Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Review: Fairchild Family Series

Fairchild Family Series by Rebecca Caudill

Two years ago, I read the first book in this series,  Happy Little Family, to the children. I had never read it before myself, but found it listed under optional extra reading on the Prep level Mater Amabilis page. Our library didn't have a copy so I bought one used on Amazon (sight-unseen, which is pretty unusual for me). It is the delightful tale of the five Fairchild children living in early 1900s Kentucky, told mainly from the point of view of the youngest child, Bonnie. One of my very favorite quotes is on the blog here.

Based on how well we enjoyed that book, I took advantage of a publisher's sale and bought the other three. I've just finished reading the last book aloud to the children and could not have asked for a better series to read with children.

In Schoolhouse in the Woods follows Bonnie through a year of school in the small school for the local families. Debby and Bonnie spend on summer going Up and Down the River (the third book), trying to make a little money but instead renewing friendships and gathering a collection of animals. When we went to the State Fair this year, the children all wanted to go to the poultry barn to see the bantam chickens, just like the ones Bonnie and Debby received. In the last book, big sister Althy teaches the rest of the children in their own little school (Schoolroom in the Parlor).

There are not many exciting adventures or trials to suffer; just natural every-day life. The children work, play, and learn together through the years. The illustrations by the author are just as lovely as the text.

These are perfect for reading aloud to all ages. I would have expected the young girls to like it best, but First Son in fourth grade enjoyed it just as much. It's hard for me to tell how difficult the reading level is, but I would guess it's close to that of the Little House books. I think First Daughter might be able to read it slowly and with help now, in first grade.

This series is easily among the best homeschool book purchases I have made and they'd be just as good for a non-homeschooling family.

I did not receive anything in exchange for this blog post. I bought the first book in the series used on Amazon. I purchased the remaining three from Bethlehem Books. They often have sales for 30-50% off their books, though sometimes the titles are limited. I highly recommend liking them on facebook or getting on their email list. I receive a small commission for purchases at Amazon through my links, but nothing for purchases directly from Bethlehem Books.


  1. We are about half way through Schoolroom in the Parlor now, we have really enjoyed this series.

    I also ordered a copy of Saturday Cousins (I believe? it's in the basement and I'm too lazy to go look) by the same author.

  2. Gasp! I did not know this was a series! I have an ancient copy of Happy Little Family and after I read it to one of my girls, I remember wishing there were more...but never actually looked.

    I'm thinking of these for Christmas gifts for my girls now...thanks! :)

  3. Monica, Caudill has quite a few books. So far, this series has all of my favorite books by her.

    Brandy, I think your girls would love them!

  4. I got the first one, read it and loved, then immediately put the other 3 on my list to get, which I did. Plan on reading them out loud this year or at least having Catherine read them when she gets to Kentucky in her study of the states this year.


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