Explore with Me 004 | Nature Art

Hello, dears!

Phew, I’ve been thinking about this post for months, so I’m quite happy to finally be making it! This might be my favorite idea so far in this series. *rubs hands*

In case you’re wondering, I started this series to motivate myself (and you!) to get outside and have something interesting unique or creative to do out there. 😉 So I take you with me on a walk around our farm, adding in a little twist or art/photography prompt that you can try too, where you live.

Today we’re going to collect bits and pieces of nature and arrange them into beautiful art! If you love being creative but don’t really consider yourself an artist, I think you’re going to enjoy this one. 🙂

Let’s go!

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Hello, dears!

IT’S HERE. This is the last Summer Bored Games post of 2019! My friends and I had so much fun hosting it this year and watching you guys complete the challenges. 🙂 Today we’ll be revealing the winners of SBG along with a bunch of fun pictures and feedback/SBG memories from you guys at the end! Let’s get started.

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Party at the Park

Hello, dears!

A couple of weeks ago, we went to a gorgeous park near where we live to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was kind of like an arboretum, with elaborate gardens and landscaping, as well as more natural looking areas. Everything was in full bloom and full life and ahh, it was gorgeous! The perfect place for picnicking and exploring.

About half the photos I’m going to show you guys today are nature photos – blossoming trees, waterfalls, etc. The other half is not as beautiful but WAY more amusing photos of my friends jumping rope. And this isn’t your ordinary kind of jump rope, guys. XD XD

Ahem, now that you’re prepared, let’s get to it!

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The Summer Bored Games, Week 3

Hello, dears!

Are you excited for the next round of SBG? I AM! WOOHOO! Thank you all for your participation so far, and for making it so fun to host. 😀

In case you’d like to review the basic rules of the game, you can check out my introduction post right here. Shall we begin? (That was a rhetorical question, by the way. I’m going to start whether you answered yes or no. *nods*) Ahem.


You have until the end of this week to complete however many of the 35 challenges below you wish to do. This is the only week that you’ll be able to complete these challenges.

When you’ve completed all the challenges you’d like to for the week, submit your points using the survey included in this post (see it below). Please try to submit your results just once per week. I suggest waiting until the end of the week to submit the survey.

Okay, guys, NOW FOR THE CHALLENGES. Are you ready for this? *drum roll*

SBG this weeks challenges

  1. Microwave Ivory soap. (Learn how to here.) 2
  2. Write a haiku about lonely earthworms. 2
  3. Attempt to yodel at an animal. 1
  4. Hit a potato with a baseball bat. We encourage you to actually play baseball with said potato. 2
  5. Give someone a Christmas card. 3
  6. Come up with a 7 word tongue twister and challenge 3 people (outside of your family) to say it. 4
  7. Put at least seven socks on one foot. Earn one point for every sock you put on past number seven. 4
  8. Make supper for your family. 10 (megapoints)
  9. Come up with an odd fantasy creature (example: a dragon with a unicorn horn and a mermaid tail) and draw a picture of it. 2
  10. Buy something for exactly $1.99. 3
  11. Put a thank-you note and a treat in your mailbox for your mail deliverer. 3
  12. Bake cookies for (and give them to) your neighbor. 4
  13. Organize a treasure hunt for your siblings or friends. 10 (megapoints)
  14. Make an ATC. (Learn how to here.) 2
  15. Spend at least 5 minutes blowing bubbles. 1
  16. Make a mug cake for someone else as a surprise. 4
  17. Go on a walk and find the following: a piece of trash, a forked stick or twig, something round, something blue, and a colorful rock. 4
  18. Get a notebook and a pencil/pen, set a timer for 20 minutes, and draw non-stop until your time is up. It doesn’t matter what you draw, as long as your pencil doesn’t stop moving. 4
  19. Give your mom $15 toward groceries. 10 (megapoints)
  20. Learn to whistle with a blade of grass. You can use the internet to learn how. 3
  21. Find a rock, paint it, and give it a name. 2
  22. Put up a birthday banner (a happy birthday sign) in your house…when it’s not anyone’s birthday. XD 2
  23. Learn how to tie a reef knot. 3
  24. Make a blog post including the words “Crazy”, “Frosty”, “Abominable” , “Frank” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. 2
  25. Sing a song while washing a window. 2
  26. Send a letter to your favorite living author. 3
  27. Read a book (or part of a book) out loud to your entire family. 4
  28. Try a new fruit, vegetable, or meat. 4
  29. Find five new blogs and leave each blogger at least one kind, sincere comment. 4
  30. Give someone a message you wrote in Morse Code. 3
  31. Pick and listen to three songs, and draw what they sound like. 3
  32. Play “shark Attack” in a pool. (How to play: https://www.wikihow.com/Have-Fun-in-the-Pool) 2
  33. Organize something in your house that’s messy. (Examples: Your desk, under your bed, etc.) 3
  34. Wear mismatching shoes in public and see if anyone notices. 3
  35. Learn the sign language alphabet. 10 (megapoints)gray-border

