Winter Sky by Chris Stewart ~ Blog Tour

02 Dec, 2016 by in chris stewart, Shadow Mountain, world war II Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Shadow Mountain in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Winter Sky by Chris Stewart ~ Blog Tour

Winter Sky

by Chris Stewart
Published by Shadow Mountain on September 27, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 192
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Shadow Mountain
Buy the BookGoodreads
In a bombed-out Polish village during World War II, a young resistance fighter finds that he is suddenly alone and trapped between two opposing armies. He is one of Poland’s “Devil’s Rebels” fighting desperately to save his homeland, but an injury has erased his memory and his only possession is a torn photograph of a couple he assumes are his parents. The woman appears to be holding the hand of a young child whose image has been ripped off. Could this be him?

Caught in the crosshairs of the retreating German army and the advancing Russian forces, the village holds nothing but destruction and despair until a mysterious young woman offers a small glimmer of hope that may represent his last chance – news of a refugee train departing from a nearby town, headed for American installations at the border.

But complications arise when the resistance fighter is betrayed by his own countryman and hunted by German SS officers who are determined to kill him before they retreat. Desperately searching for a home and family he can’t remember, he is persuaded to rescue two children who are doomed to die without his help. But as time runs out, the former rebel is faced with an impossible choice. Standing at the crossroads of saving himself or risking his life for strangers, what would motivate a young man at the brink of salvation to make one more sacrifice?

New York Times Best-selling author Chris Stewart has created a powerful, soul-moving story of compassion and hope against all odds, set against the true-life backdrop of Eastern Poland and the courageous efforts of the “Devil’s Rebels” in the waning months of World War II.
winter sky banner

Lucas steps off the train with no memory of who he is or how he got to the war torn Polish vilage. He has vivid memories of weapons and tactical skills, but he does not know his own name. The injured soldier carries with him a photo torn in half as the only clue to help him find the way home. He is cold, hungry and hurt. Finding refuge for the evening in a church, Lucas meets a young woman who offers him bread, and eventually hope.

Winter Sky tells a war story often untold in World War II, the struggle of the Polish people and their rebellion as German and Russian forces press from two sides. Stewart uses a point of view somewhat removed and distant, which made it difficult for me to connect deeply with any of the characters. A short read,  it is a snippet of history and the harsh realities of war. There is moderate violence, some periods of dismal wondering about God. Ultimately, the novel settles on a message of hope. Highlights are the rich historical detail and interesting perspective. Special thanks to Shadow Mountain for the chance to review.

about_ the_author

Chris Stewart is a bestselling author and world-record-setting Air Force pilot whose previous military techno-thrillers have been selected by the Book of the Month Club and published in six different countries.

He is the author of the highly acclaimed series The Great and Terrible, as well as A Christmas Bell for Anya, which was performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during their 2005 Christmas concert. He has also been a guest editorialist for the Detroit News, commenting on matters of military readiness and national security. He is president of The Shipley Group, a nationally recognized consulting and training company and founder of the Utah Renaissance and Leadership Center

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A Breath of Frost

22 Nov, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

A Breath of Frostby Alexandra Harvey
Published by Walker Childrens on January 7th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 482
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Library
Buy the BookGoodreads
In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld.

Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.

Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

Wow. I picked this one up at our local library for some holiday reading, and bam! finished it all in one day. Where to begin? Set in Regency London during the time of debutante balls and underground secret societies, A Breath of Frost takes readers on a wild supernatural ride. Told from various points of view, I got to know several characters in depth. There’s a murder mystery, hidden portals, magic, and breakdowns of class within society. The writing is rich, detailed and multi layered. Setting is atmospheric with gas lamps, cobblestone roads, rooftop scenes and lavish parties.

