Joyful Thinking in June 2020 Summer Fun!

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Animals –what’s not to love about them? With this list you will meet mischievous, clever, kind, and silly animals that help every child grow in their understanding and maturity. Enjoy a quiet ride in the car with an audiobook, a wonderful family movie night, and some quiet reading time with your kids with these great books! As a family, we’ve enjoyed every one of these recommendations and hope that you do too!

Audio Books

Reading aloud never gets old!

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

The Trumpet of the Swan

Written and Narrated by E.B. White

A story of a swan that learns to play the trumpet, make friends, and explore the world. 

Image by Robert Ruggiero
Image by Tai's Captures

The Penderwick Series

Written and Narrated by E.B. White

Written by Jeanne Birdsall, Narrated by Susan Denaker

Four mischievous sisters and their studious father embark on a unique summer vacation, renting a cottage in the backyard of a stodgy rich lady and an adventure-loving boy.

The Inheritance Cycle

Written by Chrstopher Paolini, Narrated by Gerard Doyle

Set in the fictional world of Alagaësia, the novels focus on the adventures of a teenage boy named Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, as they struggle to overthrow the evil king Galbatorix.

Image by Zoltan Tasi

Family Movie Night

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

The adventures of a family stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island. The adventures continue as they build a huge treehouse, explore the island, make friends with the animals, rescue an unfortunate young woman, and ultimately scare away barbaric pirates.

Image by Tom Winckels
Image by Joshua Sortino

Behind the

Waterfall (1995)

An Irish town storyteller uses faith and imagination to help two siblings come to terms with a parent's death. Wonderfully inspiring!

The Blue Bird (1940)

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

Image by John King
Medieval Castle

The Court

Jester (1955)

A hilarious movie about robbers protecting the true infant king, while romance and danger flourish!

Ages 11 and up

Some Like it Hot (1959)

Disguising themselves as women, two murder witnesses join an all-female jazz band and hop a train bound for sunny Florida as things heat up.

Ages 14 and up

Image by Jens Thekkeveettil

Reading Time

No better way to spend free time than with a book!

Select "Show More" to view all books for grades 1-12

1st Grade - Horrible Harry Series
1st Grade - Horrible Harry Series

By Suzy Kline: A 3rd grader, Harry's life is a series of adventures, mishaps, and revenge. Nonstop fun!

2nd Grade - Chocolate Fever
2nd Grade - Chocolate Fever

By Robert Kimmel Smith: Henry Green, a young boy who loves chocolage. In this story, his love for chocolate gets him into some trouble, and he learns some important life lessons along the way.

2nd Grade - Eddie Series
2nd Grade - Eddie Series

By Carolyn Haywood: Carolyn Haywood authored 47 children's books, mainly under the "Eddie" and "Betsy" titles. (cont. under Betsy Series)

2nd Grade - Betsy Series
2nd Grade - Betsy Series

(cont. from Eddie Series) By Carolyn Haywood: Full of wholesome child appropriate fun, these books are lovely for emergent readers and for read aloud time.

3rd Grade - Henry and Ribsy
3rd Grade - Henry and Ribsy

By Beverly Cleary: Henry's dad has promised to take him salmon finshing on one condition - he has to keep his dog Ribsy out of trouble for two months. That's not easy to do, especially when Ramona Quimby gets involved.

3rd Grade - Henry Huggins
3rd Grade - Henry Huggins

By Beverly Cleary: Another fun adventure in the life of Henry!

3rd Grade - The Shoe Books
3rd Grade - The Shoe Books

By Noel Streatfield: Noel Streatfield, an English author, was known for her children's books, including the "shoes" books, which are actually not a series. Ballet Shoes is the story of three adopted orphans brought to 1930s London as babies by an eccentric explorer, Great Uncle Matthew (otherwise known as Gum). THe girls have a comfortable life until the family begins to run out of money. All the books are equally charming.

4th Grade - Shadrach
4th Grade - Shadrach

By M. DeJong: The novel is set in the Netherlands. 6-year-old Davie waits a long time for his pet, a black rabbit he calls Shadrach. When the rabbit finally comes, every day seems miraculous. But one day Shadrach runs away.

4th Grade - Great Brain Series
4th Grade - Great Brain Series

By John D. Fitzgerald: When the Jenkins boys get lost in Skeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day. Whether it's saving the kids at school, or helping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain always manages to come out on top... and line his pockets in the process.