Family of Six Chronicles "A Year in a Camper", Reinvents the American Dream.

A short while ago, a copy of a text I'd been interested in arrived at my doorstep. The sender? Mama of American Family Now.

That blog probably sounds familiar to you, right? It should, because I've done two guest posts in the last year on American Family Now - one was an introductory post about living in a camper part-time, and the other a post about sustainable, easy urban homesteading practices. For this reason, and many others, I was delighted to receive a copy to review, and give away to one of you!

I can be candid and say that I devoured this book. I have been a follower of American Family Now for quite some time. I was aware of their {"Mama and Papa's"}circumstances and how they came to live in a camper, thanks to being an email subscriber to their blog. Of all the topics they blog about, I especially enjoy getting an inside glimpse of their very normal life in a small space.

John lives in our camper 6+ months out of the year, and I quit my full-time teaching gig so I could travel with him. So far in 2014, I have spent a full month traveling with him, and anticipate another month on the road before May. The posts that "Mama" writes about her family's everyday lives are what resonate with me, because I'm living it, too!

Their book, "A Year in a Camper: A Family's Story of Rediscovering the American Dream", is a candid, in-depth look at their first year after moving from a 2,000 square foot home into a 200 square foot, off-grid camper on a plot of land in the country. They're modern-day homesteaders, and aren't shy about the financial hardships that led them to their current living quarters.

They also aren't shy about the amazing rewards they've reaped as a direct result of their hardships.  

The work during that first year was hard, and the winter was harder. {Mama's chapter entitled "Winter 2011-2012" reminded me very much of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Long Winter", but with a 21st century, modern-family-goes-back-to-nature twist.} Papa worked very diligently on making their homestead function as he searched for work for nearly 11 months, and Mama and the rest of the family welcomed a fourth child into the mix.

For those of you who already follow American Family Now, their book "A Year in a Camper" is a great extension of the content on their blog. As a loyal reader myself, I found that the book extended my knowledge of off-grid living through their personal account. The book also made my understanding of their challenges more real - if crazy-difficult financial hardships can happen to them, they can happen to John and I. And, what better a gift to prepare us for that reality than a true-to-life account of one family's journey of moving into a camper and redefining the American Dream.

Mama, of American Family Now, and I really believe in sustainability, off-grid living, and sharing experiences so others can benefit. After all, that's why we both have blogs, right? To purchase their book, you can GO TO THE AMAZON LISTING HERE. You can also read more about the book HERE.

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  1. Thank you so much for your kind review! Wow! I am so glad you enjoyed my book. (no need to include this comment in the drawing, lol) Have a great week.

    1. My pleasure! I can't wait to send out your book to the winner!

  2. Kelli & Mama,
    I would be interested in reading your book. We have a camper on land with no electricity or running water, we visit on weekends. I would love to read about the ways you do things.

  3. Love books like this! Would love a copy to have a glimpse in their lives.

  4. I would love to read this book!

  5. I've been following Mama's blog for a while now. Hubs and I live on a 45-foot sailboat full-time, actively cruising the east coast of the U.S. I find a lot of similarities between our life and Mama's - especially when it comes to organizing small spaces, energy efficiency, and learning to enjoy/simplify life (I love how she's not afraid to share that she put off cleaning in order to do something fun with the kids). When we return to life on land someday, we plan to have a small home and would like to learn to be as self-sufficiency as possible. This book would be a great permanent addition to our resource library!

  6. Sounds like a really neat and interesting story, I would love for the chance to read it. I've actually read a couple books recently where the authors live in very tiny home like this. I'm not sure if my family could do it, but I love the whole concept behind it. I'm realizing for us, that I no longer long for a bigger home. I'm really content with what we have and am on a mission this year to simplify and declutter a ton!

  7. I would love to win this book to read! We sold our home and traveled the US for 2 and 1/2 years living in a fifth-wheel. Thank you. Nancy

  8. Even if I do not win I will own this book. Sounds like a good read.

  9. I honestly can't imagine living in a trailer with my 4 kids full time. We are currently living in a barn and that's bad enough. lol!!! ;-) But I totally admire them for getting back to the basics and figuring out what's important in life. That's just fabulous.

  10. Sounds like a great read!

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