• The Best Audiobooks for Preschool to Adult
    adults,  audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary,  high school,  middle grades

    The Best Audiobooks For Preschool – Adult

    We listen to a lot of audiobooks in our home. I’ve admitted before that this is mainly because I am not great at reading chapter books aloud, and also because I like a fairly quite lunch time.

    I’ve written a whole list of tips and tricks from when we use audiobooks to how we get most of ours for free, you can check that out here.

    I can’t believe I haven’t compiled a master list of our favorite audiobooks yet, sheesh, it’s about time!

    I’ve done my best to break the list up into age categories, but every kid will be different. I also tried to put the best of the best on this list, so they are books almost anyone will enjoy. Just because you have a middle schooler doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy most of the books off of the elementary or preschool/kindergarten lists. I’m an adult and some of my favorite books on this list are in the middle school section!

    These books would make great family road trip books – just pick one or a few from the average age of your kids and listen as you drive along.

     

    The Best Audiobooks for preschool all the way through to adult - great audiobook suggestions for every age

     

    THE BEST AUDIOBOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL – ADULT

    To make things a little easier, you can jump directly to the category you are interested in:

    +++ Preschool & Kindergarten Audiobooks

    +++ Elementary Audiobooks

    +++ Middle Grade Audiobooks

    +++ High School and Adult Audiobooks

     

    PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN AUDIOBOOKS


     

    The Best Audiobooks for Preschool and Kindergarten - great for the whole family to listen to!

     

    There’s a reason Charlotte and Wilbur have stood the test of time!

    Charlotte’s Web

    Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

     

    This is a great audiobook for kids who are new to audiobooks, my kids have both listened to the Ralph Mouse collection multiple times.

    Ralph S. Mouse

    In this imaginative adventure from Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, a young mouse named Ralph is thrown into a world of excitement when a boy and his shiny toy motorcycle check in to the Mountain View Inn.

    When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come a lot of obstacles. Whether dodging a rowdy terrier or keeping his nosy cousins away from his new wheels, Ralph has a lot going on! And with a pal like Keith always looking out for him, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle.

     

    Mr. Popper and this troop of penguins will crack your kids up.

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins

    The 1938 classic tells the story of Mr. Popper, the small-town house painter who dreamed of exploring Antarctic regions, and Captain Cook, the redoubtable penguin who turned Mr. Popper’s world upside down.

     

    While I recommend this entire series for elementary, this book is great to listen to with preschool and elementary aged children.

    The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

    Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

     

    Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

    Meet Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle! She lives in an upside-down house with a kitchen that is always full of freshly baked cookies. She was even married to a pirate once! Best of all, she knows everything there is to know about children.

    When Mary turns into an Answer-Backer or Dick becomes Selfish or Allen decides to be a Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has the perfect cure. And her solutions always work, with plenty of laughs along the way.

     

    All-of-a-Kind Family

    It’s the turn of the 20th century in New York’s Lower East Side and a sense of adventure and excitement abounds for five young sisters – Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie. Follow along as they search for hidden buttons while dusting Mama’s front parlor, or explore the basement warehouse of Papa’s peddler’s shop on rainy days. The five girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises. But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all!

     

    To be honest, I’m not a big Ramona fan, I’m suspecting it’s because I never read the books growing up, but my kids love them and have listened to them multiple times over.

    The Ramona Quimby Collection

    Meet Ramona. She lives on Klickitat Street with her mother, father, and big sister, Beezus. She’s not afraid of anything and is always up to something. And that’s just the beginning…. In this audio collection, join Ramona, one of Beverly Cleary’s most beloved characters, on all her wacky adventures!

     

    Little House in the Big Woods

    Told from four-year-old Laura’s point of view, this story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Laura lives in the little house with her pa, her ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her family celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.

    And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers and listeners as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier history and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

     

    Little House on the Prairie

    Laura Ingalls and her family are heading to Kansas! Leaving behind their home in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they travel by covered wagon until they find the perfect spot to build a little house on the prairie. Laura and her sister Mary love exploring the rolling hills around their new home, but the family must soon get to work, farming and hunting and gathering food for themselves and for their livestock. Just when the Ingalls family starts to settle into their new home, they find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict. Will they have to move again?
     

    ELEMENTARY AUDIOBOOKS

     

    The Best Audiobooks for Elementary - grade books to listen to with grades 1, 2, 3 and 4!

     

    Um, should I admit that I got teary listening to a book about a robot? Cause I definitely did.

    The Wild Robot

    Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

    When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

    As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

     

    Katherine Applegate has quickly become one of my favorite authors, we loved this one!

    The One and Only Ivan

    Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

    Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

     

    If you’ve already listened to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I would suggest starting with The Magician’s Nephew and going through in order.

    The Chronicles of Narnia

    The Magician’s Nephew: Narnia…where the woods are thick and cool, where the Talking Beasts are called to life, a new world where the adventure begins.

    Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory’s Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to…somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion’s song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis, before they finally return home.

