Archive of Fiction

Book #45: The Beyonders, A World Without Heroes

For the second half of the books in this reading challenge, there will be quite a few that I read for the book group of homeschooled teens that I am mentoring this year.  The Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull is one of them.  When I met Brandon Mull at Life, the Universe and Everything Conference in February, I told him that I was going to have my book group read that series.  I

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11Dec2018
Author
Jenny
Category
Classic, Fiction, Read Aloud

Book #42: Pride and Prejudice

It was an ambitious project, but I decided to read Pride and Prejudice aloud to my kids.  It seems ridiculous to give a summary of the book, so I won’t.  Instead, I’ll tell you a story about why I decided to read it out loud instead of just read it to myself, which was my original plan. Oliver DeMille, an education expert, tells a story of when he was teaching college.  The class was abo

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10Dec2018

Book #41: Small Steps

Ever read Holes by Louis Sachar?  Small Steps picks up where Holes left off, but following Armpit instead of Stanley.  He is struggling to make a life for himself post-juvenile prison and the trauma of Camp Greenlake. There were a lot of good messages about trying to do the right thing when everything is stacked against you, and trying to do right after so many wrongs.  If you’re a fan of Hol

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28Nov2018
Author
Jenny
Category
100 Book Challenge, Fiction

Book #39: The Uncommon Reader

Is it weird to review the same book twice?  I’m having that issue on the site, now that Red Hot Eyebrows has been around so long and I have some favorites I keep coming back to.  Not just favorites, but classics that deserve a re-read.  The last time I read The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett was ten years ago, back when this site was still had that new website smell.  I don’t know why the

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Book #38: 100 Cupboards

In this great big world, there are more books than I can possibly ever read, though I’m sure gonna give it a try.  I’m grateful for people out there who are digging through the piles and finding the gems.  Sarah Mackenzie, whose books I’ve reviewed here and here and whose blog I regularly read, is a pile digger and I trust her selections.  One day I was perusing the shelves at my local us

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06Oct2018

Book #33 The Family Under the Bridge

I read The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson to my 11- and 8-year-olds, based on the recommendation from The Read-Aloud Family.  It’s about an old Parisian man, Armand, who lives as a vagrant, happily and by choice.  He encounters a young mother and her three small children, who have lost their father and their home, and then his spot under the bridge.  He begrudgingly starts

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06Oct2018
Author
Jenny
Category
Fiction, Science Fiction

Book #32: Station Eleven

I like post-apocalyptic fiction, but I am a bit burned out by it.  I can tell how burned out because I’ve now waited a few months to write this post and I can barely remember what this book is about.  An airport?  Something with comic books?  What I do remember is that Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel seems to me to be more about the intersections of the lives of people who knew the

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10Aug2018

Book #30: Time Jumpers

In order of my favorite Brandon Mull series, #1 The Beyonders, #2 Fablehaven, #3 The Candy Shop Wars, #4 Five Kingdoms.  I know, it’s sacrilege not to have Fablehaven as #1, but that’s just how much I love The Beyonders series.  Having Five Kingdoms at the bottom of the list doesn’t imply that it’s bad, just not my favorite.  It was definitely fun to read aloud as a family each book as

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09Aug2018

Book #29: Zombie Kid

The things we do for our kids, right?  Like reading Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage out loud to them because their older sister picked a “girly” book.  No offense to Savage, who impressed me at the LTUE conference, because I’m sure his other less bathroom-humor-oriented books are excellent.  This one tested my patience. Despite the gross-out jokes and general prepubescent-boys-being-them

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Book #28: Penny from Heaven

My 11-year-old wanted to read Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm for her book club.  Actually, she went to the book club without reading it, got excited by the discussion, then asked me to read it aloud to her.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t super excited about it.  My daughter couldn’t remember most of the details and the blurb on the book didn’t draw me in, but I promised and we went ahead.

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