I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

What We're Reading in May 2017

This month's book list is going out to a lovely blog reader I met at a homeschool convention I spoke at a few weeks ago. I think her name was Kayla, but maybe Kyla. (There's a 100% chance I suffer from short-term memory loss brought on by my many years of raising toddlers. My brain is mush. My apologies, new friend.)

We met and instantly formed a three-minute book club. We talked about these monthly "What We're Reading" posts and agreed that each month we'd both gather here and chat about books. My voice would obviously be the loudest, but she'd be there lurking in the background ready to share her books with me when she was able. She shared that she, too, has a second grader and that she often patterns her little one's book selections after the books my second grader enjoys each month -- which made me walk a little straighter and choose only the best of the best...for her child AND for mine.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

So, this is our book club. (fist pump high in the air)

But, it doesn't have to be a two-person circle. You're invited to! Consider this an online support group -- a space where we can gather and talk books, smell books, and drool over books.

But, enough small talk. It's time for me to call this meeting to order. 

"Hello, my name is Jamie and I'm addicted to peddling good books!" Here's what I'm pushing on my family (and yours) this month.

Read aloud- everybody

Little Town on the Prairie- I can't think of another series of books that exemplifies the term "living literature" quite like the Little House books. We try and read at least one a year and each time we crack one open, we get a better understanding of the hardships faced by the American pioneers, we grow our vocabularies as we're introduced to the lifestyles and activities of yester-year, and we catch a glimpse of the love and faith of a family not so very different from our own.  

Jamie- that's me!

Uninvited- When I began this book a few weeks ago, I wasn't reading it for self-help. Truthfully, I don't often feel "uninvited." I just cracked it open because I've always appreciated Lysa TerKeurst's writing and knew I'd not want to miss her latest offering. But somewhere around chapter four, my reading took on laser focus. It became clear that God had led me to this book for son-help, not self-help.

The past few months have been difficult for one of my boys. His best friend moved away and left quite a void. To add insult to injury, he's been shoved aside both literally and figuratively by a handful of older boys at church. He's small for his age and apparently, vertical equals worth to a bunch of nine and ten-year-olds. He's suffered more than his share of ridicule and harassment by the cool kids. While I've desperately wanted to go all Momma Bear on that handful of boys, I've realized how unhelpful and unhealthy that would be. Instead, this book has led me to pray for my son, counsel him, and encourage him through this bumpy, uninvited phase. 

A Family Arrangement- It's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of adult fiction. But, one of my husband's friends from his homeschool days wrote this one about their childhood hometown. So of course, I'm itchin' to read it. I'm five or six chapters in and am enjoying the light story of a widower trying to establish a new town in the midwest while playing single father to his three grieving sons.

Knights in Training- I can not wait to crack this one open! With four boys to raise, I need all the help I can get. In a society when the gender lines are so muddled, I want my boys to grow to be strong men of faith willing to love God and love others. I know this book written by my real life friend, Heather Haupt will be a great resource to help me point them in that direction. (Psst...this one's only currently available for pre-order. But if you grab it now, you receive an extra bonus!)

Sweetie Pea- 8th grade

Across Five Aprils- (Mom assigned book) My daughter is still working her way through this Civil War novel. When she's finished, she'll select another book from her Middle School MUST READS list

The Magnolia Story- (Just-for-fun book) She has a growing love for interior design and owes most of that to Chip and Joanna. It seems only fitting that she read their book. 

Super Boy- 5th grade

The Night Crossing- (Mom assigned book) This book is well below my son's reading level. But after reading several lengthy books in the previous months, he needed something quick and captivating. When he saw me unpack this WWII fiction from my conference bag the other day, he snatched it up and started reading it...so I let him. 

How to Survive off the Grid- (Just-for-fun book) The Hubs and our oldest son have joined a once-a-month bushcrafting group. They meet in the woods and learn how to survive off the land. Like most of my son's book choices, this one is a reflection of his current passion.

Blonde Warrior- 4th grade

Douglas MacArthur, Young Protector- (Mom assigned book) Since he's reading AND narrating his way through this vintage MacArthur biography, my son is still only about half way through with it. 

Greased Lightning- 2nd grade

Charlotte's Web- (Mom assigned book) The month of April kind of got away from us. Sadly, none of my children were able to read as much as I would have liked them to, including my second grader who started reading all about SOME PIG last month. He's over half way through the adventures of Wilbur and his faithful friend, Charlotte, and is really enjoying it. 

