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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  1. 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.

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. "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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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)

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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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