The book I have been enjoying the most for the past couple of weeks is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It has been my down-time reading. With all the planning I did this past month, I did not want to read anything associated with the school year in the evenings, so I got this old favorite out and have been rereading it.
Here is a list of books I am currently reading with the kids for schoolwork:
The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Parables from Nature
Tales from Shakespeare
Burgess Animal Book
Fairyland of Science
Abraham Lincoln's World
Love's Labours Lost by William Shakespeare
Utopia by Sir Thomas More
The Life of Alcibiades by Plutarch
Essays of Sir Francis Bacon
The New World by Winston Churchill
We just started these last week. It is conceivable that some may fall off the lesson plans as we get further in and I realize what is doable and what must be put off. Triss and Mariel also have some books they are reading and narrating on their own.
Triss and I are almost finished reading Emma by Jane Austen. After that we want to read another one, but which one escapes my memory at the moment. I think it is Northanger Abbey.
Mariel and I are reading The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle as a fun read aloud with no narration, because she already knows the Arthur story. There are a lot of good books in Year 5, and I only want the kids to have to narrate two to three readings per day. I still want her to hear his telling of it, though, so this is a free reader.
Cornflower and I have been reading a chapter of Heidi every day for fun in addition to her regular reading-and-narration assignments.
Hmm, what else did I read this month? A look at my bedside table, and the floor beside my bed shows the following:
How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger
(A friend gave it to me for a present! So I reread it.)
From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun
The Offshore Islanders by Paul Johnson
(Between these two books and Churchill-- and the Hinges of History series by Thomas Cahill-- I am beginning to establish a picture of English and European history in my head. But often I cannot remember which book I read which thought in! Triss and I were beginning our trek through Churchill's second volume the other day and I recalled something I had read about Luther and the Peasants' Revolt. I told her what I remembered, but couldn't remember where I had read it! Frustrating. I had wanted to confirm what I remembered so she could have an accurate account from me.)
The Tightwad Gazette III by Amy Dacyzyn
When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan
Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller
(These two are picture-book biographies we got from the library and really enjoyed. I just love well-written children's biographies. They have a way of illustrating the time period that is very personal. As a caveat, I do not know much about Richard Wright beyond what was in this book, and I understand his writings were sometimes controversial. I greatly appreciated this biography though, because the author emphasizes the beauty and power of words throughout. The Marian Anderson book is strewed with the words of deep, rich negro spirituals and has moved the kids to new appreciation of the songs. The girls used to ask me not to sing them because they are sad.)
Here are a couple other biographies we got from the library:
Say It With Music: The Story of Irving Berlin by Nancy Furstinger
Ludwig van Beethoven by Mike Venezia
CM's Volume 3
(I am reading this with our local book club.)