It’s Monday-What Are You Reading?

Here we are with another chance to share wonderful books with each other thanks to Jen and Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts and Sheila over at Book Journey who both sponsor this great meme each week for young adult/children and adult respectively!

It was not a busy reading week because it was a busy everything else week! Gah! Can I catch my breath? Note to self-DO NOT EVER WAIT TO GRADE HISTORY NOTEBOOKS/FRIDAY LETTERS AT THE END OF THE 6 WEEKS!! Anxiety medicine would have been welcome! 🙂

So, on to my reading which is why you are reading this post in the first place!

The Star-Spangled Secret

I finished The Star Spangled Secret by K.M. Kimball. It earned 4 out of 5 stars. That means I really liked it. 🙂

I read a picture book about Daniel Boone since we have been reviewing  the Westward Expansion in my 6th grade history class. It was an informative little picture book-very easy read!

I just started reading Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. It’s VERY different from what I expected but we will see if I end up liking it as much as I thought I would based on the back of the book. 🙂

I do know that I will be reading a Little House on the Prairie book this week for BANNED BOOKS WEEK. I’m so looking forward to it. I loved those books when I was young. And as crazy as my life is right now I will relish the simplicity of those times as I get lost on the prairie……

What good reads have you read lately?


Big Nate:From the Top Book Review

Big Nate: From the TopBig Nate: From the Top by Lincoln Peirce

Goodreads Summary:

Big Nate is taking it from the top—the top of the troublemaker’s list!Nate Wright is eleven years old, four-and-a-half feet tall, and the all-time record holder for school detentions in school history. He’s a self-described genius and sixth-grade Renaissance man. Middle school kids everywhere can relate to Big Nate’s daily battle against overzealous teachers, undercooked cafeteria food, and all-around conventionality. This collection features cartoonist Lincoln Peirce’s daily and Sunday strips.

My Thoughts:

Cute, cute, cute cartoon book. Well, maybe cute isn’t the best word to describe it since it has mature content in it. Hilarious, hilarious, hilarious. That’s better! This is the only Nate book I’ve read. He’s a character alright! 🙂 One of my 6th graders gave it to me last year to read (Yes, my ToBeRead list is VERY long so I just got around to reading it this weekend). I can’t decide if it’s the kind of book that parents need to screen or if it’s exactly right for 6th graders. I thought it had some content in it that was maybe a little inappropriate for that age? Not sure-anyway, I liked it! :)It was my kind of humor-sarcastic and a little over the top.

4 of 5 stars

The Star Spangled Secret Book Review

The Star-Spangled SecretThe Star Spangled Secret by K.M. Kimball

Goodreads Summary:

Caroline Dorsey refuses to believe her beloved older brother, Charlie, could have fallen from the deck of his ship and drowned. There’s something that rings untrue in the story the ship’s captain has told Caroline’s grieving mother, and Caroline is determined to find out what really happened. With rumors of an impending British attack on Baltimore growing every day, Caroline is in a race against time to get to the bottom of her brother’s disappearance before the war raging around her forces her to abandon the quest. Her search for the truth takes Caroline from her family’s Maryland plantation to President Madison’s White House to the dangerous world of the Baltimore docks. But is there an even greater peril waiting for Caroline much closer to home?

My Thoughts:

What a great little chapter book mystery set back during the War of 1812. Caroline is a feisty and stubborn young girl who believes her brother to be dead by falling off of a ship and drowning. Well, that’s what she is told, but she believes there’s more to the story, and she is determined to find out.
This is an easy read for 4th grade and up. They will especially like it if they are interested in history. There’s only one sentence in the book that makes reference to a mature subject-so I’ll just mark through it with a black marker and be done with it. I really wish sometimes that authors would think deeply about the audience they are writing to (with the parents in mind!!!). 🙂

4 of 5 stars to this one, and they are well deserved!

3 Branches of Government

You know how you have a lesson planned and think it’s going to be great? And it is? But then you realize (after the test) that something didn’t stick in their minds so maybe the lesson was worthless? Yeah, that’s me and this lesson. 🙂

In my 6th grade American History class we are SPEEDING through some of the 5th grade standards because they didn’t get to them last year. I mean SPEEDING like we are about to get pulled over by the COS (Course of Study) police and given a serious ticket!!! I felt obligated to at least introduce them to what they didn’t get to in 5th grade so they wouldn’t have this big chunk of BLANK space in their brain between Colonial times and the early 1900s. BUT-this is one lesson that should have been slowed down a little. Because I think it’s pretty important.

Anyway-our after strategy for this lesson was to draw a visual to help us remember the 3 “branches” of government. I really thought that would help it stick, but I’m thinking that some of their trees died from not enough water!

Here are the pictures of some of their visuals they drew in their history notebooks.

ok-this is the anchor chart that 2 of my girls made for our room. Ummm… I’m thinking that nobody can really see the info??? 🙂

Here’s where they bombed on the assessment-they mixed up the 3 branches of government with the 3 levels of government. Next time I will slow the lesson (s) down and maybe REPEAT them. Just trying to make it thru the 5th grade standards so we can begin OUR 6th grade standards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂


It’s Monday-What Are You Reading?

Here we are with another chance to share wonderful books with each other thanks to Jen and Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts and Sheila over at Book Journey who both sponsor this great meme each week for young adult/children and adult respectively!

I’ve been MIA from this fantastic meme for a few weeks because-well because I just got lazy! HA! Usually if I wait until Sunday night to try to do this post I will skip it because it’s labor intensive-if I’ve read a lot that is. This week is short! 🙂


Nate From the Top by Lincoln Peirce (Bye bye spelling rules!)

