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Book List for Boys

Although the list has boys in mind, my daughter would also say these are pretty good reads. When choosing books to read to my children I like to find ones which are well written- no twaddle as Charlotte Mason would put it. I also like to choose books which encourage honour and noble character. A lot of modern fiction reflects the dishonour and lack of respect so common in society today. This list has many books we have read as family read alouds as well as books the children have read themselves. A book list with boys in mind (that girls will love too) The Crown and Covenant trilogy by Douglas Bond The trilogy: Duncan’s War, Kings’s Arrow and Rebels’s Keep. These books follow the M’Kethe family through the period in Scotland’s history where Christian covenanters were persecuted mercilessly. The books are wonderfully written, with lots of adventure. The godly, devout family have to navigate commitment to Christ, and respecting authority- when that authority is wicked. Bond teaches through these books that the Christian life is not black and white, that following Christ can have a high price. I particularly enjoyed the characterisation, and the honour that the children had for their godly parents. Noah frequently would ask for “one more chapter”, and would be visibly excited by the action in the books. I would warn however, Bond is graphic in how he describes the torture and violence of these times. In the second of the books the main character has to save his “sister’s virtue” against raping pillaging highlanders. Noah did not understand what this meant, and I explained that the bad men were wanting to attacked the girl, and she couldn’t defend herself against them. The final book also has some bad language, I edited this as I read aloud. However, it is one of the best series we have read. We are just beginning a second trilogy by Bond, this time set in pre-revolutionary America. The Narnia Books by C.S. Lewis This is such an obvious choice. They really are so good. All the children love these stories. We have been reading through the series of them this year. Little House on the Prarie By Laura Inglis Wilder These stories may not at first glance be “boy” books, by the life of the Inglis’ family is not some pretty, easy happy-go-lucking one. Their life was hard. Pa is a great role model for boys. When I started to read these to the boys, at first they were not keen, thinking they were girl’s books. But very...

Preparing for Christmas: Reading List

Over the years we have discovered many charming Christmas stories, and we try to add to our collection each year. Part of my preparations for Advent is compiling a list of books to share together over the coming nights. Here is a selection that we have come to love, and a couple we are to discover this year together. I have a range that is suitable for children of various ages. Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift We have used this Advent devotional for a couple of years now. Ann’s writing sparkles, and her style invokes a strong sense of Christmas. This devotional leads us through the Old Testament, and points the way to Bethlehem. I also use her adult devotional as well for my own quiet time. On that Christmas Night by Mary Joslin I love this retelling of the Christmas story. The illustrations are beautiful, and complement the text. Ituku’s Christmas Journey by Elena Pasquali We have had this story since Rebekah was a toddler. It tells the Christmas story through the eyes of a little eskimo boy journeying to see the new born baby Jesus. It follows in the tradition of Christmas stories like Babushka. Truly a delightful tale. Alfie’s Christmas by Shirley Hughes My boys love the Alfie books. And this tale of a traditional family Christmas is pure heart-warming joy. The Wee Christmas Cabin of Carn-na-ween by Ruth Sawyer This sad Christmas fairy tale set at the time of the Irish potato famine is unlike the other books listed. It follows the life of a poor abandoned orphan and how the little “gentle people” reward her, as her life of kindness and hardship, comes to an end. Starlight in Tourrone by Suzanne Butler This is a story we have yet to read, so I cannot make any comment on it so far đŸ™‚ I Saw Three Ships by Elizabeth Goudge I loved this story last year. It is a sheer joy. The text is wonderful. The story is one of hope and healing. The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden I have not read this but Rebekah enjoyed it. It is the tale of an orphan girl, and old woman, and a doll. I have been told that the boys will really enjoy it. The Bakers Dozen by Aaron Shepard This is another story we have been reading for a few Christmases now. It is a story of St Nicholas set in a Dutch colonial town in America. The illustrations in this story are also beautiful. The Gift of the Magi by...

The Benefits of Reading Biographies

My big girl and I have been having a read-aloud together for a while now. She’s a very competent reader in he down right- she doesn’t need me to read to her, in fact she kept me right with the Elvish whilst I read aloud Lord of the Rings! But she still enjoys being read to, and it is a special time for us to spend together. About a year ago I started to concentrate on reading Christian biographies as her read aloud. These are not the children’s versions of biographies, but the kind I would read. This practise has been of benefit to us both. We are both partaking of the pearls that the patriarchs of the faith have gleamed. From Corrie Ten Boom we were inspired by her faith under great trial, and we’ve been inspired by those who lived by faith for their every need: living lives of prayer. I found last year the biographies we read inspiring for myself. They helped me remain focused despite the struggles we were facing. They helped me stay faithful in prayer, when I felt like giving up. Seeing how God acted through the faithfulness of his servants encouraged me to trust in the God who never changes. Reading biographies of those who have gone before: men and women with the same failings as us all, and yet doing extraordinary things for God creates a treasury of testimony to draw upon. The Bible teaches us to “keep the testimonies” of God: “Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.” Deuteronomy 6:17 Deuteronomy 6 also impresses upon us the importance of passing the testimonies of God onto our children. By reading biographies of the men and women of God who have gone before us we pass on the testimonies of what God has done in their lives. The Hebrew word for testimony comes from the root word meaning to “do again”. This is why testimony is so important. They teach us that the God who was faithful in the Bible, who did extraordinary things for His people thousands of years ago, has been doing extraordinary things throughout his dealings with men, and therefore will do extraordinary things with us too. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

