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 September 2020

What We're Reading in September 2020 #homeschool #readaloud #kidlit

All good things must come to an end. Or at least that's what I've been told. After 16 years of sitting by my side for our daily read alouds, my daughter has officially opted out and will not be joining us for our afternoon tradition anymore. Her work schedule is very unpredictable, making it difficult for her to commit to anything other than her college classes and our family Morning Time on any given school day.

While it saddens me to know that she will miss out on our fiction adventures, she'll still experience plenty of shared reading. If truth be told, the missionary biographies we read each morning have always been her favorites anyway.

So, she'll continue to gather with us. We'll continue to read together. We'll continue to be shaped by stories, individually and collectively. Reading is stitched into our family culture for now. For always.

Here's what we'll be reading this month:

What We're Reading in September 2020 #homeschool #readaloud #kidlit

Read Aloud

The Wild Robot- We just turned the last page on this Wall-E meets Hatchet middle grade. I'll be honest, the story started kind of bumpy and underwhelming. Like most contemporary fictions, the language was not very rich. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much we all ended up enjoying it. With themes of sacrificial love, unlikely friendships, and admirable work ethic, it was a great example of how children's literature can be character building without being overtly preachy and naggy. As an added bonus, it taught us all quite a bit about the habits and instincts of wild animals. 

Jamie- that's me!

Chasing Vines- While I usually enjoy Beth Moore's Bible studies, I've always struggled to appreciate her stand-alone books. They tend to be too meandering for my taste. Chasing Vines is a delightful exception. Moore has masterfully unpacked the numerous vine analogies of Scripture with such imagery that the book reads like poetry. Many sections are jam-packed with so much goodness that I've found myself reading and re-reading them again and again to taste and re-taste every word.  

I, Eliza Hamilton- Don't let the slightly sultry cover fool you. This book is a very clean and captivating retelling of the life of Elizabeth Hamilton. The broadway show Hamilton may have propelled her life to the forefront of water cooler conversations, but it did not necessarily paint the details of her days very accurately.

This book, while fiction, has been well researched and sticks to the timeline of her story quite well.

Sweetie Pea- 12th grade/college sophomore

Left Behind- My daughter was reading this book on and off throughout most of the summer, putting it down quite often in order to read other titles. I'm sure her lack of sticktoitiveness says something about her true feelings of the book, but she's determined to finish it.

As the first in the best-selling Left Behind series, this book begins with the disappearance of a large portion of the world's population. The rapture of the church is one in a series of apocalyptic events all leading up to the second coming of Christ. 

Super Boy- 9th grade

Jesus Freaks- In this modern remake of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, readers are introduced to men and women who have given their lives for the cause of Christ. Each chapter gives a short biographical sketch of faith heroes down through the ages, from first-century Christians thrown to the lions to a modern-day teenager whose life was mercilessly cut short because she courageously claimed the name of Jesus at her highschool. 

We're actually reading a chapter of this book each week as a family during our Morning Time. But my son, who has already read most of it once before, has opted to read it on his own as well. 

Blonde Warrior- 8th grade

North! Or Be Eaten- This is the second book in the Wingfether Saga and was one of our family read alouds last year. Ever the fantasy enthusiast, my son enjoyed the entire collection so much, he's decided to reread it. 

The series follows the Igiby siblings as they learn to become the rightful heirs of Anniera. In the same vein of The Chronicles of Narnia, the entire 4-book collection features themes of redemption, forgiveness, and good prevailing over evil. 

Greased Lightning- 6th grade

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch- This biographical fiction recounts the true story of Nathaniel Bowditch who overcame a lifetime of hardships to become the father of modern maritime navigation. To be honest, nothing about this book has ever appealed to me, but my oldest three boys seem to love it. 

The Dude- 3rd grade

My Father's Dragon- This is the first in the 3 volume Newberry Award-Winning series by Ruth Stiles Gannet. In this whimsical, illustrated chapter book, a narrator recalls the boyhood adventures of his father, specifically how he finds and frees a dragon that is being held captive by the jungle animals of an island. 

That's what we're reading in September. How about you? Whatcha reading?


  1. We are finishing up the wild robot this week. I agree it was sluggish and we almost didn't keep going, but it is getting better closer to the end.
    We are also reading all-of-a-kind family and the Tanglewood's Secret. We have been loving them, though I'm struggling more with Patricia St John's style with reading it aloud.
    Do you have a favorite place to get books that's affordable? Our library isn't worth the hassle of going to anymore, but we've been so dependent on it lol. I thought maybe thrift stores?

