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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 February 2022

Teen Reading Oliver Twist

Confession time: I experience an embarrassing amount of satisfaction when one of my kids is reluctant to read a book that I've suggested only to admit later that I was right--that the book was indeed as great as I said it would be. 

I never "I told you so" them to death, mind you. But I'm always secretly doing a touchdown-style celebration dance in my mind, knowing that because of this one successful selection they'll be more apt to heed my recommendations in the future. 

In the last two weeks, I've heard, "Mom, I'm so glad you suggested this book! It's soooooo good!" not once, but five or six times. 

Victory dance! 

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Here's what we're reading in February. 

What We're Reading in February 2022 #homeschool #kidlit #readaloud #shlefie

Read aloud- everybody

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- After reading the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, my kids and I decided to revisit the entire series. So, we've moved onto the second and most famous of the seven. I don't know if we'll read them straight through or pause to pick up some other titles now and again. But, I've no doubt that we'll read through the entire stack by year's end. 


Jamie- that's me!

The Anthropocene Reviewed- As a Christian, I do my best to live in the tension between keeping my mind pure and undefiled and also reading widely in order that I might be able to know what ideas and opinions seem to be prevalent in the world. I feel it is important to explore the works of authors who hold to a different worldview in order to shore up my own counter-beliefs and accurately discourse about the topic in the public square.

While I would not hand this book over to a new Believer in Christ who has not formed a solid Biblical worldview yet, I do think it is a great read for those of us who are pretty Scripturally literate and who have a desire to know what the average American thinks and feels about our culture and how it's doing. 

It is an essay-style reflection on humanity. The author has picked super random topics (like scratch-n-sniff stickers and The Indianapolis 500) for each chapter but somehow has drawn out the deepest and most heady thoughts about life from each one. (Please note there is some language sprinkled throughout.) From a purely grammatical perspective, the writing is genius, but sadly, it also lacks hope. 

Since I've been listening to the book on the Libby app, I've been able to backtrack and replay a few specific chapters for my husband and kids to listen to. We've had wonderful conversations about big societal opinions/issues--everything from the origin of life to capitalism vs. socialism. I've encouraged them to point out some of the fallacies they've heard in the narration and to share their views on each topic. It's been a great exercise in logic, debate, and worldview and has helped me "prepare [their] minds for action." (I Peter 1:13)


Mothering by the Book- This book is a soon-to-be-released title from my friend Jennifer Pepito. It hits shelves August 1, 2022, just one month before my new book!

As homeschool moms, we all believe that good stories can help sculpt character. We're quick to draw out life lessons of friendship from The Secret Garden or the harmful effects of greed and gluttony in The Chocolate Touch as we read them aloud to our children. But stories hold powerful lessons for us too. In this debut title, Jennifer uses the books she enjoyed as a child (and/or has read aloud to her kids) to help encourage readers in the tasks of mothering. 


Super Boy- 10th grade

Good Man- Written by the youngest son of one of my favorite authors, Sally Clarkson, this book takes a critical look at how the world defines a "good man" and submits fifteen alternative qualities worth striving toward.

My son is really enjoying this book. He's mentioned that it is one of the few Christian "man" books he's read that actually calls men to a balanced view of masculinity. It doesn't swing to toxic manhood nor does it feel effeminate. 


Blonde Warrior- 8th grade

The Candymakers- This is the February book selection for my son's tween/teen book club. Since I lead the club, I'm reading it too. 

It's a multipersepectivity story, meaning that the events of the book which take place over the course of three days are repeated over and over again but through the perspective of a different character each time. It's divided into five sections each representing the viewpoint of one of the four main characters, with the final section cycling back to the first and most prominent of the characters. With each retelling, the author reveals more of the plot details and takes many unexpected twists and turns. 

When four very different children are selected to compete in a national candy-making competition, they each assume Logan, the candy maker's son is a shoo-in to win. But when someone tries to steal the secret ingredient from the candy factory, fingers start pointing in everyone's direction even his. 


Greased Lightning- 7th grade

Star of Light- When his stepfather threatens to sell his blind younger sister, Hamid decides he must rescue. The pair escape to another village. On their journey, they learn of Jesus who eventually restores sight in more ways than one.

I read this book as a child, so when it came up as one of the literature units in my son's grammar program (Learning Language Arts Through Literature) I was thrilled. He was not. Since the copy we own is the same edition I had as a child with its 1970s-ish cover art, it garnered a slightly underwhelming response. He assumed that if the illustrations were dated, the story would be too. 

He was wrong. He's only halfway done reading it and has said that it's one of the best books he's ever read. 

Please note: My son is reading the original 1953 text that author and Moroccan missionary Patricia St. John wrote and which is loosely based on some of her experiences on the mission field. The modern edition which I've linked here has been edited to appeal to our 21st-century sensibilities. 


The Dude- 4th grade

Wilbur and Orville Wright: Young Fliers- My youngest son is currently working his way through this Childhood of Famous Americans title for his grammar unit. It is a biographical look at the childhoods of the famous aeronauts, the Wright brothers. 


That's what we've been reading this past month. How about you? Whatcha reading? 

8 comments:

  1. I'm interested in your opinion, do you think it's better to find an older version of Star of Light? My daughter will read it next year for L.A. and we have the updated version, but I'm not opposed to doing a little digging for an older copy. Thanks!
    Currently I'm reading The Year of Living Danishly and just finished Salt to the Sea, oh boy was that one great! My sixth grader is reading Tuck Everlasting. My fourth grader is reading Ben and Me. My third grader is reading In Grandma's Attic. We're reading Blizzard as our read a loud. (Just started 2 days ago, but everyone is very excited to continue). As always, thank you for sharing and for your recommendations!

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    1. No. It was a book Jamie had recommended previously that she read a loud to her family. We've only just begun but I would not recommend for a sensitive child of 8. The authors last name is Lehmann. Anything by Beverly Clearly would make a great choice for an 8 year old, maybe start with Henry Huggins?

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    2. Such a great line-up! I have fond memories of reading each one of those. I hope your kids like Blizzard. There are some gritty parts in there. But my boys loved it!

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  2. Our read aloud is Swallows and Amazons. It would probably be helpful to find a sailboat/sailing 101 video just so we can visualize a bit better, but we are loving the imaginations of the kids in the story thus far.
    I found four Patricia St. John books for my daughter for Christmas this year and she really liked them. They are all very dated older versions, because I had seen somewhere that the newer editions weren't quite the same. I'll have to add Star of Light to our list.

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    1. We have Swallows and Amazons on audio and have tried listening to it several times but none of my kids seem to enjoy it. I wonder if they are too old? What would you say is the age range for it?

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  3. We finished the first Incorrigible book this month, started Ella Enchanted reading aloud. I'm reading Fighting for Life by Lila Rose.

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    1. I've heard good things about the Incorrigible series. I've been told that the audio version is fantastic!

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