Thursday, January 28, 2016

Read-Aloud Thursday: Great Northern? by Arthur Ransome (Swallows & Amazons)

Read-Aloud Thursday Pictures, Images and Photos

Book Description:
The Swallows, Amazons and Ds are united again for Arthur Ransome's final story in the series. Flat on his front, binoculars to his eyes, alone at dusk, Dick makes a remarkable discovery: two rare birds, never before seen in the British Isles. Captain Flint and his crew decide to consult an expert to confirm the discovery. But when the man they ask turns out to have his collector's eye on the birds' eggs, not to mention skins, an enjoyable voyage around the Outer Hebrides becomes a desperate race to save the birds, and themselves.
My thoughts:
We started reading Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome in 2012 and right before 2015 ended we slipped in the last book of this 12 book series, Great Northern?. We would have been finished sooner, but we were waiting for the publisher of our series, David R. Godine, to publish Great Northern? Unfortunately, it still hasn't been published so back in September I found a used copy on Amazon and ordered it. I would love to say we breezed through this book, but our read-aloud time fell by the wayside right in the middle of the book. Right after Christmas I took the bull by the horns and we set out to finish it before the new year.

On to the story--typical of Arthur Ransome Great Northern? starts off slow. The Swallow, Amazons, and the Ds are finishing up a fun excursion when Dick discovers his rare birds which results in trying to get photographs of the birds while trying to protect them from a famous collector. While he is busy getting pictures of his birds the rest of the crew are having their own drama as they try to be decoys but end up being chased and rounded up by the local Highland laird. Captain Flint tries to come in a rescue them, but is thwarted in his attempt to explain the situation. Again typical of Ransome, the all the action happens at once which makes it hard to put the book down. Overall, my kids felt this was a satisfying read, though they are a little sad that this is the end.

If these books have any drawbacks it would be that they are slow going in the beginning. Another drawback for some is all the terminology that pertains to sailing and ships. Even though I have read all of these I probably couldn't look at a sailboat and be able to tell you what is what, but I don't think this bothered my kids at all. (In fact, they probably understood it better than I did.) What makes these books fun and unique is all the adventures that kids have on their own. Yes, there are adults involved at times, but they are usually looked at as more of a nuisance though never in a disrespectful manner. These are basically stories about kids who enjoy childhood to the fullest and what kid may I ask isn't going to like that?

Reviews to the other Swallows and Amazons books:

  • Swallows and Amazons
  • Swallowdale
  • Peter Duck
  • Winter Holiday
  • Coot Club 
  • Pigeon Post  
  • We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea 
  • Secret Water
  • The Big Six
  • Missee Lee
  • The Picts & the Martyrs

  • See what others are reading aloud over at Hope is the Word.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2016

    Wednesdays with Words (Hoodwinked)

    I'm a little late in the day getting this posted, but I just wanted to share. I found this statement to be a great reminder of where my focus should be, something that I think is so easy to forget in the midst of the day to day grind of homeschooling and child rearing.


    Monday, January 25, 2016

    What's On Your Nightstand - January

    What's On Your Nightstand

    For February:

    From December's Nightstand:

    I also read:

    • Mrs. Tim Carries On by D.E. Stevenson - The second book in the Mrs. Tim Christie series. This has been an enjoyable series so far.
    • The Story Girl  by L.M. Montgomery - I picked up The Story Girl since it was late at night and I couldn't get my hands on my pile of books in my own bedroom so I pulled this off of my daughter's shelf. It has been a long time since I read this and it was a worthwhile re-read.
    • Gates & Fences: Straight Talk in a Crooked World by Lori Wagner - Reading for my Sunday School class.

     I listened to:

     See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

    Saturday, January 23, 2016

    Starr Happenings - New Year Update

    Starr Happenings

    It has been a while since I have posted a HSMJ. We had a good Christmas break. I always like to take a week and sew to my heart's content, but due to an abnormal medical test I had to spend my time getting some other tests done, getting ready for my parent's visit, and generally being distracted my everything. Our co-op started the first week of January, but my parents arrived January 6 so we didn't start our own school work. This week was our first week that we were back to doing our full school schedule. Here's just a small glimpse of what has happened around our home and school lately.
    January 23 Collage
    1. Christmas (in January) with Grandma & Grandpa.
    2. Caleb got a new iPhone and I had to laugh because his sister was setting it up for him.
    3. I think that has to be my favorite gift Delani received for Christmas. The hat is hysterical!
    4. Chantry and Destini are doing a politics class in co-op and we have watched every debate so far. I didn't realize how much had sunk in until Delani excitedly brought us this magazine in Costco. She was so excited to recognize certain faces on it.
    5. Delani working on her addition skills. She writes them out and then makes her big sister do them.
    6. We have been working through IEW Primary Arts of Language and Delani finally made it to the first reader. I have to admit I find teaching reading so frustrating, but I'm trying to have faith and keep pressing on.
    7. While it was snowing like crazy everywhere yesterday, we enjoyed a balmy 57* outside. It felt amazing!

    Weekly Wrap-Up

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    Wednesdays with Words (Psalms 46:10a)

    I love the idea of picking out a word for the year, but I always forget about it by April, so the last few years I haven't really focused on picking one out. (I may be weird, but I find trying to pick out a word is very stressful!) 

    Over the Christmas holidays I went through a health scare and even though the doctor's were optimistic, it still left me fighting doubts and fears, especially through the waiting period of the tests. In the midst of this I was scrolling through Facebook and an advertisement for a sign with this scripture printed on it came across my feed and when I saw it it I knew it was my "word" for the year. 


    I just read this post by Modern Mrs. Darcy and she summed up exactly what happened to me:
    "Maybe I didn’t plan on choosing words for the year, but these words? They chose me."

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Wednesdays with Words - Wodehouse

    You can't go wrong delving into a Wodehouse book to start off the new year. I love how he sneaks in little jewels of thought which make you laugh because they are so true!


    See what others are sharing at ladydusk.


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