    1. All-of-a-Kind Family has been on our TBR list for quite some time. How are you liking it?

      I buy most of my books at the annual library used book sale, thrift shops, and used book shops. However, we use the library a lot. I rarely ever go in anymore, even pre-Covid. I request books online and pick them up when they're all gathered by the librarians. If the library doesn't have a book I'm looking for, I put in a "request to purchase." For the most part, all my requests get purchased and added to the library shelves.

    2. We are loving All-Of-A-Kind Family. We are almost done with the first book and we just started it last week. I highly recommend it! It is somewhat reminiscent of Little House and Little Britches in some ways. I have two girls though, so we may be looking it more because of the little girl aspect. :)
      That's kind of what I've been doing but they have it heavily restricted even to just pick up holds and it just isn't worth it anymore. :( I'll have to hit up all the bookstores around. My favorite one I know of is closing down though and that is very sad.

  2. Our current read aloud is The Key to the Indian, the fifth and final book in the Indian in the Cupboard series. I really enjoyed the first two books, thought the 3rd was ok, didn't care for Book 4, jury's still out on book 5; but my 5th grader thinks it might be the best.

    Her independent book for me is The Borrowers. On her own, she just finished rereading the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series and is reading The Sword of Kuromori series. I've been reading The Opposite of Spoiled and The Sword of Kuromori series (I'm prereading for dd, but she's quickly gaining on me, so I need to read faster, lol!) While she waits for me to read farther, she plans to start The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart, which was one of her favorites that I read aloud last year.

    1. My middle son read the Percy Jackson series this past summer and really enjoyed it. I think you're the first person who's ever told me they've read through the entire Indian in the Cupboard series. My daughter loved it and made it through most of the books, but not all.

  3. I just finished and thoroughly enjoyed Ben Carson's Gifted Hands. It will be required reading for each of my kids when they are in high school. For our family read aloud, we just finished Man of the Family (#2 in the Little Britches series) and are waiting for the next to come in at the library. My 5th grade son is reading the last Alex Rider book, my 3rd grade son is reading one of the Wings of Fire books, and my 1st grade daughter is reading lots of leveled readers.
    Good to know the Percy Jackson series is okay content-wise. I know Rick Riordan has some questionable content in at least one of his newer YA books.

    1. The first series of his with the lighting thief is fine. The second one that goes into the heroes of olympus I think is where it gets real sketchy real fast. :/

      The Little Britches series is a favorite in our house! Three third one we LOVED.

  4. Wow, I just found this website and am so excited to see your book discussion! My family LOVES Little Britches and the two books that follow it. I can't get my kids sold on the rest of the series, though. They don't think much good can happen after Ralph's family leaves the ranch!
    Right now we are reading Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson aloud. We will follow it up with The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Since I have two studying ancient history this year, these wonderful adventures are a perfect fit.

    1. Those sound like great books to add to an ancients study. We've not read any of the Little Britches books, but they are on our TBR list. Glad to know others like them!

  5. The month is half-over, but here is what we have going around here.

    Read aloud - A week or so ago we finished The Pushcart War. Thanks so much for the recommendation! We all thought it was hilarious!!! Due to our busy schedule, we have yet to pick out our next read aloud.

    Senior daughter - In her free time, she is continuing her way through the Baxter Family series by Karen Kingsbury. It is a long series! :) I think she is on Take Four right now and LOVING them all!

    8th grade son - For school he is reading The Warrior by Francine Rivers. It is Biblical fiction about the life of Caleb. For fun he is reading two things - finishing the Green Ember series again as well as reading The Hobbit again. He has his eyes set on starting The Lord of the Rings series soon. He has never read those.

    2nd grade son: For fun he just finished the Henry series by Beverly Cleary. Not he has started in on the I Survived book from the Revolutionary War (which we just talked about in history). :)

    I have been reading the series by Karen Kingsbury about 9/11. The first two were really good. I am having a little bit of a harder time getting into the third one. That is probably good because the second one kept me from wanting to do other things I needed to be doing. :) LOL!

    1. I started the Baxter series a few months ago not realizing that I was starting in the middle of the series. I kept thinking to myself, "It seems like there's more backstory here." I finally googled and found out that it was like the fourth or fifth book. It made reading the book a bit of a drain, unfortunately.

  6. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch- This biographical fiction recounts the true story of Nathaniel Bowditch who overcame a lifetime of hardships to become the father of modern maritime navigation. To be honest, nothing about this book has ever appealed to me, but my oldest three boys seem to love it.
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