Beyond the Bright Sea

I recently read Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk with a book club. We all loved it so much that one of my friends decided to read all of Wolk’s books - and pass them on to me. (Thank you Jan! See also Echo Mountain.) Beyond the Bright Sea tells the story of Crow, a young... Continue Reading →

Echo Mountain

I stayed up entirely too late to finish Echo Mountain another excellent story by Lauren Wolk, author of Wolf Hollow. Ellie has decided to make Echo Mountain home since her family lost everything in town during the Depression and had to learn how to make it in the wilderness. Her mother and older sister remember... Continue Reading →

Sweet Home Alaska

You might think that a story about pioneering families in Alaska would be the most unusual part of Sweet Home Alaska, by Carole Estby Dagg. You’d be wrong. The most unusual part, at least in my opinion, are the names of her main characters - three sisters named after Greek muses. The twins are lucky... Continue Reading →

Letters from Cuba

Esther is determined to join her father in Cuba and work to get the rest of her family out of Poland. She is the oldest child, after all, even if she is a girl. Papa agrees, and Esther travels alone across Europe and the Atlantic to join him in Cuba. Her new home enchants Esther,... Continue Reading →

One Time

Gina Filomena has a new neighbor whose wide, welcoming smile catches her off-guard. She like his smile. She likes his imagination, which makes her look at her neighborhood differently. When Antonio shows up at her class, and offers his generous smile to everyone, Gina feels a bit put out. But the tenor of the whole... Continue Reading →

The Penderwicks in Spring

Note: I wrote this review in 2015, but am just now publishing it. Excitement reigned at my house last month. My youngest daughter realized that the library finally had processed the newest book about one of our favorite literary families, the Penderwicks. The day we got the email that her hold was ready, I made... Continue Reading →

Moon Over Manifest

Abilene Tucker has only known life on the road. She and her daddy followed the railways, living in camps while her daddy worked odd jobs to keep them fed. Then one day, her daddy sent her away to live in Manifest, Kansas. Manifest, Kansas. Why there? Why now? Abilene feels abandoned. She knows how to... Continue Reading →

Navigating Early

Jack Baker has lost his mother and his home all at once. He also gained a father he's not seen since before World War II began. They don't know how to be together without Jack's mom. And now Jack is at a strange boarding school in Maine - a continent away from his home in... Continue Reading →

Bronze and Sunflower

Bronze and Sunflower are the names of two children in China who become inseparable friends - and eventually family. This sweet story by Cao Wenxuan was translated from Chinese by Helen Wang. Set during the Cultural Revolution, Bronze and Sunflower is a story of love, hardships and family life in the Chinese countryside (and not... Continue Reading →

Around the World in Eighty Days

Here’s a classic I have never read - until this weekend. I found it in the homeschool box, realized the kids all had to read it and thought I’d better read it, too. Who knew Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne would be so captivating? Maybe you did, but I didn’t! This... Continue Reading →

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