Thursday, April 28, 2011

Looking for YA titles? Books my 10 y.o. has enjoyed...

A Summer Secret is an Amish title is intended for the Y.A. audience; however, my 10 y.o. daughter inhaled this book and book two. I wasn't sure if my daughter would join those who love Amish books, but she really enjoyed this story.

Here's what she says: A Summer Secret is about Mary Beth Mullet, a 13 y.o. with a twin brother and two younger brothers. Mary Beth had a special place in an old barn she was forbidden to go to by her parents. This barn has holes and rotting wood and is just a mess, but it's the only place Mary Beth can have time by herself. One day when she goes into her special place, she sees that one of the corners of her journal is dog-eared. She gets suspicious that one of her brothers has been reading it. A Summer Secret is very detailed. It goes back and forth between Mary Beth's perspective and the mystery person's perspective. There's a little mystery that Mary Beth has to solve. The person looks horrible but won't tell Mary Beth anything. I enjoyed this book very much and will read more by this author.

The second book in the series, The Secrets Beneath, let's Rebekah Yoder take center stage. She is a very curious girl. Since her favorite books are Nancy Drew, she's always ready for a new mystery. Then a mystery comes to Midfield and she decides to figure it out along with the reluctant assistance of her cousin Amanda. My ten year old really enjoyed the first book. And she dove right in to this title. She enjoys these books because at every break it jumps to a different character's perspective. According to my daughter, the mystery could have used a little more intensity (this made me smile), but she still enjoyed the book very much. She's a Nancy Drew fan and in her words used to a little more suspense. My daughter loved the characters and that's what kept her coming back. Still she read it in a few days and can't wait for the next one to release.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sarah's Long Ride by Susan Page Davis

This book may be listed as a 9-12 year old read, but that doesn't begin to do this book proper justice! I read it by myself with the intent of going back and reading it with my 11 year old daughter. I enjoyed it so much that it will be a family read instead as all 5 of my children ages 3-11 will love getting to know Sarah, Uncle Joe, Junior, Miss Rose, Aunt Becky and Eric. Susan Page Davis takes us inside Sarah's world - a 14 year old girl who is suddenly left all alone after a tragic accident takes her mom away from her and her dad died 8 years previously. Uncle Joe, a quiet, solitary bachelor takes her in on his horse farm which allows her to keep her horse and her mom's horse. As they settle into a routine, Uncle Joe finally agrees to ride with Sarah in the Bandicoot 100, which her mom had previously registered to do with Sarah. This leads us inside the world of distance horse racing which turned out to be fascinating! This is Sarah's first time to do a 100 (100 miles in under 24 hours) though she and her mother had completed a 50 mile race shortly before her mom passed away.

God's provision is the phrase that kept coming to mind as I read this book, God's provision for Sarah (and Uncle Joe) even when they didn't know what they needed.

This was just a really great book and I can't wait to see what Susan brings us in the next installment of The Piper Ranch Series!

Homeschool families - let me point out that Sarah is actually homeschooled by her mom and at the end of the book Uncle Joe has to make a decision about whether to put her in public school or allow her to continue homeschooling - this is a great aspect of the book as Sarah is an intelligent, lovely, polite, Christian young lady who gives homeschoolers a good name (her best friend Eric has been homeschooled his whole life as well). If you are studying horses in your homeschool, you could actually work this book in because it is packed with interesting information - especially about the distance riding!
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