     

    We’ve been listening to quite a few audio dramas from Lamplighter Theater lately and so far this one has been our favorite!

    Frozen Fire

    You are about to become acquainted with a young girl who changed the world! The events that lead up to Betty’s pivotal decision demonstrate the true meaning of humility, servant-hood, and love. Inspired by a true story, Betty must come face-to-face with a dreaded foe. Facing myriad trials, including abandonment and the death grip of a terrifying blizzard, her love for her devoted servant trumps all. You will fall in love with Betty, whose loyalty is demonstrated through tremendous courage and sacrifice.

     

    This book is a good introduction to WWII for elementary kids.

    Number the Stars

    As the German troops begin their campaign to “relocate” all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

    Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

     

    Nim’s Island

    Nim lives on an island in the middle of the wide blue sea, shared by only her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, a turtle called Chica, and a satellite dish for her e-mail. No one else in the world lives quite like Nim, and she wouldn’t swap places with anyone.

    But when Jack disappears in his sailing boat and disaster threatens her home, Nim must be braver than she’s ever been before. And she needs help from her friends, old and new.

     

    Who doesn’t secretly wish they had a friend like Pippi? From sleeping backwards in her bed to being able to lift her horse she’s one amazingly silly girl.

    Pippi Longstocking

    Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!

     

    Seriously one of the funniest books out there. We’ve listened and read this one a couple of times, and we’ll be doing the same again soon.

    Fortunately, the Milk

    A tale of the bravery and selflessness exhibited by a father taking care of his children while his wife is away. Despite Mom’s advance warning, the family finds itself ready for breakfast but without milk for cereal and tea, so Dad takes a trip to the store to get some. Upon his long-awaited return, he gives the children a fantastical and descriptive explanation of the adventures he faced while trying to make it back home. Not only did he embark on a time-traveling hot-air balloon ride with a stegosaurus, but he also confronted pirates, aliens, wumpires, and a volcano god, never losing possession of the milk.

     

    Written like a classic it’s kind of hard to believe this book is so new.

    The Penderwicks

    This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures. The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.

     

    Even though this is book two in the Little House series I prefer to introduce it after Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie.

    Farmer Boy

    While Laura Ingalls grows up in a little house on the Western prairie, Almanzo Wilder is living on a big farm in New York State. Here Almanzo and his brother and sisters help with the summer planting and fall harvest. In winter there is wood to be chopped and great slabs of ice to be cut from the river and stored. Time for fun comes when the jolly tin peddler visits or, best of all, when the fair comes to town.

    This is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of how her husband, Almanzo, grew up as a farmer boy far from the little house where Laura lived.

     

    On the Banks of Plum Creek

    The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they leave their little house on the prairie and travel in their covered wagon to Minnesota. Here they settle in a little house made of sod beside the banks of beautiful Plum Creek. Soon Pa builds a wonderful new little house with real glass windows and a hinged door. Laura and her sister Mary go to school, help with the chores, and fish in the creek. At night everyone listens to the merry music of Pa’s fiddle. Misfortunes come in the form of a grasshopper plague and a terrible blizzard, but the pioneer family works hard together to overcome these troubles.

    And so continues Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers and listeners as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

    If you want to continue on with the series you definitely can!

     

    MIDDLE GRADE AUDIOBOOKS


     

    The Best Audiobooks for Middle Grades - best for grades 5, 6, 7 and 8!

    This is my favorite audiobook of all time. It is so well done and while I am sure the hard copy of the book is great I think the audio is so spectacular.

    Echo

    Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

    Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.

    Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, Echo pushes the boundaries of genre, form, and storytelling innovation to create a wholly original novel that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

     

    I’ve said it before, but if you listen to this one audio make sure you get the hard copy as well, you’ll want to see all the photos in this book!

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret

    Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

     

    Pax

    Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

    At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

    Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own . . .

     

    The Green Ember

    Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

    Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.

    Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?

     

    The Mysterious Benedict Society

    “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children–two boys and two girls–succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they’ll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you’re gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.

     

    Princess Academy

    Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king’s priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year’s time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village.

    The king’s ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess. Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

     

    Wednesday Wars

    Meet Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader at Camillo Junior High, who must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while the rest of the class has religious instruction. Mrs. Baker doesn’t like Holling—he’s sure of it. Why else would she make him read the plays of William Shakespeare outside class? But everyone has bigger things to worry about, like Vietnam. His father wants Holling and his sister to be on their best behavior: the success of his business depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has so much to contend with? A bully demanding cream puffs; angry rats; and a baseball hero signing autographs the very same night Holling has to appear in a play in yellow tights! As fate sneaks up on him again and again, Holling finds Motivation—the Big M—in the most unexpected places and musters up the courage to embrace his destiny, in spite of himself.

     

    Okay For Now

    In this companion novel to The Wednesday Wars, Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that some people think him to be. He finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, who gives him the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.

     

    The Hobbit

    Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.

