I have compiled here a list of books that feature homeschooled characters. I have NOT necessarily read all of these books, so I'm NOT necessarily recommending them. Some feature more mature themes than others. Some are about characters who are explicitly homeschooled, others are about school-aged characters who are in extended or extenuating life-learning situations with no mention of school. Some portray homeschooling in a favorable light, others are more stereotypical.
I will try to include a description of what the book is about, its age/grade level, the age of the character in case you're looking for books about kids around your kids' ages, and I will try to note whether a book is religious in nature.
Addie McCormick and the Computer Pirate
by Leanne Lucas
"While her school is being repaired following a tornado and she is attending a cooperative homeschool, Addie becomes involved in a mystery surrounding the school's computer software."
(Ages 9-12; this is part of a series but I believe this is the only one that refers to homeschooling).
Adventures in the Neighborhood Woods (series)
by Jesse Honn
Written by an author who was homeschooled himself, this series features a group of seven friends, some of whom are homeschooled, who "set out to explore the neighborhood woods for themselves, seeking out hidden treasures and mysterious secrets. As they soon find out, the woods hold much more than the adventuresome group could ever hope to explore in one summer. For these daring woodsmen, however, another adventure is never far away. Welcome to the neighborhood!" NOTE: The first book in the series is called The Tunnel.
(Does not say the age range this is for but I believe the kids in the book are in the 8-10 y/o range).
Adventures of Lil' Wolf, Twinkie, Toes, and Flower Girl in the Homeschool Forest, The
by Jacqueline R. Campos
"Come and join in all the fun of the Wolf Family as they share their homeschooling adventures with you! It is never a dull day in the Homeschool Forest, with the gentle Flower Girl, lazy Toes, fun loving Lil’ Wolf, and the very clever Twinkie."
Adventures of the Kerrigan Kids, The
by Gilbert Morris
Book one in the series is called "Painted Warriors and Wild Lions, Travel in Africa."
"Adventures of the Kerrigan Kids Series: After their mother died, photographer Mr. Kerrigan begins taking his natural daughter and adopted children with him on business trips. They're on the move for adventures all over the world. Million-selling author, Gilbert Morris, thrills and educates young readers with these new travel adventures. The Kerrigans learn valuable lessons as everything begins to go wrong on their trip to Australia. Their luggage was misdirected, the girls suffer food poisoning, Mr. Kerrigan loses a contact, and their all-purpose vehicle breaks down on a rural road. The Kerrigans learn the valuable lesson that bad things can happen to good people and that it is critical to trust in God even during difficult circumstances. "
(Christian/Religious. Ages 9-12)
by Watt Key
"For as long as ten-year-old Moon can remember, he has lived out in the forest in a shelter with his father. They keep to themselves, their only contact with other human beings an occasional trip to the nearest general store. When Moon's father dies, Moon follows his father's last instructions: to travel to Alaska to find others like themselves. But Moon is soon caught and entangled in a world he doesn't know or understand; he's become property of the government he has been avoiding all his life. As the spirited and resourceful Moon encounters constables, jails, institutions, lawyers, true friends, and true enemies, he adapts his wilderness skills and learns to survive in the outside world, and even, perhaps, make his home there."
Alice, I Think
by Susan Juby
"Life Goals List: 1. Decide on a unique and innovative career path. 2. Increase contact with people outside of immediate family. 3. Learn to drive a car. 4. Some sort of boy-girl interaction? (Possibly best left until after high school. Maybe best left until middle age). 5. Publish paper comparing teenagers and chicken peer groups. 6. Read entire Lord of the Rings series. (Do not dress like characters). 7. Develop new look. (Like career choice, must reflect uniqueness).
(Alice is homeschooled by her hippie mom after a bad experience in first grade. This book contains some mature themes, and may be best suited to teens.)
Allison's Story, A Book About Homeschooling
by Jon Lurie
"Allison is eight years old. She lives in Minnesota with her parents and her little sisters, Gemma and Martha. When Allison goes to school, she doesn't go far. Her classroom is right in the family's kitchen. Allison's mom and dad are her teachers in their homeschool. Allison studies spelling, multiplication, science, and all the other subjects her friends study in school. Allison has lessons most days, but almost every day is different."
(The reader is walked through a "typical" day. Includes photographs.)
