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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 April 2020

What We're Reading in April 2020---book list of a homeschooling family of 7

This quarantine has left me with plenty of extra time. It stands to reason that with a surplus of moments I should be able to plow through quite a bit of my TBR stack. But for whatever reason, I'm having a hard time concentrating. This in-between season of waiting has left me in a zombie-like state.

I don't have the energy to do many extras. I don't have the brain space to take in more information. I'm just sort of going through the motions.


Consequently, my reading life has been less-than-impressive. I'm hoping that the warmer, outdoorsy weather of April will help me shake off my mental cobwebs so that I can find my reading groove again.

Here's what we're sloooooooooowly making our way through this month.

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What We're Reading in April 2020---book list of a homeschooling family of 7

Read Aloud- everybody

Sweep- In this surprisingly delightful story about a young, orphaned chimney sweep and her soot monster, friendships form from unlikely relationships. To be honest, I'm not usually a fan of modern middle-grade fiction, but I've been pleasantly surprised with both the language and the uplifting themes of this book.

We're only half-way through with it, so it's still too early to give it a glowing endorsement. But, I can say that the author holds an age-appropriate tension between sentiment and whimsy--a skill I've seen in very few of his contemporaries.


Jamie- that's me!

The Last Midwife- Just prior to the official shut-down of my local library, I snagged a stack of novels written by Sandra Dallas--a new-to-me historical fiction writer who came highly recommended by a friend. While not Christian, her books definitely fall in the clean and captivating category.

The Last Midwife tells the story of Gracy Brookens, the midwife of a small Colorado mining town who has delivered hundreds of babies. Now in the latter years of her life when she's contemplating retiring from her official duties, she finds herself on trial for the death of one of the babies she helped bring into the world. 


Mother to Son- I chose this short parenting book as my March selection for the Storied Mom Reading Challenge. Unfortunately, I got a late start on it. So as of the first week in April, I'm still not completely through it.

In this compilation of letters written to her young son, Jasmine Holmes has masterfully unpacked the racial tension that is still a prevalent undercurrent throughout much of this country. With candid honesty, she calls each of her readers to have better conversations, to advocate for those who can not advocate for themselves, and to be willing to lay their prejudice at the foot of the cross. Holmes's writing is both gracious and pointed. While she's quick to point out the missteps of both the black and the white communities, she's also quick to praise God for the healing work He's doing in and through those same groups. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read more from Jasmine Holmes.



Hands-Free Mama- I started listening to this one on the free Libby app from Overdrive, but I'm not sure I'm going to finish it. I'm not a fan of the author's over-zealous and often repetitive writing style. I'm only at the end of chapter two and I already feel like I can simplify and sum up the entire book with one sentence: Put down your phone and pay better attention to your children.


Sweetie Pea- 11th grade/college freshman

Stop Calling Me Beautiful- My daughter is not on social media, but she'll occasionally ask to hop on my Instagram account in order to watch the daily Instastories of Phylicia Masonheimer, Bible teacher and theologian. When she saw that Phylicia was releasing a new book, my girl could not wait to get her hands on it!

It is a collection of essay-style chapters that call young women to a higher level of theological literacy and holy living. In full disclosure, there is one chapter that addresses Biblical sexuality and may not be suitable for young readers. 


Super Boy- 8th grade

Extreme Ownership- Written by two ex-Navy SEALS, this New York Times Bestseller applies the leadership principles proven to work in combat to the struggles of everyday life.

Admittedly, I would not recommend this book to the average teen. It contains many heavy themes, graphic war-time scenes, and mild language. That said, my son has aspirations of joining the military someday, has read many war-themed memoirs, and as a member of a local CAP squadron is more familiar with the realities of a soldier's duties than the average teenager.



Blonde Warrior- 7th grade

The Secret of the Lost Tunnel- My middle two sons have recently rediscovered our large collection of Hardy Boys mysteries and are working their way through them together. We don't have a complete set, so they've decided not to read the titles in numerical order, but rather pick and choose based on the titles and fictional crimes. In this case, they are quite literally judging a book by its cover. And that's fine with me.


Greased Lightning- 5th grade

Rabbit Hill- When a new family moves into the farmhouse, the animals of Rabbit Hill wonder what that will mean to their way of life. In a similar but less juvenile writing style as Old Mother West Wind or Peter Rabbit, Rabbit Hill is a perfect book for animal enthusiasts like my son.



The Dude- 2nd grade

The Night Crossing- This illustrated chapter book tells the story of a Jewish family as they escape occupied Austria during World War II. Obviously, the topic of the book is quite heavy, but in true living literature style, the author has written an age-appropriate account in order to gently introduce young readers to this devastating time in history.


Ribsy- My son picked this book up all on his own the other day and has had his nose in it ever since. He's determined to read through the entire Henry Huggins series. 


That's what we'll be reading in April. What about you? 

4 comments:

  1. With school and such, we actually haven't found ourselves with tons of extra time around here yet. Our reading amounts have been pretty normal.

    All of us - read aloud - Since my youngest doesn't remember it from when we read it before, we are starting the Wilderking Trilogy again. The first book is Bark of the Bog Owl. They are allegorical about the life of David. My oldest two loved them, so they are excited for the youngest to hear them now!

    Me - I just finished reading "Pride and Prejudice"!!! I have been soooo excited for my daughter to get to this spring semester to do a unit on Jane Austin with her! I have read all of them also and have had fun discussing and then watching the movies with her. P&P was our thrid and final book. I can't wait for her to finish so we can watch the movies!!!! This one is my favorite!

    11th grade daughter - besides P&P, she is also reading "Growing Up Duggar" and "Letters to the Early Church", which our church group is doing.

    7th grade son - He just finished his final lit book for 7th grade - Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. In his free time he has been reading through the Left Behind series for kids.

    1st grade son - He is on the last book of his A Beka readers for the year. In his free time he just reads whatever books he finds laying around the house. :)

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    1. We read the Bark of the Bog Owl several years ago but never ended up reading the others in the series. I should try and find those. My younger boys would probably really enjoy them! Thanks for the reminder.

      I, too, love reading books along with my daughters and then watching the movie. I know I will never regret that investment!

      How is your daughter liking Growing up Duggar? My daughter read that a couple of years ago and enjoyed the content, just not the writing style.

      It sounds like you and your family have a great April line-up! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I asked my daughter about the Duggar book and she said she is enjoying it. The writing style hasn't bothered her.

    I am eating up every minute of this literature time with my daughter. Being my only girl, I know this is my only chance at doing these particular books with a student. Precious time together!!!

    By the way, I got my oldest son the first two books in the Wingfeather series for Easter. Have you read those? I can't remember if I have seen you post about them.

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    1. Yes, we've read those. Once he's done with those, he might like the Mistmantle Chronicles. It's an older series that's out of print, but you can still find it used online.

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