Disney Song Book Tag

Disney Song Book Tag

Disney Song Book Tag!

A huge Thank You to Adrianna at For the Love of Books for tagging me!

1. A Whole New World: Pick a book that made you see the world differently.

There are a few, but Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick haunted me for a long time. Reading it spurred me to action; I began donating to a humanitarian fund after reading this book.


2. Cruella De Vil: Pick your favorite villian.

That would definitely be The Bird from Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. That guy scared me when I read the book. He was evil.


3. I Won’t Say I’m in Love: Pick a book you didn’t want to admit you loved.

Ummmm…..yeah……that would have to be Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.


4. Gaston: Pick a character that you couldn’t stand.

Yeah, we’ll go back to Twilight. Bella drove me crazy! I loved her, but oh my gosh, make up your mind already!


5. Part of Your World: Pick a book set in a universe you wish you could live in.

Harry Potter for sure! That would be awesome! The Adventurers Wanted universe would be a close second.


6. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: Describe what the book of your dreams would be like.

Hmmmm…this one is hard! It would have a handsome hero, a little fantasy, a little romance, a strong female lead character, and lots of great writing. Haha! I say that, but my all-time favorite book is Les Mis, and that doesn’t have any fantasy in it. So I guess I’m flexible. Great writing is very important in my perfect book!


7. Someday My Prince Will Come: What book character would you marry if you could?

Oh Man! Tough choice! (Blushing…) Rob from Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird intrigued me. Many of Jane Austen’s leading men would also be on my list if I weren’t already happily married (20 years in a few months)!!


8. I See the Light: Pick a book that changed your life.

Reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini definitely took me out of my comfort zone and out of my naiveté. I’ve lived a very good, sheltered life, and this book definitely made me see the world differently. It made me count my blessings, for sure.


9. When You Wish Upon a Star: Pick a book you wish you could reread for the first time.

Oh wow! So many! How do I choose? I’d have to say Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. As a young woman I reread this series so many times! I loved every second of this series and would love to find that magic again for the first time.


10. I Just Can’t Wait to be King: Pick a book with some kind of monarchy in it.

The Selection by Kiera Cass. It’s a fun, entertaining series.


11. Colors of the Wind: Pick a book with a beautiful cover.

Fun! I loved the cover of Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck. The tiger is so beautiful! His eyes are mesmorizing.

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck



A huge thank you to Adrianna at For the Love Of Books for tagging me! I enjoyed the change of pace!


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

Happy Birthday To You by Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

 March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
~Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss
Photo Credit: amazon.com

It’s Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Theodore and Henrietta Geisel. His mother’s maiden name was Seuss, and it was also his middle name. While at Dartmouth College, he worked on the school’s humor magazine, called the Jack-O-Lantern, until he and his friends were caught having a drinking party, which was not allowed. Consequently, the school let him go from that position. Apparently he still wanted to write because he continued to contribute to the magazine under the name “Seuss.”

Theodor’s father wanted him to be a college professor, and so after Dartmouth he went to Oxford University in England. He became bored, though, and ended up touring Europe instead. While he was there he met Helen Palmer. They later married, and she became a children’s book author.
When he returned home from Europe, he tried many different careers. At first he tried to be a cartoonist. He did publish a few things, but that career never took off. Then he ended up working for Standard Oil for 15 years creating their advertising campaigns. Towards the beginning of WWII, he began contributing political cartoons to PM Magazine. He also worked on creating training movies. After working on the illustrations for a collection of children’s sayings for Viking Press, which didn’t do well, he wrote the book And To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street. 27 publishers rejected it before Vanguard Press published it.

Dr. Seuss is born!

It was his next book, The Cat in the Hat, that really began his career. The project was a joint effort between Houghton-Mifflin and Random House, and they asked him to write a story using “only 225 ‘new-reader’ vocabulary words.”(1) Lucky for us, it worked! That began his career writing children’s books using the ‘new-reader’ words.
Dr. Seuss passed away on September 24, 1991. At the time of his death he had written and illustrated 44 children’s books. Over 200 million copies of his books have been sold, and he was awarded “two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award and the Pulitzer Prize.”(1) 

Our home library has many Dr. Seuss books in it, and they have been read many, many times! My children have loved them, and the kids I taught at school also loved them. Dr. Seuss is beloved by many, and has contributed to my love of reading as well as my kids’ love of reading. Thank you Dr. Seuss for your creativity, determination, and imagination!

