Literary Pursuits

Recent 5-Star Reads

My recommendations from the books I read this past month are heavy on the juvenile side. I usually read pretty evenly from both children’s and adult titles, but most of my favorites from the past few weeks have been children’s books.

As usual, when I talk about books, I provide affiliate links to Amazon which means I might make a small commission if you place an order.

That Book Woman

by Heather Henson

That Book Woman is a picture book about one of the pack horse librarians of the Appalachians during the Great Depression and how she turns a little boy onto reading. I love the illustrations and sweet story.

This book is currently available on Kindle Unlimited. Right now you can subscribe for free for 2 months, which is what I’ve done.

The Adventures of Beanboy

by Lisa Harkrader

The Adventures of Beanboy is a middle grade book that is part comic book, part traditional novel. It is, as you might expect by the cover, a story about a boy who wants to be a comic book writer. However, what I found most compelling was his relationship with his mentally handicapped younger brother.

This book is also currently available on

The Luck of the Buttons

by Anne Ylvisaker

The Luck of the Buttons is about a quirky little girl named Tugs Button who lives in a small town in 1929. Her family is somewhat odd and a little dysfunctional. The story is about Tugs trying to find her own place in the community. I thought it was both hilarious and heartwarming.

Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep

by Gail Carson Levine

Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep is obviously a re-telling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. It’s by the same author as one of my favorite Cinderella re-tellings, Ella Enchanted. I loved the twist in this version of how Princess Sonora has the answers to all the questions most people don’t ask.

This story and others in The Princess Tales series are currently available (“for as long as schools are closed”) to listen to for free at the Audible Stories site.

Around the World Right Now 

by Gina Cascone and Bryony Williams Sheppard

Around  the World Right Now is a fun picture book that teaches about time zones. What I love most about it, though, is the diversity of people and activities portrayed, all happening at any given moment. It’s so easy for us, and especially children, to get so focused on our own lives that we don’t think about how others live.

The Same Stuff as Stars

by Katherine Paterson

The Same Stuff as Stars is about an 11-year-old girl who has been abandoned by her mother to be cared for by her incapable great-grandmother. Her father is in prison and she’s been in and out of foster care. The story is about how she finds her way with the help of not-perfect-but-caring adults who offer hope and assistance in the best way they can.

This book is currently available on Kindle Unlimited.

Reinventing Rachel

by Alison Strobel

Reinventing Rachel is about a young woman who was raised as a Christian and lived a “blessed” life. She had the formula and all the church-y cliches down pat. When her life started falling apart she had no firm foundation to hold onto. It’s the story of how she tried to reinvent herself in another city without God or the church, and then came full circle to understand how God is always there and always faithful even when our pet formulas and expectations don’t work out. 

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

by Philip Yancey

Along the same theme, the idea of prayer is something I’ve struggled with. I have never given up praying but I have sometimes wondered if makes any difference. Author Philip Yancey offers encouraging insights on why prayer is still important even when our faith is weak.

Which of these have you read? Which are you interested in trying? Do you have any recommendations for me? I’d love to know!


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