To Kill a Mockingbird (& Other February Reads)

To Kill a Mockingbird and other February Reads

As promised, here’s a listing of a few of the books our family finished in February. Better late than never, right?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a MockingbirdIt’s been nearly 20 years since the last time Doug read To Kill a Mockingbird aloud to the family. None of the youngest children still at home had even been born at that reading.

But the older ones remember it well. Several of them listened in when Dad re-read it this time. It is such a beautifully written and well-loved classic. My oldest daughter even named her dog after one of the book’s main characters: Atticus Finch.

What a great example of quiet integrity Atticus provides! He is patient, humble, and sympathetic. Yet he is also fiercely determined to do the right thing, even in the face of great opposition. The book contains mature themes and a little unsavory language. This fact accounts, I suppose, for its being banned by some school districts. But when it comes to depicting the vile injustice of racial prejudice, I can think of few authors who’ve done a better job than Harper Lee.

Tombs of Anak by Frank Peretti

Tombs of AnakSome of my children read everything they get their hands on, and others require a little more coaxing. But Frank Peretti’s Cooper Kids Adventure Series successfully turned one of my reluctant readers into an avid bookworm in the past, and that same series is working its magic again on another such son. Daniel (13) can hardly put them down right now. He’s read four of them aloud to me in the past couple of months (most recently The Tombs of Anak), and is now well into the fifth.

Dr. Jake Cooper reminds us a lot of Indiana Jones, except that he’s the widowed father of two young kids who tag along with him on all his adventures. He is also a devout Christian who possesses an unshakeable confidence that the God he serves is greater than any of the mysterious dangers he and his children inevitably encounter in their travels and assignments.

Almost every chapter ends with a cliff hanger, which keeps even kids who aren’t normally very avid readers turning the page to see what will happen next.

Tea is Always a Good Idea edited by Elizabeth Gilbert

I spotted this book in a gift shop when we recently visited the Biltmore Estate and purchased it for my husband and daughters, each of whom have lately become something of a tea connoisseur.

The book was a quick but informative read. It contains a detailed history of tea and tea making, some subtle differences between different kinds of teas and infusions, qualities of each variety, etiquette associated with tea consumption in different cultures, statistics concerning which countries drink or produce the most tea, and lots of other interesting trivia.

I even used what I learned in reading the book to make a Tea Time Trivia Test in honor of “Hot Tea Month” this year. Got a tea lover in your life? Send her a copy of this quiz along with a couple of tea bags, or maybe even give her a copy of the book. It makes a great gift!

And that does it for February. I’ll do my best to publish our March reads in another couple of weeks. We’ve already finished some fantastic new books this month, and I can hardly wait to share them with you!

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  1. Thank you so much for these book ideas. I’m going to look for the Frank Peritti series for my grandson who just turned 12 and isn’t much of a reader. He loves action type movies and video games so maybe this might be something to get him excited about reading.

    Also I looked up the Ultimate Bundles link you gave but am still a little unclear how it works. Is this something you pay a monthly fee for and they send you what they want, do you choose each month to buy or not, what??? Any explanation might help clear up my confusion lol

    Love your blog!


    1. Hi, Deborah!

      I hope your grandson loves the Cooper Kids Adventures as much as my kids have — especially the boys. What really helped my reluctant readers turn into avid readers was going through such books together. They read one page, then I read one… back and forth. I read smoothly and with enough animation in my voice to keep the story moving along and retain their interest. And then they’re motivated to get through their page, too, to find out what happens next. I usually crochet or do handwork during the pages they read, since it takes longer. That keeps me from “helping” too much (and from loosing my mind when it takes them three minutes to sound out the same word they just read in the previous sentence. Ha!) This you-read-then-I-read method has been a game changer for my math-brained boys who needed LOTS of extra practice to gain fluidity and confidence in their reading.

      As for the Ultimate Bundles, the resource listed above is 100% free, no strings attached. You are never charged for anything you aren’t interested in. They compile about 6 bundles of digital resources a year on different topics and offer them at a HUGE discount (usually 97-98% off) for a very limited time (normally 5-6 days). If you download the freebie book, I think you will automatically be notified when a new bundle is released in hopes that you might be interested in purchasing, but there is never any obligation to do so.

      If you ever do decide to purchase anything from Ultimate Bundles, you’ll be glad to know they always back their collectionss with a full 30-day money-back guarantee and give you a full year to download the contents of the bundles (you’ll keep lifetime access to the products you download). Anyway, I’ve personally bought at least half a dozen different bundles over the years and have been super impressed both with the quality of books and courses in the bundles I’ve bought and with the value of each and every bundle.

      Hope that answers your questions!


      1. Thank you so much for writing back. I live the you-read-they-read concept. Makes sense.

        I am definitely going to sign up for the bundles. Looks totally appealing. Appreciate your explanation.

        Have a blessed week,

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