     

    On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

    Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

    Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness presents a world of wonder and a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to discuss for its layers of meaning about life’s true treasure and tangle of the beautiful and horrible, temporal and eternal, and good and bad.

     

    HIGH SCHOOL & ADULT AUDIOBOOKS


     

    The Best Audiobooks for High Schoolers and Adults

     

    Prepare for tears, that’s all I’ll say.

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

    But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

     

    The Lord of the Rings

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

    In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

    I think it goes without saying, but obviously after reading The Fellowship of the Ring you should go on to read the rest of the series that was originally intended to be one book: The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

     

    The Book Thief

    When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

    It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

    Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

     

     

    This book moved me to tears and I learned some lessons on how to be a good neighbor from it.

    A Man Called Ove

    Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon – the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell”. But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

     

    The Help

    Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure.

    Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town . . .

     

    The Hiding Place

    Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps. Only Corrie among her family survived to tell the story of how faith ultimately triumphs over evil.

     

    End of the Spear

    Steve Saint was five years old when his father, missionary pilot Nate Saint, was speared to death by a primitive Ecuadorian tribe. In adulthood, Steve, having left Ecuador for a successful business career in the United States, never imagined making the jungle his home again. But when that same tribe asks him to help them, Steve, his wife, and their teenage children move back to the jungle. There, Steve learns long-buried secrets about his father’s murder, confronts difficult choices, and finds himself caught between two worlds.

     

    And there you have it – a great selection of audiobooks! I plan on continuing to update this list as I come across other great ones so be sure to pin this list and check back.

    Please let me know some of your favorite audiobooks, I would love to listen to them!

     

    The Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips - books the whole family will love

  • The Books I Read in January - a reading wrap of the all the books I read this month, including the best and the worst
    adults,  book lists

    January Reading Wrap Up

    Here’s a bonus book list for you this week – my January reading wrap up!

    January was a good reading month for me, I read eleven books from a variety of genres. I read 2/28 books from my list of books I want to read in 2019, decent but I’m going to have to step it up a bit to reach my goal for the year.

    At the beginning of January I came across some really good book channels on YouTube and I think that will also influence some of the books I read this year, three of the books from this list were thanks to some of those channels.

     

    The Books I Read in January - a reading wrap of the all the books I read this month, including the best and the worst

     

    February is also starting out as a good reading month, if you like books and would like a weekly email with the books I am enjoying and what the kids (ages 5 & 8) are reading, you can sign up for the bookish newsletter here:




    Check to confirm you would also like to receive regular bookish emails.

     

     
    The Books I Read in January - a reading wrap of the all the books I read this month, including the best and the worst
     

     

    WHAT I READ IN JANUARY

    Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain

    3.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Foxes have always been some of my favorite animals and this non-fiction book really intrigued me, even though I don’t live in Britain. Truthfully I ended up not finishing the book but I feel like I got enough out of it and read nearly all of it to be able to accurately rate it.

    My only real big complaint was that my library didn’t have the physical book, only the ebook and this cover looks gorgeous, I would love to see it in person.

     

    His Last Bow: A Reminiscence of Sherlock Holmes

    5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    I finished this a few days into the year, I had tried to read all of the Sherlock books in 2018 and this was my last one and I didn’t quite get it done in 2018. I really enjoy all the Sherlock short story books, this one included.

     

    The Giver Quartet
    (The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger & The Son)

    The Giver: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Gathering Blue: 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Messenger: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Son: 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

    The Giver was my Classics Book Club read for the month. While technically not a classic (it was only published in 1993) it is generally considered a modern classic.

    The Giver made me realize how much I enjoy dystopian books, even though I have read quite a few of them for some reason that hadn’t clicked for me before, so I plan on adding more dystopian books into my to read piles this year.

    Also, I didn’t realize when I continued the series that the second book, Gathering Blue, doesn’t follow the same characters or community as The Giver, I think if I would have known that going into it that probably would have bumped it up to a four star for me.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the series as a whole and am glad I continued on with it. Looking back now I don’t know why I gave the last book 3/5 stars, now, a few weeks later I would give it 4/5.

     

    I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage

    4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    This was my library “Literary Society” book for the month. I was raving about this book in my book-ish newsletter a few weeks ago, not in the sense that I wanted to become Hutterite, but just because it was such a fascinating book. Growing up in a Mennonite community (not the horse and buggy type), I thought Hutterites were similar since they started around the same time but there are actually very few similarities.

    While I don’t think that author intended the Hutterites to come across as a cult that is definitely my take from the book and I think she had a very unique perspective and was the ideal person to write it.

     

    Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World

    3.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    This book was recommended to me by one of my good friends. I like to go into books blind, knowing as little about it as possible, and I think that was the downfall of this book for me. I felt like I only “got it” about half way through. I would like to re-read it in the near-ish future and see if that ends up changing my rating. I also read somewhere that this is a book guys generally tend to enjoy more, I’m not sure if that is true but I am curious to get my husband to read it and see what he thinks.

