Fiction, Living Books, Top Picks

Top Picks: Dealing with Adversity

Little Britches (and others in the series) by Ralph Moody
When the family moves to Colorado in hopes of a curative effect on his father’s health, Ralph learns that he must step up to help the family survive. Through the first few books Ralph’s character is honed, and by the end of the series we have come to love the man that trials and hardships built into a strong leader of men.

The Silent Storm by Marion Marsh Brown
The story of Annie Sullivan (teacher of Helen Keller). Losing her sight and her family at a young age, Annie learns to overcome her difficulties and makes all the difference in the life of a young girl locked in a silent, blackened world.

Follow My Leader by James Garfield
A tragic accident causes the boy in this story to lose his vision. After dealing with anger, bitterness, and all the daily changes he must adapt to, Jimmy finds new hope and joy in life with the help of his Leader Dog. A great story for animal lovers as well.

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
In spite of being motherless, Katy and her siblings lead a joyful, carefree life, until one day Katy faces a devastating consequence to her rash actions. Learning “the school of pain,” Katy matures into a generous, kind, loving, and indispensable member of the family.

The Daisy Chain by Charlotte Yonge
A large and loving family living in England during the late Nineteenth Century endures great hardship. The warm family relationships are strengthened as the family learns to sacrifice and bear one another’s burdens.

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
While many of the “Little House” books relate the trials of a pioneer family on the frontier, The Long Winter is remarkable in the grueling ordeal this family faces when the prairie is overcome by the longest, harshest winter on record.

A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy
The story of a lame, fatherless boy, alone and afraid in the slums all day while his mother is working. The inspiring tale of how one person can truly make a difference–and change the world. This short chapter book is permeated with Seredy’s beautiful illustrations.

The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
After the death of their father, this family faces the severe trials of poverty, illness, and the daily struggle to survive. The Peppers exhibit much Fruit of the Spirit as they cope with their burdens.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
When everything seems to be going wrong, when his “ship” is blown off course, and worse, becalmed, Nathaniel Bowditch learns to “sail by ash breeze.” His personal success inspires everyone around him and men who had no hope for a better future find they can turn the tide of their own fate. A true story of perseverance, and one that EVERY homeschool family should read–at least two or three times!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
A young girl growing up in the tenements of New York City at the turn of the Twentieth Century faces many family conflicts. Clashing immigrant heritage strongly hinders Francie’s desire to become educated. An excellent book for teenage girls.