I Survived Hurricane Katrina 2005- (Just-for-fun book)

The Dude- preschool

ABeka Vintage K-4 Readers- This is an out-of-print set of readers for preschoolers that includes stories all built around sentences with 1-vowel words. They are very similar to ABeka's current Animal Friends reader series.

Things People Do- This is one of my most favorite preschool non-fiction books. It is a great pictorial look at the jobs people do in a community, from the farmer and the fisherman to the hotel manager and television producer. 

And now I'll pass the mic. I want to hear what you're reading this month. I've showed you my books. Now it's only fair that you show me yours. That's what book club buddies do.
So, whatcha reading?


  1. My boys LOVED The Magnolia Story. I thought I had requested the book from the library, but ended up with the audiobook. We all loved listening to it in the car and I loved how they were inspired by Chip Gaines to work hard and love their family.

    Someone just recommended Deep Work to me. I'm trying to find time to squeeze it in right now!

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  3. So great to meet you Jamie! Oh how I do love these posts. This month for our family read aloud we are reading Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes. We just finished up Heidi by Johanna Spyri and LOVED it. Right when we finished it we almost immediately started it again, I mean that's how much we loved it! We are hoping Ginger Pye is as good as we have heard it is.

    I have come to love christian biographies so I am working my way through the Trail Blazers biographies. Right now I am reading John Stott The Humble Leader by Julia Cameron. I started reading these to see how my kids would enjoy them and I have really enjoyed them!

    My little lady, Kindergarten, is reading Mercy Watson To the Rescue by Kate Dicamillo. Both my kids have loved these books. The characters and illustrations are hilarious.

    My little man, 2nd grade, is reading Hardy Boys Secret Files The Missing Mitt. We found a bunch of these at our local library book sale and he has been loving them. He also has been loving The American Boy's Handy Book: Build a Fort, Sail a Boat, Shoot an Arrow, Throw a Boomerang, Catch Spiders, Fish in the Ice, Camp without a Tent and 150 other Activities. We gave it to him in his Easter basket and it has been a ton of fun.

    I have found your blog to be such a help in my homeschooling. I have found great books, help with scheduling, morning basket ideas, great books, encouragement, great books, did I mention great books? :) Thank you for writing!

  4. I just found your blog recently and am loving it! Great book list! We just finished reading Wonder aloud about a month ago and BFG a few days ago. Both were wonderful books! We are reading Ramona and Beezus right now.

  5. Hi, Jamie! I'm currently working my way through someThornton Burgess books in preparation for reading them with my kids- I somehow missed them when I was a child! Aloud, we're reading Charlotte's Web in a deep, southern drawl for good measure! My kindergarteners just started reading chapter books a couple of weeks ago, and they're drinking them up! V is nearly done with the AG Molly McIntire series, finishing up the last book. M is taking a break from Boxcar Children to read the Addy books, and F is in the middle of reading the Felicity series. Little B, age 2, can be seen dragging all sorts of books around these days, wanting to be just like his big sisters. Mostly vintage Little Golden books.

  6. I have followed your blog for quite awhile and it has been a blessing for me. I have one son who just turn ten whom we call "Little Man."
    I will tell you about what we are currently reading aloud right now. It is from the Patriot Kids of the American Revolution Series. We have finished "Little Hornet: Boy Patriot of North Carolina." We are now on volume 2 "Little Warrior: Boy Patriot of Georgia." This is such a wonderful series. It really teaches about the real life struggles of kids and their families during this time. Believe me I have literally cried during parts of these books almost unable to continue without taking a break. And, we have held our breath waiting to hear about what happens during a tense moment. My son, who is such a history buff, absolutely drinks in every word. I highly recommend these books

  7. I look forward to your "What We are Reading" post every month! Yesterday we read the last two chapter of "The Last Battle" to finish up our semester-long journey through all 7 Narnia books as a read-aloud. We all loved them! I am reading "How to Have a Mary Heart in a Martha World" and "Life Skills for Kids". My oldest two went through their bookshelves today to make a list of books they have not read yet that they can work through this summer. My 13 year-old daughter is reading "Titanic: Voices from the Disaster" next. My 10 year-old son is reading "In the Middle of Somewhere" (the author of which, by the way, lives in a town near us). My 3 year-old son is enjoying the new bag of library books we checked out last night. He loves to be read to! Thanks everyone for sharing your reads!