The Elusive Miss Ellison
About the book The Elusive Miss Ellison:
About the author of The Elusive Miss Ellison:
I adored this book. To me it’s written in the style of the Bronte sisters. A good strong heroine who can take care of herself and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Who then has to learn how to allow her heart to have a voice as well.
Poor Miss Ellison. I loved her character. She’s worked so hard to make herself the doer. The one who cares for the poor and unfortunate because she knows no one else will, certainly not the landed gentry who are supposed to do this. After all, they own the houses the poor live in, the ones that are crumbling.
Then she meets that new landowner. The new master of the village if you will. She’s already got her mind made up about him though. He’s horrible, he’s arrogant, he’s only out for a good time and spending money. And of course, he will never care for these people. Mainly because he and his brother caused the death of her mother. Something she’s never been able to let go of much less forgive.
Such a wonderful book. Well written. It flies when you’re reading it. I loved getting to know Miss Ellison and making her my new friend. And of course there is some suspense and danger as well. And you get the chance to love and hate the same character but at different times. I won’t give away the ending but I will say Miss Ellison, sweet Lavinia, learns a lot about herself and who she is. That may have to do with a side of the family she’s never known or it might have to do with who she is inside. I’ll let you find out whether she’s rich in money or love or both!!
Homeschool Review Crew
We love to read here and historical fiction is a favorite. We’ve loved reading Bessie’s Pillow by Linda Bress Silbert. Strong Learning, Inc. sent out a physical copy of this book for us to review. Also provided are amazing study guide materials available online for us to use. This book is based on a true story so it could also be classified as a biography as well.
I would recommend this book to be an independent read for middle school and high school students. The materials found on the Bessie’s America page are more geared towards this age range as well. However, they can be tweaked to work with elementary students as well.
About the Book
The book , Bessie’s Pillow, is set in the early 1900’s. Bessie travels by herself from her home country of Lithuania to the United States. She’s an immigrant. She’s also a Jew. Her reason for immigration is to escape the persecution the Jews are already under in her home country.
As a country formed of all immigrants, we as a people tend to love to read about immigration stories. We trace our history and heritage to find out where we came from and who our “people” are. There are websites devoted to ancestry and helping people reconnect with family they may have lost along the way. This book is a chronicle of one families history.
Linda Bress Silbert is the granddaughter of Bessie. She and her husband are the owners of Strong Learning, Inc. and the voice behind this book. Fun fact behind the making of the book is that the narration is taken from interviews that were recorded of Bessie talking with her daughter, Linda’s mom. I would love to have something like that of me talking with my grandmother. Such a treasure!
I used this book mostly as a read aloud with my children. Well, there was actually a progression of reading this book. I read it to myself, just free reading. It’s captivating to me, but then again I really love history and this era for the Jews is chock full of information. Next, my oldest daughter age 12 read it on her own. Lastly, I read it aloud to all of the kids ages 3-12. We then worked on some of the pages within the study guide. There is a wealth of additional information within the study guide pages on the internet.
Primarily I would recommend that kids under age 7-8 not do any formal material with this book. Some of the concepts are harder for them to reverbalize in my opinion. That being said they did listen and participate in our study, but I don’t believe they took away as much from it as the older children. I will definitely be rereading and redoing the study with them when they’re a bit older.
My kids loved the book. I loved the book. It really brought a new perspective to us of someone who went through a period of history that we can only read about. We celebrate Jewish holidays in our home and often study the history of Jews plus major time periods and the history of the holidays. This brought a much more personal feel to our Jewish studies. This book is getting a permanent place on our shelf.
Definitely check out the page titled Bessie’s America which allows you to delve deeper into the time period in this book. It’s an amazing period in our history as a country. Plus, you’ve got the beginnings of a vast movement throughout Europe that will forever change history as well. This book and the material provided to us through this page can fully be made into a unit study. I feel that given a bit of time to plan I could easily make an entire semesters worth of information and a unit study focusing on the book and it’s history.
Learn what other reviewers thought of Bessie’s Pillow over on the Main Crew Review blog where all the reviews are linked up. You’re sure to find a schooling approach and view that will give you the information you would like to know. Bessie’s Pillow and Strong Learning, Inc. can also be found on facebook and twitter.
