Excellence in Literature: British Literature

Janice Campbell

As I stated in my review of the American Lit 11th grade volume, I am very impressed with this new publication by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. This one focuses on British Literature and it is recommended for 12th grade. I am afraid my review of this volume must be rather a repeat of the 11h grade American Lit volume as so much is the same: the number of units, the format, and of course the author, Janice Campbell. So again I say this is a user-friendly, comprehensive and resourceful British Literature Course. Visit to their website for info and sample pages.

Excellence in Literature: American Literature

Janice Campbell

I am very impressed with this new publication by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. It is a user-friendly, comprehensive and resourceful American Literature Course, recommended for 11th grade English. I'd say it is a real possibility I will be using that in our homeschool co-op next year, and it could definitely be doubled as English and Lit. Visit to their website for info and sample pages.

Stories from Shakespeare

Marchette Chute

This children’s version includes 36 of Shakespeare's 37 plays. Chute covers the essential plots of the plays in a readable modern prose. Although her style is clear, simple and direct, it contains a certain lyrical quality. Not just summaries, these are wonderful stories. Especially appropriate for 12 and up, it might also be enjoyed as a read-aloud for younger children.

William Shakespeare's The Tempest

Marianna Mayer (adapted by)
Lynn Bywaters

Unequalled, lavish artwork on two-page spreads include inset text boxes that incorporate the story into the art. The plot is written in prose, although the more difficult vocabulary is more appropriate for upper elementary and older students. Richly detailed illustrations capture the reader’s attention, telling the story without words. If you intend to introduce The Tempest, this version is not to be missed!

Mother of Divine Grace School British Literature Syllabus

Margaret A. Hayden

NOTE: A more recent edition of this syllabus was published in 2007 - this review is based on the 2003 edition.

This syllabus outlines a complete year of study in British Literature intended for 12th graders.

Books used in this course:

The Harp and Laurel Wreath by Laura Berquist
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Primary Works of Literature:


by Maud Hart Lovelace

Upper Level Books Newly Reprinted!!!

I first read Betsy-Tacy to my eldest daughters when they were about five and eight years old. How I skipped over this charming book when I was a child I shall never know, but it was as new and delightful to me as it was to them.

As the book opens, Betsy Ray is almost five years old, and is longing for a friend.

“Well, for Pete’s sake!” said Betsy’s father. “Hill Street is so full of children now that Old Mag has to watch where she puts her feet down.”

The Father Brown Reader

G.K. Chesterton
Nancy Brown (adapted by)
Ted Schluenderfritz

Nancy Carpentier Brown’s newest book, The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton, is an adaptation of four of G.K Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries. It’s a delightful and captivating read-aloud, as well as a perfect book to hand to a young child to read on his own. The four stories – The Blue Cross, The Strange Feet, The Flying Stars, and The Absence of Mr. Glass – are all easy reads, short enough to read in just one sitting.

William Shakespeare and the Globe

Book cover

This is a simply told and heavily illustrated biography of the great William Shakespeare and the theatre in which his plays were first performed. The details of the illustrations and the story are quite nice and even the story of the Globe is more interesting than one might expect. At one point it was disassembled and secretly moved to a new location under cover of darkness.

Shakespeare for Kids

Book cover
Colleen Aagesen
Margie Blumberg

Have you grown up thinking that Shakespeare is dry literature forced upon high schoolers by antiquated professors? Think again! Even young children can capture an interest in Shakespeare through attractive materials such as this multi-dimensional biography of the bard.

The heart and soul of the book is the story of Shakespeare's life - charmingly enhanced by Shakespearean phrases (followed by modern translations in parenthesis). Numerous photos, sketches and maps give us a peek at Elizabethan life and architecture and a few scenes from renditions of his plays.


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