Best books of the month

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Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

It’s that time again – another edition of Best Books of the Month. The time when we help each other find new titles that the kids (or the mamas and the papas!) might love.

If you missed last month’s recommendations and would like to take a look, you can find that post here.

Here are the books we’ve been loving in our home recently:

* Moments that Matter: Real Life Photography Techniques for Capturing the Joy and Wonder of Childhood by Farrah Braniff

This book came across my path right when I had been wishing for a resource to teach me how to take better photos. I have a basic Canon Rebel DSLR and I know it can do more than I know how to do with it. I’ve been wanting to get it off auto mode more often, and this down to earth guide has been super helpful!

* A Million Little Ways: Uncovering the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily Freeman

A beautiful, inspiring read for Christians who believe they have more to offer and give the world. You’re right – life art is your medium each and every day.

* Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream by Holley Gerth

I’m a big fan of Holley’s encouraging style of writing. If you have a dream but aren’t sure how to pursue it, this 40 day devotional can help you get started.

* The Growly Books: Begin by Philip & Erin Ulrich

An adventurous read for the 8-10 crowd; also makes a good read-aloud for ages 6 and up. Find my full review here. (Also: My kids are thrilled that the second book in the series will be coming out later this month!)

* Childhood of Famous Americans series

These fictionalized biographies make US history come alive for readers in the 8-12 age range. Jonathan (9) has been enjoying these lately and eagerly filling me in on all the details.

Also check out this page that divides these titles up based on chronological order–awesome!

best books of the month

Now on to the titles your family enjoyed this month! All of these received 4 or 5 stars from those who recommended them on Facebook.

I’ve loosely organized these based on age range, but bear in mind that readiness varies from family to family and child to child. So take a good look at the descriptions to decide what belongs on your bookshelf.

4-8 years

8-12 years

12 and up

For even more teen book recommendations, check out this helpful Facebook thread!

For the mamas & papas

US readers – looking for Thanksgiving books?

If you’re looking for picture books on Thanksgiving, I shared some of my favorites in this post a few years ago. Enjoy!

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”
~ Anna Quindlen

Now it’s time to share your favorites! What have you and yours read in the past month that you love?

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. I am loving the unschooling handbook by Mary Griffith and sadly have to return it to the library today! So on to my Amazon list it goes. It’s one I think I’ll go to often. Thanks for the lists! So helpful in finding new titles to love.
    Kelly Sage’s latest post: Amahl and the Night Visitors- Children’s Opera- GIVEAWAY

  2. So many greats here, Jamie. Happy, happy you’re doing this.

  3. We have also enjoyed the Grandma’s attic books, the Caddie Woodlawn books, little house series ( just did By the Shores of Silver Lake). Currently we are reading Children of Noisy Village which the kids love( great for this time of year). Next we will read Christmas at Tern Rock.

  4. Great book list! Check out more interesting and educational titles from Usborne books and more at

  5. My daughter enjoys the Famous Americans Series. I am working through The Write Start from the library. Definitely worth checking out and buying!

  6. Loved Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal: cooking with economy and grace
    And, Rules of Civility, a novel about Manhattan in the late 1930’s has the most gorgeous writing: light and lyrical and unself-conscious.
    Rachel @ 6512’s latest post: The magical night of Halloween

  7. I am currently reading A Million Little Ways and LOVING it! I just finished reading the 2nd book of the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson-North or Be Eaten to my 8 and up crowd. We are all asking for another chapter. My 8 and 9 year old are reading the Sugar Creek Gang series by Paul Hutchens. My 10 year old is enjoying The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward. I also just started Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas.

  8. Great Post! Thanks for all the good reads…..
    Wendy J @’s latest post: It All Started With a Flu Shot

  9. I haven’t read the Balloons Over Broadway book, but it looks absolutely PERFECT for us. We have a special tradition of watching the Macy’s parade every year and my 4 year old son LOVES it. Thanks for the recommend. This book will be great to read together 🙂
    Kat’s latest post: Good to be Back

  10. For the preschool set: Dig, Dog, Dig
    For the mamas: Language of Flowers
    Emily @randomrecycling’s latest post: Why Disney Planes movie will be a family favorite.

  11. I just devoured Leonard Sax’s “Boys Adrift” last week. A must read for anyone involved in the raising of boys!! Now I’m currently enjoying “Last Child in the Woods.” For the kiddos, this month we’re reading Roxaboxen (delightful book about the wonders of free play in childhood), The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and Duck for President (to learn about the process of elections).

  12. I used the 4-8 year old list to select books for my children, all 5 years and younger.I read the Macy’s parade book to my oldest today, and I found it captivating! Love your blog!!!

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