Really, there’s so much to love in this fast moving plot! I will be reading book two and downloading book three, a hard to find short. Buckle up for a 400+ page novel with Herne the Hunter, Little Red and Grim Sister references. about_ the_authorAlyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

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No Peace With The Dawn Blog Tour

21 Nov, 2016 by in cedar fort Leave a comment

No Peace with the Dawn: A Novel of the Great War

by E.B. Wheeler, Jeffery Bateman
Published by Cedar Fort on November 8, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
In 1917, the Great War seems far from Logan, Utah. But soon it will change the lives of suffragette and mechanic Clara, Swiss-German immigrant and LDS convert Trudi, Marine Corps volunteer Reed, and Shoshone seeking U.S. citizenship Joseph. This novel weaves real events with compelling fictional characters into a sweeping tale of war, romance, self-discovery, and sacrifice


Blog Tour Schedule

November 10: Kevin Nielsen
November 11: My Book a Day
November 14: Shari Schwarz
November 15: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
November 16: Robyn Echols Books
November 17: The Dragon’s Nook
November 18: Books & Benches | Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 19: I Love to Read and Review Books
November 20: Singing Librarian Books
November 21: Bookworm Lisaj | Fire and Ice
November 22Connie’s Bookmark
November 23Military History
November 24Blooming with Books
November 25Wishful Endings

About the Authors

E.B. Wheeler grew up in Georgia and California. She attended BYU, majoring in history with an English minor, and earned graduate degrees in history and landscape architecture from Utah State University. She’s the award-winning author of THE HAUNTING OF SPRINGETT HALL and several short stories, magazine articles, and scripts for educational software programs, as well as BORN TO TREASON (May 2016) and NO PEACE WITH THE DAWN (November 2016). She lives in the mountains of Utah with her husband, daughters, various pets, and as many antique roses as she can cram into her yard. If she had spare time, she would spend it playing harp and hammered dulcimer, gardening, hiking, shooting archery, knitting, and reading.

Jeff Bateman
Jeff served in the U.S. Air Force for 32 years, retiring as a colonel in 2010. A graduate of the University of Washington, he holds an MA in History from Utah State University and an MS in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

His work as a historian has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Utah Historical Quarterly, Airpower History, and the U.S. Army War College Press.

Jeff teaches Utah History, American Military History and U.S. Institutions at Utah State University.

An award winning author and poet, Jeff is the author of On the Death Beat, forthcoming in 2017, Grey Gecko Press, and co-author of No Peace with the Dawn, Bonneville Books. Jeff lives on a mini-farm in the Wasatch foothills, where horses, gardening, and playing the bass fill the time he isn’t writing or teaching.

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To Win a Lady’s Heart Blog Tour and Giveaway

16 Nov, 2016 by in covenant, Sian Ann Bessey Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

To Win a Lady's Heart

by Sian Ann Bessey
Published by Covenant on November 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 250
Format: Paperback
four-half-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
For eighteen years, Lord Gilbert has been tortured over a grievous lapse in judgment. Bitterness has tainted his interactions with the people of Moreland and his relationship with his only daughter, Lady Joanna. With a wolfhound guarding her around the clock and no freedom to leave the castle grounds unattended, the only time Lady Joanna can be alone is when she sneaks out through an old castle tunnel to visit the healer Agnes in her cottage by the sea. One morning as Lady Joanna approaches the cliffs, she discovers an injured man. She immediately goes to Agnes for help. The wounded stranger is Sir Lukas, and while he recovers, he makes plans to identify his attackers and their motive. Upon learning that Moreland’s wool has been stolen, Sir Lukas comes to believe that the crimes are related and point to a much more sinister plot. When Lord Gilbert announces an archery tournament, the prize being Lady Joanna’s hand in marriage, it attracts noblemen from across the land, and suddenly Sir Lukas’s pursuit of the villains takes a different turn. As Lady Joanna’s and Sir Lukas’s feelings for each other grow, the stakes soar, and only Sir Lukas’s skill with a longbow can save them.

To Win A Lady’s Heart kept me up reading into the night. Filled with knights, castles, and intrigue, it’s a tale that teaches the true nature of love. Lady Joanna frequently escapes her castle for the woods and late one night comes upon a wounded man. Joanna is determined to save him with the help Agnes, the healer in the woods and her orphaned second family.  This knight carries a past linked to Joanna’s and a tale of sabotage. He may have the missing pieces of information to help Joanna’s kingdom and some pieces form her family’s past.

The first chapter starts off on a somber and mildly violent note. A clean read with a plot that moves along at good pace, this is a good choice for those who like fairytales.

I enjoyed the author’s explanation at the end. She has taken a Welsh story and molded it into the setting of England. The main characters stole my heart. It was also nice to see the progress in the relationship between a King and his daughter. Enjoy!