All Mixed Up! (Amy Hodgepodge no. 1)
by Kevin Knotts and Kim Wayans
"After years of being home schooled, Amy Hodges is excited to start fourth grade at a “real” school. On Amy’s first day, she gets teased not only because she is new, but also because she looks different. Amy is part Asian, Caucasian, and African American. Eventually, Amy meets a group of nice kids and one of them even affectionately gives her the nickname “Amy Hodgepodge” since she’s a mix of so many races. But when their teacher announces that the annual talent show is coming up, Amy wonders if her new friends will want to include her, too."
And Then Mama Said...It Takes Time To Learn To Read
by Gena Suarez
"This endearing book introduces Splish, who longs to read—all by himself. Mama tells Splish to be patient and keep trying, and one day it will happen. Splish wants to believe Mama, but he still sulks and gets frustrated. In the end, perseverance and patience (everyone's) are rewarded! Activity pages & answers, too."
(Ages 4-8; At Least Some Religious Content as an Amazon review mentioned Splish's father reading the bible aloud every night).
Are We There Yet?
by Alison Lester
Eight year old Grace, her parents, and her two brothers take the winter term off from school, hitch a camper trailer to their car, and set off to explore their country (Australia). Brightly illustrated, written in Grace's voice.
by Jane Yolen
Two teenagers, one of whom is homeschooled, meet when their respective parents, for different reasons, drag them to a mountain cult led by Reverend Beelson, who believes the world will end in fire on July 27th.
by Scott Stroud
"Mom is determined to have a productive day homeschooling the kids but in her way stands Baby Kong! Set on destroying everything in his path, including Mom's sanity, Baby Kong rampages through the house. Thankfully, Mom has a few tricks up her sleeve. "
(Ages 4-8. Based on Christian principals with several references to God).
by Cheryl Crouch
(Chosen Girls Series)
"Chosen Girls is a dynamic new series that communicates a message of empowerment and hope to Christian youth who want to live out their faith. These courageous and compelling girls stand for their beliefs and encourage others to do the same. When their cross-cultural outreach band takes off, Trinity, Melody, and Harmony explode onto the scene with style, hot music, and genuine, age-relatable content. In Backstage Pass, shy, reserved Melody (Mello), gets her world rocked when a new girl moves in across the street from her best friend, Harmony. Soon downtime---or any time with Harmony at all---looks like a thing of the past as the strong-willed Trinity invades Mello and Harmony's world and insists that the three start a rock band. With a little help from the neighborhood computer geek, Lamont, the girls are transformed into music-video superheroes who triumph over sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. Somewhere along the way they open their hearts, learning that both old friends and new are important, and the Chosen Girls band is born."
(Christian/Religious, Ages 9-12)
Ballet Shoesby Noel Streatfeild"Narrator Elizabeth Sastre beautifully brings to life the story of three British orphans and their loving caretakers in Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes (Random, 1937). Pauline, Petrova, and Posie start life off as carefree children, but when their adopted Great Uncle Max (a.k.a. Gum) disappears on a fossil hunting expedition, the young girls find themselves becoming the breadwinners of the family. As stage performers they are able to give back to the only family they have ever known, and have their own adventures while they're at it."
(Also check out Dancing Shoes by the same author).
by Mary Norton
This well known series features a family of tiny people who live in the houses of ordinary people, taking (or "borrowing") the things we thought we'd lost...
Boxcar Children, The
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Four orphaned children run away from their guardian and turn an old abandoned boxcar into their home in this well-known series. I don't believe there is any mention of school in the books (although there are a LOT of books in this series and I haven't read them myself), they learn on their own, solving mysteries in each story.
(Geared toward grades 2-6)
Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse
by Kaleb Nation
"What if your mother was a criminal? What if her crime was magic? What if magic ran in the family?" "There’s much that 14-year-old Bran Hambric can’t explain about his life, beginning with why he has no memories that date before he was found in a bank vault at age six. Although he lives with the Wilomas family in Dunce, where magic is forbidden, Bran discovers that he possesses magical abilities, and with the help of an underground magical community, he begins to learn about his past, including difficult truths about his real family, as well as a dastardly plan that threatens himself and many others he cares for."
(Ages 9-12; I also read that the author of this book was homeschooled and began writing this book when he was a young teen)!
Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street
by Sharon G. Flake
"Queen Marie Rousseau is intelligent and capable. She is also bossy and selfish. Spoiled from birth by her father and three older brothers (and somewhat less by her mother) and homeschooled until she was in third grade, Queen has no idea how to relate to her fifth-grade classmates. She doesn't seem able to keep her mouth shut and often treats them with scorn. When a new boy, Leroy, appears in class—smelly, ill-dressed, and claiming he is from Africa—Queen is sure he is lying and becomes determined to prove it. Following him, she discovers that he is running errands for a neighbor, an actor who has developed agoraphobia. Queen bullies Leroy into telling her about Cornelius and tries to talk her way into his apartment. Her high-and-mighty attitude doesn't work with the man—he insists that she solve a complicated riddle and act decently before he will speak with her. So begins Queen's slow and bumpy realization that being pleasant will smooth her relationships with others. She eventually gains entrance into Cornelius's apartment and discovers all the memorabilia he has collected over a lifetime of world travel. And she finds a real friend in Leroy. Flake has created a character who is difficult and unlikable but at the same time sympathetic. Everything is wrapped up a little too quickly, but that will not deter readers from rooting for the child to change her attitude and find her place in the world."
(Ages 8 and up).
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
by Jean Lee Latham
"Readers today are still fascinated by "Nat," an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor"s world—Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn"t promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by "log, lead, and lookout." Nat"s long hours of study and observation, collected in his famous work, The American Practical Navigator (also known as the "Sailors" Bible"), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero."
Cheaper by the Dozenby Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
The kids in this true story do go to school, but the dad has no use for traditional grade levels and is always teaching the kids really neat things that come across as very homeschoolish.
by Nicola Morgan
A preteen named Becca is pulled out of school when her family moves to a rural community. Becca exiles herself to the chicken coop ("a good place to sit and think"). She considers her family to be weird, her own personality to be boring, her diabetes and her being homeschooled as obstacles to making friends- which is her main goal. Then she meets two cool and slightly dangerous girls who she wants to impress. Trying to be like them, she finds herself courting disaster.
(Mature themes such as older boys, alcohol, etc.)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
by Ian Fleming
"Two children persuade their inventor father to purchase and restore an old car which turns out to have magical powers. When twins Jemima and Jeremy Pott convince their father Caractacus to restore an old car, he and his two children discover that it has some highly unusual and distinctly magical capabilities."
(The kids in this story seem to be unschooled- they learn things from their inventor father, play all day, only go to school when they want to)
Chronicles of Narnia, The
by C.S. Lewis
"On the other side of that wardrobe door lies a world full of magic. A world frozen in the perpetual winter of the White Witch's enchantment. A world where Christmas never comes. Would you have the courage to stand shoulder to shoulder with Aslan, the Great Lion, and fight the Witch to free the land of Narnia? Are you brave enough to share the adventures that change the lives of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy forever?"
Cody Greene and the Rainbow Mystery
by Linda Fields
"When a painting is stolen from nine year old Cody Greene’s family’s art gallery, he does what any artist does best: he sketches the clues. Through cooking with his friend, visiting the midwife with his mom, hiking with his dad, and helping to prepare for an upcoming art and craft festival, Cody’s homeschooling takes a new turn as he unravels the Case of the Rainbow Mystery."
Conch Bearer, The
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
"In a dingy shack in the less-than-desirable Indian neighborhood he calls home, twelve-year-old Anand is entrusted with a conch shell that possesses mystical powers. His task is to return the shell to its rightful home many hundreds of miles away. Accompanying him are Nisha, a headstrong but resourceful child of the streets, and a mysterious man of indeterminate age and surprising resources named Abadhyatta. His quest will take him further from home than he's ever been and will teach him more than he ever imagined- and it will force him to make a poignant decision that will change him forever."
Courtship of Sarah McLean, The
by Stephen B. Castleberry
This is about a homeschooling family. Sarah, the oldest is getting anxious for someone to want to court her and is having a hard time trusting the Lord to bring her a young man in his own time.