     

    Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows

    2.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐

    I was given this book for free to potentially review. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite of books. First of all, it is a middle grade fantasy, and while I want to read more fantasy this year, I don’t think I want it to be middle grade fantasy. I think if I was 10-12 years old I would have enjoyed it more but as an adult it felt like things just happened too smoothly. I also didn’t like the addition of psychics . . . while I know there are often those kind of characters in fantasy books I didn’t enjoy the word usage because I feel like that can get confusing when there are so called “psychics” in our world as well. I actually ended up giving up on the book with only a few pages left, I felt like I had enough.

     

    And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

    5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    This was by far my favorite book this month. It is a short novella, I think something like 67 pages (with pictures interspersed) about an old man explaining to his grandson that he has Alzheimer’s. The book is so short I don’t want to say much more, but let’s just say: it took me about 45 minutes to read and I had tears streaming down my face by the end. Mine was a library copy but I need to get my hands on a copy for myself and re-read it the next time I need a good cry. I brought it back to the library the night of our Literary Society and raved about it and now I’ve got a number of the ladies there on the list to read it.

     

     

    Perfection

    3.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Perfection is the last place on earth. Everything else was destroyed long before I was born but I don’t know how. Don’t ask questions. That’s what they’ve always taught me. Don’t ask questions and keep the law. Or what? I never knew the answer to that until someone kidnapped me and showed me what was really behind the walls of Perfection. Now I’m breaking the law every day, I can’t trust anyone, and I’m learning exactly what it takes to make a place so Perfect. But around here, too much knowledge will lead to your death.

    This book is written by Merphy Napier, one of the BookTuber’s (YouTuber’s who talks about books) I have been binge watching lately. The book used to be on Amazon but she now put it up for free on WattPad because this was a “for fun” project for her, not that she is trying to be an author. I feel like the book had the feeling of being “self published”, not as refined as published books, but it was really enjoyable and I have been thinking about it a lot since finishing it.

    AMAZON  |  WATTPAD

     

    I would love for you to leave me a comment below and tell me what you have been reading recently, especially if you have some good recommendations!

  • The best fiction and non-fiction chapter books I read in 2018
    adults,  book lists

    My Favorite Books of 2018 & Books I Want to Read in 2019

    This year I am going to do something a little different and share my personal book lists over here. Previously I had been sharing them over on my other blog but this year it feels like this is where they should be.

    I have always been a reader but now a mother and home educator I feel even more aware of how everything I do is setting some type of example for my kids (whether it is a good or no-so-good action) and being an avid reader is an example I want to set. So far I seem to be doing pretty good with that example!

    Today I wanted to share the top books I read in 2018 and then dive into my to read list for 2019.

     

    The best fiction and non-fiction chapter books I read in 2018

     

    In 2018 I read 91 books and for this next year I actually want to read less books. Not because I want to read less necessarily but I want to read slower and also read more classics and non-fiction so I set myself a goal of 60 books for this year.

    Now, let’s get on to my favorite books of 2018! (Just a note, these are my favorites that I read in 2018, not most of them were not actually published in 2018.)

     

    The best fiction and non-fiction chapter books I read in 2018

     

    MY FAVORITE BOOKS I READ IN 2018

     

    NON-FICTION

     

    Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed

    I really enjoyed this book, though I don’t think the subtitle accurately describes it, or maybe I just got something else out of it than intended but for me the book was a lot more about finding God in the hidden moments, something I want to get better at doing.

     

    I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

    I read Ann Bogel’s newest book on our flight to Phoenix last month and Jared was laughing beside me as I laughed out loud while reading it. I feel like I have experienced each of the delights and dilemmas she shared about.

     

    Letters to the Church

    I enjoy Francis Chan’s speaking and his general approach to the Christian life, this book was a really good refresher.

     

     

    Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

    My word for last year was gentle and this book opened my eyes to a few areas I needed to work on and it really make a difference in my year.

     

    Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den

    Corrie Ten Boom is one of my role models. I love how she was just an ordinary person but had such bravery, I admire all that she did.

     

    FICTION

     

     

    Tilly & The Bookwanderers

    A book that every book lover will enjoy! Imagine your favorite book characters coming to life and being your friend.

     

    Sherlock Holmes

    I read all the Sherlock books this year, most of the for the second time, the short stories still remain my favorite but really, I like all of them.

     

    Wuthering Heights

    This was a book I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy and yet I quite did! It’s a great read during the month of October

     

     

    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

    I read (and enjoyed) a few Agatha Christie books this year. This one I read with my classics book club.

     

    The Moving Finger

    This was my first of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books and now I want to read more of them!

     

    And Then There Were None

    I never know where Agatha Christie’s books are going, it’s one of the things I love about them!

     

     

    I Am David

    I read this in high school (as a required read) and didn’t really get it, then this year I re-read it after a friend raved about it and I’m glad I did, what a powerful book!

     

    Vienna Prelude

    This book taught me so much about the events that lead up to World War II!

     

    The Nightingale

    I learned a lot from historical fiction this year! Surprisingly, this one made me think a lot about the Germans who were in the war but didn’t necessarily want to be.