About the Author

Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, and grew up on the island of Anglesey off the north coast of Wales. She left Wales to attend Brigham Young University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
Traveling has given Sian a deep appreciation for a world full of diverse cultures. Through her writing, she introduces her readers to some of the places she has come to love— especially her Welsh homeland.
Sian is the author of several LDS novels and children’s books. She has also written articles for the New Era, Ensign, and Liahona magazines. She and her husband, Kent, currently reside in Rexburg, Idaho. They are the parents of five children and the grandparents of two beautiful little girls and one handsome little boy.

Blog Tour Schedule

Giveaway

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Below is the schedule.

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Faith and A Life Jacket Blog Tour

14 Nov, 2016 by in lds, non-fiction, young adult Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Faith and a Life Jacket: 7 Truths for Your Eternal Mission

by Ben Bernards
Published by Cedar Fort on September 13, 2016
Genres: Inspirational, LDS
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the Book
Don't just be prepared--be prepared well. Ben Bernards, popular youth speaker, presents this adventurous book of seven guiding rules and lessons to help train a new generation of missionaries. These invaluable lessons, from God's measure of success to unexpected difficulties in the field, will apply to any missionary's call, readying them for the great and challenging experiences of the Lord's work.

This is an absolute must read for any youth thinking of going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ben Bernards uses story telling to show that miracles still exist and happen in the mission field today. His experiences while serving in Fiji are incredible reminders that a mission wil be hard, and opposition is real, but if you are prepared you shall not fear. I found myself zipping along quickly waiting to hear what happens next.

Each chapter teaches one of seven eternal truths in a way that teens can relate. I came away reminded of the every day miracles I saw as a missionary and inspired to be better in today’s world. This author is a seasoned youth speaker. His eloquence with a down to eath nature comes across in his wiritng. Definitely a must read!

About the Author

Ben Bernards grew up in a big Mormon family in a small farming town in the heart of Utah Country where he and his 8 brothers and sisters were raised on a steady diet of Nintendo, Transformers, Dungeons&Dragons, and Star Wars. He geeks out on all that plus everything marching band, Marvel, and Tolkien (his autographed edition of Lord of the Rings is pretty much the coolest.

He loves teaching youth the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it be in Seminary, Sunday School, at youth conferences or EFY. He served a mission on the Fiji Islands where he survived cyclones, rampaging natives, and swarms of giant bats while living in a hit in the jungle. (He still hasn’t convinced his wife to go back and visit.)

Website

“Faith and a Life Jacket” blog tour schedule:
November 1: LDS & Lovin’ It
November 2: Christy Monson Books
November 3: Read for Your Future
November 4: My Book a Day
November 5: Brooklyn Jolley | The Things I Love Most
November 6: Pixx Digital Media
November 7: Laura Walker
November 8: Not Your Relief Society Book Club
November 9: The Power of One Girl
November 10: I Am a Reader | Mel’s Shelves
November 11: Bookworm Lisa | Brookie Cowles
November 12: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Singing Librarian Books
November 13: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Reidhead Random-ness
November 14: My Little Sunshines | Fire and Ice

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You’ve Got This Blog Tour

08 Nov, 2016 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

I received this book for free from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

You've Got This: How to Look Up When Life Has You Down, For Teens

by Elise Hahl
Published by Cedar Fort on October 11, 2016
Genres: LDS, Young Adult
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
Life is tough, but so are you! Learn how to work through life’s trials with advice from popular youth speakers, including Hank Smith and Al Carraway, who have endured a few challenges of their own. This encouraging book will help you see trials as essential stepping-stones to becoming who you’re destined to be.

This small compilation of inspirational messages for teens is the perfect pick me up. You’ve Got This features two chapters about the Wilcox family moving to Chile when Brad Wilcox was a mission president and his daughter Whitney was in seventh grade. Her descriptions of the people, the food and the culture were fun to read since I served my mission in Santiago, Chile. Her message and her father’s is that you can adapt to change, you can grow and change.

Chad Hymas shares his experience of becoming paralyzed and overcoming obstacles line upon line, one little step at a time. His chapter reminds teens that there will be trials, we will feel disappointed, but we can excel. I highly recommend this book as a gift to teens and adults. It takes a few minutes to read each story and you will walk away feeling a lift. “You’ve got this!”

