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 Joyful Thinking Packet 

 Autumn: The Blessings of Family 

Audio Books

Reading aloud never gets old!

Enjoy some audio books while you eat lunch, paint the house, garden, or drive. 


All of a Kind Family

Written by Sydney Taylor,

Narrated by Suzanne Toreny

All-of-a-Kind Family is based on Sydney Taylor's recollections of her childhood on Manhattan's Lower East Side, where her family settled along with many other Jewish families after migrating from Eastern Europe by way of Germany.

Half Moon Investigations

Written by Mary Mapes Dodge,

Narrated by John McDonough

The novel takes place in the Netherlands and is a colorful fictional portrait of early 19th-century Dutch life, as well as a tale of youthful honor. The book's title refers to the beautiful silver skates to be awarded to the winner of the ice-skating race Hans Brinker hopes to enter.

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Man of the Family

Written by Ralph Moody,

Narrated by Cameron Beierle

A moving father-son story.

At ten, Istvan Csere is learning from his father all about running the family's chicken farm in South Jersey. The father, a flamboyant, proud character who fled Hungary with Istvan's mother on the brink of the First World War, has great plans for his family and their little farm. Then something terrible happens and Istvan must suddenly take over as man of the family, having to rely on the lessons learned from his father sooner than he ever expected.

Family Movie Night

Time to get out the popcorn and relax!

Watch these phenomenal movies that will make you laugh, cry, smile, and shout. 

Movies for ages 7-10

The Blue Bird (1940)

A naughty little girl (Shirley Temple) dreams she and her brother are sent by a fairy to find the bluebird of happiness. A beautiful story!

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Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

In this family film, the Robinson clan -- mother (Dorothy McGuire), father (John Mills) and their three sons, Fritz, Ernst and Francis -- flee the reign of Napoleon to start afresh in New Guinea. When their ship gets damaged en route, the family takes refuge on a deserted island. The Robinsons learn to live in the wild, have various adventures and build an impressive house in a tree. However, while island life is full excitement, the question of whether to return to civilization looms.

Little House on the Praire Series

American made-for-television film which served as the pilot to the Little House on the Prairie TV series on NBC. It is closely based on the Little House on the Prairie novel; second of the "Little House" series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Stories of a family struggling to grow and learn in the pioneer days of America.


Movies for ages 11-14


Evelyn (2002)

When the mother of young Evelyn Doyle (Sophie Vavasseur) abandons her family, her devastated father Desmond (Pierce Brosnan), is left to care for Evelyn and her brothers on his own. Because Irish laws forbid children to be raised in a home without two parents, Evelyn and her brothers are removed from Desmond's care and sent to separate orphanages. Desmond, who is out of work and abusing alcohol, will have to challenge the Irish courts to bring his children home.

Behind the Waterfall

A town storyteller uses faith and imagination to help two siblings come to terms with a parent's death.

Image by Collins Lesulie

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

Oscar-winning adaptation of the Broadway musical about life among the Jewish community of a pre-revolutionary Russian village. A poor milkman, determined to find good husbands for his five daughters, consults the traditional matchmaker - and also has a word with God.

You Can't Take it With You (1938)

Sweet-natured Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur) falls for banker's son Tony Kirby (James Stewart). But when she invites her snooty prospective in-laws to dinner to give their blessing to the marriage, Alice's peculiar extended family -- including philosophical grandfather Martin Vanderhof (Lionel Barrymore), hapless fledgling ballerina sister Essie (Ann Miller) and fireworks enthusiast father, Paul (Samuel S. Hinds) -- might be too eccentric for the staid Kirbys.


Movies for ages 14+


The Secret of Roan Inish (1995)

Fiona (Jeni Courtney) is a young Irish girl with an unusual family history, including a long-missing baby brother. When she goes to live with her grandparents on the west coast of Ireland, Fiona hears stories about her ancestors, tales that involve mythical creatures called selkies who can shift from seal to human form. After Fiona ends up on the small island of Roan Inish, her family's ancestral home, she believes she may have found her little brother living by the sea.

Boys Town (1938)

The devout but iron-willed Father Flanagan (Spencer Tracy) leads a community called Boys Town, a different sort of juvenile detention facility where, instead of being treated as underage criminals, the boys are shepherded into making themselves better people. But hard-nosed petty thief and pool shark Whitey Marsh (Mickey Rooney), the impulsive and violent younger brother of an imprisoned murderer, might be too much for the good father's tough-love system.


Reading Time

No better way to spend free time than with a book! Take a look at all our book selections for grades 1-12.

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