The Power of a Good Story

Today was wild- not the weather- but the boys, although the weather played a big part. After what feels like weeks of rain they all have a bit of cabin fever. Now when I say wild I mean we were seriously worried the neighbours were not going to appear at the door to complain, and when the DPD guy brought a parcel I had to explain to him they were play “dogs” hence they were barking at him. Even an afternoon bath did not work to soothe and calm their wild ways. What did work- a story (well a couple). We snuggled up on the couch and they produced their books. Thomas’ one was rather unremarkable, but he enjoyed it. But Jude and Noah their books were wonderful. As the words flowed it was like a spell that brought calm; and a peace descended upon them. Jude has been re-reading (well having them as his read-aloud) his collection of Laurence Anholt books. Anholt tells the stories of great artists through their relationships with children. The illustrations reflect the artist whose story is being told and the text is dazzling. Tonight we had Monet all four children gathered round captivated by the art and the beauty of the tale. His eyes lit up as he excitedly asked that tomorrow we read the one about Leonardo Va Vinci, that one is his favourite. Noah is going through the Little House on the Prairie books. The text here also sparkles. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of life on the prairie, the beauty of the nights hushed these wild boys into tranquility. The house restored to order they all went off to bed content and quiet… truly the power of a beautiful story. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Winter Reading Ideas for Children and Mama

With long cold nights what better than to snuggle up with a good book? Here are some suggestions- past and present- to give you some inspiration. Lets start with some seasonal reads: I saw Three Ships by Elizabeth Goudge. This short little chapter book is perfect for the run up to Christmas. Light hearted, and beautifully written. Fantastic for all the family to enjoy. The Bakers Dozen: A St Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard. A lovely picture book with beautiful illustrations. This is a favourite with the boys. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickons. Seasonal favourite, for those who want something a bit more meaty. The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. A beautiful Christmas devotional for adults. Voskamp’s writing is simply perfect for Christmas. The Christmas Angel by Abbie Farwell Brown. This is one recommended by Beka, who has really enjoyed it. It also has the added bonus that it is free to download on Kindle :). Now for some general books great for winter. Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. This is a great book to start the New Year. Full of encouragement to inspirational living. Last winter we read through the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. Both seem rather fitting for a wintry read aloud. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Like the Tolkien classics this just seems fitting to read on long winter nights. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This is my current read. And the bleakness of Yorkshire is better appreciated in winter, than summer I feel. A good one to pick up over the holiday season. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This book sees Laura in her mid-teens, and the town facing a desperate fight for survival in an unusually harsh winter. White Boots by Noel Streatfield. Beka has read most of the Streatfield books, this one is on her winter reading list! This list is in no particular order. Hopefully there will be some inspiration. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Creating a Culture of Reading

Rome wasn’t built in a day; and creating a culture of reading is not something achieved with a grand one off gesture, it is created with daily perseverance, with one more chapter, one more poem, one more book through the years. There has been a lot in the media lately about the importance of continued reading aloud even when a child is an independent reader. Now with four children aged 10 down to 4 years this means reading aloud to keep everyone happy involves many different books. My 10 year really doesn’t want to listen to The Tale of Tom Kitten, AGAIN (to be honest I’d like my little Beatirx Potter fan to broaden his literary horizons a little!); and the books that will interest and challenge my 10 year old are too advanced for the boys. So to create a culture of reading that we all enjoy I have different books on the go. Each child has their own read aloud. My 10 year old daughter and I read a Christian biography (generally) once the boys are in bed, something suitable for her but something I would be interested in reading also, we don’t do this every night I want this to be an enjoyable time, not a chore. My 4 year old has various books that preschoolers like, his night time story is important to him, but we also read at different times through the day as time allows (Beatrix Potter plays a big part in his life just now!). The other boys are read to when we can fit it in through the day. Some evenings we can fit in a read aloud time for each child, sometimes not. And there individual books often interest one of their siblings, for example, Just William was Noah’s read aloud but Beka sat in on it too and both giggled heartily. I will also add read alouds into our school day, for example we are reading the Bronze Axe as part of our history work just now. I will also have books we can dip into as a family, for example “Parables of Nature” or “Trial and Triumph”. Most of all I make reading a priority, the goal is to create a love of reading in the lives of all my children. Sometimes I feel like I’ve failed that day, that we have hardly read anything. Sometimes I feel like I can’t face reading another children’s book. But it’s about perseverance and finding books that you enjoy as well as your children. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...
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