Our Five Ring Circus: Book Love: Raising Readers One Book At A Time {What We Read}

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Love: Raising Readers One Book At A Time {What We Read}

I absolutely love to read! For as long as I can remember, I always had a book in my hand. Although the time I am able to spend reading these days is limited, I still try to set a good example. Raising readers is my priority!


My parents and siblings loved to read, so it was only natural that I would, too. Walking into the kitchen to see my mom hunched over a pot of soup with a book was something I saw every day. My parents took me to the library once a week, and I eagerly browsed the bookshelves and chose what I wanted to read that week. One of my favorite childhood memories was going to the bookstore every other week with my parents, and being able to choose one new book. (I saved every single book and passed them on to my own children!)

I fondly remember all the evenings my dad would take me to dinner while my mom was at work. I would pull a book out of my bag the moment we sat down, only pause to order, and then I read through dinner. Never once did he tell me to put my book down. (Sorry for all those silent dinners, Dad!)

My love of reading stayed with me into adulthood. Prior to having kids, I could easily read a book in a day or two. During bed rest with Dylan, I was cranking out two each day. Four kids later, that just doesn't happen anymore. I'm lucky if I can read two books a month! But I make it a point to read and I make sure my kids SEE me reading.

As for my own children, I started reading to them on their first night home from the hospital and never stopped. I try to say yes every time they ask me to read to them and I never say no to a request for a new book. I now have four kids who love to read every bit as much as I do! (Well, let's be honest here...Dylan loves to read, but he also loves other things more...like basketball and girls!)

One of my blogging goals for the year was to share more of what we're reading, but that always gets pushed aside and placed in my Friday Favorites posts. I really want to make an effort to start sharing what we read and loved, so now is the perfect time to start!


STEF'S PICK: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline


I started this book while Lexie was getting her wrist set under anesthesia. Obviously, it wasn't the best time to start because I was too worried to concentrate! We were thrown into a whirlwind of appointments after that, so I didn't pick it up again for another week. And when I did, I literally could not put it down. I finished it in just a few days, which is rare for me right now!

This book, which was based on the orphan trains which ran for over 70 years in the United States, had me in tears many times. The book bounces back and forth from present day to the past, but the story from the past and the story from the present weave together seamlessly.

I think the impact of this book was so strong because the main character in the past (an orphan searching for a family) was around the same age as Lexie. I kept picturing Lexie in those situations, and it broke my heart. Although it was an emotionally difficult read at times, the ending was beautiful!

I don't like to give too much away in book reviews, so I will just say this: Do yourself a favor and read this book if you haven't already. It's the most recent book I read and I now consider it one of my favorites!

LIAM'S PICK: Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? 

by Brianna Caplan Sayres


Liam got this book for Christmas from my parents and he reads it every single day! When he was diagnosed with Down syndrome, I immediately worried about all the things he wouldn't be able to do. One of my worries was that he wouldn't be able to read. Although time will tell, I will say that out of all of my kids, Liam loves books the most, and I'm certain he will learn how to read. He spends hours each week looking through his books, and if time wasn't a factor, he would ask me to read to him all day long. I try to say yes as often as possible!

This book is Liam's current favorite, and even though I've read it to him hundreds of times, he never tires of it. And I will say yes to reading to him every possible chance I can! There's just something so special about those moments when he hands me a book and climbs into my lap. He really is the sweetest little boy!


This sweet book is about the bedtime routines of construction vehicles. If you have a young child, I'm certain they would love it as much as Liam does!


LEXIE'S PICK: The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook 

by Rosanna Pansino


Lexie loves to read, cook and bake, so it's no surprise that her current favorite book is a cookbook! She has owned this book for over six months, and she still takes it out several times a week to look at the recipes.

Lexie loved Rosanna Pansino's YouTube cooking show before she got the book, so she was thrilled to find out that it had some of her favorite recipes in it! These recipes are so much fun for kids to make. We tried out quite a few and Lexie was able to make them on her own!

