Archives For Literature

circle c

Circle C Beginnings!

We adore the Circle C Beginnings Books around here! My youngest carries them around and has done many of the learning activities they have available to download on their website (for free:)

I recommend these for your young readers. Children have the excitement of having their own chapter books, but these books are not too long for little ones. Circle C Beginnings also introduces lots of adventures and new concepts and ideas about American History in a fun, family oriented way.

My child really identifies with Andi as a young girl in a large family-although there are plenty of boy characters as well–one of Andi’s best friends is a boy and she has lots of brothers, so, boys should enjoy these as well.

One of my favorite parts of the series has to be the illustrations! Gorgeous, pen and ink illustrations with lots of tiny details to engage the reader. You can see these and download coloring pages on the Andi and Taffy website.

A few other points: the books are paperback and quite inexpensive. You can totally use these as read-alouds with your children–you will not be bored–the storylines are great!

I have more to say about these, but I saw this morning in an email that Books 3 & 4 are now available, so I am copying that email asap below and hope you will check these out and enjoy with your kids!

“Books 3 and 4 of the Circle C Beginnings are now available!

Just in time for spring, Andi’s Fair Surprise and Andi’s Scary School Days are here. Get your own copies of the two newest books here:

* Best deal for the books! FREE coloring pages and learning activites for the Circle C Beginnings are available for download on the Andi and Taffy website: and from the Kregel website.

In addition, A Journey Through Learning has created lapbooks for each book. They’re full-color, with complete instructions for assembly. Tie in history and literature to make the books part of a unit study, if desired.

See sample lapbooks HERE
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image773Do your kids long for stories full of excitement and intrigue? Do you? How about some well written tales of knights and quests, overflowing with the drama of the ultimate battle between good and evil?

I have totally found some great ones! My son and I recently reviewed books 5 and 6 from the Knights of Arrethtrae Series and we were really impressed. We both liked the cover art on the books, and after reading the back panels, I was in a hurry to read the stories.

The tales are written as an allegory–there is no confusion about the fact that the author, Chuck Black is a Christian and is writing these stories as his way to teach his own children (he has 6!) and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

In fact, Black says that he wrote his first book “to inspire his own children to read the Bible with renewed zeal”. I can see the Biblical influences in his works, but he also definitely has created fresh and new stories, complete with complex characters and settings. Themes of morality and virtue, ideas of loyalty and truth form the framework for the exciting plots.

Also, Black is a former f16 pilot and engineer. While I was reading, I appreciated that the battle scenes were very specific–they were described so meticulously and they seemed so logical…so tactical, real. And throughout the different quests the knights faced, these periods made sense to me, ie, they took a reasonable amount of time and effort to complete and while reading, you almost felt like you were going through the process as well. I’m thinking that Black is drawing upon his own life experiences for all this…and it really works!

Now, my readers know I am pretty cheap frugal, and I review often so I save money on things I like. Only occasionally will I run out and buy books and such…but we are getting these books! I plan to get some for Christmas. I actually am going to ask the author to recommend one for a friend of my son who is just entering the Navy as a pilot:) He may be 23, but I think he will enjoy this. They are that good.

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor

Chuck Black

Two friends face the Dark Knight’s deadliest scheme, but only one knight has the courage to overcome.
Sir Quinlan leaves his boyhood friend to serve the Prince, fighting a battle darker and more intense than any he’s ever known. The mysterious Sir Baylor recruits him into the ranks of an elite unit of knights known as the Swords of Valor, but when tragedy strikes and everyone blames Quinlan, the Swords of Valor disband, ending a legacy of heroic deeds.
Can Quinlan reunite the Valor Knights in time to save the people from the Dark Knight’s evil plot to rule the Kingdom of Arrethtrae, or will the Valor Knights lose the most important battle of all?

See a sample of the book

Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest

Chuck BlackA knight left for dead. A country on the verge of ruin. And an evil lord rising to conquer.

The Dark Knight is rising to power, but Cameria and its greatest knight stand in the way. Unleashing a deadly plot from within to conquer Sir Rowan and his beloved Cameria, the evil dark lord is now free to conquer the rest of the kingdom. Rowan must realize his true identity and purpose as a Knight of the Prince, or risk losing his country – and himself – forever.

See a sample of the book

About the series and author:

Chuck Black first wrote Kingdom’s Edge to inspire his children to read the Bible with renewed zeal. This captivating expanded parable led him to write the Old Testament allegories, Kingdom’s Dawn and Kingdom’s Hope. Chuck added three more titles to the series, Kingdom’s Call, Kingdom’s Quest, and Kingdom’s Reign which were released in May of 2007. Chuck’s current works include The Knights of Arrethtrae series.

Chuck is a former F-16 fighter pilot and currently works as an engineer for a firm designing plastic consumer products. He has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and served eight years in the United States Air Force. Chuck and his wife have six children.

You can purchase the books (and ebooks) on the Waterbrook Multnomah site.

You can find out more about the series and the author on the Perfect Praise website. You can also purchase books from all the series, autographed copies, audio books, and even posters on the site. While you are there, let your kids see the Kingdom Fun page. They have beautiful art for desktop wallpaper, coloring pages and more. It looks like they will soon have a Book Club, as well, which sounds like great fun.

Good news! I have a copy of Book 5 and Book 6 to give away!

For the mandatory entry, leave a comment, telling me what interests you most about this series and/or author.

For additional entries, you can:

I will choose a winner on 11/11. Giveaway is for USA and Canada only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments!

*You can also enter a giveaway to win the whole series on the MamaBuzz site!, one for 2 books on Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, and 3 books on Marine Corps Nomads!