     

     

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    I put off reading this book for a long time because I knew there would be tears. There were. I highly recommend it.

     

    Number the Stars

    I am looking forward to reading this one with the kids down the road, I think it is a really good introduction into WWII for kids.

     

    A Night Divided

    This was a fascinating intro to the Berlin wall for me and has made me interested in learning more about it.

     

    Books I want to read in 2019 - non-fiction, biographies, fiction and classics.

     

    BOOKS I WANT TO READ IN 2019

     

    NON-FICTION

     

    Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – I’ve read shorter versions of his story but I am excited to read this one, I bought a copy thanks to a gift card I got for Christmas so I’ll read this one soon.

    Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family – this book was on my to-read list last year and I never got to it, this year is the year!

    Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken – this one was recommended by one of my good friends so I plan on reading it early in the year. I’ve read some of his fiction but I hadn’t realized he wrote non-fiction as well prior to her recommendation.

    George Muller of Bristol

    Irena’s Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto

    Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It

     

    Because Ephraim is from South Africa we have a connection with that country that can never be broken, I want to read these next two books to learn more about the country he comes from.

    Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

    Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

     

    Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder – who doesn’t want to know more about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life?

    Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

    I Am Hutterite: The Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage – this one I am actually reading right now as part of my book club I’m in at my library, it is a very interesting book so far!

    Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

     

    I’ve chosen Elisabeth Elliot as my literary mentor for the year so I want to read as many of her books as possible, starting with these ones:

    Shadow of the Almighty

    God’s Guidance: Finding His Will for Your Life

    Secure in the Everlasting Arms

    Discipline: The Glad Surrender

    Be Still My Soul: Reflections on Living the Christian Life

     

    The best fiction and non-fiction chapter books I read in 2018

    FICTION

    Great Expectations

    Lord of the Rings – we have been watching the movies and I’ve wanted to read the books forever (I love The Hobbit) so it’s about time I read Lord of the Rings

    Rebecca

    The Book of Negroes/Someone Knows My Name

     

    The best fiction and non-fiction chapter books I read in 2018

     

    The Bell Jar

    Emily of New Moon

    Story Girl

    The Mill on the Floss

    Agnes Grey

    The Little Prince

    Agatha Christie’s books – as many of the ones I haven’t read as I can get in (starting with the ones I own that I haven’t read yet)

  • The Intentional Reading Book List - book suggestions and recommendations for the best books for babies, preschoolers, elementary, middle school, high school and beyond. Plus, receive the bookish newsletter with more recommendations and book extension activities
    adults,  book lists,  books,  elementary,  high school,  middle grades,  picture books

    Introducing: The Intentional Reading Book List & A Bookish Newsletter

    I have always been an avid reader, from sneaking books into the bathroom to read as a pre-teen and early teenager to putting off grown up responsibilities as an adults (*cough* doing the dishes *cough*).

    My to-read list is incredibly long but thankfully I have always believed that there are way too many good books in the world to spend time reading less-than-stellar books, so I stop those books and go on to the next good book.

    In case you are in need of some top notch book recommendations, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’ve recently created my Intentional Reading Book List – over 70 book recommendations that include only the best of the best.

     

    The Intentional Reading Book List - book suggestions and recommendations for the best books for babies, preschoolers, elementary, middle school, high school and beyond. Plus, receive the bookish newsletter with more recommendations and book extension activities

     

    In 2019 one of my goals is actually to read less books because I want to read deeper books, slow down and savor the ones I am reading, plus I want to use some of that time I’ll save and talk (or in this case, write) more about books.

    So, in 2019 I will be launching a new bookish newsletter. This newsletter will include some of our favorite recent reads, extension activities for books, great book deals I come across and other fun book related things. If you enjoy books, you’ll want to sign up.

    Sign up here to receive the Intentional Reading Book List and receive regular bookish newsletters:

     




    Check to confirm you would also like to receive regular bookish emails.

  • A Mother's Education: Books to Read in 2018 - As a lifelong learner I want to constantly growing myself, yes, I get to learn alongside my children as I homeschool them but I also want to be learning on my own. This year I have chosen a literary mentor and a list of books I would like to read.
    adults,  book lists,  mother culture

    A Mother’s Education – The Books I Want to Read in 2018

    Homeschooling is great for parents who want to be lifelong learners. I enjoy picking certain topics to teach my kids that I can learn along with them.

    Though I don’t think my education should solely be tied to theirs. I want to be learning on my own time as well.

    I thought I would share a list of books I want to read in 2018. Back in 2016 I read over 100 books, this year I think I’m around 40. How much I read can really vary from year to year. I definitely didn’t want to pick out every single book I was going to read this year because I am bound to come across some great books throughout the year that I will want to add in but the titles on this list I would like to make sure I get to.

    I read Teaching from Rest a few weeks ago and near the end of the book Sarah Mackenzie talks about the idea of choosing a literary mentor for the year and reading a selection of their works throughout the year. As a bit of a bookworm that idea completely appealed to me.

