Welcome Read Aloud Revival Listeners!

 

Hello and welcome! My name is Brooke and I am so grateful that you are visiting This Temporary Home. I imagine that many of you may be new here from the Read Aloud Revival Podcast. If so, thanks for stopping by! It was an honor and a dream come true to chat with Sarah about books in general and those highlighting orphans and celebrating adoption specifically. In case you are a regular reader of the blog, but haven’t had the chance to listen to the podcast, head here to listen to Episode 87. You’ll love Sarah!

In order for you to become better acquainted, I am going to give you a few quick links that will hopefully take you where you want to go.

First, check out the Welcome Page. There you will find a brief introduction and a little more about the why behind this blog.

Next, visit the Community Page. There you will find links to my favorite posts by topic. A bit down the page will be all the posts I have written on foster care and adoption over the years.

Third, I am sure that if you listened to the podcast, you may want to get your hands on the orphan adoption book list. I am linking to all the booklist posts here, but you can also join the mailing list to receive your beautiful free pdf download designed by my friend Kasia.

Seven Books That Encouraged Me Along Our Journey (here)

Fifteen Picture Books To Celebrate Your Adopted Child (here)

Twenty Chapter Books that Highlight Orphans and Celebrate Finding Home(here)

Ten Books for Teens to Highlight Orphans and Celebrate Finding Home (here)

Over 50 Books To Highlight Orphans and Celebrate Adoption (here)

Christmas Books that Highlight Orphans and Celebrate Adoption (here)

Finally, I mentioned on the podcast that you could download a free copy of my book, Thirty Balloons: An Adoption Tale. You can do that by popping your email in the text box below. It is a separate sign up from the booklist, so you will want to sign up for both.

Also, you can preorder a physical copy of the book from my Kickstarter Campaign here. We are already a fully funded campaign after just three and a half days! I am completely excited, encouraged, and grateful for such an overwhelming response. Glory to God and a great team!

Well, that should be it for now. I am so very glad you stopped by! Please take a minute or two to familiarize yourself with the site, the book posts, and anything else that interests you. Then feel free to introduce yourself or leave any questions you might have either in the comments or by emailing me at Brooke@ThisTemporaryHome.com. I can’t wait to get to know you!

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Kickstarter Update: We Did It!

The entire Cooney Family would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the overwhelming support and encouragement that we received on our Thirty Balloons Kickstarter Campaign. In less than four days you enabled us to meet our goal! Way to go!

We will share news with you later this week about our stretch goals, but, for today, we celebrate! If you haven’t had a chance to preorder your physical copy of the book there is still time left. Our campaign runs until March 3rd, so please keep spreading the word. We want to share the message of adoption, hope, family, and reading aloud to children with as many people as possible. You can do that by sharing this link.

Thanks so much again,


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Building Strong Families

Shared experiences. This is perhaps the number one way to build strong families. These shared experiences can be over service opportunities, spiritual disciplines, sports, nature walks, hiking, hobbies, and, one of our favorite ways, that of sharing great books.

In making the list of over 50 books highlighting orphans and celebrating adoption, I may have mistakenly thought that I was building a list of books dealing with broken families. While that is true on the one hand, it is an inaccurate assumption on the other. Families involved in orphan and foster care are typically looking to share strong family values with the children they foster or adopt.

Many of the books I recommend indeed celebrate family. In championing adoption, we are ultimately championing family. Nearly all of the picture books celebrate finding home and a place of safety and acceptance. A few of the chapter books that immediately come to mind which celebrate strong families encountered within the story, even while beginning in brokenness are:

I recently read The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, and it is such a beautiful story, for one reason among many, in that it esteems a strong family relationship. Sometimes we read books and see ourselves in them, sometimes we read them and see relationships as we wish they were. For children in the foster system, this book would fall into the later category.

That is another reason why I am so excited about my new book, Thirty Balloons: An Adoption Tale. (Did you download your free copy yet?) It is a story about adoption, but it is simultaneously a story about a family wanting to add to their number, share the blessing of family that they have, and champion not only the cause of the orphan, but the power of family. How like God that he would join passions of my husband, to build strong families through counseling and biblical teaching, with our desire to adopt, and mine to write. This is the first time that I have looked at these three life goals and see them colliding as one.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Thirty Balloons is live! Click here to back our campaign and watch our video to learn more about the project. I can’t wait for you to preorder your copy, or copies, to share.

