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The Hundred Dresses

by Shawni
We don’t have church until 1:00 on Sundays these days and I love our time in the mornings. 

I am determined to use that time wisely. 

And to get my children (and myself) reading more. 

So I combined my two goals a few weeks ago and sat down with the girls to start a book that has been gathering dust for a while in my “good intentions to read” pile. 

It’s called “The Hundred Dresses
.”2013-02-03 sunday 69162
We liked it so much that we just kept going and going.

We read the whole thing in one sitting (it’s not long).  We loved it.  2013-02-03 sunday 69159(The girls went a little loopy when we were done:)

Such a powerful lesson of the importance of not judging and reaching out to others.

Now we need to get on to reading “Understood Betsy
” and “Wonder
” that are waiting patiently in my “read with kids” pile.

Can’t wait.

Any other great suggestions?

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Ben and Taryn February 26, 2013 - 5:00 pm

Oh Wonder is so good, you will love it!

thatonegirl February 26, 2013 - 5:10 pm

A Wrinkle in Time is most definitely Sunday appropriate.
Love the entire series in fact.

Sarah February 26, 2013 - 5:19 pm

Thanks for the reading list. Can't wait to get my hands on these books.

Sarah or someone like her February 26, 2013 - 5:28 pm

We did a whole RS activity centered around The Hundred Dresses and collected dresses for a local women's shelter. It's a great story!

For reading together, we love The Mysterious Benedict Society at our house. The Ordinary Princess by MM Kaye is one of my very favorite books of all time and makes a fantastic read aloud. We're currently reading The Tale of Despereaux together. Your girls might enjoy The Princess Academy if you haven't read it yet. Or anything by Shannon Hale. She is an incredible story teller.

Julie Weiss February 26, 2013 - 5:42 pm

I absolutely love "The Giver" and it's sequel "Messenger" and another book in the same "world" called "Gathering Blue"–all, of course by Lois Lowry. Amazing books! 🙂

lindsay eyre February 26, 2013 - 6:07 pm

Eleanor Estes is great. Her other books are so old-fashioned but so much fun.

Saffy's Angel would be a great Sunday read aloud with your girls. Just beautiful in a very real-life kind of way.

Emily S. February 26, 2013 - 7:12 pm

We read aloud all three of "The Penderwicks" books on Sunday afternoons as a family. They are excellent read alouds! The first was my personal favorite though.

Anonymous February 26, 2013 - 7:20 pm

We LOVED that book too! Such a great book for moms and girls to read together!

Nancy February 26, 2013 - 7:23 pm

First of all, I really enjoy reading your blog. Thank you. Secondly, my daughter and I are reading "The Friendship Doll" by Kirby Larson. It is a delightful book and well worth your time.

Elizabeth February 26, 2013 - 7:27 pm

I read The Hundred Dresses too when I was little. I also loved A Wrinkle in Time and The Giver.

These are two sad but wonderful book recommendations: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. I remember these as books that stuck with me into adulthood.

Angela February 26, 2013 - 7:31 pm

I love your book recommendations, thanks for sharing them! I recentley read Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls again. They are about an amazing 5th grade teacher and the students in his class (fictional). I read the books and then passed them on to my 12 year old daughter. She loved them.

Elizabeth February 26, 2013 - 7:35 pm

I was just looking up Number the Stars (didn't realize that Lois Lowry had also written The Giver), and I noticed that both books had received the Newbery Medel. I'm astounded by how many books I've read on this list – thanks to my English teacher mom! (The Hundred Dresses was also a Newbery book).

sarah e. February 26, 2013 - 7:38 pm

Love all the books mentioned. My mother loved the Hundred Dresses and read it to me when I was small.

Another great one that is perfect for Sunday is 1962 Newberry Medal winner "The Bronze Bow" by Elizabeth George Speare (also author of "The Witch of Blackbird Pond"). It is a beautiful story, a work of historical fiction set during the time of Jesus about a young boy's change of heart.

Courtney February 26, 2013 - 7:56 pm

We had a Young Women night focused around that book also. We collected a bunch of dresses and had them hanging around the room as the decor.

Cole, Jill, Tanner, Peyton February 26, 2013 - 8:10 pm

any suggestions on books to read with young boys?

emily February 26, 2013 - 8:15 pm

These are such good reads with wonderful messages:)

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Little Britches by Ralph Moody

Leslie Woolf February 26, 2013 - 8:15 pm

One of our favorite new trilogies is "Doll People" by Ann Martin. They're illustrated by Brian Selznick and that's almost as much of a treat as the stories!


Grandma Honey February 26, 2013 - 8:26 pm

Thank you! I just ordered this and also Understood Betsy. I ordered Wonder from another blog's recommendation just a few days ago!

Grandma Honey February 26, 2013 - 8:27 pm

Great idea to use those hours before church for special mother daughter reading time!

Heather L. February 26, 2013 - 9:50 pm

That is my all time favorite book! So glad you read it.

ellen February 26, 2013 - 10:08 pm

The ladies in our Relief Society read that book and then we donated 100 dresses to a women's shelter.

B-shaw's February 26, 2013 - 10:37 pm

"Out Of My Mind" by Sharon M. Draper…a book that everyone should read. It's about the thoughts of a girl with cerebral palsy and her struggle to be understood…it will change the way you look at others.