 Here are some great links to Dr. Seuss information and activities!!!

Doesn’t this sound like so much fun? You have the kids scan the qr code and they can
listen to the stories. Click the photo to go to the activity.
Click on the above photo to find the Dr. Seuss cut and paste bingo!
How fun to celebrate Dr. Seuss Day with a fun photo booth! Click on the image for the link.
Everyone loves cootie catchers! Click on the above photo to make yours!
Have fun celebrating today!!!

This post was first published 3/2/17; updated on 3/2/18.

Why Book Reviews: My Blog Story


Why Book Reviews? My Blog Story

Hi! I’m Monica. I’m the blogger here at TheReadathon. I wanted to take a few minutes and write out a little of my history and my blog story for you so you can get to know me a little better. You’ll see why I started book blogging in April of 2009. So, why book reviews, and why is this so important to me? This is my blog story.

My History:

When I was way too young to read chapter books, I would beg my mom to let me read them. She did; because she’s awesome like that. When we’d go fishing as kids, all my siblings would get out their poles and fish, and I’d read; because I’m a nerd like that. My family loved to get together and cheer for the local NBA team or the fan favorite during the Super Bowl, and they enjoyed it; I’d read the whole time because I didn’t care about any of that stuff. I’ve loved books as long as I can remember. I cannot recall a time in my life when reading wasn’t a huge part of it. Well, I guess I can, but I’ll get there in a minute.
During the summer I’d sit under the tree in my front yard and read for hours on end (hence my tree logo…). I love being taken away to another time or place, I love getting caught up in a story, I love seeing the world through different lenses, and I love learning new things. In school when we had to read a book as a class, I would get so frustrated because I just wanted to read the whole book. I didn’t want to read one chapter a week or whatever the assignment would be. So, I’d usually read the whole book and then go back with the class and read it again. I’d read whenever I had a spare second. High school and college were a bit more difficult because of the heavy coursework, but I still managed to find the time to read.

Me Not Reading? 

I attended college to get my degree in elementary education. When I had one year left before graduation, my husband and I got married. We graduated the same day, which was fun. Right after graduating, I got a job teaching first grade, and he went on to get a masters degree. I taught for two years and then had my first baby. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I didn’t want to go back the next year. I couldn’t leave my baby, so I decided to stay home. Even though it was a difficult choice, I loved it! Two years later we had another baby boy, and even though two kids was kind of hard for me, I still loved being home with them.
 Having two little boys running around at home was the one time in my life that I really didn’t read. Every time I’d pick up a book, they’d see that my attention was elsewhere, and get into trouble. I always read to them, of course, but reading for me was almost non-existent. So, I stopped reading for awhile. Then one day I realized that this situation wasn’t helping any of us. They were just going to have to deal with it. It was good for them to see me read, and it was good for me to read. So I’d keep a book out and read a few pages at a time. Little by little they got better at allowing me to read.
Now we have two daughters as well, and we have a great system going! All four of my children love to read, and they read way more than I do; I love it! Oftentimes it’s me telling them to put the books down! Even though my sons are 16 and 14, they still enjoy sitting down and listening when I read at night.
  Child Reading Book to Doll

