My mother passed on her worn copy of Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, Rose in Bloom, Eight Cousins, Jack and Jill, and Old-Fashioned Girl to me. I read them to shreds! I cried and laughed while I learned lessons about virtue and kindness. Of course, I didn't realize I was learning those lessons, but I did.
This books are part of my heritage and they filled many hours of my girlhood with warmth and happy thoughts. I loved nurturing Meg, kind Polly, gentle Rose, strong willed Jo, and loving Beth. They stood for me as definitions of what it meant to be a "good girl."
Yes, these books are old-fashioned. They will take you and your daughters back to a time of good manners, virtue, and kindness when parents were respected and people went to church.
You will laugh and cry as you get involved in their adventures.
I recommend these lovely books to young women ages 8 to 88 because the stories are timeless, classic in the true sense of the word. Louisa introduces us to well-rounded characters who grow, learn, and change. Family and home are places where life happens. You will related to the heroines and their friends and family. Because after all, times may change, but the longings in our hearts stay the same.
These books are all in our home library. Little Women is the most popular of her books, but I recommend starting younger girls with Jack and Jill. I have listed all 7 books my mother passed to me below with links to buy them on Amazon. You can also find these books at used book stores.
Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys are a trilogy about the March family. Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom introduce you to Rose Campbell. Jack and Jill and Old Fashioned Girl stand alone.
Review of Secrets of the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepherd's Stone & The Lions Roar from WorthyKids Books
It is always a delight to review any book in The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series from Worthy Kids. I reviewed Secret in the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepherd's Stone (Book 5) and Secret in the Hidden Scrolls: The Lion's Roar (Book 6).
As I was with the first four books in the series, I loved these two books. I read them myself first and was delighted to find that they are accurate biblically and teach a practical Christian life truth in addition to the Bible story. I shared these books with my four-year grandson whose mom read it aloud to him and an eight-year old girl from our homeschool co-op who read it on her own. They both loved the books!
Secret in the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepherd's Stone (Book 5) is from I Samuel in the Old Testament. It's the historical tale of David visiting his brothers and ending up a war hero after fighting the taunting Goliath. David fights for the glory of God with confidence in His power to defeat His enemies. Along the way, Peter and Mary hear some of the songs (psalms) David has composed and see his bravery in facing down a bear. I love the way humor is used in the story, too.
I had forgotten until I read this little book that David is from Bethlehem. Of course, Bethlehem is the City of David. A good refresher for me!
My favorite part of the book is when David loses 1 of his 99 sheep named Pearl. What does that remind you of? Yes, you got it! Two of Jesus' parables in one: The Pearl of Great Price and the Shepherd Who Goes Looking for His 1 Sheep.
Secret in the Hidden Scrolls: The Lion's Roar (Book 6) takes us back in time to Babylon. With the author MJ Thomas' skill, we see the Ishtar Gate, Processional Way, Hanging Gardens, Statue of Marduk, the Euphrates River, a ziggerut, cuneiform writing, and the sparkling blue and yellow tiles decorating buildings all over the city. Lions, dragons, and bulls are everywhere. I was delighted as a homeschool mom at how much history was included.
The story is woven delightfully to let us meet Hannah and her grandfather Shadrach (yes, that one!), Daniel, and the king. We see the power of God to protect Daniel when he is thrown into the lion's den. I loved the story! And I felt like I was a visitor to Babylon meeting Daniel and experiencing his adventure! This book could easily turn into a great unit study. I'm adding it to my Ancient History historical reading list.
In each adventure story, Mary and Peter must solve the puzzle in a certain amount of days or they will be stuck back in time forever. There are also rules they must follow including not changing the past or revealing that they are from a different time period. The angel Michael appears in every story, too.
FREE GIVEAWAY! (Enter to Win)
Cozy mysteries are popular with many homeschoolers and their parents. When they walk by my booth at a convention, they stop a minute when they see the cover of my Who Dun It Literature & Writing Class. After all, it's a detective detecting.
I get lots of questions about this course so I thought I would answer the most popular questions I am asked.
First of all, Who Dun It Literature & Writing Class and Economics, Finances, and Business are my best-selling books. Both are one-credit high school courses that are a little out-of-the-box.
