This week I read the story of Abraham and Isaac and was confronted with its difficulty again. Sometimes poetry finds a dwelling place in the midst of a tangle, so I’ve looked around for an Abraham and Isaac poem. I liked this poem from Abraham’s perspective, by Fr. Kilian McDonnell, though it violates the limits


At last, I finished it. What impulse compelled me to pick up this book from the Walmart shelf and purchase it? The bargain price of $5.97? The fact that I graduated from high school in 1984? Its classic status and my guilt over never having read it? The fact that I once had a teacher

Before the Throne

Lately I’ve been struggling with discouragement as a mother. My girls are wonderful, such gifted and beautiful little girls. They (like my husband) challenge me to come out of myself and engage more than I ever would have done on my own. But some days — like yesterday — I feel totally inadequate. These days

Declaration of Independence and Other Documents

A new president is about to take office, and these are momentous days in the nation and in the world. My reading year concludes with this little gem, The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865. It’s a slim volume, only 95 pages long, but it was a challenge to read

Amos Fortune: Free Man

I picked up this Newbery winner by Elizabeth Yates at the big book sale in our area a month or so ago. I recognized the title because I’d wanted to read it for the Decades Challenge this year, but I couldn’t get my hands on a copy and ended up reading something else instead. I

Christmas Memory

The classical (or neo-classical) approach to homeschooling stresses the importance of memory work during the first stage, the “grammar stage,” of education. Fill those absorbent young minds with lots of good stuff, then teach them to evaluate and write about it in later stages. But during this Christmas season, I’ve been struck by how much


Epicenter is this month’s selection for the book club I belong to. I was curious to read it, because recently the subject of the Middle East has come up several times in conversations, and I wanted to learn more. This book certainly filled the bill. Joel Rosenberg has authored several political thrillers, none of which

The Princess and Curdie

Here she is: Princess Irene of The Princess and the Goblin . She’s following the thread spun by her mysterious grandmother, who lives in a tower, keeps pigeons, and reveals herself only to Irene. That thread helps her to stay oriented in the caves of the goblins as she rescues Curdie, a miner boy who

Raising Readers

I joked on another blog recently that I was raising readers the old-fashioned way: by making sure they have nothing else to do but read. It’s somewhat true; we aren’t awash in extra-curricular activities, I permit very little television, and I let them leave the light on at night to read. I believe in this