Meet the Austins

By Madeleine L'Engle,

Book cover of Meet the Austins

Book description

Book one of the Austin Family Chronicles, an award-winning young adult series from Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time, about a girl who experiences the difficulties and joys of growing up.

“Beautifully written, with integrity and warmth, and young people are bound to identify with the characters, each…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Meet the Austins as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Austins live in rural New England, where the four children take joy in nature, do chores cheerfully, and have a club committed to nonconformity. The family’s faith and interests in the arts and sciences are weaved seamlessly into their daily life. And although death is discussed throughout, themes of light and love permeate. 

This isn’t the most well-known of L’Engle’s books, but it’s a feel-good portrait of domestic life. If I had read it when I was young, I’m sure I would have wanted to be an Austin kid. Reading it as a mother, I want to crack the…

Terracolina: A Place to Belong

By Carla Kessler, Richard Kessler (illustrator),

Book cover of Terracolina: A Place to Belong

Carla Kessler Author Of Terracolina: A Place to Belong

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, one of my favorite places was in the top branches of a tree. From up there I could watch the world pass by, remaining invisible. I could make up stories about the world below and no one would challenge me. The second best place for me was inside the story of a book, the kind that took you to magical places where children always found a way to win the day. I knew when I “grew up” I would write one of those empowering books. I became a middle school teacher and have since read many wonderful books for this age. Enjoy my list of favorites.  

Carla's book list on where kids who believe in nature make a difference

What is my book about?

Where do you turn when the only adult who gets you, your grandpa, is gone, and the world seems to be in self-destruct mode?

On his 12th birthday, Thomas runs away to the forest he used to visit with Grandpa. It is dying. Will saving it from a deadly parasite bring him closer to Grandpa or make his world safer? Before he can find out, he is enticed into a magical world under an attack of a different kind.

Welcomed by a garden of talking plants, mind-reading creatures, tree-climbing, nature-loving beings, Thomas conquers the stinging, prickly hedge that guards the portal to this alternate world. At last, a place where he fits in. A place that needs him. But what about his and Grandpa’s forest?

“…a magical book...” John Perkins, New York Times best-selling author

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