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 2021

boy at the library

This past Thursday, I hosted the first meeting of the year for my son's tween/teen book club. Since there are six new members, we used quite a bit of our time to get to know one another. It was an hour of introductions, kid-lit trivia, and general chatter among bookish people. We had not yet voted on a book for the month, so after selecting one, we focused our discussion on how best to give a book recommendation and how to know if a recommended book is right for our own personal reading lives.

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I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon than chatting with young bibliophiles whose literary worlds are just being awakened. They have so many thoughts, ideas, and opinions to share. I'm so honored to have the opportunity to help expand their book love each month. 

We'll be diving into A Fish in a Tree, our first title of the school year, next month. And I can't wait.

For now, here's what my kids and I have been reading in September. 

What We're Reading in September 2021

Read aloud- everybody

Rifles for Watie- We're still working our way through this sweeping epic of the Civil War. It was one of my husband's favorite books from his homeschooling days and we're really enjoying it. However, the print is very small and the book is thick, so it will still be a couple of weeks before we wrap it up. 

When sixteen-year-old Jeff Bussey finds himself on both sides of the fighting lines, his naive bravado is tested and he comes face to face with the real cost of war.

Please note: This book includes war scenes that may not be suitable for young readers. 


Jamie- that's me!

The Red Address Book- I was tasked to read this one for my women's book club. After reading the back flap, I had high hopes. Sadly, it did not live up to my expectations. The use of explicit language was unnecessary and often dropped in awkward places throughout the text. But even more disappointing were the underdeveloped plot points.

The story spans the lifetime of a Swedish woman who migrated to France, America, and eventually England. In that time, she experienced unbelievable tragedies, all of which could have been given in greater detail. The author rushed to resolves and left so many storylines unfinished that her main story arch fizzled and left me with mental whiplash. This was definitely not a book for me. 

The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek- When Cussy Mary earns a spot in Roosevelt's 1930s Kentucky Packhorse Librarian Project, she stirs up a heap of trouble. As one of the outcast blue people of Appalachia, she's not always welcome among the townsfolk. But, despite their prejudice, she's determined to help the struggling people of Troublesome Creek learn to read.

Inspired by the blue Fugates of Kentucky who suffered from methemoglobinemia, a rare skin disorder, this book was both fascinating and heartwarming. With a few mild exceptions, it was a relatively clean read. I listened to the book on audio through the free Libby app which made the Appalachian dialects come to life. 

The Screen-Strong Solution- I picked up this short read while researching for an upcoming episode of the Mom to Mom Podcast. It's filled with anecdotal evidence of the effects of screen addiction and quick, actionable steps parents can make to help break bad screen habits in their homes. Nothing in the book was all that profound or new but was a good reminder of the importance of limited screen use. 

Super Boy- 10th grade

The Hero Code- My oldest son just finished this short inspirational book and said it is a MUST READ for anyone who is currently facing a difficult circumstance. It is a collection of stories compiled by retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven and tells of the heroism of a man or woman in the Armed Forces. 

Blonde Warrior- 8th grade

10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) About Christianity- In this teenage version of her bestselling book Confronting Christianity, Rebecca McLaughlin seeks to answer 10 questions about faith that teens often ask including:
  • Can't we just be good without God?
  • Isn't Christianity against diversity? 
  • Why can't we just agree that love is love? 
  • Who cares if you're a boy or a girl?
McLaughlin's straightforward writing is refreshing. She tackles cultural lies with truth while inviting the reader to continue to ask hard questions. I think this is an excellent read and highly recommend it for any teen. However, please note: Her constant use of pop culture book and movie references might be isolating to some readers who have never read or seen those particular works. And in a chapter entitled "Hasn't science disproven Christianity?" she discusses the evidence for both evolution and creation science but never really presents a definitive argument for one over the other. 

Greased Lightning- 7th grade

Super Shark Encyclopedia- My son is currently making a shark field guide. He's set a goal to learn about all the known types of sharks in the world. He's been slowly creating pages of drawings and simple facts that he hopes to compile into a homemade book. This is just one of the many shark-themed books he's been reading for his research. 

Please note: As with most secular science books, this one mentions evolution. We are new earth creationists and don't prescribe to evolutionary ideologies. Fortunately, my son is strong enough in his beliefs to ignore any evolutionary ideology. 

The Dude- 4th grade

The Boxcar Children- This is the first of four books my youngest son will be tasked to read for his Learning Language Arts Through Literature Orange Book this year. All of his older siblings loved the adventurous nature and ingenuity of the four orphaned siblings of the story who determine to make a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar. I have no doubt, he'll like the book as well. 

That's what we've been reading in September. How about you? What's in your book basket this month? 

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