Read Aloud Reviews: Chocolate Fever, Little House in the Big Woods, George Müller, Snow & Rose

Welcome to the next installment of my Read Aloud Reviews. If you are new here I am currently homeschooling my four children. I am sitting here on Sunday afternoon while the kids are napping/quiet time typing this post and listening to music and drinking a Key Lime La Croix.

Let’s get into the latest reads I have read aloud to our oldest two since the last book review I posted in September.

Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith

I read Chocolate Fever when I was in elementary school and thought this might be a fun one to revisit. I was right and our three year olds also seemed to enjoy this one too. I read the majority of this book on our back patio and let the kids draw and paint while they listened. And they kept asking to read another chapter and another that we soon finished this 93 page book.

Henry loves chocolate so much and eats it all the time. He starts to break out into a rash and is eventually diagnosed with Chocolate Fever. This book documents his adventures from school, hospital, hitchhiking, and even helping stop a robbery.

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods was a fun book to read to the kids. The pictures every few pages really helped especially for my six year old. My kids loved listening to what life was like for Laura and her family. I like how this story takes you through all the seasons with the family so you can see how life was different from summer to winter for the girls. My kids loved this book.

George Müller by Janet & Geoff Benge

George Müller is part of the Chrisitan Hero’s: Then & Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge. I highly enjoyed reading this biography and the reason I picked George Müller is because I didn’t know very much about him except that he started an orphan house. Because we have been a foster family I thought this would be interesting for us to read together.

This man did so much in his lifetime and God totally transformed him. His story is amazing. He and his wife invited 30 orphans into their home for a breakfast club which eventually led to building 5 large houses that housed over ten thousand children. George never took on any debt to fund the orphan houses and prayer was such a huge part of his life. It was very encouraging reading this biography. Later in the year I plan on reading the biography on C.S. Lewis from this series to the kids.

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin

Snow & Rose was an additional book that I wasn’t planning on reading but I am glad we did. If you or someone in your life likes fairy tales this might be one to add for a Christmas gift or put on your list. he writing style reminded me of C.S. Lewis and George McDonald. Sweet, fun, and imaginative, this book had my kids (and me) guessing what would happen next.

It is a sweet fairy tale about two sisters Snow and Rose. Their father disappears in the woods and the girls and their mother are forced to leave their home to live in a small cottage in the woods. But what they didn’t know is that woods they are living in are enchanted.

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Read Aloud Reviews: When Stars Are Scattered

So many things to say about this book. Which is why I am giving it it’s own review. It deserves it. To see other chapter books I have read aloud while homeschooling my children this year click HERE.

When Stars are Scattered is the true story of young brothers Omar and Hassan and their life in a refugee camp in Kenya. There are many really hard topics that are touched on, such as an arranged marriage of a young girl that results in pregnancy, a father beating his child, death, war, hunger, etc. This book is brilliant because it takes difficult subject matter and makes it easily digestible for older children to early tweens because it is told in a graphic novel.

Yes this book is heavy and sad. But my word do you root for these boys and just want the best for them. This book brought out so many meaningful conversations with my kids we would have never had anytime soon. Plus the illustrations are fantastic and really add to the dialogue and flow of the story.

While this book has really tough topics, it was an excellent way to teach my kids about how other children in the world live. Another moment to have meaningful conversations with them about how you really don’t know someones full story or what they are going through or have gone through. We need to be kind and compassionate to everyone.

Our family has never prayed for refugees before reading this and now we do. Our kids have a deeper appreciation for what we have and the house we live in.

At the end of the book there are pictures of Omar and Hassen and what their lives are like today. It is so uplifting and inspiring. I won’t say anything more because I don’t want to spoil the story or the ending. My kids were eager each night to read When Stars are Scattered and always asked to read another chapter.

We laughed, I cried several times, and overall just really enjoyed this book. The kids asked if there was a part 2. Just for reference there isn’t, yet, maybe there will be in the future.

I would strongly suggest parents to read this book ahead of time because of the adult themes presented. That being said I highly recommend this book even if you the parent are the only one who reads it. For reference I read this book with my 6 and 8 year old.

To close out this post I will end with a word from Hassan. If you want to know what the following word means you have to read When Stars Are Scattered.

“HOOYO!”

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Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms

While I was nursing my third baby I started reading a blog series by Tim Challies called Christian Men and their Godly Moms. I would be so excited when he posted in this series and would sit in my baby’s room feeding and rocking him while I would read. Sometimes I would sob while reading about these amazing mother’s and how devoted they were to the Lord.

I am so thankful for Tim taking the time to research and share about these women. His blog posts were instrumental in encouraging me to continue reading the bible myself as well as to my 4 and 2 year old at the time. I am happy to say that our family devotions have continued over the years and while they aren’t perfect they have been fruitful.

I recently discovered that this blog series was expanded upon and turned into a book, Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms, and I just finished reading it. It was so good and I highly recommend it to any mother regardless of how old her children are. I still sobbed at certain portions even though I knew the story. There were great takeaways and a helpful section at the end of each chapter with reflection questions.

If you are pregnant, a mom to a newborn, or a mom of adult children this is a great book to add to your reading list! Seriously all mama’s could benefit from reading this book. And if you have daughters read this as well! So many things inside that will encourage you as you strive to raise Godly children who love the Lord.

Praying For Your Children

Here are just a few takeaways from what I read that you could begin implementing today in your prayer life.

Pray for the ability to teach his truths to your children. Ask him to store these truths in their memory and use them as a foundation for their commitment to Christ.

Pray for your children to remain faithful. Ask him to stregthen their faith when their beliefs are under attack.

Pray for your own life to be an example to your children. Ask that you be willing to surrender your children to his plan for them, no matter the cost to you—or to them.

Pray for the strength to continue to meet your obligations. Ask for for fruits of the spirit to overflow out of you so that you do not become bitter about your workload.

Name a personality trait for each of your children that is a cause for concern unless it is brought under the lordship of Christ. Pray that God will use these traits for his glory.

This book will inspire you as you read examples of women from the past and present who have succeeded in raising their children to honor and glorify the Lord.

Challies, Tim. Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms

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