The Writing on the Hearth

Cynthia Harnett
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England in the mid 1400's, Catholic perspective. Because this book does deal with the subject of witchcraft, I think it's probably appropriate for upper grade school and high school. It would be helpful to be familiar with the life of Saint Joan of Arc first. The story is of a teenage boy named Stephen who dreams of attending Oxford some day. He gets mixed up in a mystery/adventure which threatens to destroy that dream. The story nicely, but subtly shows his intellectual development as he matures. He discovers the importance of study in learning to discern the truth. One of the characters gives an excellent description of Classical Education and explains the Trivium and Quadrivium. The story provides lots of good discussion material, especially since the author seems to purposely provide some obscurity with regard to judging the character of some people.

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