Cross-Country Treasure Hunt (And the Mystery That Followed)
by Gwen Lepkowski
It began with an unexpected letter in the mail. Now Josh Reed and his family are in for the adventure of a lifetime when they agree to go on the ultimate treasure hunt. They must follow the clues which will lead them across the United States to see the wonders of God’s creation, including many national parks and national monuments. When challenges arise and dangers threaten, will their faith in God and help from each other be enough? At the end a treasure waits, but will what they find along the way be even more valuable? Josh, an eleven-year-old detective in the making, has a question of his own. Is it his imagination, or is someone following them? Help Josh and his family decipher the clues, record their journey through the states on a map, and solve a mystery as well.
Dear Pirate: The Buried Treasure Mystery
by Carole Marsh
"Ahoy Matey! A postcard from pen pal pirate? Peter Post can't believe his eyes! When the pirate writes back and invites Peter and his sister Piper down to Key West, the kids jump at the chance! Everywhere they turn- pirates! Gold Teeth! Eyepatches! Sword fights! But where is their pirate pen pal? Join the search and join the fun! Arrrrr! Postcard Mysteries: What happens when you mix together curious kids, postcards addressed to mysterious names, and parents that own an RV? These exciting new mysteries will take kids ages 7-14 around the United States in a beat-up RV that is always gassed and ready to go."
(Look for other mysteries by this author. The series appears to be about a relaxed/eclectic homeschooling family.)
by Judy Blume
In this book, Fudge's family unexpectedly encounters distant relatives from Hawaii while visiting Washington, D.C. The other family returns with Fudge's to stay with them for a while in New York, and a series of comedic antics follows. The cousins are homeschooled, although homeschooling, in this instance, is portrayed in a more "comical" and stereotypical way rather than a realistic or particularly favorable one.
(Ages 8-12. The "Fudge" books are, of course, part of a series but not one generally having anything to do with homeschooling)
Double Trouble Squared: A Starbuck Family Adventure, Book 1
by Kathryn Lasky
"When their father accepts a new job in England, July, Liberty, and their family find themselves exploring the foggy streets of London. The twins try to discover the source of the voice only they can hear--a voice that needs their help. Using telepathy and their individual talents, the twins uncover a long-lost manuscript of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, along with the ghost of Sherlock Holmes’s forgotten twin brother."
(Ages 9-12; the twins in this series appear to be homeschooled by their Nanny, a former public school teacher, who travels with the family. Series continues with "Shadows in the Water" and "A Voice in the Wind").
Drift House: The First Voyage
by Dale Peck
In this fantasy/adventure, three children are sent to live with their eccentric uncle in the aftermath of September 11. He lives in a strange ship-like home called the Drift House. 12 year old Susan and her two brothers unwittingly set the Drift House adrift into the Sea of Time where they meet fantastic creatures and have fantastic adventures.
Education of Little Tree, The
by Forrest Carter
"The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression. "Little Tree," as his grandparents call him, is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains and to respect nature in the Cherokee way- taking only what is needed, leaving the rest for nature to run its course. Little Tree also learns the often callous ways of the white businessmen and tax collectors, and how Granpa, in hilarious vignettes, scares them away from his illegal attempts to enter the cash economy. Granma teaches Little Tree the joys of reading and education. But when Little Tree is sent to an Indian boarding school run by whites, we learn of the cruelty meted out to Indian children in an attempt to assimilate them, and of Little Tree's perception of the Anglo world and how it differs from the Cherokee way."
by Lousia M. Alcott
"At the age of 13, Rose finds herself orphaned and living with two elderly aunts on "Aunt Hill" where she is treated as delicately as the flower for which she is named. But Rose soon finds her quiet world turned upside down with the arrival of her seven boisterous boy cousins followed by her Uncle Alec, a doctor and a world traveler. Upon meeting Rose, Uncle Alec quickly prescribes fresh air and much activity to help with the girl's poor constitution. Uncle Alec's diagnosis turns out to be an accurate one and Rose, with the help of her cousins, finds herself in the middle of much hijinx and merriment."
(Grades 6 and up. There is a sequel to this book, "Rose In Bloom").
by Kay Thompson
Eloise is the irrepressible 6-year-old resident of New York City's haughty Plaza Hotel. She is raised mainly by a Nanny who believes that the world is the best place to learn.
Elsa Beskow - This author has several "Waldorfy" books with a homeschool/unschool/magical feel geared toward children aged 3-8. Look her up and check out some of her titles such as "The Land of Long Ago," "The Curious Fish," "The Sun Egg," "Children of the Forest," etc.