My Blog Story 

I’m very conservative with what I allow my children to watch and read, so my goal has always been to read books before they do so I know what’s in them. I did well for awhile, but there is no way I can keep up with the amount of time they spend reading now. In April of 2009 when I looked around for a website that had content ratings for books, I couldn’t find one. I wanted a place where I could go to look at the content of the books my kids wanted to read–before they read them. I wanted to know if there was profanity or violence or “intimacy” in the book before I handed it to them, and I couldn’t find that place. That is why I started my blog!
I also saw too many children in my neighborhood reading books that I knew were not age appropriate for them, and I knew their moms did not know the content of that book; but I did. Consequently, I figured there were probably other moms just like me who didn’t have time to preview all the books their kids read, and there needed to be a place where they could go to preview a book (or see the content rating of the book) without reading it.
It wasn’t just for my kids, though. I’d want to know for me too. I hate getting into a book and then finding that it is riddled with profanity or that it has “intimacy” scenes that are way too detailed and graphic. So that is why I review all sorts of books for all ages. I want my blog to be a place where every reader (or her parents) may come and find content info. on the books she would like to read.

So What Makes My Book Reviews Different?

On all my reviews you will see a content rating and an age recommendation. I tell you what kind of content is in the book and why I rated it the way I did. The age recommendation is also important because some books may be clean, but that doesn’t mean younger readers should read them. They might have heavier topics or themes. 

Content Rating PG+ Content Rating PG-13 Content Rating PG-13+ Content Rating R Content Rating G Content Rating PG

For more information about my ratings, see “My Content Rating System.”


I’d Love To Review A Book For You!

If you’d like me to review a specific book for you (you know the one your child is begging to read because “Everyone else is reading it!”), just fill out the form below (It’s also on my “Contact Us” page.) I’ll then add that book to my To Be Read pile and review it as soon as I can. First priority will be given to those who subscribe to my newsletter. Thanks for taking to the time to read my blog story! If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. I’m always open to improving!
Happy Reading!
~Monica 🙂
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(This form is NOT for authors requesting a review. If you are an author, please see the "For Authors" tab at the top of the page. Thank you!!)

This post was originally published on 8/6/16; updated on 2/26/18.

Welcome to TheReadathon (New and Improved!)

TheReadathon Logo

Welcome to TheReadathon!!

Welcome to TheReadathon! I am so excited to welcome you to my new site! You’ll notice that most everything is the same, but the new address is much easier to find! This new site is also much more up-to-date, has greater functionality, is much more simple, and there’s room to grow. I have so many great things planned, and I can’t wait to get started! To launch this new site with a bang, I have a give-away!

I’m giving away a copy of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

I LOVE this book, it is an amazing read! (Grab your Kleenexes though, you’ll need them!)

To Enter, all you need to do is subscribe to my newsletter!

When you subscribe to my newsletter you will get a copy of “15 Ways To Get Kids Excited About Reading” and you’ll be entered into the drawing to win The Nightingale!

The subscribe form is right below; it’s also in the right sidebar and at the very bottom of the page. Super easy! I’ll pick the winner Friday morning.

Also, check out my review of Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite, right under this post; it’s new this morning!

Change of Address!!! Yippee!

Can I get a big Woot! Woot!
Why, you ask?
I took a HUGE step today! After 9 years of blogging and reviewing books (yes, 9!),

I finally purchased an actual domain name!!!

So now…

instead of going to: www.the-readathon.blogspot.com

go to…


www.the-readathon.blogspot.com is now thereadathon.com
I’m so excited! I dare you to try it! (Go type it in right now…just to make sure it works!)
P.S. Let me know if it doesn’t!

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers! I am so thankful to you for reading my blog, supporting me, and being patient with me. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my reviews and other ramblings. I’m going to be spending the next few days with my family, so I will not be posting anything new until after Christmas. I promise I’ll be back next week because I have a few more reviews to post before the new year. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Wonder Showdown: Book vs Movie

