Articles

The Light and Love of Ordinary Families
by Johanna Bittle | December 01, 2020
Hilda’s maturing faith transformed her writing. While her early stories are lively and captivating reflections of her Dutch and Irish childhood, her later stories, especially Winged Watchman and Borrowed House, explore the complex and changing realities of Europe in the grips of the World War II and the spiritual struggles of those caught in its destructive wake.

For Your Consideration: Horatio Alger
by the Reshelving Alexandria Team | September 30, 2020
Often our research at Reshelving Alexandria into the lives of authors can give us a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, their work. Sometimes, however, there may be something in the life of an author or in their stories that prevents us from recommending an author or book. In researching authors to recommend, we came across some very troubling information regarding Horatio Alger, one of the most popular and prolific children's writers of the later half of the nineteenth century.

Reading the Classics
by Deanna Knoll | June 01, 2020
Because of the universal appeal and cultural relevance of classics, publishers have often produced modified versions in an effort to present these exceptional stories to a wider audience. Many different terms are used to describe the various ways that publishers modify books and it can be confusing to understand the differences. This article focuses on defining those terms so you can be informed about your various options when it comes to reading the classics and make the best decision for yourself and your children.

Reshelving Alexandria's 2020 Adult Reading Challenge
by Ambre Sautter | January 27, 2020
I know that I am not alone in needing to be intentional in my reading. We created the annual Reshelving Alexandria Reading Challenges to meet this need. Whether you need help getting back on the horse, have decision fatigue and need someone to just put a book in your hand and say “Here’s a good one! Enjoy!”, love a good challenge, could use a nudge out of a single genre, or are in a season of mush brain and don’t think you could handle a book written at above a fourth grade level (so many good books written at this level!)--we’ve got you.

Reshelving Alexandria's 2020 Kids Reading Challenge
by Ambre Sautter | January 27, 2020
Here are this year's twelve categories for our 2020 Kids Reading Challenge. We went broad on topics to show kids how big the literary world is and how fascinating it can be. Below are a few suggestions for each category to get your mind spinning, accompanied by some very loose age recommendations.

The Story of Purple House Press
by Amanda Rossman | January 01, 2020
Purple House Press began with a love of wonderful old books. In the early days of buying and selling used books on the Internet, Jill Morgan discovered that all the copies of one of her favorite books, Mr. Pine’s Purple House, were being bought up by one person and then re-listed and sold on another site for $300 each. Disappointed that children were being priced out of the books meant to entertain and engage their minds, Jill decided to take action.

Glimpses of Joy and Truth in Fantasy
by Johanna Bittle | January 01, 2020
It is nearly impossible to overstate the impact J.R.R. Tolkien's life and work has had on the literary genre of fantasy. As with any great artist, Tolkien was able to succeed in his own right because he had first mastered the canon of the form. Just as a excellent contemporary dancer relies on their foundational training in classical ballet, or a Jazz improvisationalist on their hours of faithfully running through scales, Tolkien's brilliant advancement of fantasy was predicated on his nearly immeasurably broad and deep knowledge and comprehension of the function, form, and symbology of language and myth. He understood that for something to be fiction, even fantasy, does not mean that it is untrue, rather, the very best of fiction is such precisely because it is True.

Overcoming Our Fear of Missing the Treasure by Sharing the Map: Part Two
by Johanna Bittle | March 01, 2019
Johanna shares many budget-friendly strategies for building your home library of living books. Several of these highlight ways you can put Reshelving Alexandria’s membership to work for you.

At Home with Author S.D. Smith
by Ambre Sautter | January 26, 2019
This month we were fortunate enough to be able to talk with Gina Smith, the lovely wife and partner of author S.D. Smith. As running a family business involves more than just "the Author" we thought it would be fun to take a look, from a new angle, at the clan that brings us The Green Ember. Enjoy!

An Interview with Author Jennifer Trafton
Guest post by Laure Hittle | December 27, 2018
Our good friend, Laure Hittle, had the chance to interview the "ever delightful magical unicorn" that is Jennifer Trafton. Jennifer is the author of The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic and Henry and the Chalk Dragon as well as an artist and teacher. Her popular writing classes for children fill quickly and always receive rave reviews. Now, let's lean in and learn more about this Reshelving Alexandria recommended Top Living Author!

Overcoming Our Fear of Missing the Treasure by Sharing the Map: Part One
by Johanna Bittle | November 01, 2018
We have seen what happens when Reshelving Alexandria, A Delectable Education, or Circe shares a good book or series with us and suddenly prices skyrocket as every available copy is snatched up online. A little-known book that could be found for a few dollars just hours before is now available for no less than the cost of a month’s groceries for a family of eight, if it can be found at all. Why then is it a good idea for Reshelving Alexandria and these other apologists for living books to continue to share their finds with the world, knowing that prices may rise when they do?

But I’m not Catholic! (or Jewish, or Mormon, or…)
by Johanna Bittle | October 01, 2018
One of the best ways to discover these pilgrim stories is through books that feature their faith prominently, acknowledging it as a real and driving “why” behind both their devotion to our country and their many contributions to exploration, discovery, medicine, education, innovation, settlement, and statesmanship. I can open my children’s eyes to the lives of many of the Catholics who are an integral part of the fabric of our country, men and women whose names and contributions are either missing from the Landmark and Signature series, or whose stories are told there, but in an incomplete way, without the illuminating context of their faith.

Thrift Store Shopping Without Leaving Your House
by Deanna Knoll | August 30, 2018
Do you live in a book desert with no used book stores or thrift shops to browse? Or maybe you have several small children and desperately want to stock your library with beautiful living books but the idea of toting them through Goodwill seems too daunting to be worth the possible benefit. Here are several ways you can be equally successful shopping online as you might have been if you stumbled across a Goodwill Outlet!

Introduce your Family to Shakespeare with Retellings
by Deanna Knoll | May 01, 2018
It is the rare reader who is able to decipher any Shakespeare play on the first reading. It can be very helpful to gain a better understanding of the plot’s twists and turns by reading a retelling of the play before attempting to read the actual play itself. Each author reviewed in this article retells Shakespeare’s plays in a different style and chooses to highlight and interpret his words in different ways.

How to Choose Books that are Right for Your Family
by Deanna Knoll | April 09, 2018
It's an exciting time—you've discovered living books, along with Reshelving Alexandria, and you want to stock your home library with these wonderful treasures. So how do you decide which books are worth purchasing, especially when you have a book in hand at a bookstore or a library sale? How do you begin to determine if that book is right for your family and your library?