Riding the Range
Homeschool Review Crew
Riding the range is something that captivates most young children. They play cowboys and Indians and ride imaginary ponies across the yard. My kids are no different. They love to pretend and play like they’re on a big ranch. Part of this play lately comes from reading the newest Andi books from Kregel Publications and Susan K Marlow. These newest titles in the Circle C Stepping Stones series are Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top. We received both of them through the Homeschool Review Crew so we could read and review!
My children love to read! Several of my kids have already devoured these two books and are ready for more. Since we aren’t buying any new books right now they’ve gone back to read the other Andi book we have. And any other horse and farm related books they can find!
We’ve read some of the older chapter books about Andi and now these two books. My kids love Andi and her adventures riding the range. They’re great read alouds or for kids to read on their own and discuss. We highly recommend the Circle C books.
About the Books
The new series is intended to go between the beginner series and the longer chapter books for older children. So the age range for this new series is 7-10. At present there are six titles that are going to be in this series. Your kids will love riding the range with Andi and her horse Taffy.
Andi has a pretty Palomino horse that she loves to ride named Taffy. Her older brother Justin is a lawyer. Chad(another older brother) runs the ranch while her older sister Melinda cares more for her appearance than the ranch or her younger sister. Mitch is another older brother who has a horse named Chase. A Spanish cook completes the household. Andi’s mother is described as being “very nice” while unfortunately her father has passed away.
Andi Saddles Up
In Andi Saddles Up we find her celebrating her ninth birthday with a new saddle and bridle for Taffy. It’s the first book in this new series. Andi wants to learn to be a trick rider but her brother does not approve of that plan! Instead she finds a new friend. But this new friend is on the wrong side of a feud between her father and Andi’s brother Chad. Can they still be friends? What about this feud? Can Sadie and Andi find a way to stop the feud? 104 pages of fun and excitement will help you find out! At the end of the book there are two pages of fun history facts that relate to the story within.
Andi Under the Big Top
Andi Under the Big Top has a circus coming to town! While you might get that from the title you won’t know that Andi again finds a new friend! This young man is named Henry Jackson and he works for the circus selling treats. As Andi gets to know Henry she finds out some sad news. Henry ran away from home to join the circus. He’d like to go home now but he can’t. He’s trapped. Andi wants to help him but how? As Andi comes up with a plan will she be able to save Henry without suffering any losses of her own? Great story line that not only helps your children have a fun read but opens up doors to talk about strangers and what to do if they ever get lost. This book is 105 pages long.
If you’re interested in learning more about Susan K Marlow and Kregel Publications plus their newest Circle C Stepping Stones titles please check out the main Homeschool Review Crew blog where all the reviews are linked up. You can also find Kregel Publications on twitter and facebook as well as Susan K Marlow on twitter and facebook.
Pennsylvania Unit Study
Homeschool Review Crew
I love to do unit studies! We just finished a Pennsylvania Unit Study are based on a good book. We recently received Pennsylvania ~Here We Come to review through the Homeschool Review Crew. By the Way Book Series has several titles focusing on states and fun places that can be used for a great base of a unit study. I’m pretty excited for an Ireland book coming out this year(in 2017)! I think our next unit study will be focused on Ohio. My best friend just moved there which makes it a great choice!
Unit Studies From a Book
Do you enjoy unit studies and adding more to a book? Reading at our house is a favorite past-time. Everyday we sit and read books. Unfortunately, not all books are equal in the knowledge area. When I look for books most contain fluff, not facts. Being Charlotte Mason fans, fluff is bad. This recent book about Pennsylvania contains quite a bit of information. Because of all the information contained, it doesn’t require much extra though I tend to over add and over teach!
Pennsylvania ~Here We Come focuses on two children who get to go around the state with the state mascot, Penny. They fly all over the state to fun places. They meet new people while also learning history and about nature. It’s really a great way to teach all this to young readers. My younger kids have asked me to read it several times as it does engage them.
The book is 49 pages long. A great length for kids to read themselves. The length is perfect for breaking up into smaller chunks for reading to younger children as well. It’s written in an engaging way that brings the history to life as the two characters are learning it. I loved adding bits and pieces to it to make it into a Pennsylvania Unit Study. We really love history which means we took a few days just to study the Civil War battles and what role the state played in the war.
About the Books
Written by Joy Budensiek and Illustrated by Stephanie Robledo, this is a very colorful book that keeps kids focused on what they’re learning and interested in what is to come next. I have to admit that I found this a very cute book myself. Fun facts pop up everywhere! I didn’t know half of these neat facts that my kids can now spout off.
