We’re doing a lot more reading aloud this Advent, which is a fun break to our days. Many of these books would be great independent reading, too–and since you probably have Christmas break coming up, and after all the 12 days of Christmas don’t end until January 6, you might have time to fit a few of these in this year.
The Christmas Mystery – In this interesting book, each chapter corresponds to one day of a little boy opening an Advent calendar and slowly learning more about a story unfolding inside of it. Although that sounds complicated, it’s well-told and the kids LOVE it. Traditionally, an Advent “mystery” was a re-enactment of the Christmas story, so this title and the story structure point to that. We’re really enjoying this one, and we recommend it highly.
Our Christmas Story – This little book by Ruth Bell Graham introduces the story of Christmas by showing how it is weaved throughout the whole story of the Bible. If you do a Jesse Tree, this approach will be familiar. The kids enjoy it, and I like that the Grahams lived in the same little mountain community my grandparents did, so the descriptions of their area sound like home to me!
Hallelujah – I mentioned this one before, but I have to tell you again how much we are loving this guide to Handel’s Messiah. It’s such a wonderful mix of inspiration, poetry, song, musical knowledge, and Scripture. We’re using it daily, but it could easily be condensed.
Although it’s great for Advent reading, I think this book could be used to good effect whenever you’re studying Handel’s music. The musical insight portions have been very illuminating, and the daily listening break-down makes it much easier to digest and appreciate the work.
Handel, Who Knew What He Liked – We’ve read this short chapter/picture book biography before, but it’s going along nicely with our Messiah study. If you’re planning to hear the Messiah this season but don’t have the time or inclination to really get into it with Hallelujah, I recommend this book as an introduction on the composer.
The Family Under the Bridge – We didn’t read this one aloud this year, although perhaps we should have because I see from my original review (linked) that the last time we read it was 2010!
And a few collections:
Classic Christmas Tales – This book is a nice mix of stories, poems, and songs for Christmas. Some were new to us, which was fun.
Classic Christmas Stories – We enjoyed reading one of these stories each day in our Advent school term. Some are standards, but others were unusual or new to us.
Home for Christmas – A later addition to our stack, but well worth it, this book contains longer and more unusual stories than the other collections. This one includes some terrific authors, too.
The Carols of Christmas – In addition to giving us other songs to sing during our school time, this book gives a short historical background for many famous Christmas carols (and plenty of not-so-famous ones, too). It’s interesting, but short enough to make it an easy daily read.
What chapter books is your family reading this Advent?
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