Before I answer questions, let me tell you a little bit about how Who Dun It came to be. Before my oldest child started high school, I decided to take a year and write a novel in English class. To be honest, I just thought it would be an exciting way to learn creative writing. However, the benefits amazed me. Writing your own literature gives you such a depth of understanding literature. In addition, creative writing is a completely different kind of writing than high school students usually do. I was blown away by the creative dialogue, plot ideas, and characterization my older two children created.
Along came my third daughter and we shared a love of mysteries. Why not write a mystery and read classic mysteries that year? Great idea, we both thought and so I created Who Dun It. Again, I was amazed by the plot twists, red herrings, and surprise at the end. It required quite a bit of thinking, creativity, and logic to write a mystery. We had so much fun. I ended up teaching this course several times in a co-op setting and each time we had a blast reading one another's stories aloud as we progressed through the course. I love teaching this course!
Okay, on to the questions.
Is This a Real English Course?
Yes, this is a real high school English course with classic literature to read and writing skills to learn. An English course doesn't have to be boring to be a one-credit English course.
Do They Read Literature in Who Dun It?
Yes, of course. They read classic cozy mysteries by Edgar Alan Poe, Sir Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, Ellery Queen, E.G. Bentley, and Mary Higgins Clark. Like all classic literature, these works are well-written, timeless stories. Reading these works will increase vocabulary and strengthen grammar skills.
Isn't It Overwhelming to Write a Novel?
On the title page of What is Your Language by Debra Leventhal a little boy is packing a suitcase and holding his red passport.
He is off to make new friends all around the world.
His first stop is London where he asks some children, "What is your language?" and they respond, "My language is English and this is the way it sounds, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!"
The pattern continues with him traveling to Germany, France, Russian, Inuktitut, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, and Spanish. Children love patterns like we find in this picture book.
When he tells the children he is going home, they all respond, "No!" in their native language.
The final illustration is the little lying under his world flag comforter with his map-of-the-word rug by his bed. Very cute!
Which brings me to the illustrations.
Luis lives in Columbia with his wife Diana. He loves to read and buys lots and lots of books.
He has so many books, he has to get rid of some which gives him a great idea.
He will create a mobile library, transported from town to town on the back of a donkey. Luis and his traveling library go from village to village, reading books to children and letting them take books home to read.
Books, biblio in Spanish, and donkey, burro in Spanish led to the book's title, Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter.
Beyond the charming story, this picture book is filled with charming illustrations that children love! The pictures are bright and cheery!
The story of one man's outreach to his fellow Colombians is delightful. Your little lambs will want to hear it again and again.
?fter 4 daughters, I had every book a girl could dream of. But, what about my son? I had to find books he would love.
In my quest to introduce Jimmy to great books full of adventure, along with wholesomeness and Christian inspiration, I found R.M. Ballantyne.
A Christian author on a quest to enchant and inspire children with amazing adventures, Robert Michael Ballantyne books are thrilling. My son loved them and I think yours will, too.
Robert Michael Ballantyne was born in Edinburgh into a family of famous printers and publishers. At 16, he traveled to Canada to serve for six years with the Hudson's Bay Company, returning to to Scotland in 1847. During his time in Canada, he traded with the local Native Americans for furs, which required him to travel by canoe and sleigh to the areas occupied by the modern-day provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. He published his first book in 1848, Hudson's Bay: or Life in the Wilds of North America. He wrote a series of adventure stories for children with a strong Christian message.
Homeschooling Moms, they also contain tons of history, geography, and science information.
In 1866, Robert married Jane Grant. God blessed them with 3 sons and 3 daughters. This father of six has left a legacy of adventure books for boys, though girls will enjoy them, too!
isclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links from my participation in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. . I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.
R.M. Ballantyne spins an exciting tale of shipwreck and survival in The Coral Island. They encounter cannibals and pirates. Filled with biblical truths and Christian principles, this book still has it after nearly a century and a half. You will love this adventure!
I love historical fiction, so I was so excited to read The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio, a middle-grade (ages 7 -12) story set in Bible times, on my Kindle. Knowing she is a fellow teacher at SchoolhouseTeachers.com made me even more excited!