What do you think? Which of those challenges are you most excited to complete? My favorites are #1 (THAT IS SO FUN TO DO, GUYS), #11, and #31.

If you have any questions about the challenges, the game, or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us at summerboredgames(at)gmail(dot)com. We’re happy to help! Read on for a few more important details:

If you’d like to print off a checklist to help you keep track of the challenges for this week, CLICK HERE. 

If you take any photos of your completed challenges (or your funniest challenge fails!), we would LOVE to see them! Send your pictures to us at summerboredgames(at)gmail(dot)com, and we’ll pick our favorites to include in the final post! (If you’re just completing the challenges just for fun and haven’t signed up, we’d still love to see your photos!)

We’ve really (REALLY REALLY) enjoyed the photos you guys have sent us so far, and we can’t wait to show you guys at the end of July! Keep the pictures coming, hee hee! 😀

Have you completed all the challenges you’d like to do for this week? Hooray! Just click the image below to submit your points:

sbg submit your points

Click that graphic and it should take you right to the form!

Please be honest – the game is no fun if you aren’t playing fair. Please follow the rules and make it fair for everyone!

And now… *drum roll again* the participants who got the most total points (points from the last two weeks).

10: Aria: 102

9: Enni: 107

8: Anna P. and Christina (tied with same number of points): 131

7: Ava: 148

6: Mandalynn: 161

5: Julia Rose: 167

4: Sophie: 187

3: Jo: 195

2: Chloë: 216

1: Laura: 259


Way to go, girls! 😀 Also can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that Laura did EVERY SINGLE ONE of the challenges so far, minus one! *awed look* XD WOW, LAURA. I AM IMPRESSED.


You have until 11:59 PM EST on July 21st to complete as many challenges as you can and submit your points. Have fun busting that boredom! 😀

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a lovely (and non-boring) day. 🙂


Introducing… The Summer Bored Games!

Hello, dears!

I’M BACK! And I’m SO happy to be back, because I have some very exciting news! Clara, Megan, K. A., and I have been working on a secret project for months now, and we are FINALLY ready to show it to you guys! *grins* Ahem. I am proud to present… The Summer Bored Games!

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The Summer Bored Games is a fun and creative way to bust boredom this summer, with dozens of wacky challenges, from thoughtful missions to completely random activities. Collect points by completing challenges, and enter to win an awesome prize!


Clara // Clara & Co.

Megan // A Barefoot Gal

Allison // A Farm Girl’s Life

K. A. // Cuddly Critters Blog


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We four hosts (Clara, K. A., Megan, and I) will take turns posting a challenge post, one a week, for the month of July.

Each post will include 35 challenges, ranging from 1-4 points each – the harder the challenge, the more points you earn! Super hard or courageous challenges earn you Mega Points, which means 10 points instead of 1-4.