About the Authors

After serving as a missionary to the Brazil Manaus mission, Elise Babbel Hahl completed her studies in English at Stanford University, married her mission pen pal, and went on to earn a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her work has been published in Choosing Motherhood, Whereabouts: Stepping Out of Place, Education Next magazine, Do NOT Attempt in Heels, and recorded on “The World in Words” podcast. She lives with her husband and four children in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

Hank Smith has been a full-time religious educator for the Church for 12 years, teaching seminary and in the Religion Department at BYU. Hank is a favorite speaker with Especially for Youth, BYU Education Week, and Time Out for Women. With his trademark sense of humor and his captivating stories and examples, Hank makes it fun to learn gospel principles and strengthen personal testimonies.

Al Fox Carraway has been a popular blogger, YouTuber, and public speaker for the past several years and is most well known for the blog post, “The Tattooed Mormon.” She has been on the cover of LDS Living Magazine and has done countless radio interviews, TV interviews, and everything in between. Al won the Community Speaker award in 2014, presented by the Dean of BYU. She has traveled countryside for years speaking with well-known speakers like John Bytheway, Brad Wilcox, and General Young Women’s President, Bonnie Oscarson. Just recently she spoke to over 24,000 people with Elder Neil L. Anderson at RootsTech.

Blog Tour Schedule

 

November 1: Write, Writing, Written
November 2: LDS & Lovin’ It
November 3: Debra’s Book Cafe | Reidhead Random-ness
November 4: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
November 5:  Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 6: Brooklyn Jolley
November 7: Kensie Kate || The Power of One Girl
November 8: A Year of FHE | Fire and Ice
November 9: Singing Librarian Books | My Book a Day | Rachel Writes
November 10: Bookworm Lisa | My Little Sunshines
November 11: I Love to Read and Review Books | Brooklyn Berry
November 12: Not Your Relief Society Book Club
November 13: Pixx Digital Media
November 14: Jorie Loves a Story | Mel’s Shelves | Sweetly Made

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The Unsaid by Aaron Blaylock~ Spotlight

07 Nov, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

The Unsaid

by Aaron Blaylock
on October 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, LDS
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
Maggie’s job at the Department of Thoughts and Records in heaven is pretty simple. She is a spirit curator—an observer of human life who sorts and categorizes every unsaid thought. When Eric, her beholden, shows interest in the new girl at work, Maggie can’t help ignoring the rules to understand the wonders of mortality and love. But meddling in mortal affairs has consequences that Maggie couldn’t have ever imagined . . .

Goodreads * Amazon

About the Author

Born and raised in Arizona, Aaron is proud to call the desert home. He came of age in the suburbs of Sacramento, California and as a missionary in Jamaica, where he fell in love with the people and their culture, but he has always been drawn back to the valley of the sun.

He married his childhood crush, and the girl of his dreams, in 2001. Together they are raising four beautiful and rambunctious children. He worked as a freelance sports reporter for The Arizona Republic for nearly ten years, combining his love of writing and sports. In his storytelling he draws heavily on his love of history, adventure, his faith, and his own life experiences.

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For This We Are Soldiers Blog Tour

28 Oct, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

For This We Are Soldiers: Tales of the Frontier Army

by Carla Kelly
Published by Sweetwater on October 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 221
Format: Paperback
Source: Sweetwater Press
Buy the BookGoodreads
From master storyteller Carla Kelly comes this collection of frontier tales that take you behind typical army lines and into the hearts of ordinary men and women who perform extraordinary acts of bravery. From handsome hospital stewards and dashing soldiers to courageous children and wives who will pull at your heartstrings, there’s something for everyone’s fancy.

Carla Kelly is a master at historical fiction. She has a way of adding details true to the era, personalities, language, and setting elements that transport the reader. For This We Are Soldiers includes short novellas from the Indian Wars, some previously published, and other short stories are brand new. It is a compilation that gives a sample of the hardships of war, the day in and day out interactions and romance between unlikely candidates. Ms. Kelly knows her Western history and these heroines have true grit.

Content is clean, but best suited for adults as there is innuendo about marital relations. This reference could have been a left over from the previously published mass market romance version of the short story.

About the Author

Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for “Borrowed Light,” “My Loving Vigil Keeping,” and “Softly Falling.”

