Home Library … for your Neighborhood?
With libraries everywhere shutting their doors, we readers still crave something to read. Reading can offer legitimate ways to pass the time, take a break from the news headlines, and re-connect with people. If you have books on your shelves you’ve already read, consider loaning them to friends.* Perhaps you may be able to borrow some in return.
*As of this writing, the NIH reports that the coronavirus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard (longer on plastic/metal). To safely loan/share books, consider the following strategy: put books in a brown paper grocery bag and stick in garage/car/outside for a day. When you drop them off at the recipient’s house, place the bag next to their garage/on the porch under a roof, etc. They can slide the bag in the garage if rain is forecasted. If they refrain from touching the books for another 24 hours, it is reasonable to assume the books may be safely handled. ***This is, of course, not official advice, and you are wise to take whatever precautions you yourself deem necessary. Redeemed Reader is not liable for your actual results with our suggested method.***
Pandemic Patronage: Brainchild of S. D. Smith
But you may decide that this season is just the time to buy some new “library builders,” books that you think are worth owning. (Or, perhaps you are like ourselves; any excuse will do to buy books!)
S. D. Smith (author of the popular Green Ember series) proposed a brilliant idea last week over at StoryWarren: let’s patronize artists during this pandemic, many of whom will suffer significant loss of income during our current social distancing reality. He’s dubbed it “Pandemic Patronage.”
S. D. Smith is proposing that we choose 3 artists to patronize during this season by buying their work. You can read his post for his 3 picks along with how to share this idea on social media.
We can certainly echo Sam’s recommendation for Scott James–we gave his Mission Accomplished Easter family devotional a starred review several years ago. With Easter coming up, this is definitely one to consider!
Will other people suffer loss of income during this time? Absolutely. Can we help everyone? Sadly, no. Will many of us reading this post suffer loss of income? Probably.
And yet. Yet we may, in some small way, be able to help offset some of the economic loss for a few people. If you are going to buy books during the next few weeks, may we echo Sam’s idea and encourage you to buy books from living authors. Plenty of the classics (i.e. books from “dead” authors) are available for free on kindle. Use your book-buying dollars on behalf of those currently writing stories for our enjoyment and edification.
Living Authors and Library Builders
Below is a list of living authors we heartily recommend. I personally own many of these authors’ works and have never regretted having them on my shelves. If my children are going to re-read books, these are terrific options. Many of these authors are also professing Christians.
Titles are linked to Redeemed Reader reviews; you can also search the authors on our website to find all of the works we’ve reviewed by them.
We are participants in the Amazon LLC affiliate program; purchases you make through affiliate links like the ones below may earn us a commission. Read more here. This means you are also patronizing Redeemed Reader during this pandemic (something we never take for granted and very much appreciate).
Catalina Echeverri. The only artist on this list, we think her illustrations of Bible stories are excellent and refreshingly diverse. Consider The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross or see more titles on amazon (we have seen many in person, but we haven’t reviewed them all).
Marty Machowski. We’re fans of Machowski’s resources for family devotions. We used his Wise Up for our Wisdom & Wonder summer read along, and we regularly recommend The Ology. He also has a fantasy read: Dragon Seed.
Simonetta Carr. Her biographies of famous Christians might be just the thing to read and reflect on. Many of them suffered far more than we are currently suffering (at least, those of us voluntarily self-quarantining here in the United States).
Jerry Craft. We thought his Newbery-medal winning debut graphic novel, New Kid, was excellent.
Cassie Beasley. A terrific feel good read that is bittersweet, Circus Mirandus is a staff favorite.
Emma Fox. Her debut novel, The Arrow and the Crown, is an exciting teen read and a solid debut. Review coming, but here is the amazon link.
Jonathan Auxier. Another universal staff favorite, we all enjoyed his latest, Sweep, but we can also recommend Peter Nimble and Sophie Quire. If you want a scary story, we also like The Night Gardener (amazon link).
Andrew Peterson. Singer-songwriter turned writer, his popular Wingfeather Saga has new pretty covers! Title linked to our review; here is the amazon link for the first book in the new cover.
Andrew Klavan. Got a teen who’s spending more time than ever playing video games? Try MindWar for a gripping fantasy based on an expert video gamer.
Keith Robinson. For older teens, especially those interested in apologetics and Genesis, consider The Origins Trilogy.
Realistic Fiction (including Historical)
J. B. Cheaney. Did you know our own Janie has written some lovely books for middle grades and teens? We’ve reviewed several: The Middle of Somewhere, I Don’t Know How the Story Ends, and My Friend, the Enemy. She also wrote Wordsmith, a student-directed writing curriculum, in case you are looking for supplemental educational resources right now.
Karina Yan Glaser. Author of the delightful Vanderbeekers Series, she writes warm, cozy books about a family–just the ticket when you’re stuck at home with your family.
Mitali Perkins. For middle grades, consider Tiger Boy or Rickshaw Girl. For teens (and do read reviews for considerations, particularly on the second title), consider You Bring the Distant Near or Forward Me Back to You. For all ages, especially in this time of social distancing, consider her picture book Between Us and Abuela.
Gary D. Schmidt. The Redeemed Reader staff loved his latest, Pay Attention, Carter Jones! But we can also highly recommend The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (amazon link; review coming but do know there are some language considerations with this one).
Related Reading from Redeemed Reader
- More book ideas! Browse our Starred Reviews for our favorites; you’ll find plenty of picture books and other sorts of books than what we’ve listed above.
- “Building a Child’s Personal Library” by Gladys Hunt.
- All of our Christmas gift lists in one place; of course, it’s not the Christmas season. But these gift ideas are still good gift ideas, books we think are worth plunking down some change for.