We Finally Finished!

2016 Reading Challenge

May Wrap-up

Okay, so this one was just as hard as we thought it was going to be.  The challenge for May (in case you forgot) was to read a self-published ebook.

The reason we decided to add this one to our challenges is because there are some good self-published books out there, but there’s a stigma attached to them.  An assumption that they’re probably pretty crappy.  So here are the results from those of us that finished.  Did the books live down to the hype?

Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert

read by Stegosaurus Wilde

ebook

As a busy mother of four, sometimes I have to kill two birds with one stone. In this case that means choosing a nonfiction book written for adults, Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert. I’m looking to move my children’s education from almost entirely parent-directed to having the kids take more responsibility for what they would like to learn. That’s where Project-Based Homeschooling comes in.

The whole premise of this book is to make it easy for kids to develop their own projects. I, as parent, mentor them, guide them, facilitate their experiences. However, the kids themselves decide what kinds of projects to do, what they’re interested in learning through the process, how to organize it, how to find the resources they might need. Along the way they learn their academic subjects in a way that engages them in real life, but they also learn about frustration and  failure and how to overcome it.

I found this book to be well-written, concise, and full of great information. My new plan after reading Project-Based Homeschooling is to find as many spare parts and random items as I can and put them in a bin for my kids to build and learn with. And most importantly, it’s time to communicate with my kids and really listen to what it is that interests them. Who knows what will happen? That average family trip to the beach may end up leading to a lifelong passion for marine biology.

If you’re a parent who is here on T-Rex Reads to discover some of our fabulous fiction finds, or if you’re a middle or high schooler who wants to take charge of your own education, go ahead and check this book out.

Chosen: Ghost Academy Book 1 by K.E. O’Connor

read by Bronto Incognito

ebook2

So for this one I decided to go for a free book available on Amazon.  This author has some other books on Goodreads, but the ones in this series aren’t on there.

Of all of the dozens of YA ebooks I browsed through, the premise on this one stood out to me.  4 kids all die on the same day and end up at a Ghost Academy, where they learn to haunt people…but for the benefit of all humanity.  Because apparently that’s a thing.

There were parts of this I liked.  The characters were all distinct and the way the ghost world worked seemed pretty-well thought out.  The writing and the story were definitely not as bad as I feared they might be.  (I will not lie, I am totally prejudiced against self-pub free ebooks.  But a girl’s on a budget and has a challenge to finish!)

The things I didn’t like?  This could have used either an editor (one of the fears in self-pub) or a few more Beta readers (people who read the book for you before you go show it to the world).  The were bits and pieces were the dialogue was…IDK…not clunky…unnatural? Like it was hard for me to picture someone wording something quite that way.   But then again, I kept forgetting these kids were in England so that might have had something to do with it.

My only other problem was that they people they were going to punish or convince to change their lives were all REALLY bad people.  Like, husbands set on killing their wives, guy who’s into kiddie porn and looking to make the move to the real thing.  I mean, I’m all on board with punishing those people, sure.  But when ghosts can go around doing it whenever they want, it seems unfair for all those other times when those people get away with it. Or something…

Either way, MUCH better than I had feared.  Not sure I’ll continue on in the second book, but if you’re looking for a free download, I have no problem recommending the first.

 

So the results came up not quite 50/50.  I feel like we did better than we could have in our selections.  So what about you guys?  Do you read self-pub or do you stick to traditionally published books only?  Ebook or physical?  Let us know in the comments down below!!!

Also, don’t forget the challenge for June (which we’re doing a LOT better at by the way):
Binge-read an entire series.  Must be at least 2 books, could be more!  Not long in the month left.  Better get reading….

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