    I decided to choose C. S. Lewis for my literary mentor for 2018 because I embarrassingly have not read many of his books. Now that I think of it, Chronicles of Narnia might be the only thing of his that I’ve actually finished. So instead of being appalled by myself this year I am going to change that!

    If you’ve read anything on this site before or followed me on Instagram you’ll know we are big fans of the library  (we’ve taken out over $20,000 in books from the library this year!) but for the books that I am have on this list I’ve decided I would like to own each of them. I enjoy highlighting passages and since these are all pretty much classic books I know there will be a lot of highlighting going on! I do own a number of these books already and I’ll be keeping my eye out for the others throughout the year.

    After you’ve read the list leave a comment below and let me know if there is a book you think I should add to my list for the year!

    A Mother's Education: Books to Read in 2018 - As a lifelong learner I want to constantly growing myself, yes, I get to learn alongside my children as I homeschool them but I also want to be learning on my own. This year I have chosen a literary mentor and a list of books I would like to read.

    NON-FICTION

    Mere Christianity

    This is such a classic, how have I not read it???

    The Screwtape Letters

    I’ve had this book for years and haven’t even read it.🤦 This is the year!

    The Great Divorce

    Till We Have Faces

    A Grief Observed

    Surprised by Joy

    The Abolition of Man

    George Müller of Bristol

    I read the Christian Heroes Then & Now George Muller biography to the kids this year, I’m looking forward to digging into his story deeper.

     

    Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian in Community

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a close second  for my literary mentor for this year, maybe next year, in the meantime I still want to read this book.

     

    Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

    I’ve heard great things about this book and can’t wait to read it!

     

    Reading Magic

    We are reading this book for the Intentional Homeschooling Mamas Instagram book club in January (come join us!), this is a re-read for me and truth be told, I’m almost done it already. It’s a good one!

    FICTION

    Chronicles of Narnia

    I’m going to re-read the whole series! (I am actually not even sure if I’ve read the entire series before . . . though I have read a few of them multiple times.)

     

    The Space Trilogy

    I started this trilogy a few years ago but didn’t get very far. Time to start over and go through all three books!

    Sherlock Holmes

    I love Sherlock Holmes. I’ve read most of them before but it’s time to read all the stories!

     

    Little Women

    This one is another re-read but it’s such a great book! I am reading it for my local book club for January and it’s seriously the best time of year to read it.

     

    Jane Eyre

    I’ve started this classic twice but never gotten very far. I’m going to finish it this year!

     

    Great Expectations

    I read Oliver Twist in November (my first time reading Dickens) and really enjoyed it and now I’m looking forward to reading more Dickens. Because I speed read I find his lengthy passages don’t annoy me as much as I assume they do slower readers.

    Okay I think that’s the list, what else should I add?
    (P.S. I may update this list if I get some great suggestions!)

  • The Best Homeschooling and Parenting Books
    adults,  book lists,  mother culture

    The Best Homeschooling & Parenting Books

    I oddly haven’t read a whole lot of homeschooling books. I mean, I’d like to but there is only so much time, right? As a result my to-read list is pretty long!

    I have read some really great homeschooling books so far though, but I put out a call on Instagram to find which books other homeschooling moms consider to be their favorites. And thus this list was born!

    There is definitely some books on this list that fall more in the “parenting” category but seriously, it’s nearly impossible to distinguish where parenting ends and homeschooling begins (truthfully, all we do is parenting and life is all homeschool!).

    I’ll start the list with books I’ve already read and love and include the ones others suggested that I have high on my list after.

    The Best Homeschooling and Parenting Books

    THE BEST HOMESCHOOLING BOOKS

    If you follow me on Instagram you’ll probably already have seen that I am currently reading (and loving) this book. I got it from the library years ago and read it before we were homeschooling but didn’t retain a whole lot, now I bought my own copy and have been highlighting every other paragraph!

    A Charlotte Mason Companion

    Now you can realize the joy filled homeschool of your dreams! This modern classic is written by the homeschool mom who first carried Charlotte Mason’s writings to America in her suitcase in 1987. Miss Mason’s books were soon republished for a new generation. After ten years of intense study and successful application of Miss Mason’s principles with her own children, Karen wrote A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning ™. Today’s parents can now see what a Charlotte Mason education looks like in a contemporary setting while gleaning from its many benefits. Charlotte Mason’s principles of education are not only a way of learning but also a way of life. A Charlotte Mason Companion gives you powerful tools to create an extraordinary learning experience. At the turn of every page, you will meet a practical idea and the inspiration to carry it out. Chapters on using good books, heroes in history, poetry, art and music appreciation, nature study, the atmosphere of home, the discipline of habit, keeping up enthusiasm, (to name a few) are referred to again and again by Karen’s readers. Since its debut in 1998, A Charlotte Mason Companion continues to be one of the most trusted and often quoted books in the home school world. Plenty of encouragement, wisdom and gentle instruction await you in this beautifully written and beautifully illustrated book. You will not want to loan this one out!

