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    March 29, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

    :: 1 ::

    Two thumbs up for Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier. I absolutely LOVED this book. I will recommend it with one word of warning.

    When my children were younger, I didn’t want them reading books with lots of girlfriend/boyfriend dynamics (between children — romance between adults has always been fine with me). Now that they are older, I don’t mind. But for those of you still in the stage where you want to avoid that, you’ll want to wait on this book.

    With that said, I’ll repeat what I said about this book on Instagram:

    View this post on Instagram

    Yesterday evening, we finished reading #sophiequire. This is the sort of book that makes you wonder whether the layers of meaning are purposeful or accidental (because the writer is good at his craft).⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Since *we* live in a world where so many walk around injured by a *real* zeitgeist, I appreciated the ending. Many feed our zeitgeist’s burning pyre and then are shocked to find a trail of ruin following after. If there is one thing I can say about author @auxierjonathan is that he appears to Get It — this world we live in, the power of story, the whole thing.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Almost every single day, multiple times per day, I sit down and read to my children — I was going to say “even the teenagers” but perhaps *especially* the teenagers. I have always thought of this as furnishing the famed wardrobe of the #moralimagination a la #edmundburke. But maybe Auxier is right — maybe I’m filling them up with magic. ♥⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ And with that magic, maybe they’ll defeat the zeitgeist, too.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ #readaloudrevival⁣⠀ #charlottemason⁣⠀ #charlottemasoneducation⁣⠀ #charlottemasonhomeschool⁣ #commonplace ⁣⠀

    A post shared by Brandy Vencel (@brandyvencel) on

    :: 2 ::

    The question is, of course, what are we reading next? The children keep asking for scary stories and I’ve put forth great effort … but so far they haven’t been impressed. Apparently, we have different definitions of scary.

    I’m not ready to do Edgar Allan Poe because, frankly, he gives me bad dreams. Since we’ve been on an Auxier kick, I decided to keep going and read The Night Gardener next — I hear it’s full of suspense, which I’m hoping will add to the “scary” feel so that I don’t disappoint … again. Ha!

    :: 3 ::

    The latest Scholé Sisters episode is now live!

    In this episode, Mystie and I were joined by Abby Wahl … it was so much fun!

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2011:

    This post is so ancient, there’s no graphic. But it was so sweet to read again. I used to keep a category of posts I called “The Darndest Things.” It was like a written collection of funny things my children said and did when they were small. This is one of my favorites: The Darndest Things: I Saw Jesus One Time.

    :: 5 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • Do You Want Your Kids To Go To An Elite College Or Get An Education? They’re Not The Same Thing from The Federalist
      • But what to do about the fact that higher education is often a farce and yet has set itself up as the gatekeeper for so many careers …
    • Chicago Police Union Calls for Investigation into Jussie Smollett Case from The Dan Bongino Show
      • Good for them! “[E]mail communications reveal Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff reached out to the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx shortly before prosecutors dropped all charges against the actor.”
      • There’s nothing to see here. Ignore rich people hooking up other rich people with deals for college and get-out-of-jail-free cards.
    • Rockland declares state of emergency over measles outbreak, bars unvaccinated from public places from ABC7
      • Apparently, unvaccinated children have fewer rights than vaccinated children. I suppose they need to carry paperwork? Or maybe we’ll just pin a Star of David on their lapels so everyone can see their refusal to conform?
      • Someone seriously needs to sue over this — it’s a completely violation of the constitutional rights of these families.
      • For the record, I was fully vaccinated as a child. I was then exposed to rubella … which I caught. I was later exposed to measles … which I caught. (I remember wondering why I kept getting the chicken pox!) I was never exposed to mumps, which is likely the only reason I never got it. So this whole thing about the MMR unimpresses me greatly, which is why I am not surprised by this story: Former Merck Scientists Sue Merck Alleging MMR Vaccine Efficacy Fraud.
    • Re: SB 276, the elimination of physicians’ right to determine medical exemptions for vaccines from American Association of Physicians and Surgeons
      • Closer to home, Senator Richard Pan has decided that he can be the doctor for all the children in this entire state and wants to eliminate the medical vaccine exemption. All those doctors? According to Pan, they don’t know what they are doing. To say I am furious at this encroachment upon the doctor-patient relationship as well as freedom of choice is an understatement. I know Senator Pan has to earn those thousands of dollars (over $100K and climbing!) of campaign contributions he receives from pharmaceutical companies, but my word this is ridiculous.

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  • Reply The Official 2019 Afterthoughts Read Aloud List | Afterthoughts January 8, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    […] how I fell in love with this book! I said much about it already, so I won’t repeat myself. We read four Auxier titles (as you can see) and this one was my […]

  • Reply Jody S. March 29, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    When my son won The Night Gardener from the library, I told him I needed to read it first because it looked pretty scary. But I liked it. It was frightening a bit, but I was so surprised that it was good (modern children’s and YA fiction has made a me (overly) skeptical).

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 9, 2019 at 4:17 pm

      I know what you mean! I am often skeptical, too. The quality of Auxier’s writing gives me hope!

  • Reply Rahime March 29, 2019 at 11:08 am

    This vaccination stuff is getting so outrageous and frightening!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 29, 2019 at 11:25 am

      I know! If parents don’t start defending their liberty around here, we’re going to lose it! Pan is a bulldozer and he won’t just take an inch!

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