What are some of your favorite books that have strong families threaded within? I would love to read them too.

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A New Book to Carry With You

Sometimes I marvel which childhood bents will carry over to adulthood. For me, the love of a good book is probably foremost. So much so, that I remember on one occasion alphabetizing my home library. I must have been in third or fourth grade. Perhaps I also instituted a check-out operation, though for whom I cannot say.

The first book that clicked with me I checked out from my school library in the third grade. The name of the text has long eluded me. For years I looked in the same corner of the little school library for the book with the girl and the wagon wheel on the front only to be evaded. It is of little importance what the book was, or even its content. What matters is that the love of reading and learning was unlocked.

From that point on,  I was found digging through treasure troves of books. The hardcover, yellow-paged volumes were my favorite. Black Beauty (Dover Children’s Evergreen Classics), Little Women (Puffin in Bloom), The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, Book 1), and Old Yeller (Perennial Classics) soon became reading companions which still hold honored places on my shelves.

Then there are those books, purchased brand new especially for, or by, me. Books like Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, A Little Princess (Puffin in Bloom), Matilda, and The Little House (9 Volumes Set). What memories I have of transforming new books into old friends! The sight, smell, and touch of them take me back to the age and place I was when I first read them and they became a forever part of me.

Today, our home library exceeds the shelf space allotted. Now, as then, I continue to find searching for classic and modern volumes therapeutic.

Many childish ways I left behind, but the books I carried with me.

The books we read to our children and the books they find as faithful friends, read and reread as yearly rhythms, they will carry with them long after they themselves can be carried.

Today, I want to encourage you to add a new volume to your shelf.  A new book to turn into worn pages, and its contents into an old friend.

I have written a children’s picture book, illustrated by my oldest daughter, Emily, about our adoption journey of our youngest son. From our first meeting, through the months and months of holding onto hope and seeking his adoption, this story will encourage and inspire you as you wait on the happy endings in your own life.

Many of you have read posts over the years concerning our adoption and foster care journey. Now, you can read our adoption tale to the children in your life that will leave them inspired, asking questions, and perhaps ready to slay a few dragons of their own that stand in the way of them attaining their God-given dream. I hope you will!

I believe that real books read on the laps of parents and with loved ones are the best tools to introduce and reaffirm the magic of story and strengthen family bonds. I hope that is the case with Thirty Balloons! But first, I need your help. Would you consider backing my Kickstarter campaign to publish 100 copies of Thirty Balloons: An Adoption Tale? I hope you will want a copy for you and a friend.

I am offering a free pdf download for those who pop their email into the box below! I pray it is a book you will want to carry with you. Go ahead and download your copy now! Then head over to Kickstarter to pre-order a copy to read with your family.

 

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Christmas Books to Round Out National Adoption Awareness Month

As we close the last day of National Adoption Awareness Month and turn our eyes towards Christmas, I propose a few more seasonal stories to warm your heart. Tales to remind us of great needs in the world and our abilities to make a change not for every child, but perhaps for just one.

My daughter and I have already listened to and are listening to again, The Christmas Doll. The older kids and I are nearly done with I Saw Three Ships, a new favorite from last year.  I can hardly wait to read aloud Holly and Ivy; a book that spurred me on two Christmases ago just after we met our youngest adopted son and were realizing this would be a long journey. Just how long, we had no idea! Finally, The Matchbox Girl is a beautifully illustrated, sorrowful tale that reminds me of our need to not pass people by. We must look to help in each situation as the Holy Spirit leads us and make a difference in the lives of children God puts in our path.

May you find these stories to be welcome addition to your holiday reading. If you like these, you might also like more of our Christmas favorites over here.

Happy reading and Merry Christmas!

 

 

*If you are reading this in your email head on over to the original post for the book links here.

