Why Your Family Needs Rabbits. with Swords.

Struggle. Loss. Growth. Hope. Find out why this series just might be your family's next favorite. Plus, there are rabbits. With swords!

I have this friend.  She has connections.  She knows about stuff.  And she’s always sharing the goods with those of us who are lucky enough to know her.  I don’t always jump on everything she recommends, though I don’t know why.  Whenever I do, I’m always glad I did and wish I’d done it sooner.  You’d think I’d learn.

Struggle. Loss. Growth. Hope. Find out why this series just might be your family's next favorite. Plus, there are rabbits. With swords!

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This was the friend who encouraged me to read Teaching from Rest (actually bought me a copy for my birthday), which turned out to be the most influential book to date in our homeschool.  Then she convinced me to try out membership in the Read Aloud Revival (currently closed to new members, but you can get on the waiting list) and some of the Master’s Courses I took there were transformative as well.  And so, this summer, when she was backing a Kickstarter, I was smart enough to listen.

I had heard here and there about S.D. Smith and The Green Ember.  In fact, Sarah Mackenzie, author of Teaching from Rest and hostess of The Read Aloud Revival, interviewed both S.D. Smith (episode 21) and Zach Franzen, illustrator of The Green Ember (episode 26) on the Read Aloud Revival Podcast.  I even saw a fun and lively Periscope she did with Sam Smith from a convention they both attended!

So when I heard that he was running a Kickstarter for his third book, I figured it was time to see what the hype was all about.  What’s the saying, “Better late than never?”  I’m so glad to have been introduced to this author and his work!

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See, my children are still kind of on the young-ish side.  They aren’t ready for a full introduction to the pain and harsh realities of life.  But they are old enough to know some of it.  I don’t want to feed them ideas they aren’t able to process, but I don’t want them reading something so watered down it no longer represents truth – storytelling that is  basically reduced to “good people do good things and get good things and bad people do bad things and get bad things”.

The characters in The Green Ember and other books in Smith’s series are three-dimensional characters.  Reeling with loss and grief, they are tempted to anger and wrestle with jealousy.  They struggle to tame emotions they don’t understand and reactions they wish they didn’t have.

On the other hand, this isn’t a cynical series.  It isn’t about awakening the reader to pain, grief, and struggle and then leaving them there.  It is about self-discovery and strength of character.  And above all, it is a series about hope in the face of sorrow and trial.  It is about finding out that you are a part of something bigger than yourself.

I love these two tidbits describing the vision behind these stories:

Sam’s vision is not just to tell a good tale, but to be a part of a long tradition of sharing truth, goodness, and beauty through narratives that transcend one point in time.

Sam describes The Green Ember and following books as a good family recipe: hearty meals best shared with friends!

If these stories are a family recipe, here’s a little test taste from one of my favorite passages:

Picket rode on Uncle Wilfred’s back, silently sulking all the way.  He felt like a small child, like Baby Jacks.  A burden. … Heather and Smalls followed behind them.  Whenever Uncle Wilfred turned in the path, Picket caught glimpses of Heather.  Sometimes she was looking up at him with worry; other times she and Smalls were talking. … Picket couldn’t really explain, even to himself, why he resented Smalls.  Part of him was ashamed of the way he was acting, but he just couldn’t stop.  It felt so very right to be angry, and there was Smalls, just asking for it.

Why does Picket resent Smalls?  Does it have more to do with Smalls, or with Picket?  How does Smalls feel about Picket’s reaction and what will Picket do with those turbulent emotions?  You’ll have to read The Green Ember to find out!

I became Facebook friends with Sam via our mutual friend and interacted with him a few times on her Facebook page.  Once, while our family was using Poetry Teatime to listen to The Green Ember, I shared that my kids preferred “Green Ember Tea Time”.  He joked about the repercussions of being known as the guy who “killed poetry teatime”.  Haha!

Of course, the truth of the matter is that there isn’t the slightest conflict between The Green Ember and the Bravewriter Lifestyle.  In fact, The Green Ember is the January Bravewriter Arrow title! What with a bunch of Brave Writer Families about to jump into The Green Ember and a new store just launched at SDSmith.net, this seemed like the perfect time for a giveaway!

 

Giveaway
Adventures with Rabbits with Swords

19 Comment

  1. We are planning on using these books next semester. I’m really excited to get to them. I may just have to move them up the cycle.
    DACHELLE@HideTheChocolate recently posted…Homeschooling Mama, Do You Need Some Encouragement?My Profile

    1. Thanks, Dachelle! They have definitely been a hit around here!

  2. This is an awesome giveaway! I’d love to win!!!

    1. Erin, you guys would love this series!

  3. Ah! Audiobooks for poetry teatime–brilliant, friend! Then Mom can get a taste of the goodies, too.

    1. Yes, Heather. Exactly!

  4. I love the idea of audio books as a substitute for reading out loud… it always makes my throat so sore. Nice giveaway too!

    1. Crystal, I couldn’t agree more! We are big audiobook fans around here. 🙂

  5. Jessica Brown says: Reply

    I loved this. I love how all of these good books breathe some life into our homes (and homeschools) and how that can be done with friends. Love you, Lynna.

    1. Love you, too, connected friend! 😉

  6. WooHoo! Fantastic giveaway! Fingers crossed & good luck to all:)
    Amy recently posted…50+ Epic Ways To Celebrate New Year’s Eve With KidsMy Profile

    1. Amy, I know, right?? Wish I could win it!

  7. I’ve never heard of this series, they sound really good though! I can’t wait to check them out!
    Jackie Lee recently posted…20 Picture Books for 5th GradersMy Profile

    1. Well, then, I’m pleased to have been able to share them with your family! I just know you’ll love them!

  8. We enjoyed The Green Ember as well. It was a fun read aloud!
    Michelle Caskey recently posted…Christmas in IrelandMy Profile

    1. It is a great story! So engaging the kids want to hear just a little bit more!

  9. I’ve never heard of these books so thank you so much for sharing!
    Jen|Practical by default recently posted…What is a Working Homeschool Mom?My Profile

    1. You’re welcome, Jen! Hope you’re able to check them out and enjoy them!! 🙂

  10. […] #5: Why Your Family Needs Rabbits. With Swords. […]

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