This is a Mama Buzz review. The two books from the Knights of Arrethtrae were provided for my review. I have given my honest opinion.

Throughout time, the proverbs of a people have given a glimpse into their culture and shared their most intimate beliefs and values, often with great seriousness and occasionally with great levity.
In researching and compiling this book, Suzanne Woods Fisher has given us a good long look into the culture of the Amish people. I felt as if time slowed down as I read through the chapters and enjoyed the proverbs and bits of explanation of Amish Lifestyles. While many of the proverbs were universal, there was a deep understanding that the Amish value time, clarity, restfulness and God.

I felt refreshed after reading through the book. This is a great gift book, with excellent photography, a nice size and the hardback cover.

Enter here to win a copy of Amish Proverbs!

To enter, just  leave a comment on my blog sharing a family proverb, or wise family advice, or tradition.

And there is way more going on!

Suzanne’s Amish Proverbs just hit the shelves. To celebrate she’s giving away a KINDLE and throwing a party! Let the fun begin.

Find out more about the book, Suzanne and the blog tour here.

Enter Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway

Simple Wisdom giveaway=

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles. The Prize Pack (valued at over $205.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6″, Latest Generation
* Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher
* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 1st.

Sweet Kindle Giveaway
Join Suzanne for a Wrap-up Party on September 1st!

She’ll be announcing the winner of the Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway, chatting with readers, and giving away copies of Amish Proverbs and The Choice! Be sure to join us on Wednesday , September 1st at 8PM EST.

Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life!


I just love the seasons, the cycles of our lives. And, like a little kid, I get excited when I see something I enjoy come back around again. Today I saw that the Not Back to School Blog Hop is back (thanks to Homeschooling Minds and Hearts). My memory was just flooded with thoughts of going back to school as a child, getting those new jeans and backpacks…to thinking about the concept of “NOT Back to school”…a freedom that celebrates the learning but in a whole other way…new memories of gathering up supplies and curriculum to use with my children.

Some of the books, the same. Dragging out my well worn copies of anything C.S. Lewis…of King Arthur and the round table…the Illiad, the Odyssey. Piles of ideas, clippings for Science experiments….

How lucky am I that I get to spend hours each day reading with my children?? Really lucky, I know. I can’t wait for back to school…or not back to school…or unschool…or classical…there will be days that feel like each of those types–I know that. And I am so glad.

Join in the fun at the Not Back to School Blog Hop!

Not Back to School Blog Hop
Now, I just need to finalize our curriculum. I keep adding things!!

Purposeful Reading

Heather —  July 16, 2010
This one will read with me:)

This one will read with me:)

A good blog friend of mine, Annie Kate over at Tea Time with Annie Kate wrote a post today that reminded me of one of the reasons I love reading her blog…because her actions as a homeschool mom–and just as a person–are purposeful, considered and thoughtful.

Why do her posts strike such a chord for me? Well, I think it is that I tend to rush around a bit too much for my own liking, and have trouble sometimes, just sitting down and accomplishing things that I really want to do that take a bit of that sort of consideration and restfulness.

Anyway, today Annie Kate’s post was about keeping a list of books she has read, and participating in a meme that another blog friend, Kristin, over at A Day In The Life, is doing, called 52 Books in 52 weeks.

Not only did I absolutely love the list of read alouds Annie Kate included in her post, but because it is Summer, I was kind of struck by the meme. Hey, I want to do that, my mind just yelled. Which is funny, because I had seen that meme before, and thought Kristin was great for doing it…but I was too busy to really hear or care.

You can also go to the 52 books website...

go to the 52 books website...

Now, with Emma’s scare and diagnosis of epilepsy behind me, all the kids school, and whatever else seemed to happen to me–I’m pretty sure I’ve blocked some stuff out–it really has been a horrible year– basically what I now call my “lost Spring,” …now that’s behind me, and the book lover in me wants to read, wants to make a list, wants to sit down with ice tea and lemonade and do a read aloud, for God’s Sake!

There. I feel better. So, deep down, what appeals to me in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks meme is not whether or not I actually read 52 books. It is that I pay attention to an activity I love, and make a record of some of that….and especially that I add some read alouds, read lazily but with purposefulness, to any remaining babies who will sit with mom and listen…

51dzP4iA3lL._SL300_Wish me luck. If you want in, please join up. Take a look at Kristen’s and Annie Kate’s lists. Sit on the couch and read more than just “The Pigeon Wants a Puppy” by Mo Willams (we LOVE that one, but that’s like a warm-up-:)

If you have any ideas for great read alouds, please leave me a comment!

Anyway, this post kind of answers the 52 book question of the week–what makes me want to read a book? I always want to! I just have to make time. And, here’s a link to one of my reviews to get me started: Wholesome and Fun Summer Read For Teens, a review of Trouble With Treasure, by Susan Marlow.

Last year, I reviewed several books written for tweens. One of my favorites was Sarah’s Wish, by Jim Baumgardner. I loved that his book empowers the teen characters…and doesn’t use cheap tricks, like vampires, for excitement. Just regular life, with some exciting events from history as a backdrop….

An author, history buff and grandfather of homeschoolers with a fun sense of humor, Baumgardner and his writings are an especially good resource for parents of young teens.

Today, Baumgardner is doing some guest blogging posts about creative writing over at the Creative Learners Blog. The post is on The Fundamentals of Writing. Take a look!

The Jesus Book, by Stephen Elkins, is a marvelous resource for anyone who wants to share about Jesus’ life and love with children! When I opened this book up, I thought, “Wow! This is amazing…a question and answer book about Jesus…with maps and a CD!”

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