Emily The Strange: Dark Times
by Jessica Gruner and Rob Reger
"Emily's uniquely strange homeschool syllabus includes:
1. Time Travel 1012. Advanced Spy Photography
3. Bonnet Basics
4. Great Aunts Through the Ages
5. Intro to Germ Theory
6. Care and Feeding of 'Squito Fish
7. Fundamentals of Black Rock
8. Spiderweb Embroidery
9. Historical & Contemporary Felines
10. Pop Quizzes
11. Foodstuffs of the 1780s
12. Thwarting Ancestral Enemies
13. Techniques in Parallel"
(Young Adult. This is the third book in a series; it is in this book that the main character, who is not a fan of school, decides to take on homeschooling herself.)
Every Soul A Star
by Wendy Mass
"The lives of three young people intersect and transform against the backdrop of a total solar eclipse. Homeschooled Ally has grown up at the remote Moon Shadow Campground, which her family runs. An eclipse, which can be viewed only from this site, is approaching, and ahead of it come Bree, an aspiring model obsessed with popularity, and Jack, a reclusive artist and avid sci-fi reader. Ally's sheltered world is about to open up as she discovers that her parents plan to cede management of the campground to Bree's parents after the event. Neither Ally nor Bree is excited about the prospect, but as the teens interact they come to terms with the changes they face. Meanwhile, introverted Jack finds himself making friends and becoming a leader. As they go their separate ways, all three approach the future with a newfound balance between their internal and their external lives."
(Young Adult; Ally is 13).
by M.T. Anderson
Teen narrator Titus grows up in a futuristic world where parents select their babies attributes and televisions and computers are plugged into peoples' brains when they are babies. They live in a consumer society, the kids are barely articulate, and kids learn to employ the corporation dominated information stream, or "feed," more efficiently in School. Things change when Titus and his friends travel to the moon for Spring Break and Titus meets homeschooled Violet, who thinks for herself.
Fractured Fate: There's A Reason It Stayed Lost
by Caja Coyote
"When five teens in Sahuarita, Arizona find themselves in the middle of worldwide cataclysms, earth-controlling Joe rounds up super-strong Grace, information-absorbing Natalie, weather-making Valencia, and fire-starting Drake, in order to help defeat the force which created all the destruction. While overcoming unleashed mythical creatures and rebuilding their community, the team struggles to change the fate of a now fractured Earth. What does the mysterious box have to do with anything? Does Levi have plans of his own? Can these strangers bring their powers together and save the world?"
(One Amazon reviewer says this book is billed as Young Adult but "transcends the generations. Anyone, young or old, who loves the genre of science fiction/fantasy will love Fractured Fate." Caja Coyote is a pen name for a group of five teens, most of who were homeschooled, who wrote this book together).
Freya and Heath Are Home Educated
by Kim Holding
For preschoolers (age 2-5), no religious content, UK Children. This book has a follow up for 4-8 year olds called "Adventures of the Homeschoolers: The Genie in the Teapot"
From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
by e.l. konigsburg
Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back. She didn't like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes. Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not be just running from somewhere but would be running to somewhere. To a large place, a comfortable place, an indoor place, and preferably a beautiful place. And that's why she decided upon the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City."
by Diana Wynne Jones
""I swear not to say a word about what we do in this game to anyone outside." Hayley's parents disappeared when she was a baby. Since then, she has been raised and homeschooled by her grandparents. Grandad is overworked and travels a lot; Grandma is much too strict, and never lets her meet any children her own age. When Hayley does something wrong- she is not quite sure what- her grandmother packs her off to her aunts in Ireland. To Hayley's shock, her family is much bigger than she thought; to her delight, the children all play what they call "the game," where they visit a place called "the mythosphere." And while she plays the game, Hayley learns more about her own place in the world than she could have expected."