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Participants collect points by successfully completing challenges. You don’t have to do the challenges in the order we list them, and you obviously don’t have to do them all (but then you won’t get as many points). However, you must complete any weekly challenges in that week alone for those points to count. If you miss a week, feel free to do the challenges just for fun, but they won’t earn you any points toward the giveaway.


In each of the challenge posts, a survey will be provided that participants can use to send their points from the completed challenges to a host blogger for a chance to win a prize (host bloggers are not eligible for the prize). However, if a participant would rather conquer the challenges just for fun and not win a prize, they can simply complete the challenges however they wish and not worry about keeping track of points.


Prizes come in a three-tier winner system. Participants are entered for a chance to win the prize corresponding to their point range.

If, at the end of the challenge, you have 0-50 points, you are not eligible to win a prize. If you are in the lowest prize tier, which is for participants with 51-250 points, you have a chance of winning a $5 Amazon gift card. If you are in the middle prize tier, which is for participants with 251-400 points, you have a chance of winning a $10 Amazon gift card. If you are in the top prize tier, which is for participants with 401+ points, you have a chance of winning a $15 Amazon gift card.

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At the end of the challenge, we’ll tally up each participant’s total points, fit them into the proper point tier, and random-generate the winners. If you work hard, you can earn yourself more of a chance for more of a prize!


Challenge Post #1: Clara & Co. on July 2nd

Challenge Post #2: A Barefoot Gal on July 9th

Challenge Post #3: A Farm Girl’s Life on July 16th

Challenge Post #4: Cuddly Critters Blog on July 23rd

Challenge Winners: Clara & Co., A Barefoot Gal, A Farm Girl’s Life, and Cuddly Critters Blog on July 30th


  • The challenge is open to participants worldwide, and to ages 10-18.

  • Please get a parent’s permission before signing up.

  • Please sign up just once, on any one (but not more than one) of the hosts’ blogs.

  • Sign up to participate in the Summer Bored Games 2018 with the contact form below! (If you’re on WordPress Reader, the contact form probably won’t show up until you visit my actual blog.)

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If you’re excited for The Summer Bored Games and want to let others in on the fun, we’d quite appreciate if you could share this post to Pinterest, Facebook, or other social media, repost it on your blog, or tell your family and friends! Even if you don’t win a prize, you can still have fun competing with your siblings or friends to see who can get the most points. 🙂


Here’s a helpful (and pin-able) infographic to sum up the information above. 😀


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So. Are you usually bored during summer? Do you think the Summer Bored Games sounds fun? Will you sign up? ARE YOU EXCITED?!

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!


~ Etcetera #2 ~

Good gracious, guys, my unposted pictures are backed up all the way to October. XD So as you can see, it’s high time for another random photography/thoughts/etc. post! Enjoy the bits and pieces. 🙂 (And warning: this is going to be a VERY long post.)

Flowers + Butterflies

I love this next picture! The flower and colors are so incredibly bright and cheery. 🙂

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At the new farm we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere and at the end of the line, so it’s really hard to get Internet. You can get it, but it’s quite expensive past a certain monthly amount of data – and we already used that up, halfway through the month! O.o And even worse, the things that use it up the fastest are watching videos online and BLOGGING. HELP. XD Thankfully after you use up the data you still have Internet… it’s just really, REALLY slow. Like barely-moving slow. -_- Hooray.

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I was excited to be able to get decent pictures of a monarch butterfly because they’re pretty rare around here!


I just finished reading Emma for school. Anyone else read it? I don’t know if I like it or not. It’s definitely very well-written, but it’s also rather boring  – life in the 17th century seems to consist of going to dinner parties and getting married?


