Posted in Book Reviews, history, Home School Review Crew Posts

Review of the By the Way Book Series from By the Way Books


By the Way  publishes wonderful travel books for kids such as Alaska ~ By The Way from the By the Way Book Series.  Because our family is military, throughout the years, we have been asked where we would choose to live outside the contiguous forty-eight states and our first choice has always been Alaska.  So I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to review this book.  This series of books is a fun way of learning about state history from a unique perspective.


The books examine the lives of Alex and Lexi who are brother and sister.  In the book Alaska ~ By the Way, the two travel to Alaska with their parents.  They experience time on a ship, time in some of the cities, and even time in the air traveling from one place to another. Our family loved the details included about how local people live, the wildlife, the plants and flowers and even economic information.  The details included are incredible.  We found facts to suprise us -such as the information regarding the Wasilla Farmers Market and the size and quantity of fruit and vegetables produced.  There were also some things we already knew – such as the numbers of daylight versus darkness between the winter and summer.  Of course, we knew that becuase we have friends who moved to Alaska about 2 years ago to pastor a church along with their two sons.

The By the Way Book Series includes a group of books that each serve as part of a larger series of books that elaborate on a different state and the unique characteristics and information about the state. Each book shares a common thread of being geographically based with a Christian worldview.  According to their website on their “About Page”, “It is our hope with the By The Way Book Series to change that number and enable scriptural and positive conversations within Christian homes. These books are great to use for your children’s home school curriculum, family devotions or even summer reading.”

Joy Budensiek wrote these books with the aim of getting families to talk to one another.  I  feel like her books demonstrated her love for the Lord and a desire to help children connect with the Lord on a personal and meaningful level, while encouraging families to connect in a meaningful and in-depth manner.  On the By the Way website, I found a statement that captured my attention, “By the Way Series was born from the shock of a simple statement by Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries. ‘19 out of 20 Christian parents and grandparents do not talk to their children about God and spiritual truths in their daily lives’.” 


At the beginning of the book, as seen above, there are pictures for children to find while reading the books.  Even with the ages of our children ranging from 22 to 15, they still love searching for and finding pictures.  Although we have not had a chance to do everything we want to yet with this book, I have plans for our 15-year-old daugther and 17-year-old son to pick some things from the book to draw and/or write about in the coming days.  I can not wait to see what they come up.  I can see them creating totem poles, drawing ships and city-scapes, pictures of gardens and wildlife and more.  I can see them writing about the local people, the cities, the life-style and more. One activity I definitey plan on having them do is write an account of where they would like to visit in Alaska and why.

The latest books in the By the Way Book Series are New York City ~By the Way, Indiana ~ By the Way, Alaska ~ By the Way (which is the one we received), and Ireland ~ By the Way.  Other books already published in the series include:  Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come!. Florida’s Treasure Coast ~ Here We Come!,  Pennsylvania ~ Here We Come!, Ohio ~ Here We Come!, and Colorado ~ By the Way.  There are more books planned for the series.


I wish these books had been around when our children were younger. I know they would have enjoyed them.  However, even now, with our youngest being 15-years-old, these books still provide a wealth of information that our entire family was able to enjoy.  These books provided the type of trivia my family loves to learn about and share with others.  The books are perfect for reading aloud, especially when riding in the van together.

You can find By the Way Books on Facebook.  Our family was very glad we had the opportunity to review Alaska ~ By The Way from the By the Way Book Series.  If you would like to read other reviews by members of the Home School Review Crew of the  most recent books in this series, click here or on the graphic below.