Big Nate: From the Top4 of 5 stars


Next of Kin by Sharon Sala

Next of Kin (Rebel Ridge, #1)4 of 5 stars

I just started Star-Spangled Secret by K.M. Kimball. Enjoying it so far-loving historical fiction kid books lately!

The Star-Spangled Secret

After this one I’m not sure what I’ll be reading-I think I’m ready for a good YA book!! Hmmm…..any suggestions?


Next of Kin Book Review

Next of Kin (Rebel Ridge, #1)Next of Kin by Sharon Sala

This is the 1st of a the Rebel Ridge series by Sharon Sala.

Goodreads Summary:

Beth Venable has seen too much. Witness to a major mob hit, she’s placed in protective custody until the trial. But after her third safe house is riddled with bullets, she goes off-grid to save herself. What the FBI can’t do, her kinfolk will.The beautiful but forbidding Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky welcome Beth back, dirt roads and rustic shacks a world apart from L.A. But her homecoming—even her blissful reunion with strong, silent Ryal Walker—is made bittersweet by the fight she’s brought to the clan’s doorstep. Hidden in a remote cabin with the man she’s always wanted, Beth begins to dream of a new life: her old one. But after so long, with such dangers stalking her…impossible.But love can distill life down to its essence: an elixir of pure hope, nerve—and the will to survive.

My Thoughts:

I like Sharon Sala’s books-this one included. I don’t know if I would categorize this one as a mystery. It’s really just an action with romance in it as well. (Which is always good in my opinion!)

I don’t like reading books about the Mob, but this one is an exception since it didn’t go into too many details about the Mob.

I really like Beth’s determination to survive, and of course I like the man she loves.

The only reason is took me a week to read this one is because of the craziness of the week. 🙂

4 out of 5 stars

Left For Dead Book Review

Left For Dead by J.A. JanceLeft For Dead by J.A. Janice

Goodreads Summary:

Ali Reynolds investigates two shocking cases of victims brutally left for dead in New York Times bestselling J.A. Jance’s latest mystery-thriller. When Santa Cruz County deputy sheriff Jose Reyes, Ali’s classmate from the Arizona Police Academy, is gunned down and left to die, he is at first assumed to be an innocent victim of the drug wars escalating across the border. But the crime scene investigation shows there’s much more to it than that, and soon he and his pregnant wife, Teresa, both fall under suspicion of wrongdoing.Ali owes Reyes a debt of gratitude for the help he gave her years earlier when she was dealing with a troubled friend. When she’s summoned to his bedside at Physicians Medical Center in Tucson, it’s impossible for her to turn away. And knowing Reyes as well as she does, Ali finds it hard to believe that he’s become mixed up in the drug trade, despite evidence to the contrary. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ali finds that her good friend, Sister Anselm, is there, too—working as a patient advocate on behalf of another seriously injured victim, an unidentified young woman presumed to be an illegal border crosser, who was raped and savagely beaten.Ali becomes determined to seek justice in both cases and secure safety for both victims. Together with Sister Anselm and a conscientious officer who won’t let the case drop despite pressure from above, Ali digs for clues to find the true culprits. Fast-paced, tension-filled, and intriguingly complex, Left for Dead is J.A. Jance at her riveting best.


Let’s put it this way. I didn’t love this book, but I liked it enough to keep reading it. My daughter checked it out at the public library for me, so I “HAD” to read it. 🙂

I always enjoy a mystery which is why I kept reading it-to find out “who”.

At times it seemed like it was written by a young author-one who felt the need to be so matter of fact about what they were saying. In a way that was good, because there was no inferring to be done or guessing. It was actually in black and white. 🙂

So I would give this one 3 out of 5 stars.

Color Me Happy

Have any of you ever done the Color Run 5k?? 3 of us ran in this FUN 5k on Labor Day. On a speedway track. Not that it helped me any with my speed. 🙂

It was in Birmingham, Alabama so we had to leave (2 of us) at 5am. Gulp. I am NOT a morning person! But that’s ok-diet pepsi is a close friend of mine. Our other friend just met us at the race. Which was VERY crowded!! It’s a wonder we ever found her. She texted me to find out where we were. I told her we were the ones in the white shirts. LOL! EVERYONE had on white shirts. But then I told her we were in line to buy some swag-she said she was, too. I told her I would raise my hand-to look for it. Ummm…I’m only 5’1. 🙂 I guess I had already consumed TOO much diet pepsi. 🙂

So we bought our bandanas to wear around our mouths in case we needed to rob a bank  to avoid dying of color powder bacterial infection. Could that happen? 🙂

In the midst of all that fun it started raining. Pouring. NOT drizzling. And being the cold natured person I am-I FROZE!! It ended up raining on us the entire race. Which was a good thing because I didn’t get too hot.

This race was a fun one where they throw colored powder on you at each 1k marker so you end up with color ALL OVER YOU! My friend, Kara, ended up looking like a blue smurf!

It’s not a timed run since it’s just a fun run.

So I’m sure I ran it in like 23:21. LOL!

Afterwards we didn’t stay around for the celebration party (if there was one) because it was raining. Did I mention that?

Kara and I went to eat. Pure bliss. It’s so nice to put in twice the amount of calories that you just put out!

It was a great day!

Here we are BEFORE the color.

Kara, Me, Janet-Don’t we look beast in our headbands?

Here we are “in color”:

A little bit of rain and color mixed together=Wet Rainbow. 🙂

It’s all about the color run.