Archives: homeschooling

This Is Your Kid’s Brain on Fiction

Almost 4 years ago, I blogged about Ali Dent’s literature clubs.

Aaannd. . . .earlier this year, I used our club experience as the setting for THE LITERATURE CLUB PROJECT. (Only 99 cents! Perfect short story read for 9 and up!) <- obligatory commercial

As you can tell, my family has loved being part of a literature club. It blends books and friends, reading and laughter.

lit club 4Since my original post, Ali has helped other parents form their own literature clubs. Last year, she also published a book for parents who want to know how to form their own group.

You can see what THE LIT CLUB is all about if you watch the trailer above. (If you’re a fan of Adventures in Odyssey, you may recognize the narrator.)

And for a limited time, Ali’s book, THE LIT CLUB, is 1/2 price. Now’s the perfect time to explore how a literature club could make a difference in your family’s lives.

P.S. If you just want a taste of what literature clubs offer, you should visit Ali’s website to get a FREE literature club guide to THE HUNGER GAMES.

Wagons Ho! On the Trail with Jody Hedlund

Since her Oregon Trail romance, The Doctor’s Lady, was released in September, author Jody Hedlund has been riding across the blogosphere sipping tea (slightly sweet), swapping stories, and sharing secrets at over 52 blogs.

Today Jody is joining us to celebrate her fabulous book which also marks the end of her blog tour.

Yep, I’m the last little blog wagon over the hill.

"Do you really have to stop again?"

It gets even better.

In order to make this last stop super special we get to choose a charitable organization for Jody to donate copies of her books. Yippee!!!!

Many hands make light work, right?

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s talk about Jody’s second book, The Doctor’s Lady.

Now if you aren’t already familiar with Jody’s writing, then you are in for a treat. From The Doctor’s Lady:

Priscilla White knows she’ll never be a wife or mother and feels God’s call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God’s leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

The Doctor’s Lady was a touching, sweet romantic read which required a tissue box and fresh mascara by the novel’s end. (And, I really don’t consider myself a crybaby. Oh – what am I saying? I cry over coffee commercials. You know the one where the soldier surprises his mother on Christmas Eve? I’m tearing up now. Let’s move along.)

I also loved that Jody based her characters on actual people and events. The Author’s Note at the end gives yummy historical background details, but we can peek into the research behind The Doctor’s Lady at several trail stops from her blog tour.

For instance, while visiting over at Marcia Richards’ wagon blog, Jody explained why the Oregon Trail was called an “unheard-of-journey for females.” And, when Jody called on Susie Finkbeiner she confided that while writing The Doctor’s Lady she considered Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Emma) as her Eli and Priscilla.

I also learned a lot about writing from her trail stops. Over at Roni Loren’s, Jody described how to create sizzle without sex. Then, while ringing the cowbell over at Jenny Hansen‘s blog, Jody gave tips on how to organize plot ideas.

Ambling over to Gina Conroy’s blog, Jody shared coping strategies for combining homeschooling with a writing career, and confided to Patricia Woodside how she wishes for a nanny after the schooling is done. (Me too!)

Whew! That’s only a few stops! (You can find a complete list of all the great blog visits at Jody’s blog.)

Obviously, some wonderful conversations had already taken place, so I wondered how to make this last blog stop fun and meaningful. As I was re-reading The Doctor’s Lady I reflected how difficult it was to get books to western missions and missionaries in the 19th century.

And that got me thinking. . .

In the 21st century, we still have remote places in our world and communities where receiving a book – especially a new  book – is a luxury.

So I took a deep breath and asked Jody how she would feel about donating her book to an organization which distributes books to underserved communities.

Jody – being the lovely person she is – jumped right in and volunteered to donate BOTH of her books, The Doctor’s Lady and The Preacher’s Bride, to whichever organization YOU chose.

Plus, she offered to give a copy of The Doctor’s Lady to one lucky winner who comments below!

Isn’t that wonderful?

Now before you scroll down to enter your name and email  in the comment box for your chance at the giveaway, please just take a moment to read about the five different organizations wanting book donations and then vote for your favorite choice.

It’s that simple!

Now here are our choices:

Illumination Publishers International is a non-profit organization which sends Christian literature to missionaries and Christians in third world countries.

Judith’s Reading Room is an non-profit organization which creates mobile libraries for VA hospitals, war zone areas for active military, pediatric emergency rooms, and underserved communities.

Christian Library International is a non-profit organization that brings Christian literature to men and women in prisons.

Donation Town is an online directory for local charities that accept book donations for adult literacy programs, hospice reading to patients programs, and small struggling libraries.

Christian Resources International a non-profit organization which ships donated books to missionaries and pastors around the world.

[polldaddy poll=”5604867″]


Don’t forget! Leave a comment with your name and email and you will be entered in a drawing for The Doctor’s Lady. (Drawing and voting results will be announced November 1.)

Happy trail reading!!!

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons


Update 11/1/11:

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in the poll! We had a fabulous time. Here are the final results. . . and the charity with 48% of the vote was Judith’s Reading Room! They will receive a copies of The Preacher’s Bride and The Doctor’s Lady courtesy of the wonderful Jody Hedlund.

Also congratulations to Beverly! selected your number as the winner of the book giveaway, The Doctor’s Lady.