The By the Way Book Series is a nature book series with a Biblical worldview. You can definitely tell that these are a great Christian book series. I like to follow a Charlotte Mason type approach to homeschooling and this fits right in. It’s a book I won’t mind having on our bookshelf for years to come. That’s how we judge books here. No fluff and stuff in this one! Just pure knowledge and information for the kids.
As I’ve stated above a few times we really enjoyed this book. I could find my children off somewhere curled up with it over the course of the review on any given day. When I’d need the book to work on part of our Pennsylvania Unit Study I’d have to search the house to find what child had it hidden away.
Of Stillness and Storm (Thomas Nelson, December 2016)
Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.
The Beginner’s Bible
Homeschool Review Crew
Do you use a Bible with your youngest children? We love The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz and recently received a copy of their new and improved version through the Homeschool Review Crew. This Bible is geared towards ages 4-8. It’s to be used as a read aloud with ages 4-6 and children ages 6-8 can read it independently.
Why a redo of a great classic? Well, it’s the 25th anniversary of The Beginner’s Bible so they redid it to include new three dimensional artwork. How cool is that? My girls are loving this new Bible. It’s great for our read aloud time. The girls I have using this are ages three, six, and six. One of my six year olds is able to do some beginning reading on her own. She’s been reading us some of the stories with a bit of help while the other two just listen and enjoy the new art work.
So, how are we using this new Bible? I find that The Beginner’s Bible is amazing added to our school day. As we start our day I do a devotional with the kids after breakfast. While the younger girls can sit and listen they rarely take away any of the big picture that the older children get from the devotional. I wanted something that they could understand and also glean something from. Something that was going to stick with them.
Enter The Beginner’s Bible. We read one story a day as we start their school. I use one curriculum for my older kids and one for my younger girls. There are just the three younger girls in their curriculum so I work with them first. We read a story from our new Bible and talk about what the story means and how we can apply it to our lives. Next, it’s easy to step right into our school lesson. I particularly enjoy it when I can match a Bible story with what we’re learning that day.
My older kids even like our new Bible! They had the original edition as part of their school curriculum when they were little and are loving comparing the artwork in the two editions as well as reading it straight through like a chapter book. I’m blessed with kids who love to read so I’m not going to discourage them from grabbing this Bible geared to younger kids and reading it quickly in a sitting. Who knows what they might pick out from a story that they didn’t understand all over when they were younger?
I personally recommend this Bible and think that The Beginner’s Bible makes a great gift for the young children on your gift list. Whether it be for Christmas or a birthday or a just because they’re going to enjoy this book. Definitely a book I feel should be on every homeschool library shelf and every little kid Sunday school shelf.
Want to learn more about this new Zonderkidz edition of The Beginner’s Bible? Check out the main Blog Post where everyone has linked up their reviews. You can also find them on facebook, twitter, pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.
About the book:
Pursuing Gold (Elk Lake, October 2016)
Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over thirty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. She’s a columnist for Leading Hearts Magazine and she directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference. Cyndi has a heart for encouraging women in today’s crazy, upside-down world. She loves history and peppers her speaking and teaching with fascinating vignettes from the past. Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the Year. She co-founded Homeschool Answers and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.
For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.
From December to New Year‘s Eve, reawaken the wonder, joy, and magic that is Christmas with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas.
With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season.
Trust My Heart
Grant McAllister arrives in Murphy, North Carolina, with one aim: to sell his inherited property and leave as quickly as possible.
The big-city lawyer has no interest in his late, estranged grandparents or the dilapidated mansion he just acquired. After his high-profile divorce, he should be avoiding perky reporters, too. But Jami Carlisle is honest, funny, and undeniably appealing.
After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore—much like its handsome, commitment-phobic heir. Thanks to her digging, the pieces of Grant’s fraught family history are gradually fitting into place, but also upending all his old beliefs.
The two draw closer as they share their dreams, until misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust. But in the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there’s healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what’s needed to finally guide him home…
From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special-events decorating company, Carol J. Post’srésumé reads as if she hasn’t yet decided what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love of writing. She started as a child composing poetry for family and friends, then graduated to articles for religious and children’s publications. Now she pens fun, fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense stories. Her books have been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book award and selected as an RT Top Pick. When Carol isn’t writing, she enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. She also plays the piano and sings with her music-minister husband. Their two grown daughters and their grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all her nurturing into taking care of a fat and sassy black cat and a highly spoiled dachshund.