This week’s library chicken is heavy on comfort reading, plus a little middle grades horror, some snarky steampunk, and a little YA superhero romance.
Home in these books takes many forms, but it’s always the place where you just belong.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
When 16-year-old Hattie inherits her uncle’s Minnesota homestead claim, she sets off to build a home for herself in pioneer country. (Middle grades)
When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad
When orphaned Inge Marie comes to live with her grandmother in a little island village, she’s not sure what to expect—but what she finds is just what she needed. (Elementary)
Bright Island by Mabel Louise Robinson
Island-reared Thankful wants to be a sea captain like her grandfather, but her parents send her to boarding school on the mainland. (High School)
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Sam runs away from his crowded New York City apartment to live—alone—in the Catskill Mountains. (Middle grades)
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
Sent to live with relatives in Key West during the Great Depression, 11-year-old Turtle finally starts to come out of her shell. (Middle grades)
The House at World's End by Monica Dickens
Four siblings create a home of their own in a rundown old inn when they’re sent to live with their wealthy-but-unpleasant relatives while their mother is recovering in the hospital. (Middle Grades)
The red-winged blackbirds are back — which means spring is coming, even though our back deck was dusted with snow a couple of days ago. This winter has been cold but not snowy, so we’ve spent a lot of time inside around the fire this year. That means lots of books and artsy-crafts projects in our house.
:: We have a lovely stack of biographies to read for Women’s History Month. (Did you see all the great recommendations we had in the winter issue? I think the Marie Curie biography is one of the best-written biographies I’ve read in a long time, but my daughter is loving Invincible Louisa, which didn’t even end up on our final list for the magazine.)
:: Everybody seems to be having babies this year, and I’ve made Milo and the Puerperium Cardigan (free) so many times I can knit them even when I get caught up in the Buffy musical (which may be the greatest single episode of television ever, no?).
:: My daughter is very into making felt portraits of her favorite anime characters right now, so we have been on the hunt for quality felt. We’re digging the plant-dyed colors from A Child’s Dream, which are richer and more subtle than some of the crayon brights we’ve discovered. Bonus: The pink is apparently just the right shade for Madoka’s hair.
:: Cold weather apparently makes me want comfort books because I have been rereading some of the cheerfully old-fashioned domestic books I loved in my younger days: The Blue Castle (don’t you really want a movie version of this in which Nathan Fillion plays Barney?), A Woman Named Smith,The Grand Sophy,The Rose Revived …
:: Winter is my favorite time to make complicated, lots-of-prep-work-required recipes, and Nigella’s Mughlai Chicken is one of our favorites — creamy and not-too-spicy served over mounds of basmati rice with spinach on the side.
:: This is also our season of board game playing. Wildcraft remains our family favorite — we always cheer when we draw the chickweed card because that is one handy plant — but we have also enjoyed Quixx (a dice game that’s like a cooler, more strategic Yahtzee), Quilt Show, Tokaido (which nicely taps into the kids’ passion for all things Japanese), and the Laser Maze logic game.
:: We have had a lot of fun with the How to Make a Coat of Arms tutorial at the The Postman’s Knock. I think we now have coats of arms for ourselves, the Grimm sisters, Ciel Phantomhive, Pigeon (of Mo Willems fame), and the Baudelaire and Snicket families hanging up in our art room.
What's your family enjoying this March?
Lockwood and Co. battle ghosts in an alternate London, an orphan finds a home at Green Gables, a girl discovers a magical boy in a curious museum, and more books we're reading this month together and separately.