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 December 2020

Christmas book

I've hit the reading lottery this month! At the end of November, I chose to start two books written by new-to-me authors--one fiction and one non-fiction. 

I knew that my selections were quite a risk considering I just came off a month of reading so-so titles. 

But since both books came highly recommended by my Instagram community, I decided to be brave and hope for the best. 

I'm so glad I did. They each have been fantastic! Admittedly, I haven't been able to chip away at either one quite as much as I'd like to in these past few weeks because of necessary Christmas prep, but I've kept them close at hand, reading as much as possible in the nooks and crannies of my days.

Here's a peek at all of our December reading wins. 

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

What We're Reading in December 2020 #readaloud #homeschooling #kidlit

Read Aloud- everybody

My Brother Sam is Dead- I have mixed feelings about this book. I first learned about it while reading Sally Clarkson's Life-Giving Home a few years ago. She also mentioned it on a list of life-giving resources for families that she created for her website. Since it was also mentioned in my most favorite book on reading with children, Honey for a Child's Heart, I figured it was a MUST READ and I eagerly snagged it from the library!

The story itself is quite compelling. It follows the life of Timothy Meeker, the youngest son of a colonial tavern owner. Although his parents are loyal to the King, Timother's older brother Sam goes off to fight with the Patriots in the Revolutionary War and his family is subsequently torn apart. Unfortunately, although the plot and characters are well developed, the actual writing is disappointing. I'm shocked at the amount of explicit language it includes. I've had to do a lot of editing on the fly as I've read aloud. I'd like to say it's only mild language, but I can't. It's actually rather graphic and blasphemous. While it's quite easy for me to skip over the profanity and irreverence without destroying the storyline, similarly to how I feel about most modern award winners, I would never feel comfortable leaving this book lying around my house for my kids to pick up and read on their own. 

UPDATE: After coming to the final chapter of this book, I can not in good conscience recommend it even for those who intend to edit out the foul language. The final pages describe a gruesome execution in great detail and are, in my opinion, not suitable for the intended audience, middle-grade readers.

The Last Holiday Concert- This is a sequel to Frindle, a book we read and enjoyed together last year. 

When the school's choir director gets fed up with all the in-class disruptions and chooses not to produce the annual Christmas concert, the sixth-grade class decides to organize it themselves. As can be expected, mayhem and chaos ensue. No matter what happens, though, the show must go on!

Jamie- that's me!

Whose Waves These Are- In the same vein as Lisa Wingate, Christy Award-winning Amanda Dykes has written a lovely story with dualling timelines. One part of the book follows the life of Robert Bliss, the twin brother of a man drafted into the Allied Forces during WWII. The other part skips ahead to 2001 when former anthropologist Annie comes face to face with her own long-forgotten past. The two stories eventually intertwine, helping both Robert and Annie heal some rather deep wounds. 

The Year of Living Danishly- I'm currently working on a project that requires hours and hours of study about Denmark and the Danish people. This humorous memoir is the last fact-finding book on my lengthy list of research related reads.

When Helen Russell must move from her inner-city flat in the UK to a small, coastal town in Denmark because of her husband's job transfer, she determines to spend twelve months immersing herself in the lifestyle of the "happiest people on earth" in order that she might discover how to live well.

Please note: There is some explicit language in this book.  

Unexpected Christmas Joy- For my Christmas selection this year, I've chosen this recently released contemporary Christian fiction book written by my personal friend, former homeschool grad turned homeschool mom, Gabrielle Meyer. 

When big-city actress Kate LeClair finds herself in small-town Minnesota after the tragic death of her cousin, she's handed a plot twist she never expected: the guardianship of toddler triplets. Although she never auditioned for the part of Mom, she soon learns it's the role of her lifetime.

Sweetie Pea- 12th grade/College Sophomore

Uninvited- I read this book a few years ago when my middle son was having trouble making new friends. It's specifically written to/for adult women, but it did give me a few thoughts to consider when helping my son form deeper relationships. 

Recently, my daughter discovered it in my book stash and asked to read it. Like all of Lysa TerKeurst's books, it is a light and fast read filled with plenty of quotable quotes to help those who feel left out and uninvited. 

Super Boy- 9th grade

Do Hard Things- This is one of the titles on my oldest son's MUST READ Books for Christian Teen Boys. Written by teens for teens, it challenges readers to turn from the current cultural trend of low expectations and youthful laziness.

Blonde Warrior- 8th grade

Daddy Long Legs- When a wealthy trustee of the John Grier orphanage offers to send Judy to college, she can hardly believe her luck! The only stipulation is that she must write to this mysterious patron every month telling him what she is learning and how she is growing as a person.

This 1955 classic has been printed and reprinted for years and even made an appearance on the silver screen starring Fred Astaire. My son is currently reading this in tandem with his language curriculum.

Greased Lightning- 6th grade

The Bronze Bow- My son cracked this book open with skepticism. I knew he would love it. But, he had his doubts. I'm happy to report that the gripping, action-packed story has captivated him. 

After the brutal death of his father at the hands of the Romans, Daniel bar Jamin wants revenge. He's filled with hate and can't find a way forward until he meets a man from Nazareth named Jesus who shows him how to forgive the unforgivable. 

The Dude- 3rd grade

The White Stallion- Like his older brother, my youngest son is also reading this book in tandem with his language arts curriculum

When Gretchen accidentally strays from the wagon train she and her family are following, she fears she will be lost from them forever. All seems hopeless until a white stallion wanders across her path and helps show her the way. 

That's what we're reading this month. How about you? Whatcha reading?


  1. I have the Amanda Dykes book on my TBR - good to know you liked it. I am reading The Nightingale and Another Gospel?. Both are going great for me. Our read aloud is The Fields of Home. My older son is reading Battlesong and my 3rd grade son is also reading a horse book, The Black Stallion.

    1. I've not heard of Another Gospel or The Fields of Home I'll have to look them up! Thanks so much for the recommendations!

  2. Once again, I really enjoyed reading about your family's selections this month! Some more great ideas to add to our list! I am especially interested in Uninvited for my daughter. Here is what we are reading:

    Read aloud: We are doing two this month. Tabitha's Travels, which is another installment in the advent series we love. We have read this one before, but chose this as our one this year since it is my daughter's last year of school at home. Our other one is A Christmas Carol. :)

    12th Grade Daughter: Two From Galilee - I think she read this last year, but wanted to again this December.

    8th Grade Son: He just finished reading Johnny Tremain.

    2nd Grade Son: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

    Me: The Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury

    1. I loved Two From Galilee!! I wished the sequel, Three From Galilee was as good. But sadly, it portrays Jesus in a lustful light.

      Funny story about the Baxter Family series...I was reading a book last summer and I kept thinking to myself, "There's seems to be a bunch of backstory missing here." The author kept recounting tidbits of plot that seemed to have happened already. Turns out, I was reading book 12 of the series!

  3. "Whose Waves These Are" was one of my favorite reads of last year! Thank you for your book lists. I always appreciate them so much!

    1. Thanks for checking out my lists! Merry Christmas.