The November Book Club has snuck up on us! These holiday times seem to make the days too short and the to-do list too long! In honor of our valuable time this month’s pick is on the shorter side. Moreover, it fits beautifully with the season as it should give you warm nostalgic memories of the first time you walked through the wardrobe and into Narnia!
This month we are reading Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan. Where, we get to rediscover the magic of Narnia through a young boy who needs it and his older (extremely logical sister) who is determined to find where it all began – from the source, C.S. Lewis, himself.
After, you have your reading secure there are some great options for the entire family below. Be sure to peruse our family picks for November – there is something for everyone. Let’s read!
November Book Club Pick
by Patti Callahan
“Where did Narnia come from?”
The answer will change everything.
Megs Devonshire is brilliant with numbers and equations, on a scholarship at Oxford, and dreams of solving the greatest mysteries of physics.
She prefers the dependability of facts—except for one: the younger brother she loves with all her heart doesn’t have long to live. When George becomes captivated by a brand-new book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and begs her to find out where Narnia came from, there’s no way she can refuse.
Despite her timidity about approaching the famous author, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with the Oxford don and his own brother, imploring them for answers. What she receives instead are more stories . . . stories of Jack Lewis’s life, which she takes home to George.
Why won’t Mr. Lewis just tell her plainly what George wants to know? The answer will reveal to Meg many truths that science and math cannot, and the gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope.
by Moritz Petz
When Badger wakes up in a bad mood, he’s determined to let everyone know. He greets all his friends with grumpy, rude remarks. But by the time Badger feels better, he realizes that everyone is upset with him. What can he do? With the help of Crow, Badger comes up with an idea to turn things around. This comical cautionary tale is great for anyone who has ever gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
‘The Bad Mood’ is a relatable story about how bad moods can spread, what you can do about them, and how you can fix it should your bad mood “infect” others. The artwork is stunning – kids will love the angry-eyed cuddly forest creatures! If I had one note that would really take the book from good to great, it would be the font. It was pretty small and it would be more engaging if it were a bit more artistic to flow with the story.
Family Read Aloud
Our Read Aloud pick, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, is perfect for the entire family. We suggest it as a read aloud particularly because the calligraphic script might be hard for younger kids to read on their own. Overall, it has an exquisite lyric, simplistically deep Winnie the Pooh quality, with enchanting pictures that kids will pour over.
Experience the world of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together, in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love.
Tween | Middle Grades
Our Tween/ Middle grades pick, Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers, is sure to be everywhere! Being inside Gwendolyn’s mind is exhausting and reasonable, so it will give insight to anyone who cannot imagine what is going on inside the head of someone with ADHD…or the things that come together to tell her she is 54 wrong things.
It is an important book as well as engaging. And, as soon as Gwendolyn says she is a heart-splinter kid, she will break your heart and nestle inside. Can you imagine one of your kids walking around with a list of 54 things they think are wrong with them?
Getting inside Gwendolyn’s head will help everyone become more compassionate, caring, patient, and understanding. Likewise, it communicates the trials her mom goes through to make the “right” choices to help Gwendolyn. The story peels back the curtain and lets readers engage on an intimate level with the characters in the book and how her challenges affect everyone in her circle.
No one can figure out what Gwendolyn Rogers’s problem is—not her mom, or her teachers, or any of the many therapists she’s seen. But Gwendolyn knows she doesn’t have just one thing wrong with her: she has fifty-four.
At least, according to a confidential school report (that she read because she is #16. Sneaky, not to mention #13. Impulsive). So Gwendolyn needs a plan, because if she doesn’t get these fifty-four things under control, she’s not going to be able to go to horse camp this summer with her half-brother, Tyler.
But Tyler can’t help her because there’s only one thing “wrong” with him: ADHD.
And her best friend Hettie can’t help her because there’s nothing wrong with Hettie. She’s perfect.
So Gwendolyn is hopeless until she remembers the one thing that helped her mother when her own life was out of control. Or actually, the twelve things. Can these Twelve Steps that cured her mother somehow cure Gwendolyn too?
Themes present to note for young readers: ADHD, alcoholism, non-binary
Our Young Adult pick is One of Us is Lying. If you like books you can binge this is it! The Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl… and then someone kills Gossip Girl. It’s a fun YA mystery. It definitely has a lot of high school clichés but I remember all these people in high school (stereotypes start somewhere!).
by Karen McManus
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
Which ones will you be reading this month?
Note: Many of our books were read courtesy of NetGalley ARCs. While this does give us a sneak peak all suggestions and opinions are our own – we have no obligation to provide positive reviews. We will never recommend books we would not read ourselves or share with our own family. Additionally, italicized descriptions are from the publisher. Throughout the month we are so excited to discuss our opinions on all these picks – please join us here, on our Bookstagram, and in our Facebook discussion group!