A Little Princess



Congratulations, Madeline! I will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address so I can send you your movie!

Favorite Family Films Header Graphic

“I am a princess!”
“All girls are! Even if they live in tiny old attics, even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young, they’re still princesses – all of us! Didn’t your father ever tell you that? Didn’t he?”

Today’s movie is one of those rare instances where I cannot decide whether I love the book or the movie better. The book is one of my favorites, and I have read it many times. But the movie fills a slight hole in my heart that the book is content to leave gaping and raw. And for that, perhaps I appreciate and prefer the movie… just slightly more than the book.

Meet Sarah Crewe and her wealthy father, Captain Crewe. Sarah has grown up in India, where her father has been able to give her all the nicest things in life. But instead of making Sarah snobbish, she has learned generosity and compassion for everyone. When her father enlists to fight for the British in WWI, Sarah is left at a boarding house where her mother once went to school.

Sarah is not used to learning in a classroom, and her peculiarities and vivid imagination do nothing to endear her to the strict headmistress, who has no patience for flights of fancy or anyone who doesn’t toe the line with cookie-cutter behavior. But she tolerates Sarah for the sake of her father’s fortune and generosity to the school. However, when Sarah’s father goes missing and is presumed dead, everything changes.

Forced to become a servant, forbidden to speak with her former friends, and living in rags in a freezing garret room, can Sarah continue to believe that there is magic still?

This is one of those movies that makes me cry every time I see it. There is also the beautiful story-within-a-story device that is used so poignantly to highlight Sarah’s own journey and the difficulties she faces. (I told you I love that device!)

This is one of those movies where everything in it just… works. From the acting, to the sets, to the dialogue, to the variation in the color palette between the “real world” of the boarding school and the “story” that Sarah is telling, to the music, to the beautiful, heart-wrenching plot that ties it all together… if you’ve never watched this one, it is a must-see! (The ending is good, I promise. No Bridge to Terabithia-style ending for this movie… though I guarantee you’ll need a box of tissues… for very different reasons)

A Little Princess is available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, Youtube, Vudu, and Google Play.

~ jenelle

Nightstand Books for a New School Year

Summer reading was fun! But now Autumn approacheth… and so… more books must be knighted to stand at the ready for voracious readers to enjoy the stories they hold!


Nope, that’s not my nightstand, but “Coffee Table Books” just doesn’t sound as good… Grayden was sleeping and I didn’t want to go in and wake him up when I wanted to take the picture.

This isn’t the complete stack of books, but there are a few waiting for me at the library that I need to go pick up that I didn’t have yet when I took the picture.

So… from the top down:

The Great Turkey Walk - by Katharine Karr

This is the book we are reading for Language Arts. School started back up yesterday, and it all went rather well, actually. This story is fun, so far. I am interested to see where it goes. The narrator has been easy to like from the first chapter.

Wild Born – by Brandon Mull

Still reading this with Nathalie. She LOVES it, and I am looking forward to the next book, because it was written by Shannon Hale… and I like her writing style better than Mull’s. Apparently this series was written by a collaboration of authors. Or something. I need to look it up, because I’m intrigued, and it appears that every book is written by a different author. It is a fun, fantasy adventure so far.

Jim Elliot – by Janet and Geoff Benge

Leiana pulled this one out of the church library and I’m reading it to the kids. It’s weird, reading this to people who don’t already know how the story ends. Growing up in Wheaton, it seemed to me that EVERYONE in the world had heard the name Jim Elliot (he went to Wheaton College). Nate Saint’s son came and spoke at one of our chapel services in high school, and he brought the chief of the Waodani and HIS son as well. It was incredible to hear the story from them.

This is a great series of books, and I enjoy learning things I didn’t know before in this story I’ve heard countless times.

William Wilberforce – by John Holzmann

This is what we are reading for History right now. So far, it’s interesting. I enjoy the books that Mr. Holzmann has written for the Sonlight curriculum.

Starting Strong – by Paula Rinehart

This is a study on the life of Simon Peter, which goes along with our Bible reading for each day.

Holy Bible for KIDS

We use Leiana’s Bible for our daily readings. It’s ESV and has some nice pictures. Nice edition.

Castle Behind Thorns – by Merrie Haskell

I have enjoyed everything I’ve read from this author, and this book is no exception. They have a fairy tale feel, but are not always retellings. This one has been quite intriguing and I can’t wait to find out how it all turns out.

Not Pictured:

I have been given the extremely awesome privilege to beta-read The Brightest Thread by Silmarillion Award Blogger Tracey Dyck! I am super excited to dive into that this month.

I am going to be heading to the library shortly and picking up Winter, Fairest, and Stars Above: A Collection of Lunar Chronicles Short Stories so that I can read ALL the rest of the Lunar Chronicles that exist. They are that good.

And that should be plenty for September… don’t you think?

What books are on your nightstand, dear Reader?


~ jenelle

Fan Art Contest

Are you an artist? Do you like to draw, paint, sculpt, make mosaics… or… other forms of visual art that are escaping me currently?

Do you also love fantasy fiction books?

Then you should definitely enter THIS CONTEST that the Fellowship of Fantasy is hosting!

I recently got some lovely fan art for my short story Stone Curse… and, I’ve gotta say… it is amazing! I’d never gotten any fan-art of characters I’ve created before.

Now, I personally cannot art (yes, I am using that as a verb), so I am highly impressed by anyone who can. Especially if they can auth AND art… now that is envy-inducing! However, I hear that there have been very few submissions to the contest yet (none in the 11-15 age category and none in the 15+ category)… but there really ought to be, andI might just have to enter something so I can win…. because then I could be an “award winning artist!” and TAKE OVER THE TRI-STATE AREA!!! And because there are some really cool prizes in various age categories.

I’m threatening to use this amazing photo-realistic depiction of the battle scene from the end of Alora: the Wander Jewel… and if it runs unopposed… it will win!


(Yes, that took me longer than 10 seconds to draw. No, more time would not have helped it be better)


And…. you know… I’d love to see fan art of some more of my characters… so… I definitely think you should enter. Especially if you want to enter with artwork of Stone Curse or Minstrel’s Song characters. Because, those are your favorites… right?





Okay, okay, you can enter with fan-art of works by other authors if you must.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 16. Click on the link above for all the rules and details!

If anyone out there has fan art of any of my characters and would like to share it, I would LOVE to see it – even if you don’t want to enter the contest!

But that’s not all the art-related news I have today!

Nope… this is not a cover-reveal. Sorry if I got your hopes up.

Due to Heidi and me joking around on facebook about submitting our less-than-stellar pieces of art… Heidi had an idea for an epic hashtag game! Thus, she created the #StickFigureChallenge!

The goal is to recreate your favorite scene from your favorite book… only using stick figures! You can post them on twitter or facebook using the hashtag so we can all see them.

Stick Figure Challenge

I’ve already done one. Wanna see it?

From my favorite scene in The Hobbit… Bilbo Baggins matching wits with Smaug…



Apparently, this is what happens when I get a three-day weekend!

~ jenelle