Literature

A Day on Skates

Book cover
Author(s): 
Hilda Van Stockum
Illustrator(s): 
Hilda Van Stockum

Newbery Medal runner-up 1935

This beautiful new edition of Hilda Van Stockum's little masterpiece was an exciting development in our household. You see, we missed the original Bethlehem Books run of this favorite title and ended up with an old copy from eBay with cracked and brittle pages. We still loved it of course.

The Edge of Sadness

Author(s): 
Edwin O'Connor

At first glance, Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor is a walk down memory lane. A memory of the American Catholic church before Vatican II, before the priest scandals. A lovely, nostalgic read.

But the thing that makes this book worthy of the Pulitzer Prize it won in 1962 is the fact that O’Connor’s story is truly ageless. The characters are drawn from humanity, painted with the author’s word-brush so lovingly and carefully that by the end of the book you know each of these folks intimately. And, you like them, in spite of their less-than-virtuous actions.

The Salamander Room

Author(s): 
Anne Mazer
Illustrator(s): 
Steve Johnson
Lou Fancher

The Salamander Room is a beautifully illustrated picture book that is sure to captivate the nature-loving child. Brian finds a salamander and asks his mother to keep him as a pet. Rather than saying "no" his mother asks leading questions as to where the salamander will sleep, what he will eat, where he will play and if he'll be lonely.

Eager to keep his new pet, but also desiring to give him a happy home, Brian reassures his mother that he will bring moss into his room, wet leaves, boulders and insects to make the salamander happy.

Perelandra

Book cover: 'Perelandra'
Author(s): 
Clive Staples Lewis

Perelandra is Venus. Ransom gets sent to Venus on a mission. Of course it takes him some time to get settled with the new surroundings again.

Five In a Row - Literature-Based Unit Studies for young children

Five in a Row is a literature based guide to expand learning from tried and true children's books. Anyone who loves cuddling up on the couch with their 3-8 yo would be attracted to this guide(s). The title Five In A Row is the premise of the curriculum guide.........the story is read 5 days in a row. With each reading the child absorbs new details of the story, anticipates favorite passages, notes illustrations in more detail. An example of a lesson is probably the easiest explanation of how it works.

The White Stag

Book cover: 'The White Stag'
Author(s): 
Kate Seredy

The White Stag by Kate Seredy is the telling of the legend of the migration of the Huns and Magyars out of Asia to the great Hungarian plains. It begins with Nimrod, an ancient leader of a wandering people who are always moving west, seeking a land that had been promised to them by their gods. At a moment of despair, his people sick and starving, Nimrod receives a message from his god, Hadur, which gives him hope and brings on his death.

The Ballad of the White Horse

Book cover: 'The Ballad of the White Horse'
Author(s): 
G.K. Chesterton

Includes copious synopses and notes (pages 175-231)

Brave New World

Author(s): 
Aldous Huxley

Free love, birth control, test tube baby factories, cloning, mutants, and sex, sex, sex. There are good reasons to have your mature students read this book, but you must do YOUR homework and read it first.

Huxley, writing during the giddy early days of the eugenics movement, has written a remarkable novel. His story portrays that movement's ideas taken to their logical consequences. There is a complete disconnect between sex and procreation. Sex is STRICTLY for pleasure (not even for unity). Babies are 'decanted' in factories by impressive scientific processes.

Fahrenheit 451

Book cover: 'Fahrenheit 451'
Author(s): 
Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is on the reading list of almost every high school in America, and with good reason. It is thought provoking and hip. There are reasons to love this book and reasons to worry about it. It is Bradbury's reaction against censorship and the blossoming of television. Some of the things he writes about have come true in our time, which makes his story all the more intriguing.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Book cover: 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
Author(s): 
Harper Lee

This modern classic, set in the segregated South of the 1930s, is the story of two young children who learn about life and the great character of their father, Atticus Finch, as he struggles with a difficult case in which he must defend a black man wrongfully accused of raping a white woman.

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