Gawgon and the Boy, The
by Lloyd Alexander
"Give me the boy. These words have the ring of a death sentence to eleven year old David as elderly, tough-minded Aunt Annie says them. He's recovering from an illness so serious that he almost died. And now this? But arrangements are quickly made- the aged woman, who seems as frightening as a monstrous, snake-haired Gorgon, will become his tutor. But in no time David changes his mind about The Gawgon, his secret nickname for her. He has always been a dreamer, making up and losing himself in imaginary adventures. Soon, she begins to co-star in his fantasies- The Gawgon and The Boy can do anything, go anywhere. Together, they rescue King Tut's treasure, scale mountains, outwit master criminals, fool the gods. Lloyd Alexander has been enthralling young readers for nearly fifty years, but this is his most personal book yet. Introducing us to a wild and eccentric cast of family members, he mixes fantasy, raucous humor, and splendid shenanigans. Just as Alexander has inspired scores of young readers, The Gawgon changes David forever. In a year, the old woman with the bright heart of a girl gives him a lifetime's worth of memories as well as the most important gift of all: belief in himself and the confidence to be whatever he wants to be."
Girl Who Could Fly, The
by Victoria Forester
"In this terrific debut novel, readers meet Piper McCloud, the late-in-life daughter of farmers. Her parents revel in conformity, so it’s disconcerting at best when Piper shows a talent for flying. Homeschooled and kept away from outsiders, Piper is lonely. Finally, her parents let her go to a community picnic, where she thinks she’ll meet new friends. Instead, she terrifies the neighbors by flying up to catch a ball during a kids’ game. In no time, the McCloud farm is besieged. Then, out of a helicopter comes the empathetic Dr. Letitia Hellion, who whisks Piper off to a secret school for kids with special talents. But are things there what they seem to be? No."
by Lois Lowry
In a strangely sensible and Utopian world, where everything is perfect and everyone strives for sameness, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he gradually discovers the disturbing truth about his world and decides to take a stand.
(Young adult, mature/disturbing themes)
by Ed Ditto
"Two homeschooled teenagers run afoul of an international crime ring as they race to discover what became of a Confederate smuggler's lost fortune."
Hannah's Island Series
by Eric Wiggin
This series features Hannah and her family, who are fundamentalist Christians. They run a tourist lodge on a small island, apart from outside influences. Hannah is 12 or 13 and usually solving a mystery in each of the various books in the series.
(Ages 9-12; Christian/Religious)
Happy Hedgehog, The
by Marcus Pfister
(There's no cover description on this one, but I'll do my best. It's a beautifully illustrated picture book about Mikko, a young hedgehog, who loves spending time in his garden, something he is very knowledgeable about. His grandfather feels that he is merely wasting time "doing nothing" and that he should "do something" and "Go and take a look how others lead their lives!" so that he can be happy. He doesn't understand that Mikko IS happy. Mikko heads out and meets all sorts of other animals, deciding each time that their life is not for him. There's a part where a hare announces he is going to school. "School? What's that?" Mikko asks, and the hare brings him along to school to show him. Mikko doesn't understand anything the teacher says and at recess he asks the hare if he understood the things the teacher was talking about. The hare replies: "Are you kidding? I understood absolutely nothing. I just memorize everything. My head will be so full when I have finished. Maybe one day I will be the most brilliant hare of all, and then I will certainly be happy." In the end, Mikko returns to his garden. When his healing herbs help his Grandfather, his grandfather sees how much Mikko really has learned right there in his garden).
(Good for preschoolers/Young Children)
by Gary Paulsen
"When the pilot of a small, two-person plane has a heart attack and dies, Brian has to crash land in the forest of a Canadian wilderness. He has little time to realize how alone he is, because he is so busy just trying to survive. And learning to survive, to plan on food not just for a day but until and if he is rescued, only begins when he stops pitying himself and understands that no one can help him. He is on his own, without his divorced father, whom he was to visit, or his mother, whom Brian saw kissing another man before the divorce. This is a heart-stopping story: it seems that at every moment Brian is forced to face a life-and-death decision."
(Young Adult. The other books in this series are called "The River," "Brian's Winter," "Brian's Return," and "Brian's Hunt.")
by Johanna Spyri
"What happens when a little orphan girl is forced to live with her cold and frightening grandfather? The heartwarming answer has engaged children for more than a century, both on the page and on the screen. Johanna Spyri’s beloved story offers youngsters an endearing and intelligent heroine, a cast of unique and memorable characters, and a fascinating portrait of a small Alpine village."