    I don’t care which homeschooling philosophy you relate to, whether it is unschooling or otherwise, you need to read this book. Marla does a great job at putting me at ease when I start to worry if I am doing enough, I think this is a must read for every homeschooling mother.

    An Unschooling Manifesto

    A “normal” American family decides that normal just isn’t cutting it anymore. They start doing crazy things like visiting 52 zoos in 52 weeks, taking a 5-week trip to Cambodia, quitting school, and going down this crazy path called unschooling. They decided to take the road less traveled, and it has made all the difference.

    I love this book and the next one I’m sharing of Sally’s, such great encouragement for the homeschool mom!

    Seasons of a Mother’s Heart

    Your life as a mom is a whirlwind of changing seasons that can just as easily exhaust as exhilarate you. Sit down, take a few moments, and allow yourself to be refreshed and encouraged by a few stories, insights, and lessons from a friend. Sally Clarkson opens her heart within the pages of this timeless classic, sharing what she has learned as a homeschooling wife and mother — about herself, her children, and her Lord. Revised and expanded for today’s moms, Seasons of a Mother’s Heart includes four all-new essays by Sally, one for each season of a family’s life, from the renewal of spring and the response of summer to the resolve of fall and the reflection of winter. So step in out of the whirlwind, pour a cup of tea, and take a deep breath of the Spirit with Sally.

    The Ministry of Motherhood

    Because Motherhood Isn’t Just a Job. It’s a Calling.

    A mother’s day is packed with a multitude of tasks that require energy and time: preparing meals, washing clothes, straightening and cleaning the house, and caring for children. These jobs all are necessary and crucially important. But in the dailyness of providing for a child’ s physical, emotional, and social needs, vital opportunities for spiritual nurture and training can be overlooked.

    This doesn’t have to be the case. You can focus your energy on what matters most. Learn how you can:

    • Make Life’s Mundane and Nitty-Gritty Moments Work for You and Not Against You.
    • Discover Ways to Make Character-Building a Natural Part of Live.
    • Teach Your Child in the Same Way Jesus Taught the Disciples.
    • Pass on Crucial Gifts that Will Serve Your Family for a Lifetime.

    Using biblical wisdom and practical teachings, Sally Clarkson shows how you can make a lasting difference in your child’s life by following the pattern Christ set with his own disciples–a model that will inspire and equip you to intentionally embrace the rewarding, desperately needed, and immeasurably valuable Ministry of Motherhood.

    This book changed the way I view my role as a parent, I want to read it each year to remind myself!

    Give Them Grace

    All of us want to raise good kids. And we want to be good parents. But what exactly do we mean by “good?” And is “being good” really the point?

    Mother-daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson contend that every way we try to make our kids “good” is simply an extension of Old Testament Law—a set of standards that is not only unable to save our children, but also powerless to change them.

    No, rules are not the answer. What they need is GRACE.

    We must tell our kids of the grace-giving God who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message your children hear, if you are just telling them to “be good,” then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too.

    Give Them Grace is a revolutionary perspective on parenting that shows us how to receive the gospel afresh and give grace in abundance, helping our children know the dazzling love of Jesus and respond with heartfelt obedience.

    This book has been so good at helping me understand one of my children and myself!

    The Highly Sensitive Child

    Rooted in Aron’s years of experience as a psychotherapist and her original research on child temperament, The Highly Sensitive Child shows how HSCs are born deeply reflective, sensitive to the subtle, and easily overwhelmed. These qualities can make for smart, conscientious, creative children, but with the wrong parenting or schooling, they can become unusually shy or timid, or begin acting out. Few parents and teachers understand where this behavior comes from–and as a result, HSCs are often mislabeled as overly inhibited, fearful, or “fussy,”or classified as “problem children” (and in some cases, misdiagnosed with disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder). But raised with proper understanding and care, HSCs are no more prone to these problems than nonsensitive children and can grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults.

    In this pioneering work, parents will find helpful self-tests and case studies to help them understand their HSC, along with thorough advice on:
    • The challenges of raising an highly sensitive child
    • The four keys to successfully parenting an HSC
    • How to soothe highly sensitive infants
    • Helping sensitive children survive in a not-so-sensitive world
    • Making school and friendships enjoyable

    With chapters addressing the needs of specific age groups, from newborns through teens, The Highly Sensitive Child delivers warmhearted, timely information for parents, teachers, and the sensitive children in their lives.

    Shepherding a Child’s Heart

    Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child’s heart into the paths of life. Shepherding a Child’s Heart gives fresh biblical approaches to child rearing.

