Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Red Reading Boots

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Brambly Hedge

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill
When they were lit­tle, both of our kids had a fas­ci­na­tion with anthro­po­mor­phic mice. One actu­al­ly had a set of imag­i­nary mice friends who pre­ced­ed us into anx­i­ety pro­duc­ing sit­u­a­tions, of which there are many when you are a small child. These benev­o­lent mice (who had names, spe­cif­ic jobs, and amaz­ing vehi­cles of trans­porta­tion) went ahead and checked out wed­dings, Mom­my-and-Me music class, doctor’s offices, camp­sites, kinder­garten, etc.… more

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Enola Holmes Mysteries

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill The summer’s road­trip is behind us — a won­der­ful vaca­tion had by all. We were in two cars this year due to dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tions at the start, but we met up for the sec­ond half of the week. The car my daugh­ter and I drove was equipped with sev­er­al audio­books. The boys neglect­ed this detail, prob­a­bly because they were pack­ing for sur­vival in the wilder­ness.… more

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Mockingbird…

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill We are talk­ing a lot these days at our house about Harp­er Lee’s To Kill a Mock­ing­bird and Go Set A Watch­man. As a fam­i­ly we lis­tened to To Kill A Mock­ing­bird, nar­rat­ed by Sis­sy Spacek, last sum­mer on our vaca­tion. Every­one in the car was riv­et­ed to the story…but both of the kids will tell you they real­ly didn’t like it.… more

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In Which the Boy Cleans His Room …

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill We’re at the one-month mark before #1 Son leaves for his first year of col­lege. This is big for our fam­i­ly. (I real­ize it’s a big thing for every fam­i­ly, but it’s feel­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly per­son­al for us right now — indulge me.) It’s entire­ly right, he’s absolute­ly ready, and he’s going to a place that’s a good fit for him.… more

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Anne of Green Gables

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill I received Anne of Green Gables for my tenth birth­day. I fell in love imme­di­ate­ly. Absolute­ly In Love — that’s the only way I can describe it. For the next sev­er­al years, I received the next book in the Anne series each birth­day and Christ­mas. I could spot the book in my pile of wrapped gifts — I have the Ban­tam Stare­fire Col­lec­tion, small mass mar­ket paper­backs not quite sev­en inch­es tall — the very size and shape of those books made my heart beat faster.… more

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The Betsy Books

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill My daugh­ter and I are fin­ish­ing what we call “The Bet­sy Books” — the won­der­ful series of books by Maud Hart Lovelace that fol­lows Bet­sy Ray and her friends as they grow up in Deep Val­ley, Min­neso­ta. When I first read the Bet­sy Series, I start­ed with Bet­sy and the Great World and Betsy’s Wed­ding and did not dis­cov­er the ear­li­er books until we moved to Min­neso­ta, where they were all gath­ered togeth­er on a shelf in the library.… more

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How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill Our house­hold has been patient­ly (and not so patient­ly) stuck in a long sea­son of wait­ing for deci­sions around some impor­tant and excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Every­one has some­thing up in the air. Appli­ca­tions, inter­views, tests, hopes, and dreams are all out there, and now we watch for the mail, check mes­sages com­pul­sive­ly, and try to make friends with the sus­pense….… more

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Princess of the Midnight Ball

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill My twelve-year-old daugh­ter is inhal­ing books these days — a stack at a time out of the library, every book­shelf in the house pil­laged, major insid­er trad­ing at school, etc. There’s no way I can keep up, but when I move a book from here to there I often flip through or ask her opin­ion.… more

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If You Plant a Seed

by Melanie Heuser Hill My deal­er (in books, my drug of choice) and I have a spe­cial rela­tion­ship. I send her emails of books I’d like to have as I have a need, and she gets them for me. I know that doesn’t sounds all that spe­cial, but because she keeps a run­ning tab for me and because I’m usu­al­ly not in a hur­ry, I some­times for­get what I’ve ordered by the time we meet on the street cor­ner for the hand-off.… more

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In God’s Hands

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill This week, I am read­ing (for the umpteenth time) what I think of as The Very Most Favorite Book of the chil­dren in my church. They call it That Book About Bread. The book is In God’s Hands by Lawrence Kush­n­er and Gary Schmidt and it res­onates deeply with these kids. I know how it will go.… more

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Library Lion

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill I recent­ly read about a series of get-to-know-you games to play with kids. One sug­gest­ed mak­ing a list of hard and fast rules that every­one could agree to — a series of sen­si­ble pro­hi­bi­tions, per­haps — and then tak­ing turns think­ing of the excep­tions to those rules. RULE:  No run­ning in the hall­ways.… more

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Mother-Daughter Book Club

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill In a meta-move (we’re not usu­al­ly so cool), our moth­­er-daugh­­ter book club has start­ed the Moth­­er-Daugh­­ter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Fred­er­ick.  We read the first book last month and the sec­ond is sched­uled for our next meet­ing. I’m not sure we’ll be able to stop there. It was good we held them until the girls were the age of the girls in Frederick’s first books — the tim­ing is per­fect now.… more

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Reading With Older Kids

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill Our first-born turned eigh­teen this week. This prompt­ed many trips down mem­o­ry lane about his child­hood, as he is now an “adult.” I was rather tick­led to real­ize that so many of our fam­i­ly mem­o­ries have to do with books — all the cool books we’ve read, the cool places we read them in, and the times we’ve read when the oth­er par­ent­ing pro­to­cols didn’t quite seem to fit.… more