Friday, April 30, 2021

Sisters' April Reading Challenge

I thoroughly enjoyed this month's reading challenge. I'm not sure if it was the type of reading, or just my mood this month. 

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 1. Since April is National Poetry month, read from a book of poetry.

Charity - I enjoyed several books of poetry this month, though I read none of them in their entirety. From African American poetry to Emily Dickenson, my poetry books took a permanent residence next to my bed for the month of April.

Gina - For the last several years, I've been trying to gain a greater enjoyment of poetry. I picked up a poetry book by Mary Oliver at the library's poetry display. I especially enjoyed Oliver's nature poems but didn't care for some others. I decided that I need to read poetry differently than other books. It's okay to simply dislike some poems. 

2. Read a biography or autobiography.

Charity - Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Louis Zamperini’s life is one of contrast. As you read it you almost feel like he must have lived several lives. From rebellious childhood to a POW camp in Japan, you will be amazed at how many memories one person’s life can hold. Though at times I could barely read any more of the brutality faced as a Prisoner of War, the redemption made it worth every moment it took to read!

Gina - Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
Dr. Paul Farmer has dedicated his life to giving medical care to the poor. This biography reads like a personal memoir because Kidder spent a lot of time with Farmer, hiking for hours over Haitian mountains to see a patient and traveling to Russia to work with prisoners with tuberculosis. Kidder is a remarkable writer, and Farmer's passion for curing infectious diseases is inspiring. Note: the book is from a secular perspective and contains profanity and details of immorality. 

3. Read a fairy tale or a retelling of a fairy tale.   

Charity - The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Loosely based on the fairly tale by the Brothers Grimm, Goose Girl is the story of a princess' struggle to relate to the people around her and mostly to her queenly mother. Ani's mother ultimately sends her off into an adventure that will either end Ani’s  life or make her a queen. I was pleasantly surprised to find that though it was an adult novel, it was still clean. It does contain violence, but it is not graphic. One caveat would be that  there is talk of powers or gifts that involve being able to speak to animals, wind, etc., but there are no wizards or witches.

Gina - The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

What happened next in the "happily ever after" in the stories of Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty? It isn't what I expected. Four men, all known only as "Prince Charming," are on a bumbling quest against the evil witch. The author throws in lots of humor and creativity along with trolls, a robber king, and a dragon. With four stories merging with four kingdoms and their royal families, I struggled to keep all the details straight. This is a fun middle grade book but with the fantasy and bad attitudes, I hesitate to give it to my children. 

4. Celebrate spring by reading in a park.

Charity - I loved the excuse to throw my book of poetry in my bag when we went to the lake last week. My enjoyment of Dickenson’s nature poems were definitely enhanced by the nature around me. Maybe I’ll read at a park more often.

Gina - I'm realizing that my little girls don't get the chance to play in playgrounds since we often choose activities the older children enjoy. So this month I took them to the park several times, reading my book between pushing them on the swings and admiring their climbing skills.

5. Share a poem with a friend by a card, email, text, or social media.

Charity - For the month of April, a few siblings and I created a chat to share poetry that we were enjoying in honor of the month. I loved reading what others liked. Sometimes laughing at a humorous poem, crying over a sad one, and, always, soaking up the beauty of words perfectly combined.

Gina - There is nothing more fun than sharing words with friends, and our sibling poetry chat was a highlight of my month. 

I'd love to hear what you read this month. Did you read an inspiring biography? Did you find a fun fairy tale? Does poetry lift your heart or are you a reluctant poetry reader like me?

Come back tomorrow for the Sisters' May Reading Challenge.

Thanks for your patiences as I figure out the new email service. Some of you recieved two emails last week. Some found the email in your promotions. If you didn't get the email, and can't find it in your spam or promotions, try signing up in the right column. 


  1. Oh, the biographies sound wonderful. I read an article in the Reader's Digest several years ago about Louis Zamperini and my husband read one of the books about him (there are several). I love the part about Forgiveness. Chris W.

    1. I'm sorry, it was the Guideposts, not the Reader's Digest. Chris W.

  2. I enjoyed this reading challenge a lot!

    1. I read from a poem book to my younger children several times. I Sat by the Sea from The Good and the Beautiful.

    2. I read William Carey Obliged to Go by Janet and Geoff Benge aloud to my school age children.

    3. I read Beauty (fairy tale) on kindle. I rarely read books on my phone. I much prefer a paper book but this was so interesting I read the whole thing in a few days on my phone.

    4.I might have cheated but I live on a farm. Since I have pasture, creek and woods, cows sheep, goats and dogs, and since I really don't like going away very much at all, I chose to read a book in the pasture on a fallen down tree next to the goats and sheep. It was a few very restful lovely moments!!

    5. I shared a poem with my siblings through family text. It was about the best way to read a book is with a little six year old boy curled up in your lap!

    1. I read the biography of C.T. Studd by Janet and Geoff Benge to my children this month. I always am inspired by reading these stories of missionaries.

      And I love that you read a book by the goat and sheep pasture! Thanks so much for sharing how you did these challenges.

  3. I really enjoyed hearing about your choices and have been inspired to read some of your selection for myself. Please keep up with the reading challenges and the reviews ! Many thanks !

    1. I'm glad you are enjoying these. We sure are having fun!

  4. These reading challenges have Bern so much fun! I wasn't able by o complete them all so this is what I did.
    1. For poetry I read Glorious Angels- A Celebration of Children by Walter Dean Myers. Its a collection of antique pictures of children of various culture accompanied by Walter's poetry.

    2 For biography I'm finishing up Let Me Die in Ireland by David Bercot

    3.I didn't get a chance to do this one

    4.Our weather had been uncooperative for this one.

    5. I actually forgot about this one.

  5. Love this post! I found my favourite poets by reading through a small classic poetry anthology and then following up with the poets I liked best--you can usually also find out online who that poet's own favorite poets were, and go from there. Emily Dickinson is one of my favorites too!


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