Wonder Showdown: Book vs Movie

Way back in 2013 when I read the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio, I said that I hoped there would NEVER be a movie made from this book. Why? Because there is NO way. EVER. to capture the feelings, attitudes, and emotions from this book. No way. There is no way that a movie could ever live up to my expectations for this book. And part of what made it so good was that your mental picture of what Auggie looked like was so important. If the character’s face on the movie screen didn’t live up to what you saw mentally, would it be as good?
Well, here we are now in 2017, and they did make a movie. Tough choice! Do I go or do I not go? My husband actually made the choice for me by purchasing tickets. So I went. Begrudgingly, I may add. Or, maybe hesitantly. So, you may ask, “What was the verdict?” Surprisingly, I actually really enjoyed the film! Keep in mind that I read the book over four years ago now, so it’s been long enough for me to forget all the little details, but I think they did a great job of capturing the feeling and emotion of the book. Does it have all those little details? No, it doesn’t, but I did not leave feeling let down or disappointed. I left feeling inspired and uplifted. I feel like they captured the most memorable moments in the book that I remember, and that overall they did a very good job. Was it perfect? No, and if you read the book yesterday you may have a very different opinion, but overall, I was impressed! The acting was really good; I was skeptical about Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson together, but I think they did well together. And Jacob Tremblay, who played Auggie, did an excellent job! Was it as good as the book? Nope, it wasn’t, but it was well done, and I would recommend it. It’s inspirational, and it has the morals, lessons, and attitudes that made the book so good. We definitely need more media like this! 

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your opinions of the movie and the book! Please comment below!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
First Place!!!!
Wonder movie poster
Second Place

15 Books I’m Thankful For

At this time of year it’s important to think about the things we’re thankful for, right?
The typical list usually includes family, friends, health, a home, etc. Well, today I’m stepping
out of that box! There are many books that have influenced my life in different ways, and today
I’m giving you 15 of the non-religious books that I’m thankful for. (I could do another whole post
on religious books…that’s a post for another day.) 
(All the credit for the book photos in this post goes to goodreads.com)
When I was probably too young to be reading chapter books, I begged and begged my mom to let me read them. She gave in, thankfully, and that is where my love of reading began. The Beezus and Ramona books were some of those very first chapter books I read. I loved them, and read them over and over again. I’m thankful for this book because it’s books like these that capture the young mind and get children, like me, hooked on reading. 

