The Jumping Off Place

The Jumping-Off Place Marian Hurd McNeely I recently happened upon two Newbery Honor Books that caught my attention;   The Jumping-Off Place, which won the Honor in 1930, and Doris Gates’ Blue Willow, a 1941 winner.  I picked up The Jumping-Off Place because I assumed, from the title, that it must have something to do with…

Blue Willow

Blue Willow by Doris Gates was a 1941 Newbery Honor Book.  Between 1930 and 1940, Gates worked as a children’s librarian in Fresno, California, where she became familiar with many children of migrant workers during the Great Depression.  One notable aspect of this book is that it is considered to be, if not the first,…

Know and Tell: The Art of Narration

My homeschooling style can best be described as “relaxed classical” or “love of learning through living books.” In ordinary words, I am homeschooling for heaven not Harvard. That said, if God’s plan for my children includes Harvard, I want them to be adequately prepared to meet the challenge. In our homeschool, we are focused on…

Keeper of the Bees

  The Keeper of the Bees has to be one of my all-time favorite books.  When we talk about the love of things Good, True, and Beautiful, this book comes to mind.  It is the last book written by Gene Stratton Porter before her death in 1924. Our hero, James Lewis MacFarlane, a stalwart Scotsman,…

The Hobbit Club

Last year at about this time, some friends and I decided to start a book club for us grownups (as opposed to the book clubs for young readers and teens that I was already doing). We settled on reading Tolkien with the aid of Joseph Pearce and our Hobbit Club was born.  In our first…