I read the book first on my Kindle. I read my Kindle each evening before I fall asleep and found this book easy to use on my tablet. I was so nervous when Miriam was kidnapped and so sad about her being separated from her family. You see, right away I was swept up emotionally in the story set in the Middle East. I loved Miriam who trusted the Lord, yet struggled with doubts sometimes. It was exciting to learn about the workings of an Assyrian household. The household was headed by Naaman, a commander in the Assyrian Army. On a raid through Israel, Miriam is captured and taken home to be a servant girl to the Commander's wife. She leaves behind her loving family in Israel to become part of a wealthy Assyrian household. When the Commander comes down with leprosy, Miriam tells him about the prophet Elisha who is able to heal people with the power of God. Well, you know the story from II Kings, but Jarm brings it alive in a fresh way to her readers.
The story moved quickly. I loved reading it. Beyond adventure, there was spiritual application. Miriam grew closer to her Creator King, the God of Israel. The book was encouraging and inspiring.
We also read it together and found it just as exciting. Everyone liked it!
As a homeschooling mom, I see historical fiction as a treasure that brings other times and places alive for my children. I love finding excellent works that will add to my children's understanding of ancient times, especially biblical history. This book is a perfect addition to our home school library!
"What a beautiful book!" I gushed as I looked through His Mercy Endures Forever Psalm 136 by Kathleen DeJong from Reformed Free Publishing Association.
I showed it to my grandson Rusty.
"Will you read it to me right now?" he asked politely. We sat down and read it together. It was the third time I had read the book, but I was thrilled to read God's beautiful Word and enjoy lovely artwork all the way until the end. Rusty loved it, too.
His Mercy Endureth Forever Psalm 136 by Kathleen DeJong is a beautifully illustrated picture book. The words on the pages are straight from God's Song Book, or the Psalms of The Holy Bible.
This psalm is unique in that it has a refrain after every phrase. "O Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" is the opening line followed by the refrain, "His mercy endureth forever."
"O give thanks unto the God of Gods" followed by the beautiful refrain, "His love endureth forever!"
On and on the psalm/song goes speaking of God being worthy of praise, doing wonders, making the heavens, bringing Israel out of Egypt, parting the Red Sea, leading the people through the wilderness, giving the Israelites their land, and feeding all living things. After each exultation of God's amazingness, the refrain resounds: "His Mercy Endureth Forever!"
All Christians need to read this picture book, to look at the beautiful illustrations as they read the inspiring words that pierce our hearts, reminding us of the power and majesty of a Holy God who chose to show mercy to us because He loves us. How thrilling!
"It's just because you think Robin Hood can do no wrong!"
Everyone laughed. We were teasing Victoria who was hotly defending Robin Hood's behavior in The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. In answer that Robin Hood was a thief, Victoria defending him saying, "He was returned money the government stole from people to the people who were stolen from."
There was more laughter and we started discussing some of the other characters. We were enjoying our bimonthly book club, as part of our American Literature and Research class.
Our book clubs had included lots of laughter and some emotional moments where tangents took us to emotional issues of our lives or what was going on in the world around us. We compared characters to people we knew, talked about characters we loved, and how we wanted to the ending to be different.
As we talk about what we liked and didn't like, plot, tone, mood, setting, worldview, and theme, we found ourselves digging deeper into books than we ever had before. There was just something about talking together that often led to deep analysis. We always had fun together even if we didn't like the book a lot. Book clubs, after all, are friendship builders.
Best of all, book clubs actually motivated students to hurry and finish the book so we could all discuss it together. I embraced book clubs over book reports because I wanted to build an enjoyable lifetime habit in my children's lives. I wanted them to read because reading is fun, interesting, entertaining, and a privilege.
How Book Clubs Work
I was intrigued by the title John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress with 525 Illustrations Spanning 250 Years compiled by Laura Bluedorn available from Trivium Pursuit.
As I browsed through one of my favorite stories, I found myself delighted. It seemed that Laurie Bluedorn gathered every picture painted of scenes in Pilgrim's Progress.
Everyone should read Pilgrim's Progress at least once, if not several times.
This copy is a true treasure, like nothing I've ever seen before. With 605 pages, you will feel like you are in an art museum devoted to John Bunyan. I was blown away by all the different styles of artwork in the book. I couldn't stop browsing through the book.
Not only do I LOVE the book, but I found an awesome blog on Trivium Pursuit that helps parents to teach Pilgrim's Progress to their children. You can read the blog here.
I love books.
I have invested money and gobs of time curled up to read a good book.