The Little House On the Prairie books were also books that I read again and again as a young child. Thankfully, I live in this day and age with grocery stores, furnaces, cars, and hospitals. I would not have lasted long as a pioneer or as a settler out in the middle of the prairie. Reading these books allowed me to live that life vicariously through the stories. I’m thankful for this book because it was one of the first series that I read that allowed me to travel to a new place and experience a different life through reading. 
How I loved The Secret Garden! Yep, you can guess…I read it so many times while I was growing up. I loved it because as the garden came to life, so did the characters. And what little girl wouldn’t love a secret garden all to herself? Ok, maybe lots of girls wouldn’t, but I would have loved it. However, it would have to be secret, and my own idea, because I didn’t like it when I had to go weed the gardens as my chore growing up. I’m thankful for this book because it allowed me to experience living in a different part of the world, and to learn about friendship.
I cannot even count how many times I read the Anne of Green Gables series in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. I loved Anne so much! I would laugh with her, cry with her, and learn lessons right along side her. Reading this book allowed me to escape into a different place and time. Poetry came to life when Anne read it. I’m thankful for this book and series because it taught me a lot about people and how everyone just wants to be loved and nurtured. 
My dad read this book to me when I was younger. It was one of the only books that he read to us, and I loved every second of it. I thought Buttercup was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, and I loved each of the characters. I’m totally going to date myself here, but when we finished reading the book we went and saw the movie in the theater. It was amazing! To this day, I love this book and the movie. This was one of the first experiences I had with reading the book and then watching the movie. Thankfully, to me, the movie was just as good as the book. I’m thankful for this book because of the many memories I have of the time we spent reading it as a family.
I am the oldest of six children, and that includes one sister and four brothers. My sister and I always felt out numbered, even though we were the oldest. We would dream of having more sisters (We do have more sisters now because all of my brothers are married-it’s so fun!!). Reading Little Women allowed me to experience life with more sisters. I’m thankful for this book because of the experiences these women had, and all that I learned from them. 
Where do I even start with this one? Reading Pride and Prejudice opened the door for me into Jane Austen’s world. And oh, how I love that world! I believe I’ve read all of her books now, although I may have missed one, and they are my favorites! I love the romance and the characters. I’m thankful for this book because it opened up a whole new world to me.
I’ve read most of Agatha Christie’s books, but I chose And Then There Were None because it was one of the most memorable to me. I loved the mystery of her books, and I enjoyed trying to figure it all out before I got to the end. I wasn’t very good at it, but I sure enjoyed it! I’m thankful for this book (and her other books too), though, because it was something that I shared with my sweet grandma. My grandma and I would read these books and discuss what we thought about them. She’s gone now, but I’m so thankful for the memories we shared with these books.
Oh, how I love this book! I’ve read the UNABRIDGED version of Les Miserables at least three times, and I love it more and more each time I read it. You should see my copy. It’s definitely well loved! Victor Hugo was a master of character development, of description, and of emotion. The characters are beloved friends in this book. I love how Jean Valjean grows and develops throughout the book, and how Cosette begins to come out of her shell under Valjean’s love and care. I love all of it, including all the history. I love the language in this book; it is so well crafted. I’m thankful for this book because of the lessons it teaches me, the beloved friends that I have made, and the emotion I feel as I read it.  
The Count of Monte Cristo is another book that I am thankful for. Yes, I have read the UNABRIDGED version probably three times as well, and have loved it more each time I’ve read it. Getting lost in the story is my favorite part! I can’t imagine being imprisoned for so long for something you didn’t do. The hatred, bitterness, and anger you would feel would be hard to break free from. I’m thankful for this book because you get to see Edmond grow, learn, and change, and you are able to experience life in a different place and time.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an amazing book that opened my eyes to many things! I learned a lot from this book, and it was nonfiction! That is why I’m thankful for this book today; I’m thankful for this book because it showed me that nonfiction doesn’t need to be poorly written, long, and boring. This nonfiction story was written so well that it read like fiction. Loved it!
1776 by David McCullough is another nonfiction book that is so well written it reads like fiction. The Revolutionary War is one of my favorite subjects to learn about, and I loved getting caught up in this story! I enjoyed learning about George Washington and his leadership; you learn that he wasn’t perfect, but he worked hard, and did his best. I also enjoyed learning about some of the other key players in the war. I am thankful for this book because I’m thankful to be able to learn about the history of my country.
The books I’ve been thankful for so far have revolved solely around me. And most of them have been classics. Here, my focus changes a bit. I’m thankful for Fablehaven because it is fun series that 2nd-3rd graders are able to read, and it gets them excited about reading. Times have changed, and although my children are great readers, they have not enjoyed the classics. I’m going to write about this at a later time, but for now I’m thankful for Fablehaven because it has introduced my children to the fun of reading, and has gotten them excited about reading. 
The Harry Potter series is the same way. I read these as an adult and enjoyed them, and was excited to pass them onto my children. I’m thankful for these books because they open the doorway into reading for many children. My oldest three have read all of them, and my youngest is reading book #5 as we speak. It’s so fun to watch your children get involved in the story! 
I had to choose at least one picture book! I have always loved picture books! I’m sure my mom got tired of reading them to me; I haven’t read them to my kids in awhile now, but I loved it! The Best Nest is especially good because it combines humor with a cute story. The illustrations are super cute, and I love how hard the daddy bird works to find the perfect home for his family. I’m thankful for this book because picture books are the foundation for good readers! They’re the perfect starting point because parents and children get to spend time together, and reading together brings such wonderful memories. 
Which books are you thankful for?

I hope you all have a very
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Calling All Writers!!!

*Calling All Writers*

Occasionally I get asked what you need to do to get your book published. Well, here’s a great solution!


has a writing contest going on right now.  The winner gets a publishing deal! Easy Peasy! All you need to do is click on the image below and enter your story into the contest. Your fictional story needs to be at least 20,000 words and it must be in English. Fanfiction is not allowed, and neither are short story collections. You may find all the rules on their site. Go enter your story!! I’d love it if one of my readers won!!

(Disclosure: I am an Inkitt.com affiliate, and do receive a monetary reward for stories submitted from my link. However, I really would love it if one of my readers won! ) 

*Updated! This post was first published on 2/17/17.