What We’re Reading – 3rd Week of Advent


This week we read a little gem you won’t find on many Advent book lists.

The Light at Tern Rock (Newbery Library, Puffin)

The Light at Tern Rock, by Julia Sauer

But it’s worth your while to check it out.  11-year-old Ronnie and his aunt agree to tend a lighthouse on a far-out rocky island so its keeper can take a long overdue vacation, on the one condition that the keeper is back well in time for them to get home for Christmas.  As the days go by, however, it becomes quite clear to Ronnie that like it or not he is going to be spending this Christmas on Tern Rock.  Ronnie is furious, but Aunt Martha wants to make the best of it.  The story ends on Christmas Eve and is just lovely.

The Light at Tern Rock is a Newbery Honor book from 1951.  It would be perfect Advent reading for a 3rd-6th grader, or as a family read-aloud. It’s only 5 chapters long, and we finished it in a few sittings.  The illustrations are quite beautiful and reminded me of Robert McCloskey’s artwork in One Morning in Maine.

Front cover

Front cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(But save that one for summer).

William and I just read An Early American Christmas, by Tomie dePaola.

An Early American Christmas

You probably knew that the Pilgrims didn’t celebrate Christmas, right?  No Popish holidays for them!  Although Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran settlers always celebrated Christmas, the holiday wasn’t widespread in America until the mid 1800’s, due to the strong Puritan influence from New England.  DePaola says his story was inspired by the true story of a man chased out of a Puritan town for being a “Christmas man.”  His story is about a “Christmas family,” who settles in New England in the early 1800’s.  Lucky for them, their neighbors are just curious.

We like to read The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice on the first day of winter.


I also just ran across this book for $2 at our Homeschool Store.  I don’t know if we will have time to read it before Christmas, but I may try because it sounds so good.

Elin’s Amerika, by Marguerite de Angeli

We’ve read other books by de Angeli that we’ve really enjoyed.  In this one, set in a Swedish settlement in America in 1648, Elin is the only girl among all the settler children.  She’s wishing for a friend to play with when she meets a friendly Indian woman.  It’s also almost Christmastime, and I’m going to bet Elin gets a Christmas surprise in the form of a new shipment of immigrant kids.  This would be perfect for William, who’s studying early American history, and Marie, who often feels like the only girl on the block. 🙂

And a few more we hope to get to before Christmas…

Christmas in the Big Woods

Christmas in the Big Woods

Merry Christmas, Strega Nona

Merry Christmas, Strega Nona

The Legend of the Poinsettia

Front Cover

and the best Christmas book ever,

The Clown of God.

Front Cover

What would Christmas be like without Tomie dePaola?

Check out more books today at Housewifespice!



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