A bunch of other butterflies and moths and bugs came to the zinnia patch as well. 😀

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Guess what? You know how I mentioned we might turn the Cedar House into an Airbnb? Well if we do, and we probably will, my parents are thinking they’ll let me be in charge of it! I am SO excited. That means I’ll get to decorate it, clean it, and add all sorts of fun touches for the customers – eek! 🙂

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I think I found a new favorite word – to say, at least: verisimiltudinous. ISN’T IT GREAT? XD

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Carmen got a cat laser toy for her birthday and Tom (one of our cats) LOVES it. Mom says she feels sorry for him because there’s not actually anything to catch. XD

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Fall Forests & Fields

I took these pictures at my grandparents’ woods which are lovely and gold in the autumn. And the light… ♄

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Ahh, mushrooms. I love taking pictures of them and drawing them, but I don’t like eating them, heh heh. I used to absolutely despise them but I don’t mind them as much now – at least raw is okay.

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Speaking of food, I’m not a picky eater, but I think two of my least favorite foods are black walnuts and goat cheese. They both taste so pungent and strange, and I think goat cheese tastes like goats smell. SORRY. BUT IT DOES.

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This one kind of looks like an art prompt, doesn’t it?

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I took this picture when we were having a Nature Study on hickory trees with our friends and went to search for hickory nuts afterward. I LOVE the lighting. 🙂

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I rather like how you can see two pictures at once here.

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Bittersweet berries are beautiful! There’s a huge vine of it up the hill from our (current) house.

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My friend and I randomly did a photoshoot after church one day when I had my camera along anyway. I won’t put the pictures of her on here in case she doesn’t want me to, but here’s one of the pictures she took of me. 🙂

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The maple tree outside our church is AMAZING in the fall!

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Ooh yes, I really like this one. I edited it quite a lot to make the chopper and wagon into silhouettes, but I love how it turned out!

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Here’s a kind of similar picture. I took this right before we went on the nature walk: one of us spotted a deer on the hill and it walked right along the top so you could see its silhouette. Doesn’t it look neat?

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My siblings put colored lights around the trampoline a while back and they look AMAZING at night! And as bokeh and light painting photos. 🙂

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I’ve also been reading a phenomenal book called Extreme Devotion. It’s a daily devotional, but I’m just reading it as a normal book because it’s composed of many short, very inspiring stories from Voice of the Martrys. One of my favorite quotes from it so far is this:

God, I do not ask You to make my life easy; I do ask You to make me strong.

– From a Jewish child, in a note found in the rubble of a Jewish ghetto in Poland after it was bombed by the Nazis

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AHH THIS PICTURE. Doesn’t it look so warm and bright and sunny? ♄ It makes me happy just to look at it. Actually lots of things make me happy just to look at them. 😛

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Have you ever exploded Ivory soap? If you haven’t you should – it is SO fun! All you have to do is take a bar of Ivory soap (only the Ivory brand will work) and microwave it for a while until you see it start puffing up like a marshmallow. It’s so weird and neat. I did this one day with Carmen when she was bored. 😉

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And now let us end with a picture of three of our adorable bunnies. 😀 ♄ I haven’t posted much about them lately, huh? Probably because we don’t take many pictures of them in the winter when it’s cold and gray. Hopefully I can do another photoshoot soon, when it warms up. 🙂

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And there you have it! One long and random post. XD I finally cleaned up at least SOME of the leftover pictures, which feels great. I still have plenty left, though, so be on the lookout for another Etcetera post soon!

Which picture or topic was your favorite? Do you have the same problem of taking too many photos to keep up with? Are you enjoying winter or ready for it to be over?


25 Incredible Books to Read This Summer

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Background image via unsplash.com

Hello, and how are you, dears? Good, I hope!

Well it’s summer, which means lots and lots of reading, right? Except if you’re like me, you don’t know what to read.

Don’t panic! Grab your library card and go check out some of these books. I’ve compiled twenty five of my favorite books, including plenty of series to keep you occupied. 🙂

In case you’re wondering, for the most part they aren’t in any particular order. I added a short description – you can ask for a longer one in the comments – and a link to the book on Amazon. (Just note that I didn’t shop around for the cheapest option. Also, these are not affiliate links.)