Baking is definitely a good hobby, and let's be honest: our entire family benefits from Lexie's cookbook recipes!


DYLAN'S PICK: The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier


Dylan used to read all the time, but when he entered his tween years, his interest waned. He still likes to read, but definitely not as much as he used to. The trick is to find fun books that keep his attention!

Somebody recommended this book to Dylan, and he loved it! I think it helped that he could relate to the main character in the book, who is close to his own age. He loved the fact that it was about a kid just a little bit older than him, living in a tree house, and dealing with a monster apocalypse.

When he told me about it, his eyes lit up and I could hear the excitement in his voice. To a mom of a tween boy, that's a gift!  He loved it so much that he wants to buy the other books, and I am 100% on board with that idea!

LILY'S PICK: The Classic Fairy Tale Treasury


Did you know we live with a fairy? It's fun AND magical! And according to Lily, 5 year old fairies just love fairy tales!

Hundreds of books are stacked up on Lily's book shelf, but this one is her current favorite book. She doesn't have a favorite fairy tale in the book. She just loves the fact that there's plenty to choose from in this collection of classic fairy tales.


I love this sweet girl's imagination, and even more so, I love how she can now read some sentences on her own. Watching your child learn to read is an awesome milestone! I will always encourage her creativity and her love of reading!


As for my husband, Grant used to read a lot, but now he's more of an audio books kind of guy. He reads news articles daily online, but the only time I really see him pick up a book these days is when we're on vacation. He has a long commute to and from work, and listening to audio books makes the time go faster. Last I heard, he was listening to the Game of Thrones books again in preparation for the upcoming season!

It was so much fun sharing our current favorite books. Hopefully I can continue this each month! I would love to hear about what you and your family are currently reading. Book recommendations are always welcome! 


  1. I'm like you and love reading! It's my favorite hobby. And my kids love books as well which makes me so happy.

  2. I wish I read more, I really need to make an effort to make more time for it because when I do read, I absolutely love it! Now with the kids, I'm always reading to them!

  3. Adorable post. I'll have to check out Lexies book for Marissa. Marissa has been reading The Cupcake Diaries books. Has Lexie ever read those? It sounds like she might like them!

  4. I am currently reading Gone Girl (I'm way behind the times, I know). I read Orphan Train at the beach a few years ago and loved it! It is so great that you have such a pro-book house. My house was the same way growing up and now I still love to read all the time!

  5. I love this and as you know I love to read too!

  6. Oh Lily, she reminds me so much of Olivia. Princess obsessed. Always in a dress. So sweet! I loved this post!

  7. We'll have to check out the "Where Do Diggers..." book. Tyler's favorite right now is "Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site"

  8. Raising readers is my passion too! The pictures of Lily the fairy are too precious.

  9. i love this! reading and early literacy is a HUUUUGE deal in my house -- my husband doesn't read much either he likes podcasts and audio books as well.
    my kids are really into the dinosaur books - how do dinosaurs eat cookies and how to dinosaurs get ready for bed? I'm currently reading The girl with all the gifts.
    Do you prefer actual book-books or e-readers?

  10. I can't say I grew up loving to read, but it grew on me in my college years! I wish I had more time for reading now a days. My daughter, however, loves to read. We read at least 2 books before naptime and 4 at bedtime. She is always bringing me more books to read and I truly hope she loves reading forever! I love seeing you suggestions for your kiddos! Great job mama

  11. Reading is my favorite way to unwind! I was an avid reader as a kid and in college, but once I had kids, it kind of fell to the wayside. Luckily, I've started reading to my kiddos more. My oldest is learning to read, and it's fun to have him read to me!

  12. We love to read too! I would say my son's favorite is Little Blue Truck Leads the Way! I was an English major, so him reading was always super important to me. We always read 3 or more books at bedtime!!

  13. Reading is a big deal in our house, too.
    The Orphan Train is SO good! I read that a bit ago and loved it!!
    Marcus LOVES Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night, and I'm totally book marking the older kids suggestions for a bit down the road!


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