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Five Easter Books for Your Preschooler

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One of the ways we prepare for Easter in our home is through Christ centered literature. While we love the signs and symbols of spring in the beautiful flowers and precious animals that are God’s gift to man within creation, we like to keep the central message the new life in Christ.

Christ laid down His life so that we could take up new life in Him.

The book links below are targeted for preschool through second grade learners. Perhaps you would like to check these out at your local library or purchase them at your favorite bookstore. Happy Easter and may your celebration be rooted in Him.

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Great to use with the Resurrection Eggs available at your local Christian bookstore.

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Stepping Back in Time

Imagine stepping back in time. Dressing and living as the early Americans over 200 years ago. Long dresses, bonnets, and button up shirts were the norm. Store bought was a rarity and homemade the everyday. Making your meals off of the land and the animals that you raised yourself rather than gathering them from the freezer section or a drive by window. That is what Tasha Tudor chose to do with her modern-day, twentieth century life.

Our Emily loves this era often requesting, “Please call me Laura.”

In the book, The Private World of Tasha Tudor, she and Richard Brown tell her story as a farmer, author, illustrator, and reminisce about her childhood. This book isn’t only for the young at heart, but the young as well. Emily and Joshua listened intently and looked on with wide eyes at the beautiful photography in this book.  It was rather surprising!

I enjoy doing housework, ironing, washing, cooking, dish washing. Whenever I get one of those questionnaires and they ask what is your profession, I always put down housewife. It’s an admirable profession, why apologize for it. You aren’t stupid because your’re a housewife. When you’re stirring the jam you can read Shakespeare. ~ The Private World of Tasha Tudor, p. 104

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God ~Ecclesiastes 2:24

Do not romanticise Mrs. Tudor completely, she warns:

People have a rose-colored lens when they look at me. They don’t realize I’m human. They don’t see the real me. As Mark Twain said, we are like the moon, we all have our dark side that we never show to anybody. ~The Private World of Tasha Tudor, p. 101

The exquisite illustrations in all of Mrs. Tudor’s books come from the world and people around her. Thoughtful words, combined with beautiful drawings, capture the hearts and imaginations of all who chose to read the books she has published. Below are a few of our favorites.

The following are books that we have not read, but hope to this Christmas season:

 That is what we are reading this week. What is gracing your shelves today?

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Lessons Between the Pages

Memorable moments in the day always include my children climbing in my lap or piling on the couch as we open a book. Between paperback and hardback covers lies a great story waiting to be discovered.

In anticipation of all they will learn and see, or with the eagerness of the familiarity to see an old friend, little fingers turn pages and point to pictures. Stories burst forth from their little mouths putting more of their personalities on display. Life lessons that teach character and provide models, both good and bad, of behavior choices help redirect our conversations to Biblical truths that we are striving to teach.

Emily’s read aloud shelf looks like this:

You are sure to fall in love with Millicent Margaret Amanda, or Milly-Molly-Mandy for short. Milly-Molly-Mandy is a charming little girl who views the everyday occurrences of life through the wonder of a child. This book is beautifully written and full of life-lessons to share with your little one about responsibility, being a good friend, and making wise choices. I would recommend this for the “big girls” like me as well!

The classic tale of Black Beauty, is my all-time childhood favorite. The gentle tone of the book, as well as the wonderful lessons on humanity and kindness and respect for God’s creatures, make this a wonderful read for young children. This story helps both adult and child to evaluate the effects of their behavior on others and to work with the integrity and determination. This book deals with death, so if you are apt to shy away from this subject with your children you may want to refrain from reading it at this time.

Joshua’s read aloud choices vary, but one of the ten books from the box set by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker, Amazing Machines: Truckload of Fun is usually a nap or bedtime pick.  

The ten books in this set will teach your curious little ones about how machines work, their parts, and what the passengers and drivers of each can expect to experience. These rhyming books are illustrated in primary colors making color instruction and review a natural part of your day. The sound effects written on each page are also a fun way to teach the sounds the machines make. If your son is anything like mine, the sound effects will carryover into his play with trucks, trains, and airplanes rather quickly.

That is what we are delighting in reading this Wednesday; what about you?

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