As a young Mom, the Lord used several books on motherhood to inspire me and reveal His plans in Scripture to mother my children. Several of these books changed my life! They encouraged me to stay the course when times were hard. They refreshed my soul when I felt overwhelmed and gave me practical wisdom that I so desperately needed. The authors felt like friends, older Titus 2 women who were investing in my life.
Now, looking back over the years with sadness that my children are all adults, I find myself being asked for advice. I share things on my heart and then...
Well, I pass on my old friends, these tattered books that have seen better days because I have read them so many times.
I give these books as gifts.
And now I pass them on to you, dear friends. Here are my very favorite books on Motherhood.
Victoria lives in London with her Mum and Dad. Her Mum is Brazilian. Victoria goes to Brazil with her Mom to visit her family.
Mum and Victoria fly into San Paulo and travel to the Parana State where all Mum's relatives live.
Victoria travels from place to place meeting cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, a great-grandmother, and old friends of her Mum. There is great variety in the places she visits from a coffee farm to Itu where everything is REALLY BIG! Victoria sees micro monkeys, parakeets, fishing boats, churches, capybara (giant guinea pigs), casava flour, fruit trees, flowers, and watermelon juice.
The book uses bright, cheery photographs to illustrate Victoria's story of visiting her family in Brazil. I love the photos. They are amazing! They give a realistic picture to readers of family life in Brazil, but they also appeal to children with the bright colors, children, family love, and cute little animals. It really is like looking at someone's scrapbook.
I love to use picture books to teach geography to little ones. Victoria goes to Brazil would be enjoyed by children from ages 4 to 8, but it would also be a fun family read to kick off your geography studies in South America. Children will be introduced to a specific region in Brazil and you can see where it is on the map page. In addition, they will learn about industries, animals, plants, landforms, food, and culture.
Another load of laundry to put in, a phonics lesson to give, and dinner to fix.
What Mom has time to read?
Another paper to write, a textbook chapter to read, and a test to study for.
What teenager has time to read for pleasure?
The lawn to mow, a presentation to prepare for at the office, and bills to pay.
What Dad has time to pick up a good book and read it?
Added to that, it is so much easier on the mind to turn on the TV and watch a show or movie.
So, why should we make time to read?
Reading is soothing, relaxing, and refreshing. When I spend time reading a book I enjoy, I feel stress melt away. It revives me.
Reading stimulates our mind like an aerobic workout for the mind. As I get older and can't remember things sometimes, I am glad for anything that keeps my mind sharp! I need that!
Reading increases our vocabulary, helps us to communicate more effectively, and gives us something meaningful to talk about. Isn't it fun to talk about a book you are reading?
So, how can we make time to read?
It was Christmas Eve 1956 when Michael Bond purchased a stuffed bear for his wife in a store near Paddington Station.
That impulsive gift would inspire Mr. Bond to write a book, A Bear Called Paddington, that would introduce the world to Paddington Bear, delighting children of all ages and nations.
From deepest, darkest Peru, Paddington travels in a lifeboat across the ocean eating marmalade to stay a live. With a suitcase in his hand and a note on which is written, "Please look after this bear. Thank you." You see his Aunt Lucy grew old and had to move into the Home for retired bears.
This whimsical tale begins with Paddington being found by the Brown family at Paddington Train Station in London, England. And so, the adventure begins.
You will love Paddington's well-meaning, but often misguided attempts to right a wrong (as perceived by Paddington, but usually a misunderstanding). His escapades are hilarious and he is the sweetest, most well-meaning bear ever!
Little Lloyd Llama goes on an adventure to discover what kind of animal his friends' mothers are in this delightful picture book by Deborah Gaurino and illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
Little Lloyd Llama questions all his friends about their mothers with rhymes that are fun to say and fun to hear. His friends answer back in rhyme, too.
Though his Mama is a Llama, only one of his friends have a llama for a Mama.
When you read this book aloud to your little ones, they will meet a bat, a swan, a cow, a seal, a kangaroo, and a llama. They will also learn a little bit about each animal.
The first time you read Is Your Mama a Llama, your children will try to guess what animal Lloyd is talking about. The second time you read it, they will remember and squeal with delight when they give you the right answer..
Who can resist rhymes and riddle questions? What a fun combination for children to enjoy!