For teatime we are reading The Applewhites at Wit's End by Stephanie S. Tolan. It is the second book in the series, the first being Surviving the Applewhites. We adore these books. The first everyone remembered hearing, but none of the younger half could recall listening to the second. Never being one to pass up a chance to read a favorite book, it jumped the queue to become our teatime book. This was needed because I discovered there is now a third book, and it is against a law of nature to read books out of order.

These books have it all... a sympathetic portrayal of homeschooling, quirky characters, humor, and in the first one at least, a whole 'let's put a show on in the barn' story line. They are just good fun and we have been reading dozens of pages at a time.

The plot of the second book revolves around the Applewhites putting on a summer camp for creative children. Do I need to say that many of my children are currently pining to attend the Applewhite's camp? Y. is particularly identifying with the character E. D. in the books. E. D. feels as though she is a family misfit because in her highly creative and idiosyncratic family, she feels highly uncreative and the only organized person around. I don't think we are quite as lacking in organization as the Applewhites, but given the personalities of some of her siblings, I can understand why she feels as she does. What I find amusing is that every time I or one of my children read these books our first reaction is that we are slacking in the idiosyncratic department. I'm not sure Y. would entirely agree.

The other thing I greatly appreciate about the Applewhites is their willingness to allow their children to be exactly who they are created to be. They truly don't sweat the small stuff. There are a lot of adults around who care about the children in the family, but they are perfectly happy to allow the children to have some autonomy over their individual lives. They don't let appearances worry them.

If you haven't read these books, immediately put them on hold at the library when you are done here. Even if you don't have children to read them to, check them out and enjoy them yourselves. It won't take you long to read them, and you will be glad that you did. 


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