Huh-lo, gentle readers!
Linking-up today with Alison at Puppies and Pretties for her “Reading Lately” series, January edition. I am reviewing the book(s) I’ve been reading lately. One of my goals for 2015 was to read at least one grown-up book a month. I did pretty well toward fulfilling that goal. But I also read a lot of children’s books every month, some of which I have reviewed here, too. So maybe for this link-up, I can get some credit for those!
Let’s get to those books…yes, BOOKS, I read.
My adult book for the month was The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle by Joanne Huist Smith.
Yeah, I know, it’s a little early to be reading a Christmas book already.
But Walmart already has their Christmas decorations back out again!
I think I have already admitted here before that I am not exactly the typical librarian. So, to that confession I must add I rarely read introductions or prologues. But in the middle of reading this book, I discovered I don’t always read titles very well, either. Because at least half-way through this book, I was wondering whether or not this was a true story. Maybe I just read the title and stopped before getting to the subtitle.
The 13th Gift… is the TRUE story of how the Smith family from Dayton (my own PC is from near Dayton), Ohio lost Christmas one year and then found it again the next. Just before the holiday in 1999, Joanne’s husband, Rick, died suddenly. Her life and the lives of the couple’s three children were turned upside-down and inside-out. Christmas that year was a blur.
As the holidays approached in December 2000, Joanne and her family were still operating for the most part on autopilot, just going through the motions of day-to-day life. And dreading their first real Christmas without their husband and father. Then thirteen days before Christmas, a little poinsettia shows up at their doorstep with a sweet note indicating that the plant was a gift from the family’s true friends.
Joanne and her children accept the gift with little thought, until over the days that follow, more little surprises appear at the home, all signed simply with “your true friends”. Two bags of bows, three rolls of wrapping paper, four gift boxes…
About that time, the heart of the youngest Smith child, Megan, warms toward the approaching holiday and the anonymously given gifts. Then gradually light and love of holidays past and the kindness of these faceless gift-givers melts the hearts of Joanne and her sons Ben and Nick.
A Christmas miracle.
Read an excerpt below.
The 13th Gift was a quick, easy read that kept me coming back night after night to see what the next gift was going to be and to find out if the Smith family would begin to heal. At some point in the book, I had credited each of the members of the Smith family with being the secret Santa so I was surprised to read who the real Santa was. I must thank my blogger buddy Katie for reviewing and sharing this book on her blog, which is where I discovered it. Put it on your to-read list for Christmas – it will be here before you know it. And check out The 13th Gift webpage, here.
Below are some of the children’s books I read during January.
The Scraps Book and Separate is Never Equal are both on the Texas Library Association Bluebonnet Reading Program Master List for 2015-2016. We made collages to support The Scraps Book, which is about the ideas and images in the books and illustrations of children’s author Lois Ehlert. With fourth grade, we are doing a reader’s theater for Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh. It is the true story of how Sylvia Mendez and her parents brought an end to school segregation in California. We built snowmen and made hibernating bears and sorted objects following Dewey Decimal Classification.
And in case you missed my review of Mirror, Mirror by Marilyn Singer, you can read it here. She also has a book, Rutherford B., Who Was He? on this year’s Bluebonnet Master List that I used with my students this month with research on the U.S. Presidents.
Lots of good books in January.
Please come back again on the last Friday of February to see what I have read this month.
And please hop over to check out the books Alison read…lots of grown up books going on over there!
Hugs and kisses,