April 2012 Podcast: Cindy Rollins

Apr 5, 2012
In the April 2012 edition of Quiddity, the CiRCE Podcast, I had the really fun opportunity to interview Cindy Rollins. Cindy is a regular contributor to our website and blogs here. Cindy has more than 20 years experience as a homeschooler and therefore has a wealth of knowledge (very nearly second to none!). In this conversation we discussed good books for children grades 7 and under, some of which are classics of which you've probably heard (Little House On the Prairie) and others are works with which you may not be so familiar (the works of John Buchan and Little Britches). Cindy has some really interesting things to say about those Little House books (some bold claims) and about how to deal with questionable language in children's literature. So sit back - or run or drive or however you listen - and enjoy. April 2012 Podcast - Cindy Rollins
David Kern

David Kern

David is director of our multimedia initiatives (podcast host, web-content manager, magazine editor, etc). He often writes about film, television, books, and other culture-related topics, and has been published by Christ and Pop Culture, Think Christian, Relevant, and elsewhere.  David and his wife, Bethany, have three young boys and they live in Concord, NC. 

The opinions and arguments of our contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute or its leadership.

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I do want to clarify that Little House in the Big Woods was published in 1932 but it describes the time period between the Civil War and the turn of the century. Unfortunately, I make it sound like Laura Ingalls Wilder was writing during that earlier time period rather than in the 1930s and 40s.

Thanks for your kind words.


We just finished Little Britches, Mystie. It is fitting in our favorite read alouds with Bambi and The Jungle Book (and, for me, Wind in the Willows)

Well done, Cindy! I really need to read <i>Sir Nigel</i>. We loved <i>The White Company</i>. I just wanted to mention that when I read it to the four youngest last year they all loved it, even the girls who were 8 and 12 at the time. My then-18 year old daughter would come into the room to listen too. I'm really glad you mentioned it on your blog a while back.

Excellent podcast! I love what you have to say about Little House; I have encountered some people lately too critical because Pa was too independent and self-reliant, dragging his family through ruin and misery to fulfill his dream. It turned into a city v. agrarian discussion, they being city-idealists. I love Little House. Farmer Boy is my favorite and I wish I'd never read The First Four Years.

My husband just finished reading Penrod aloud, discussed but uncensored. He made the comment last week that he didn't think Tarkington was actually racist at all. I feel validated now. There were a few spots that made me squirm as my husband read. :) He reads with feeling and expression and doesn't believe in censoring a well-written book. Little Britches is next on our list; neither of us have ever read it before, either!

Is there a list that of these wonderful Good Books for children grades 7 and under?? i'm so very inspired!
i have little britches at home here on my shelf - will be reading to my kids this week - thanks!!

That reminds me of a story I read about Robert E. Lee during the Mexican War. While out on reconnaissance he had to hide from the enemy in a hollow log, which was unfortunate for two reasons -- one, the enemy decided to take their dinner and siesta on that log, and two, the log was full of ants. He had to remain perfectly motionless and silent for <i>hours</i> before he was able to get out and go back to camp.

Thank you so much for this! I have been fortunate to find many great book lists from various sources for children, but you mentioned some I'd never heard of AND helped us to understand what the appropriate ages and conversation starters are for each. As a grandma and a prospective teacher, this will inform my choices a great deal.

Please may we have another?

Mystie, I am a bit jealous that you have the fresh joy of reading Little Britches ahead of you.

My husband finally listened to the podcast and rebuked me for not mentioning several great passages from Sir Nigel especially one where Sir Nigel sleeps on an ant bed and doesn't move because he feels it is good discipline to endure hardship.