The Tour

October 11: Writing Worm
October 12: Heidi Reads
October 13: Live to Read
October 14: Singing Librarian Books | Literary Time Out
October 15: I Am a Reader
October 16: I Love to Read and Review Books
October 17: Bookworm Nation
October 18: Emmy Mom
October 19: Robyn Echols Books
October 20: Getting Your Read On | Wishful Endings
October 21: LDS and Lovin’ It
October 22: Bookworm Lisa
October 23: Books and Benches
October 24: Blooming with Books | Julie Coulter Bellon
October 25: Bookworm2Bookworm
October 26: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
October 27: My Book a Day | Rockin’ Book Reviews
October 28: Fire and Ice

 

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The Christmas Project ~Blog Tour and Giveaway

27 Oct, 2016 by in Alison Akin Clark 2 comments

The Christmas Project

Movie starring Jacob Buster, Anson Bagley, Grace Hallows, Gabe White, Alison Akin Clark
Directed by: Michael Buster

Even with Christmas around the corner, for the Buckley boys, payback almost always wins out over brotherly love. That is until the four brothers join forces against a common adversary—the Hagbarts—the meanest bullies at their middle school.

But now Mom has decided that the Buckley family is going to Elve the Hagbarts this year for Christmas.

Eleven-year-old Matthew can hardly stand it. By day the Hagbarts torture the Buckley brothers into submission, and by night the Buckleys secretly deliver Christmas treats and gifts to their sworn enemies.

Soon the war of wits escalates to an incredible scheme designed to get the ultimate revenge on the Hagbarts.

But now that Matthew has been learning that he’s supposed to do good to those who hate him, what will he do when a little push becomes a great big shove?

The Christmas Project is a heartwarming comedy the whole family will love.

FACEBOOK *INSTAGRAM *AMAZON LINK

Our family watched this together and we all enjoyed the message which is to love your neighbor, even when it’s hard. My children said “The Christmas Project movie teaches you to not judge by appearance or bully.”

Those of you who were around in the early 90’s will laugh at the wardrobe of scrunchies, peg legged pants, jean overalls and big fluffy hair with a bow. Many funny moments!

Content: mild violence. Appropriate for the whole family.

Blog Tour Stops

Oct. 24th: http://thethingsilovemost.com/http://iamareader.com/

Oct. 25thhttp://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/http://sweetlymadejustforyou.com/blog/http://rockinbookreviews.com/http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/

Oct. 26thhttp://mybookaday.blogspot.com/http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/

Giveaway

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Our Favorite Homeschool Curriculum Choices

25 Oct, 2016 by in homeschool, homeschooling Leave a comment

homeschooling

Some of our most used series and books for homeschooling.

Click on the photo for an affiliate link with more information on each title.

What are your most used resources for teaching?

 

Our favorite classroom series:

The Original McGuffeys Eclectic First Reader by William McGuffey
The Life of Fred Elementary Set #1: Apples, Butterflies, Cats, Dogs by Dr Stanley Schmidt
Saxon Math 2 Homeschool: Complete Kit 1st Edition 1st Edition
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Jeannie K. Fulbright, Brooke Ryan
First Steps Pathway Reading Series by Rod and Staff
Phonics Workbook grade 1 unit 1 by Rod and Staff
English from the Roots Up, Vol. 1: Help for Reading, Writing, Spelling, and S.A.T. Scores
by Joegil K Lundquist
ValueTale Set (Multiple Volume Value Tales Book Set) by Ann Donegan Johnson
Childcraft: The How and Why Library by Childcraft Cornerstones of Freedom Series Set
Cornerstones of Freedom Series Set
American Wild Flowers Coloring Book (Dover Nature Coloring Book)by Paul E. Kennedy
Teaching Textbooks: Algebra 1 Textbook with Answer Key, Verson 2.0 by Greg & Shawn Sabouri
Preparing for Usefulness : English 8 Hardcover – 1997
by Rod and Staff
American Geographical Society – Around the World Program by American Geographical Society
The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child by Susan Wise Bauer
Young People’s Science Encyclopedia by National College of Education
What Your Third Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch Jr.
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
Let’s Read and Find our Science Series
Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers by Bobby Lynn Maslen, John R. Maslen
Hooked on Phonics : Learn to Read by Hooked On Phonics.

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