Henley and the Book of Heroes
by Dr. Jane H. Smith
(The Living Tale Series)
"A hero needs a heart so he can do extraordinary things. Remember, Henley, every good story needs a hero...and a hero needs a heart.' Nine-year-old Henley Banks dreams of being a hero, but it's not until he receives a mysterious book from his grandpa that his hero's heart is awakened. As Henley dives--literally--into the Living Tale, he discovers a world beyond anything he ever imagined--full of amazing lands, an unexpected gardener, powerful glones, and an evil that lurks behind Henley's every step. Jump into the first book of The Living Tale Series with young Henley Banks in Henley and the Book of Heroes, as new author Jane H. Smith leads readers of all ages on a supernatural adventure into a battle for Henley's heart. In the midst of this battle, Henley's beloved grandpa is rushed to the hospital, and it seems that only Henley can save him. Not only that, but the Banks family is also struggling to hold together until their father returns from war. There are creatures that seek to overpower the boy before this can happen. How will Henley ignite his hero's heart in time?"
(Ages 9-12; can't quite tell if this one has a strong religious message or not. The author's blurb does say "...she hung up her stethoscope to spend more time with God and family. She desires to write excellent stories of value and honor..." But the "battle" in the story seems to be for "Henley's heart" rather than "Henley's soul"- who knows. You decide!)
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The classic American poem The Song of Hiawatha is developed into a tale covering the childhood of Hiawatha and telling the story of his early years, when he first learned the Native American way of life from his grandmother."
(I include this Puffin Book after coming across a review by a homeschool mom that said "His education is more outdoor ed, but clearly nonschool." Ages 4-8).
by Charles Webb
(This is a follow up book to The Graduate by the same author, which was also a movie)
"At the end of Charles Webb's first novel, The Graduate, Benjamin Braddock rescues his beloved Elaine from a marriage made not in Heaven, but in California. For over forty years, legions of fans have wondered what happened to the young couple after The Graduate's momentous final scene. The wait is over. Eleven years and three thousand miles later, Benjamin and Elaine live in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City, with their two sons, whom they are educating at home. A continent now stands between them and the boys' surviving grandparent, now known as Nan, but who in former days answered to Mrs. Robinson. The story opens with the household in turmoil as the Westchester School Board attempts to quash the unconventional educational methods the family is practicing. Desperate situations call for desperate remedies- even a cry for help to the mother-in-law from hell, who is only too happy to provide her loving services- but at a price far higher than could be expected."
(Not geared toward children)
Homeschool Detectives, The
by John Bibee
I believe the first book in the series is called: "The Mystery of the Homeless Treasure."
"Follow the fast-paced adventure of Billy, Rebecca, Josh, Emily and the rest, as the Home School Detectives overcome false leads and follow clues to the exciting conclusion in one of John Bibee's adventures for young readers."
(May have at least some Christian/Religious content as one Amazon reviewer said: "I love the Christian values and the positive homeschool references as well." Ages 9-12)
Homeschool Liberation League, The
by Lucy Frank
"After an awesome summer at Wilderness Discovery Camp, eighth-grader Katya dreads going to public school, which she finds "stupefying." She convinces her parents to homeschool her so she can enjoy her newfound interests in science and nature. Their idea of homeschooling is very different from hers. She spends most of her days working in her mother's beauty shop and doing lessons from the incredibly boring DIM (Daily Instructional Matrix) instead of wandering the area examining plants and animals. She begins dating Milo, a violin prodigy who is homeschooled as well and hates it, and they form the Homeschool Liberation League in order to change their parents' approach to education. With the help of Katya's friend Francesca, a reporter for the school paper, Katya and Milo work to achieve the outcome that they desire. Various local residents assist with Katya's schooling. "
Homeschool on a Battlefield
by Jennifer Lynn
"Jackson, Haley, Lainey and Katie are homeschool kids out for an adventure. They’re looking forward to a few days away from the books, exploring an old Civil War battlefield. But they end up with more than one mystery to solve as they form a new friendship that takes them down a dangerous road. Join these homeschool detectives as they crack codes, follow clues and learn by doing."
(This homeschooling author has written a book suitable for all ages).
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day
by Dr. Seuss, Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith
Brainstormed by Dr. Seuss before his death and finished afterward, this book IS about a school...but not an ordinary one! These teachers don't just teach rote facts like they do at ordinary schools. It's a fun story of how children SHOULD be learning in public schools.
