new work meet the maker

On Forbidden Books and Archery

You have no idea how many times they asked. “Puh-leeeeeeease can we read The Hunger Games?” To which I always replied in the negative, reassuring them that, when they are a little older, they can read them. They’re just too violent, I was convinced. But my Tall Girl was obsessed. She wanted one thing only, and that was to be granted permission to read that series.

My resolve was shaken when, making plans for our camping trip to Vermont, we were deciding as a family what book we would listed to on the drive. In front of the girls, Alex suggested the the book and shrugged and said, “why not?” That was all the ammunition the girls needed and before I knew it, I had reluctantly agreed to it.

Part of my softening was due to the fact that we have been doing archery at home for the past month. Alex built a wooden bow, as well as arrows, (inspired by the Genghis Khan series) and we have all been sharpening our skills as archers. Static targets have given way to moving targets (things swinging from string), subsequent bows have been crafted, and many an arrow has been broken. Judging from the holes in the siding of my garage (!), I wouldn’t recommend walking into our backyard unannounced these days.

hand made wooden bow

As of today, we are almost through the first book and Katniss fever has hit our home hard. The girls imagine themselves master hunters and survivors like the character, and I have come around to the idea of my kids being exposed to the concepts in the book. Unexpectedly, they are not lingering on the gruesome details, but capitalizing on what impressed their little minds the most. Climbing trees recently, Small Girl asked if I thought she could get to the top of it, like Katniss does. I was also asked if we could learn more about what plants you can eat in the wild, “like Katniss knows all about”. (um, that would be an enthusiastic YES!).

hand made wooden bow

They do have a lot of questions, which I welcome, but for the most part they are captured by the book and even more so by the heroic girl at the center of it. To say this mama has come around, would be an understatement. In fact, you could say I’m feeding the fire now. Behold, the latest addition to their jewelry collection: The Archer Necklace.

archer necklace, arrow necklace, silver

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21 responses to “On Forbidden Books and Archery”

  1. Ann Aubrey Hanson

    Great entry, Amy. I agree. We were always so careful about what the kids read, fearing to expose them to too much, too soon. For example, Harry Potter. But our kids didn’t go off the deep end and pursue the dark arts (as did some of their more gullible classmates at school), but, rather, were taken by the story and the power of love, and good overcoming evil, etc.

    As to the Hunger Games stories, Aubrey and I agree that they are perfect for girls your girls’ ages. They’re powerful heroines, who are still young and real. Something for your girls to model themselves after. Of course, not every little girl has a dad who will fashion her a bow and arrows to shoot with, or a mom who will make such jewelry for them, but still…great books to build the young, female psyche.

    Love your jewelry, and the bows look awesome!

    1. AG Ambroult

      thanks for this, Ann! It’s funny, how I was so convinced one thing would happen, but the exact opposite thing actually did. Lesson learned.
      Is Aubrey there for the summer? If so, what fun!

    2. Angela

      Oh my the same happened here. We weren’t concerned about the dark arts, but the violence. One kid could care less about the series while the other enjoys it whole-heartedly and focuses on the same things your littles loved about the series.

    3. Heather

      Oh I totally hear you here with the Harry Potter. We had the same issue and when I finally relented and allowed them to read it, they were so filled with imagination. It was fun to see.

  2. Mrs.Fox

    So there we have it, you’re a book-jumping family. We had the same issues around The Hunger Games that you had. We’ve read it and it has inspired many great conversations but this book disturbs me to know end. The problem is, I just can’t seem to put them down.

    “O” saw the bow. As you know “O” is on the archery team at school and makes his own bows but after seeing Alex’s bow he is requesting that they make a bow together when he comes up in the Fall. I didn’t even know we were coming up in the fall but now since you have that cool bow in your backyard I see the boy checking airfare on expedia.

    Love the Archer Necklace. Gives greetings to all and hugs to Lu and Ru.

    1. AG Ambroult

      LOL, well, you can tell “O” that, until he can make it here, Alex will be perfecting his bow-making skills. He is currently fiberglassing over a wooden one, for added strength and snap.

      1. Mrs.Fox

        I feel a new line of products coming out of the workshop. He is so talented. Say hi to Ru and Lu.

  3. aimee

    it is absolutely gorgeous! and perfect for a sagittarius!

    1. AG Ambroult

      ah ha! I never thought to market it towards those Nov/Dec babies :)

  4. mandy

    you guys are so freakin’ cool.

  5. Nicola

    I am guessing you guys are “the cool parents” in your neighborhood! Nice bow!

    1. Nicola

      Gorgeous necklaces, by the way!

  6. jacqueline

    Dearest sweet amy, your girls mde me wanna read that book now. It’s so cool that you and your family do archery at home! How cool is that. :) I have only tried it once. Oh my, your new collection is just beautiful! Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

  7. Angela

    Love what your kiddos are getting out of the books! We do a lot of careful exposure around here too. I think our thoughtfulness makes for more thoughtful kids when it comes to these issues. Love that they are climbing trees and pursuing archery. I can’t say enough about your gorgeous necklaces!!! You rock Missy!

    1. AG Ambroult

      thanks Angela. And yes…my girls certainly saw me labor over the decision to let them read it. They must be wondering what the heck I was worrying about! (I am wondering now, too!)

  8. Francesca

    I don’t know the series, but I love the bow, the archer necklace, and how your family *lives* these books.

  9. Concetta @ Glittering Shards

    Loving that tattoo! Not heard of those book but I am sure my time will come!

    1. AG Ambroult

      oh yes. You must get the books! As for the tattoo…it’s a work in progress. And it’s been incomplete for about 5 years now. Just waiting for the time when we have enough disposable income to finish it. Like in 20 years or something.

  10. Heather

    This is hilarious, because all day today Jacob has been following me around the house begging to read this series. Thanks for sharing.

    1. AG Ambroult

      that’s so funny. I suspect that your boys would really run with the imaginative aspects of this book, too, and not dwell on the gory details. But before you agree to letting them (or just jacob) read them, prepare yourself for him following you around the house begging you for a bow and some arrows.

  11. erin

    I read this from my phone a while ago and love it Amy. Your girls sound just awesome, must take after some pretty cool parents. 😉 Love the necklaces, pretty lucky those girls are to have a mama and papa with such creativity and love.

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