The House of Wings

My family and I have developed a fun little habit of heading to our local St. Vincent de Paul Charity Resale shop about once a month to donate our excess and rescue books. Sometimes I discover homeschool gold like a 1980s set of Childcraft. Sometimes I find a book set I know nothing about but…

Lucy Maud Montgomery

I would like to think that L.M. Montgomery needs no introduction.   There, that was short and sweet! I do believe most of us have at least heard of Anne of Green Gables, the book, the character, that made Montgomery famous.  It is difficult now to believe that after several rejections from publishers, Montgomery stuck…

Emily Climbs

In this sequel to Emily of New Moon, Emily is 14 years old and has successfully graduated from the local country school. In order for Emily to go on to high school, she has to board in town with nasty, suspicious Aunt Ruth. Aunt Ruth is a trial to Emily because if she doesn’t understand…

Billy and Blaze

I have a cowboy kid. You know, a little guy who loves horses, dreams of living on a cattle ranch, and who believes that the wild untamed West is still out there, waiting for him to put on his boots and spurs so he can saddle up to that special kind of man’s work. I…

All of a Kind Family

I didn’t read Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family until I was homeschooling my children.  My first thought was, “Why didn’t I know about this sweet story when I was a child?”  The first book in the series was published in 1951.  June Cummins, who wrote the foreward for a 2014 edition of More All-of-a-Kind Family, says…

Emily of New Moon

Besides loving L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables because it’s a great story with a timelessly loveable heroine, it is special to me because it is one of the few books my mom introduced me to that she had loved when she was young. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon is special to me because…

Understood Betsy

In 1899 Dorothy Canfield received a B.A. from Ohio State University, then went on to receive a Ph.D. in Romance languages from University of Paris and Columbia University. At a time when women rarely attended college, Canfield was distinguishing herself as a serious academic. In addition to her college and graduate school degrees, she received…

Harold and the Purple Crayon

“Wow,” you’re thinking, “she’s really going deep with this one!”  Well, laugh all you want, but Harold is one of my favorite characters, and it pains me that there are so many folks out there who have never even heard of him.  I will fix that right now! Harold has been around since before I…

David and the Phoenix

“You never know what you will find when you climb a mountain…” While he was a student at Berkeley in the 1940s, Edward Ormondroyd had a vision of a “large pompous bird diving out of a window, tripping on the sill, and crashing into a rose arbor below” (from the author’s letter in the Purple…

The Water Horse

“Writing my books is like handing out presents. Giving children pleasure gives you a wonderful sort of Father Christmassy feeling.” – Dick King-Smith, October 1995 Dick King-Smith was a gift to children. A beloved English children’s author, King-Smith grew up in a sort of well-to-do existence. His family owned a quality paper company and King-Smith…