How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff
Daisy, a fifteen year old girl from Manhattan, is sent to live at her aunt's country farmhouse in London for the summer. With her aunt frequently traveling, Daisy spends a lot of time with her cousins- one of whom she falls in love with. When terrorists invade and occupy England, and soldiers come to the farm sending the boys and girls off to separate places, Daisy is determined to keep herself and her youngest cousin alive.
I Am A Home Schooler
by Julie Voetberg
(A nine year old homeschooler who lives on a small family farm walks the reader through a "typical" day in her life. Includes photographs.)
I Am Learning All The Time
by Rain Perry Fordyce
"When a man at the bus stop asks, "Why are you boys not in school today?" five and a half year old Huge begins to wonder that same question. While he thinks about that... he tells the story about homeschool life with his friends, his big brother Chas, and his mom and dad."
(Very sweet, beautifully illustrated, "unschoolish," compares and contrasts homeschooled Hugh with his public-schooled friends in a positive manner).
Ida B... and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World
by Katherine Hannigan
"Ida B. Applewood believes there is never enough time for fun. That's why she's so happy to be homeschooled and to spend every free second outside with the trees and the brook. Then some not-so-great things happen in her world. Ida B has to go back to that Place of Slow but Sure Body-Cramping, Mind-Numbing, Fun-Killing Torture- school. She feels her heart getting smaller and smaller and hardening into a sharp, black stone. How can things go from righter than right to a million miles beyond wrong? Can Ida B put together a plan to get things back to just-about perfect again?"
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
by Ally Carter
(Gallagher Girls series)
Fifteen year old Cammie is not actually homeschooled. She is a genius who attends an all girl boarding school for spies-in-training, where her mother is headmistress. When she falls for a local boy who has no clue about her true identity and has to keep her school a secret from him and his friends, she invents a cover story- she's homeschooled.
by Cornelia Funke
"Meggie, 12, has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. Things change after a visit from a scarred man who calls himself Dustfinger and who refers to Mo as Silvertongue. Meggie learns that her father has been keeping secrets. He can "read" characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released Dustfinger and other characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story. Mo also released Capricorn, a sadistic villain who takes great pleasure in murdering people. He has sent his black-coated henchmen to track down Mo and intends to force him to read an immortal monster out of the story to get rid of his enemies. Meggie, Mo, Dustfinger, and Meggie's great-aunt Elinor are pursued, repeatedly captured, but manage to escape from Capricorn's henchmen as they attempt to find the author of Inkheart in the hope that he can write a new ending to the story."
by Barbara Cooney
"At first there was just the island. It sat by itself, the outermost island, crowned with spiky Spruce trees, facing the see. Behind it, in the bay, lay the other islands, and behind them, the mainland and Green Harbor, where the family came from. It was Pa who felled the trees and cleared the north end of the island. It was he who dug the well now full of sweet water. It was he who cut the stone and the wood to make the house. When all was ready, he brought his wife, the three children, and the family cow to live on the island. Henceforth it would be known as Tibbetts Island, for that was the family name."
(Ages 3-8, illustrated. A homeschool forum friend told me about this one and said that while it isn't the main point of the story, the mother does teach all the children.)
by Cynthia Rylant
"When Daniel's parents die, he goes to live with his grandfather on a remote gray island off British Columbia. Together they live a lonely life, hardly talking to anyone. But the loneliness lifts from Daniel when he meets a mermaid. He returns to the shore hoping to find her again, but instead sees a sea otter, which tosses him a shell. Daniel discovers a very old key inside the shell and is certain it's a gift from the mermaid. What will this magical key unlock?"
(Ages 10 and up)
Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O'Dell
"Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as San Nicolas Island. Blue dolphins splash in the water surrounding it, sea otters play in the kelp beds, and seabirds roost in its crags. Once, Indians also lived on the island- until one day they decided to leave and sail to the east. A young girl was left behind. Karana is that girl. Year after year, she waits for the ship to come back. But it never does. Finally she realizes she must make a fateful choice- follow her people on her own or remain alone on the island for the rest of her life."
CONTINUE ON TO PART 2, TITLES J-R:
Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles J-R
CONTINUE ON TO PART 3, TITLES S-Z:
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents - Emilie Buchwald