The purported true story of seven-year-old Sarah Noble.
In 1707, Sarah and her father travel to the frontier of Connecticut to establish a homestead on property he has recently purchased. Connecticut is wild country in those days, filled with animals and members of the Native American Schaghticoke tribe. Sarah has heard frightening things about the Schaghticoke, but despite her many fears, she follows her mother’s counsel to “have courage”.
How will things turn out between the Native Americans and these new settlers? This Newbery Honor Book is an interesting peek into the 1950’s view of relations between White settlers and native peoples in the early 1700s.
Many sensitive topics can be discussed when you read The Courage of Sarah Noble aloud with your child.
Advanced Early Grade reading level, 64 pages, Newbery Honor Book, Published in 1954.
Mr Pierce, my 5th grade teacher, read aloud to our class every day after lunch in our basement classroom at Garfield Elementary in Boise, Idaho. It was a magical 30 minutes. He probably read 8 books to us during that year, but the one I remember best was Where the Red Fern Grows.
Was there ever such a sweet (and heart-racing) story of a young boy and his two hunting dogs and the sacrifices they all make for each other? I read this to my children years ago and began sobbing on the first page because I knew what was ahead! We all LOVED IT!
I remember loving the 1974 film starring James Whitmore and Stuart Peterson.
Middle Grade Reading Level, 304 pages, Published in 1961.
My husband, son and I just returned from a trip to Paris, so The Family Under the Bridge seems like a natural book choice right now. But you don’t have to have EVER visited Paris to love this story — but it doesn’t hurt 🙂
Armand is a tramp living in Paris under a bridge along the Seine. He is happy with his carefree life and often delights in not having to pay rent or store and clean extra clothing — since he wears his every scrap of clothing he owns. Armand especially dislikes children, whom he views as noisy and a nuisance.
But one cold, December day, he returns “home” to find three young children hiding under his canvas tent! Their father has recently died and their mother can no longer afford the rent on their small apartment. They too need a free place to live.
Little by little this sweet family finds a place in Armand’s heart and he begins looking for a way to help them — hopefully in time for Christmas!
The Family Under the Bridge is a Newbery Honor Book and a favorite for many, many readers — both young and old!
Advanced Early Grade Reading level (illustrations sprinkled throughout the text), 128 pages, Newbery Honor Book, Published in 1958.
Ellen Tebbits and Austine Allen are best friends and love spending every possible moment together — despite the constant teasing from their dance teacher’s son, Otis Spofford. Everything is right with their world until one day they decide to dress as twins. Almost immediately the two girls find themselves at odds and with the bad influence of Otis, Ellen does something that Austine absolutely can’t forgive her for. Can these two sweet girls ever find a way to be friends again? Middle Grade Reading Level, 176 pages, Published in 1951.
Otis Spofford is that boy in your elementary class who just needs to cause trouble! Unfortunately, well-behaved Ellen Tebbits is usually his main target. Each chapter finds Otis up to some attention-grabbing antic, but invariably his plans backfire on him in some amusing way. Can Ellen and Otis call a truce that will last until the end of 4th grade?? Middle Grade Reading Level, 208 pages, Published in 1953.
Kate is being sent by her father to live in the country with her Uncle Marton’s family. They have been lead to believe that Kate is fragile and sickly. In truth, she is spoiled and head-strong and her father hopes his brother — The Good Master — can tame her somehow. Uncle Marton’s son Jancsi is shocked by his female cousin:
Jancsi had imagined Kate as a sort of fragile, fair-haired princess, but the little girl who stepped off the train had plain black hair, a smudgy face, and skinny legs. From the moment Kate arrived, things happened. She was afraid of nothing and full of ideas. When Kate looked most angelic, you could be sure she was thinking up some mischief.
Eventually Jancsi and Kate strike up a cautious friendship which grows closer over the summer and they both learn a great deal from each other. By the time Kate’s father arrives to take her back home, he can’t believe the dramatic changes he finds!
This Newbery Honor Award was the first children’s novel written by Kate Seredy. Caddie Woodlawn beat out The Good Master for the Newbery Medal in 1936.
All of Kate Seredy’s novels take place in her native Hungary.
Middle Grade Reading Level, 192 pages, Published in 1935.
My Friend Flicka Ken is a daydreamer. When he should be helping with the horses, he’s staring at the clouds. When homework is due, he’s dreaming of the colt he hopes his father will one day give him. But his daydreaming angers his father who feels Ken would not be able to handle a horse on his own. Ken’s father has many concerns about the ranch’s finances and those worries only add to the tension in their home. But when father unexpectedly decides to let Ken have a horse of his own, Ken chooses a wild filly named Flicka who seems untamable. Does young Ken have the stamina and concentration to this wild horse? Middle Grade Reading Level, 352 pages, Published in 1940.
Thunderhead, Son of Flicka Flicka’s first colt, Thunderhead, is a throw back to her wild ancestor, the Albino. Ken’s father is convinced that Thunderhead can never be tamed, but Ken feels differently and does everything possible to prove his father wrong. The financial troubles at the ranch continue and Ken’s parents marriage begins to show the strain. Can the family come together and solve their problems? Middle Grade Reading Level, 384 pages, Published in 1945.
Green Grass of Wyoming Things are finally moving in a good direction financially at the ranch. There’ve been some substantial changes in the family and Ken and his brother Howard are growing up. There’s a new girl in the area and that brings both fun and competition for the brothers. Middle Grade Reading Level, 368 pages, Published in 1946.
Check out the 1940s film series of My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming starring a very young Roddy McDowall. There was also a 39 episode My Friend Flicka TV series in the late 1950s. Enjoy!
Posted in Books for Boys, Christianity, Family Films, Fiction, Middle Grade Reading Level, Romance
Tagged Animals, Books with Movies, Family, Fiction, Religion, Series
What happens to humanity when alien Overlords take over Earth and eliminate both war and poverty? Sounds like Utopia, right? But not everyone agrees. Without challenge and strife does mankind stop progressing?
And what if after 100 years of alien control, humanity discovers the Overlords have a long-game no one could have imagined?
Childhood’s End was Arthur C. Clark’s first successful science fiction novel and is considered by many to be his best novel. I read this in my 8th grade reading class, and couldn’t put it down!
Middle School Reading Level, 226 pages, Published in 1953.