Now without further ado, I present to you twenty five incredible books!

  1. The Mysterious Benedict Society Series: THIS IS (one of) THE BEST SERIES EVER! There’s no bad language, magic, or inappropriate content; it’s great for all ages; and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read! Unfortunately it’s super hard to explain the plot without spoiling it or else making it sound boring, but I’ll give it a try. After following a strange advertisement in the newspaper and passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children embark on a strange adventure to stop the evil Mr. Curtain from taking over the world with his Whisperer in a most terrible way. They must use their abilities and work as a team to solve the riddles and mysteries at every turn. Ugh, that was an awful summary. You can read a slightly better one here.
  2. The Penderwicks Series: Follow the four Penderwick sisters on many hilarious and heartwarming adventures (and misadventures). Filled with funny, well crafted, and extremely relatable characters, these books are immensely satisfying must-reads, and perfect for summer!
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia Series: This is part of Amazon’s summary: “four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, and profoundly allegorical, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope.” If you haven’t yet read these wonderful classics, well, what are you waiting for?
  4. The Mighty Miss Malone: I read this just recently, and it was so good it’s now one of my favorite books! Narrated by a black girl living in the time of the Great Depression, this historical-fiction-ish story is full of humor, warmth, and wonderful characters.
  5. Miss Piggle-Wiggle Series:  Charming, clever, and hilarious. Another perfect read-aloud. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a rather eccentric old lady who finds the most peculiar cures for children’s bad habits. Like the time when she cures a boy who doesn’t want to take a bath by letting him get so dirty, his parents can plant radishes in his hair. Or the time when… well, I could go on, but maybe you should just read them yourself. 😉
  6. The Green Ember Series: A delightful adventure story starring two rabbits named Heather and Picket. When their peaceful world is disturbed, the two siblings are thrown onto a dangerous path that will take strength they didn’t know they had. Joined by many interesting and sometimes mysterious characters, the two rabbits join the fight “Till the Green Ember rises or the end of the world.” These books are kind of a blend of Watership Down, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings.
  7. Freddy the Pig Series: Freddy the Pig is no ordinary pig. He’s also a writer, a detective, and leader of all the animals on Mr. Bean’s farm – in short, Freddy is a hero. He, along with his friends Jinx the cat and Mrs. Wiggins the cow, lead the farm animals on all sorts of wild adventures, uncovering schemes and concocting clever plans.
  8. Charlotte’s Web: Wilbur the pig goes into hysterics when he finds out he will be butchered one day. But with the help of his talented spider friend Charlotte and farm girl Fern, they come up with a plan that just might save his bacon. This is definitely another children’s classic.
  9. Do Hard Things: This is quite different from the rest of the books on this list, but it’s one of the most life-changing. Do Hard Things is a how-to book written by teenagers that shows you how to overcome society’s pathetically low expectations for today’s teenagers and use your life to make a difference. That involves sometimes scary things and stepping outside your comfort zone, but the rewards are sky-high. The authors are unashamedly Christian, but their points are still as true and thought-provoking for non-Christians. Read this. Please. (They also have a website called therebelution.com.)
  10. Pippi Longstocking Series: These books contain the laugh-out-loud escapades of an unusually spunky, peculiar, and delightful red-haired girl who can turn anything into an adventure. A great read-aloud for all ages.
  11. Anne of Green Gables Series: A sweet, funny series about another lovable red-haired orphan girl. Anne-with-an-e has a big heart and a flair for the dramatic. She encounters many trials in her life such as that hilarious escapade with the “raspberry cordial,” nearly drowning while pretending to be a heroine in a poem, and a certain boy named Gilbert who insists on calling her “Carrots.”
  12. Swiss Family Robinson: An exciting adventure story about a family who is shipwrecked on an island and must fend for themselves. The language of the original is rather dense, but the story is sooo good once you get into it! Mom read it to my siblings and I quite a few years ago and we all loved it.