    Simplicity Parenting

    Today’s busier, faster society is waging an undeclared war on childhood. With too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, children can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish. Simplicity Parenting offers inspiration, ideas, and a blueprint for change:

    • Streamline your home environment. Reduce the amount of toys, books, and clutter—as well as the lights, sounds, and general sensory overload.
    • Establish rhythms and rituals. Discover ways to ease daily tensions, create battle-free mealtimes and bedtimes, and tell if your child is overwhelmed.
    • Schedule a break in the schedule. Establish intervals of calm and connection in your child’s daily torrent of constant doing.
    • Scale back on media and parental involvement. Manage your children’s “screen time” to limit the endless deluge of information and stimulation.

    A manifesto for protecting the grace of childhood, Simplicity Parenting is an eloquent guide to bringing new rhythms to bear on the lifelong art of raising children.

    The Well-Trained Mind

    Is your child getting lost in the system, becoming bored, losing his or her natural eagerness to learn? If so, it may be time to take charge of your child’s education―by doing it yourself.

    The Well-Trained Mind will instruct you, step by step, on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school―one that will train him or her to read, to think, to understand, to be well-rounded and curious about learning. Veteran home educators Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise outline the classical pattern of education called the trivium, which organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child’s mind and comprises three stages: the elementary school “grammar stage,” when the building blocks of information are absorbed through memorization and rules; the middle school “logic stage,” in which the student begins to think more analytically; and the high-school “rhetoric stage,” where the student learns to write and speak with force and originality. Using this theory as your model, you’ll be able to instruct your child―whether full-time or as a supplement to classroom education―in all levels of reading, writing, history, geography, mathematics, science, foreign languages, rhetoric, logic, art, and music, regardless of your own aptitude in those subjects.

    I haven’t read this book yet but our Instagram book club is going to be reading it over the next month and a half, come join us there if you want to join in!

    Last Child in The Woods

    “I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth-grader. Never before in history have children been so plugged in-and so out of touch with the natural world. In this groundbreaking new work, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation-he calls it nature deficit-to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (Add), and depression. Some startling facts: By the 1990s the radius around the home where children were allowed to roam on their own had shrunk to a ninth of what it had been in 1970. Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind. Nature-deficit disorder is not a medical condition; it is a description of the human costs of alienation from nature. This alienation damages children and shapes adults, families, and communities. There are solutions, though, and they’re right in our own backyards. Last child in the Woods is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research showing that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development-physical, emotional, and spiritual. What’s more, nature is a potent therapy for depression, obesity, and Add. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Even creativity is stimulated by childhood experiences in nature.

    Teaching From Rest

    This new, revised, and first print edition of Sarah Mackenzie’s best-selling eBook version contains 35% new content! Those who have made the decision to homeschool their children have done so out of great love for their children and a desire to provide them an excellent education in the context of a warm, enriching home. Yet so many parents (mainly mothers) who have taken up this challenge find the enterprise often full of stress, worry, and anxiety. In this practical, faith-based, and inspirational book, Sarah Mackenzie addresses these questions directly, appealing to her own study of restful learning (scholé) and her struggle to bring restful learning to her (six) children.

    For The Children’s Sake

    Shows parents and teachers how children’s learning experiences can be extended to every aspect of life, giving them a new richness, stability, and joy for living.

    Every parent and teacher wants to give his or her children the best education possible. We hope that the education we provide is a joyful adventure, a celebration of life, and preparation for living. But sadly, most education today falls short of this goal.

    For the Children’s Sake is a book about what education can be, based on a Christian understanding of what it means to be human-to be a child, a parent, a teacher-and on the Christian meaning of life. The central ideas have been proven over many years and in almost every kind of educational situation, including ideas that Susan and Ranald Macaulay have implemented in their own family and school experience.

    For the Children’s Sake will benefit parents and teachers in any educational setting-homeschooling, public school, or private school. This new edition features an updated cover design.

    This list wouldn’t be complete without a Holt book (or two!), I actually haven’t read any myself yet but these two are on my list!

    Learning All The Time

    The essence of John Holt’s insight into learning and small children is captured in Learning All The Time. This delightful book by the influential author of How Children Fail and How Children Learn shows how children learn to read, write, and count in their everyday life at home and how adults can respect and encourage this wonderful process. For human beings, he reminds us, learning is as natural as breathing. John Holt’s wit, his gentle wisdom, and his infectious love of little children bring joy to parent and teacher alike.

    Teach Your Own

    Today more than one and a half million children are being taught at home by their own parents. In this expanded edition of the book that helped launch the whole movement, Pat Farenga has distilled John Holt’s timeless understanding of the ways children come to understand the world and added up-to-the-moment practical advice. Rather than proposing that parents turn their homes into miniature schools, Holt and Farenga demonstrate how ordinary parents can help children grow as social, active learners. Chapters on living with children, “serious play,” children and work, and learning difficulties will be of interest to all parents, whether home schooling or not, as well as to teachers. This new edition is supplemented with financial and legal advice as well as a guide to cooperating with schools and facing the common objections to home schooling.Teach Your Own not only has all the vital information necessary to be the bible for parents teaching their own children, it also conveys John Holt’s wise and passionate belief in every child’s ability to learn from the world that has made his wonderful books into enduring classics.

    Are there any books you would add to this list?