The Big Family Book Party: May, 2017

LauraAll Posts, Books

Although April showers are bringing May showers around here, we’re celebrating this month’s Book Party with flowers anyway.  Here’s what we loved in April and recommend for your May. 🙂

For the adventure-lover: The Green Ember series is sweeping the young adult and read-aloud communities by storm. Lia is the first person in our family to “hop” into the series and, boy is she in. She loved it. (She already started Ember Falls, the second book in the series… look for that recommendation in June.)

The synopsis from Amazon: “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.”


For the school boy: The Usborne Living Long Ago is a homeschooling standard for little ones. Every day, our 6th grader reads a few pages of this book to our Kindergarten Superhero. Learn how people lived, dressed, ate, and traveled through history. His adjective for the book? “Awesome.” His favorite pages are those that explain “how people got around”.


For anyone learning how to be a true friend: Little Blue Truck features 2 trucks, plenty of animal noises, a heroic toad, and a celebration of friendliness. This one is a keeper. And, apparently, a real tear-jerker.


For a quick, happy read before nap time (or for your favorite chicken):

Laura’s Little House is our 3-year old’s recent go-to book. It’s a simple flap-book with sweet illustrations from the Little House on the Prairie Series. Audrey loves the page where Ma is cooking stewed pumpkin in her cast iron kettle.

For your preteen/ teen who loves humor, adventure, and fantasy: On the Edge of the Sea of Darkness is the first book in Andrew Peterson’s quirky and endearing Wingfeather Saga. This is another series that is taking the YA/ read-aloud community by storm.

The synopsis from Amazon:” Andrew Peterson spins a quirky and riveting tale of the Igibys’ extraordinary journey from Glipwood’s Dragon Day Festival and a secret hidden in the Books and Crannies Bookstore, past the terrifying Black Carriage, clutches of the horned hounds and loathsome toothy cows surrounding AnkleJelly Manor, through the Glipwood Forest and mysterious treehouse of Peet the Sock Man (known for a little softshoe and wearing tattered socks on his hands and arms), to the very edge of the Ice Prairies.” 

Viv loved this delightful story right away and is waiting for the second book through inter-library loan. It should arrive any day now… (We’re especially excited to “meet” Andrew Peterson through August’s Author Access event at The Read-Aloud Revival.)


For the C.S. Lewis and Tolkien fan: Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings is my five-star recommendation for anyone interested in the Inklings, writing, community, collaboration, or mentorship.

The author, Diane Pavlac Glyer, is a leading expert on The Inklings (the band of brilliant writers who collaborated on one another’s work) and shares insights on primary sources – letters, conversations, and notes.

When I read BandersnatchI felt like I was standing outside the window of an Inkling meeting – papers riffling, pipe smoke billowing, tea cups clinking – and I couldn’t stop staring. Time vanished! The Inklings inspire me to write, think, and build friendships with other people who write, think, and build friendships.


(Although Ryan would have posed for his picture with the book and some flowers – definitely, no question – he happened to have lent the book to a friend. True story. To make it up to you, I’ll post a few extra photos of the kiddos revealing how easy it is to create literary bliss around here… and explaining why I rarely do Instagram.)

For your baseball/ history lover: This month, Ryan recommends Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series. He loves stuff like this: the true story behind history-shaping events, revealing the fiber of man’s character and the impact of his decisions.

The Synopsis from Amazon: “The headlines proclaimed the 1919 fix of the World Series and attempted cover-up as “the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America!” First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation’s leading gamblers to throw the Series in Cincinnati.”



The Photobombing Chicken


The Photobombing Dog


There’s that chicken again.


Ah, yes… the photobombing watering can.

Love our book suggestions? Check these out, too:

The Big Family Book Party: April, 2017

The Big Family Book Party: March, 2017