  13. Little Women: Four sisters learn to make their own fun from what they have while their father is away at war and their mother works hard to support their family. Sorry, this one’s a little hard to summarize. XD But it IS really good! 😉
  14. The Little House Series: The classic (true) story of life as a pioneer. It’s amazing how very different Laura and Almanzo’s lives were from ours – a world without cars or electronics, where everyone made their own clothes and built their own houses and grew most of their own food. I like how my little sister says reading these make her feel all warm inside – me too! 😀 One of my top favorite series ever!
  15. Peter Pan: Three children visit Neverland – a magical world of fairies, mermaids, pirates, and boys who never grow up. A delightful children’s classic.
  16. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH: When Mrs. Frisby’s home is about to be destroyed, the mouse seeks help from the mysterious rats of NIMH, rats who are abnormally strong and intelligent. But why? What happened to the rats and how are they connected to NIMH, whatever that stands for? I think this is a lesser known book/series that deserves more popularity. It’s really quite good!
  17. The Borrowers Series: Unbeknownst to the humans, a family of tiny people live within their walls, surviving by “borrowing” human things – dollhouse furniture, scraps of food, bits of thread… But what would happen if the humans discovered them? It looks like they’re about to find out.
  18. Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Part of Amazon’s summary: “A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations.” This is such a funny, charming book.
  19. Mary Poppins Series: Let’s do another Amazon summary: “When their new nanny, Mary Poppins, arrives on a gust of the East Wind, greets their mother, and slides up the banister, Jane and Michael’s lives are turned magically upside down . . . Mary takes the children on the most extraordinary outings: to a fun fair inside a pavement picture; to visit Uncle Andrew who floats up to the ceiling when he laughs; on a spectacular trip to see the Man-in-the-Moon!”
  20. My Side of the Mountain Trilogy: A boy named Sam runs away and makes a home for himself on the side of a mountain, learning how to hunt, cook, make a house out of a tree, and more. This series reminds me of Swiss Family Robinson and The Little House.
  21. The Wizard of Oz Series: A tornado suddenly whisks Dorothy and her dog Toto away to a strange new land with talking lions and scarecrows and tin men – and a mysterious wizard who seems to be hiding something. But what? And now how will Dorothy ever get back to her farm?
  22. Winnie the Pooh Series: An adorable, hilarious story about a stuffed bear and his companions who live in the Hundred Acre Wood. I absolutely love the writing style, the gentle yet laugh-out-loud humor, and the lovable characters. This is meant for younger children, but older children and adults will love it too – a perfect read-aloud.
  23. James Herriot Series: A sort of autobiography about the adventures of James Herriot, a vet who works in the England countryside. He encounters many strange and funny cases, but he manages all of them with a warm sense of humor and some soap and hot water.
  24. The Secret Garden: One of my favorite classics! A young girl discovers a hidden garden and takes it upon herself to uncover its secrets and bring it back to life. The garden miraculously does the same to her and her friends and makes them grow and blossom in ways they had never thought possible.
  25. And last but the opposite of least… The Bible! The Bible is not only the most important book you will ever read, but it has some quite interesting (and true!) stories in it: the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Ruth, Esther, Daniel, David, Paul, and of course, Jesus, among many, many others. The amazing thing about the Bible is you can always find some new detail or meaning every time you read it. Try it and see! You might be surprised at how a supposedly familiar Bible story or passage encourages you in a fresh new way.

Well, I hope you found some new stories to try in that list, my friends. Which ones are you looking forward to reading? How many have you already read? And what are a few of your favorite books?


P. S. I have sooooo many more favorite books that I originally was going to do a list of 50, but I thought that would get a bit long. XD So maybe I can do another book list post! What do you guys think?