Home School Book Review

     You are invited to visit our fellow blog Home School Book Review at http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolbookreview .  This is the place to find book reviews, primarily of children’s literature and works for teens and young adults from a Biblical worldview by a homeschooling father. 

     Today is the last day of October, 2011.  Some of the books that have been reviewed and posted this past months include the following:

Garter Snake at Willow Creek Lane by Janet Halfmann
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Olympus: It’s Not Just a Game by homeschooling father and former HSLDA attorney Scott Somerville

Archibald Zwick and the Eight Towers by Robert  Leslie Palmer

Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques

Return to Hawk’s Hill by Allan W. Eckhart

The Legend of Luke by Brian Jacques

Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

     If you’re interested in looking for a particular title, researching books by a specific author, or finding books in one of the listed categories, a search feature is available.

     Some books which we are currently reading and for which reviews should soon be posted are these:

The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart

The Redskins (Vol. 3 of the Littlepage Chronicles) by James Fenimore Cooper

Meet Me in St. Louis by Sally Benson

Outlaw, an upcoming technological thriller for teens by Stephen Davies

Runt the Brave by Daniel Schwabauer

     New reviews are added nearly every day.  Also, if any reader of this blog has written a book which you would like to have reviewed and posted on Home School Book Review just contact me at homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com for information on how to submit your book.

     Happy reading!

Country Kids Pumpkin Patch, Hoyleton, IL

     Last Monday, our local homeschool group did a field trip to the Country Kids Pumpkin Patch located at 278 N Front St. in Hoyleton, IL (62803).  It is operated by a homeschooling family, Carl and Charlene Herrmann and their 8 “Country Kids,” and they grow pumpkins, mums, gourds, Indian corn, pop corn, corn shocks.


     They have 3 acres of pumpkins which come in many shapes, sizes, and colors.  Prices start at $2 small, $3 medium, and $5 large.  They also grow mums in 24 varieties which are sold both wholesale at $4 and retail at $7.


There are numerous activities for children, such as a corn maze, an abundance of baby animals, the “corn crib” (a play box filled with corn rather than sand), and several simple games while the adults pick out their produce.  Also, during the Hoyleton Fall Festival they rent a bounce house for kids to have fun in.

     You can find more information about the Country Kids Pumpkin Patch at their website, http://www.countrykidspumpkinpatch.com/3501.html .

Pomona Natural Bridge, Shawnee National Forest, IL

     After Jeremy and I finished the trail at the Little Grand Canyon, we ate a picnic lunch and headed for the Pomona Natural Bridge.

Natural Land Bridge - Shawnee National Forest, Southern Illinois

 The the hiking trail to the Pomona Natural Bridge  is easily identified with its gravel cover and small blue sign.  The trail begins to slope downward immediately after it begins at a moderate rate .  Not more than a quarter mile into the hike, the path comes to a fork.   Going right at the fork and traveling around a 100 yards you will see some railings twisting right where the first glimpse of the Natural Bridge come into view.   Following this trail on around it will come out on the high side of the bridge.   The trail makes a complete loop that is around 1/3 of mile long starting and ending at the fork.  The bridge is about 90 feet long and a little over 8 feet wide at its widest point.   It begins about 30 feet in the air and slopes slightly downward  to around 20-25 feet at the other end, being made entirely of sandstone.  There is also  a very shallow cave just a few yards downstream of the bridge.  

Pomona Natural Bridge - Pomona, Illinois, Shawnee National Forest

     For more information about the Pomona Natural Bridge, you can check the

following websites:


Little Grand Canyon, Shawnee National Forest, IL

     A week ago today, our younger son Jeremy and I decided to take a “day off” and hike a couple of trails in the Shawnee National Forest near Murphysboro, IL, in the far southern portion of the state, about 80 or 90 miles or so from where we live.  In the morning, we saw the Little Grand Canyon.

     The 3.6 mile Little Grand Canyon Trail, which can take 3-4 hours to complete, offers a 365 foot climb from the canyon floor and a panoramic view of the Big Muddy River and the Mississippi floodplain.  It starts off as an easy-going  path that gives hikers a sweeping view of the Mississippi and Big Muddy rivers on the far western horizon.  From here, visitors can choose to turn back toward the parking lot or to continue along the rugged trail down into the canyon itself, which we did, following the white diamond trail markers to the open north end of the canyon, up a natural stone staircase carved out by water, and then steeply back up to the parking lot.

     For more information about the Canyon and the trail, you can check these websites: