your linked post.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

The Kite Fighters (and a linkup)

The Kite FightersMarch and April’s theme for our online family book club is Korea, and March’s book is Linda Sue Park’s wonderful novel The Kite FightersThe Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park.

I was not new to Park, but hadn’t read this particular title until pre-reading it for the book club. What a lovely story it was, and I learned quite a bit about historic Korean culture.

While I did not read this book with my kids (I think they’ll do better with it in another couple of years), I absolutely do plan to read it to them eventually. Although if we stick with Sonlight for our homeschool curriculum, it is scheduled in the year focused on the Eastern Hemisphere, so the kids would definitely read it then!


If you read The Kite FightersThe Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park, either for yourself, or with your family, what did you think of it? And if you wrote a post about it, please add it to our linkup! Any posts will automatically show up on the joint linkup, hosted by Moira (Hearth and Homefront) and Jessica (Quirky Bookworm). Add your post once from any one of our sites, and it will automatically appear in the linkup on their blogs.


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Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about reading this book or one of the themed picture books. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to one of the host’s posts.

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting us permission to use and/or repost photographs or comments from your linked post.

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Next month we continue with Korea, and we’ll be discussing When My Name Was KeokoWhen My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park. I hope you can join us!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!