What We’re Reading {Roxaboxen}

Feb 7, 2013

This monday a major event began at my son’s school…the Reading Rally. What’s “reading rally”, you ask?

Think of a jog-a-thon…but instead of getting sponsored to run laps around a track, students are sponsored to read books (1-2 cents/minute). Each student sets a reading goal for the month. There are medals to be earned. Big stuff people.

Of course, for Quade there was no other option but go for gold. Which means we will be reading at least 3,000 minutes this month. Whew.

He’ll read aloud and I’ll read aloud and Bruce will read aloud. It’s gonna be epic.

I figured since we would be spending so much time reading it’s the perfect time to start a new series…

Being a speech-language pathologist (SLP), I know the importance of reading to your children. But it wasn’t until Quade started attending a Classical Christian school that I understood the difference between quality literature & “twaddle”.

As an SLP my requirements for a “good book” were: simple sentences, theme-based vocabulary, and interesting illustrations. I looked for books with few words per page, ones which allowed me to ask good “Wh-” questions, facilitated further conversation and helped teach story prediction skills.

Now I have new requirements for books we read. I want books which instill values, demonstrate desirable character qualities, encourage creative play, and affirm importance of nature, animals & older generations. The richer the characters, the imagery, the story line…the better.

“What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us.  The greatest university of all is a collection of books.” -Thomas Carlyle

Thankfully his school provided a wonderful list of books which fall in this category of quality literature.

For the “What We’re Reading” series I will share a book a week, give a quick synopsis and share why we like it. (maybe someday it will become a link-up?)

Our first book is one we love to read while eating lunch on our back porch or at the park.

Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran (for ages 3 to 8 years old)


Across the street on a rocky hill children found old wooden boxes, rocks, cactus, and thorny ocotillo (you’ll learn what those are in the book). Adding imagination to these simple materials they create a wonderful world, called Roxaboxen, with homes, ice cream shops, and a city hall. Rocks became currency. Twigs became a steering wheel for a car. A stick and string transform into a horse. Those ocotillo’s become weapons in the great war of boys versus girls. Best of all, no matter the season or the passing years, “Roxaboxen was always there.”

Why we like it:

Having grown up with several acres of woods behind my house, I love the idea of creating a world with natural elements. I remember my best friend and I found trees full of vines and imagined an entire carnival and town in those trees.

This book reminds me of simpler times. All a child needs is a stick and his imagination and unplanned hours of play. Fun to give my boys a vision of what they can create when they play outside.

What are you reading? (have you ever read “Roxaboxen”?)


  1. Brittany

    We are always looking for great books recommendations so I will definitely be tuning in. It is so important what we read, see and think! Thank you

  2. Lauren

    Fantastic! Love Roxaboxen, love this idea of sharing a book a week. Please make it a link up?!

  3. Leslie

    Love this series idea. Love books. Can’t wait to hear about what your family is reading.
    Go Quade! All the way for Gold!

  4. Ashley

    Roxaboxen….Love it! Own it! Read it all the time! We have a children’s book obsession around here. Can’t wait to see what’s next on your list.

  5. Laura

    We like Roxaboxen too. Other favorites: You’re All My Favorites, Verdi, The Quiltmaker’s Gift, All The Places to Love, Little Toot, The Hundred Dresses… oh, more than I could ever list.

  6. Jamie

    What a sweet sounding book…just put it in my Amazon order for the next visitor who comes our way:) Can you share the rest of Quade’s school reading list?? Have fun reading!!!

  7. Laura Lee Groves

    So excited to read your son’s at a classical Christian school! That’s the neatest.

  8. Dee

    Ordered this book for “my” library when I was working -LOVE IT!!

  9. Melissa D. SC

    Hi there,
    I have a son who attends speech therapy once a week at a public school, the rest of the time we are home schooling (not sure that is proper grammar!) I would greatly appreciate a copy of your reading list. We share the same standards in reading material. I love the idea of the library but I find it hard in today’s society to just say to the children, “go ahead and go pick out whatever you want”. There are so many books that do not line up with the biblical guidelines that we follow.

    My son is 8 and the oldest of four more brothers, however, he does have one older sister! Thank you for considering my request. I would be so blessed if you would be able to share when you have some available time. I can be reached at dono7695 at bellsouth dot net

    Have a blessed week,
    Melissa Donovan, SC

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