This Week – School Days

From last week’s travels to Michigan.

Summer is effectively over as Gage started 6th grade this week. As his teacher, I’m giving him an A for the week! There are a few things I still need to put in place, but feeling good about where we are right now.

We’re doing things a little differently this year and part of that is structuring an hour or so of our day with a focus on a country of his choosing. This last week we learned about France. We read books, tried a few French recipes, drew landmarks and colored classic paintings, learned a few French words, played with maps, listened to music, watched a few videos, and, of course, the more time consuming things like writing out timelines and facts. He picks the country of the week and I do the research, lol. Next up, the UK so feel free to leave me any great recommendations for the week!

Books I read this week

50 French Phrases. *****stars. Did a great job of making learning fun with games on each spread.
Love Warrior. ****1/2 stars. Glennon Doyle’s earlier memoir of the breakdown of her marriage. Her vulnerability and honesty always draw me in.
A Giraffe Goes to Paris. ****1/2 stars. A super cute picture books for younger kids based on the true story of Zarafa the giraffe.
The Mutter Museum. ****1/2 stars. If your kid likes a little bit of gross this is the book for you!
Coco and the Little Black Dress. ****stars. A fun picture book for the little fashionista.
The Paris Apartment. ***stars. ho-hum thriller.
Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma. ***stars. The day he played at the US-Mexico border.
France: Enchantment of the World. ***stars. It was textbook-like.
France: Country Insights. **stars. Outdated.

I read 9 books this week. I’ve read 205 books of 300 yearly goal.

Movies & TV

Jason and I have watched the first 3 episodes of The Sandman on Netflix. We also watched The Age Of Adeline last night.

Plans for the weekend

Well, it was going to be school planning, but I just saw on the news that it’s One World Day at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and I LOVE this event so I may have to go. Do you have plans for the day?

A couple of books worth mentioning

I’ve been so out of sync this summer that I’ve neglected talking about books that should have been mentioned. I’m hoping to get back on track in the next few weeks, but Jason just threw a mini-vacation to NYC for the two of us into the mix, so don’t hold me to that 🙂

The Airship Pirate by Minerva Pendleton, 85 pages, 2022

How fun is it when you know the author of a book before said author writes the book? I’m lucky enough to know Minerva Pendleton, aka someone I know whose name is not really Minerva, and they are fabulous people.

Verity Wheelwright lives a life of luxury but boredom. She is the only daughter to the widowed Lord Wheelwright, and he keeps her in his manor on New Lutetia, where she meets with tutors to learn classical literature and music. Verity craves adventure and often escapes to the pages of livre rouge—cheap, paperback books with crimson covers that contain sordid tales of lust and adventure. When New Lutetia is invaded by the infamous airship pirate Cavalier Eli Callahan, Verity is forced to make a choice. She can run and hide, or surrender herself in exchange for the safety of her city, but at what cost?

Verity is a pampered lady who longs for more excitement in her sheltered life. One day that excitement arrives on her doorstep with the arrival of pirates who whisk her away aboard their airship. Can she trust the captain of the ship, the renowned Eli Callahan, to keep her safe while awaiting the ransom? Does she even want to be kept safe?

I really liked Verity, Eli and his first mate Screw. There were even some spicy bits if you like that sort of thing in your romance (and who doesn’t?).

This was a short read, only 85 pages, and my only complaint was that I wanted more.

The Precious Jules by Shawn Nocher, 350 pages, 2022

This ARC was sent to me months ago and forgotten about and misplaced by no fault of its own. The premise of a daughter who isn’t the norm being shipped off appealed to me. It felt personal.

After nearly two hundred years of housing retardants, as they were once known, the Beechwood Institute is closing the doors on its dark history, and the complicated task of reassigning residents has begun. Ella Jules, having arrived at Beechwood at the tender age of eight, must now rely on the state to decide her future. Ella’s aging parents have requested that she be returned to her childhood home, much to the distress of Ella’s siblings, but more so to Lynetta, her beloved caretaker who has been by her side for decades. The five adult Jules children, haunted by their early memories of their sister, and each dealing with the trauma of her banishment in their own flawed way, are converging on the family home, arriving from the far corners of the country—secrets in tow—to talk some sense into their aging parents and get to the root of this inexplicable change of heart. from Goodreads

Precious Jules is the story of a family. The Jules family is picture perfect, but one of the children has live at Beechwood Institute since she was 8. Now the parents want her back and the girl’s caretaker says no. The rest of the kids, all five of them, come home to convince their parents to leave their sister with the caretaker.

It’s a great examination of what’s good for the family isn’t always the best thing for any one of the individuals. The secret guilt, the alternate realities, the vilifying, and the eventual acceptance make for some thought provoking stuff.

There were a lot of characters. My biggest problem was keeping track of all of the characters and their past and present stories. It was a lot. I think there were 10 characters who each had a chapter from their point of view. I wish there had been less so that I could have been drawn into the story a bit more.