My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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Little House in the Highlands - A review

Little House in the Highlands is chronologically the first of the Little House Prequel books. It is the story of Martha Morse, the maternal great-grandmother of Laura Ingalls Wilder, written by Melissa Wiley.

Martha is a spirited little 6-year-old girl who lives on a loch in Scotland with her parents and four siblings. They live in the big stone house where her father is the laird, surrounded by smaller cottages of families that rent and farm the surrounding land.

As in the original Little House books, we see life through the eyes of the young heroine. The book is mostly about her joys and struggles as the laird's youngest daughter living in the late 18th century. Mrs. Wiley takes us inside the day-to-day life of the stone house including the ongoing cooking, cleaning, spinning, sewing and all of the seasonal farm work and weaves it masterfully in and out of the story line. This was so interesting to my own children that we are set to make our own bannocks (bread) and try to learn a bit about spindles!

The book also has some enchanting tales of Scottish Lore about fairies and the wee folks. For my daughter, the story of the farmer's daughter and the fairy's wedding dress sparked quite a bit of conversation and narration!

This book also gives a good feel for the beauty and geography of Scotland and was a good starting point for our homeschool study of that region.

As I read the story aloud to my children, I had a bit of trouble with my own Scottish brogue (I definitely don't have a drop of Scottish in me!) but towards the end of the book I felt quite satisfied that I was doing a pretty good job. At least the kids enjoyed it and I'm sort of keeping it up in my everyday language which gives them all a giggle.

I just finished reading this volume to my 11-and 9-year old sons and my 7-year-old daughter. I wondered if the boys would enjoy it as much as they had Farmer Boy and they did! They thoroughly empathized with her feelings of being too young or too small to do something, and her interactions with her siblings, parents and other friends. As in Farmer Boy, many of the chapters could stand alone as little stories. There was plenty of mischief and adventure to keep the children wanting more, and enough interesting tidbits about the Scottish people, history and culture to keep me as the adult reader interested as well!

We are anxiously looking forward to starting the next book, The Far Side of the Loch

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