Josiah’s Reading – September 2008

September 30, 2008 Categories: Books , Homeschooling | 2 Comments  

McDuff and the Baby by Rosemary Wells and Susan Jeffers
McDuff Saves the Day by Rosemary Wells and Susan Jeffers
The Beginner’s Bible
Franklin and Harriet by Paulette Bourgeois & Brenda Clark

Read Alouds – September 2008

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The Case for Faith for Kids by Lee Strobel & Rob Suggs
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
Tales from Shakespeare by Tina Packer
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church by Brandon and Mindy Withrow

Natalie’s Reading – September 2008

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Gossamer by Lois Lowry
Getting Burned (Nancy Drew All New Girl Detective #20) by “Carolyn Keene”
Murder on the Set (Nancy Drew: All New Girl Detective #24) by “Carolyn Keene”
Dressed to Steal (Nancy Drew: All New Girl Detective #22) by “Carolyn Keene”
Bright Shadow by Avi
Scooby-doo Mysteries #23: Scooby Doo And The Seashore Slimer by James Gelsey
Scooby-doo Mysteries #06: Scooby-Doo and the Vampire’s Revenge by James Gelsey
Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
Troubled Waters (Nancy Drew: All New Girl Detective #23) by “Carolyn Keene”
Matilda by Roald Dahl

Jonathan’s Reading – September 2008

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Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne
Spider Kane and the Mystery at Jumbo Nightcrawler’s by Mary Pope Osborne
Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne
Scooby-Doo and the Farmyard Fright (Scooby-Doo Mysteries) by James Gelsey

Noah’s Reading – September 2008

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Everything I Know About Monsters by Tom Lichtenheld
The Invisible Man & Other Cases (Einstein Anderson, Science Detective) by Seymour Simon
The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson

DVD Feature and Giveaway: Alvin & the Chipmunks Classic Holidays

Categories: Reviews , TV on DVD | 12 Comments  

(Alvin & the Chipmunks Classic Holidays was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of this feature and giveaway.)


Alvin & the Chipmunks Classic Holidays came just as the autumn weather was setting in and the kids started asking how many days until Halloween. This DVD gift set includes three Alvin & the Chipmunks DVDs, one for Halloween, one for Thanksgiving, and one for Christmas.



September 29, 2008 Categories: Books , Reviews | Comments Off  


I finished Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski. You can read my review at Books and Movies.

Winner – 3-2-1 Penguins! Save the Planets!

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Thanks, everyone, for playing along. The winner of the 3-2-1 Penguins! DVD is…


Congratulations, Blakely. Watch your e-mail; I’ll be contacting you for your mailing address.

Stay tuned, folks, cause I have another great – and Thanksgiving-themed – giveaway tomorrow.

Featured DVD: Unforgotten: Twenty-Five Years After Willowbrook

September 27, 2008 Categories: Movies | Comments Off  

(Unforgotten: Twenty-Five Years After Willowbrook was provided to me by Special Ops Media for the purpose of this feature.)


“What they did to my sister Patty and to the other children was horrifying. For me, Willowbrook is a perpetual mourning.” ~Kate Meskell

It was a nightmare that shocked not only New York, but all of America. The public outcry about the Willowbrook State School for people with developmental disabilities resulted from Geraldo Rivera’s expose after he had entered Willowbrook with a film crew in 1972, using a stolen key. Unforgotten takes us on a tour of the facilities and interviews residents and their families about the inhumane treatment that shocked our nation.


Featured DVD: War Dance

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(War Dance was provided to me by Special Ops Media for the purpose of this feature.)


The superb documentary War/Dance reveals the redemptive power of music, even in the most horrific places. Focusing on three children in their early teens in war-torn Uganda–stoic Nancy, driven Dominic, and soft-spoken Rose–War/Dance tracks the efforts of the school of a refugee camp called Patongo to compete in Uganda’s countrywide music competition. The contrasts are staggering; in interviews, the children describe their parents being killed by rebel soldiers, then footage of rehearsal shows them joyfully singing and dancing with their classmates. Some of the sequences are harrowing (a scene where Nancy grieves for her murdered father is painful to watch), but without them, we wouldn’t understand how hard-won are the feelings of pride and accomplishment as their school performs for the competition’s judges. The built-in structure of the competition gives this documentary a clear and engrossing storyline, much like Spellbound or Mad Hot Ballroom, but the heartbreaking circumstances and the emotional openness of the three teenagers makes War/Dance even more compelling. In one particularly striking scene, Dominic talks to a captured rebel officer, hoping to learn if his brother is still alive. As they talk, the soldier–who’s around the age Dominic’s brother might be–tries to be helpful, and explains almost offhandedly why the brother is most likely dead. The casualness of this conversation, devoid of Hollywood histrionics, speaks volumes about how violence has infiltrated these people’s daily lives.