Sew Fantastic February 26, 2013 - 10:50 pm

I always loved the series "All of a kind family" (by sydney taylor)

momof7 February 26, 2013 - 11:44 pm

We just finished "Polllyanna" and we LOVED it!! I am doing a Relief Society lesson around Pollyanna and her "glad" game. I think it is also a must read. I have only sons and we all enjoyed it. Thanks for the other book ideas. Your blog is very inspirational, thanks for all you share.

Anonymous February 27, 2013 - 12:37 am

Betsy Tacy by Lovelace, a wonderful series. It's about two little girls who meet, and live across the street from eachother when they're five years old.

Felicity February 27, 2013 - 1:05 am

We are currently reading 'Pollyanna' by Eleanor H.Porter and we LOVE it! Such a great book about finding the positive in every situation!

A few others we love, 'A little princess' and 'The Secret Garden' both by Frances Hodgson Burnett and also 'Little Women' which is one of my all time favourites. There is an abridged version, but we read the unabridged and even my 4 year old loves to listen to it!

KMLG February 27, 2013 - 1:25 am

2323The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane-Kate DiCamillo

Gwen February 27, 2013 - 2:00 am

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

Sue February 27, 2013 - 3:07 am

Trumpet of the Swan!!! Absolute must.

Sue February 27, 2013 - 3:08 am

Trumpet of the Swan!! Absolute must read.

Sue February 27, 2013 - 3:12 am

Trumpet of the Swan!! A must read.

Jennifer Sue February 27, 2013 - 3:31 am

Oh I highly recommend:
"Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes" and "Stone Fox." They are quick reads (each has less than 85 pages or so) and they both are such touching stories! Definitely two of my all time favorite children's books. My older kids have loved them so much too! :0)

Leanys February 27, 2013 - 3:39 am

we just finished reading the one and only Ivan, we loved it! Penny from heaven, Insideout and back again are very good books.

Jessica February 27, 2013 - 5:55 am

We are reading Wonder as a family and my boys (ages 4, 6, 9) LOVE it.

Mindi February 27, 2013 - 7:27 am

How about The Alchemist. A wonderful story and one you can get through pretty fast as well.

alhsjej February 27, 2013 - 11:45 am

My daughter read 'Understood Betsy' and loved it. Pollyanna is awesome and now she is reading Anne of Green Gables.

Mangham Team February 27, 2013 - 11:57 am

The Paperbag princess would be good for Lucy's age group. Thanks for sharing the great reads.

LT511 February 27, 2013 - 2:50 pm

My 10 yr old daughter & I have both read Out of My Mind & Wonder (she read them first) & we loved them. They are similar in a way, but different & both excellent. Happy reading!

VPW February 27, 2013 - 3:09 pm

I have LOVED this book since I was a little girl. I just bought another copy to read to my little girl. We need to read it again!

Heather W February 27, 2013 - 5:10 pm

We LOVE Wonder! My daughter's 5th grade teacher has them do a writing assignment every month based on the "precept" for that specific month. You'll understand what the precepts are after you read the book.

Choose Kind.

Heather W February 27, 2013 - 5:15 pm

Just saw someone mention Out of My Mind…also really great. My daughter and I have read that one too. A great resource for books is a blog by my friend writes, who is an avid reader and is passionate about books and reading.


Lori Cartwright February 27, 2013 - 6:45 pm

Used this book to create a program for YW and RS to collect and donate dresses. Used in my ward in Utah, my friend's ward in Utah, and my sister's ward in Georgia. Hundreds of dresses donated and hundreds of lives changed! Books that motivate change and the best kind of books of all…especially when you get to share them with your daughters.

Julie February 27, 2013 - 7:48 pm

I love that book! My 10-year old and I are reading my childhood favorite chapter book right now – From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Its a classic!

kkk February 28, 2013 - 5:09 am

I loved Wonder… Has such great messages in it.

ALT1906 March 1, 2013 - 2:21 am

A little longer but so much entertaining;

Anne of Green Gables and Little Women

I like some good old classics.

Tania March 3, 2013 - 6:08 am

My husband has a congenital birth defect that makes him look different to most people. So, when I first heard about "Wonder" last year I knew it was a book our family HAD to own. I read it in one sitting and loved it and cried many times through reading it. My (then) 11 year old also read it in a day. I'm waiting to read it to the younger kids but have recommended / loaned it to anyone I can. Such a great book.

Belinda March 3, 2013 - 4:53 pm

Loved Understood Betsy! I'd add What Katy Did and The Railway Children (not the same as The Boxcar Children)I always cry.

The best reading list I've found of the classics is at:


They're a Provo family who writes a quarterly newsletter about the books they read as a family. The best part is trying to find the books. abebooks.com is a great resource, but many of the books on the list are public domain and are Kindle or iBooks for free.

Belinda March 3, 2013 - 4:55 pm

Andy Betsy-Tacy!

Lee & Allan March 5, 2013 - 6:01 pm

I love Moon Over Manifest (recent Newbery winner) and we just read The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. It has a male protagonist but any middle schooler, male or female, will understand his plight.

Carley Beimel March 7, 2013 - 9:09 pm

My step-daughter Claire is 11 years old. She spends long periods of time away from her father, due to his career in professional baseball. One way we try to keep a strong connection is by family nights on the phone, where Claire picks her favorite book and reads them to us. Our first experience doing this was with The Hundred Dresses. I decided to surprise her by ordering custom cookies to send to her house. I pinned a photo of them to share with you!


I ordered the cookies from Batches on Etsy if anyone is interested.

I adore your site and check in often to be uplifted & inspired.



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