Saturday, August 27, 2016

More Pre-Reading

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As we gear up to move into our 4th & final term of the year I'm in need of pre-reading a whole new stack of books! This is always exciting & daunting at times. Morgan is moving into Sonlight's Core 100 & so I scrounged the shelves to see which books we had on hand while I awaited our new curriculum's arrival in the mail.

We seem to have an odd variety of them around & some I'm familiar with, but it's been ages since I've read them so I'm keen to refresh myself. Others, I can't remember reading so there's no time like the present!  Here's my opinion on the 4 pictures above:

Stink Alley: This story takes place in Holland when the Pilgrims, or Separatists, had opted to flee King James I religious oppression. The story is mainly about one little girl, Elizabeth, who is trying to find her way, both in life & religiously. Her own parents, & step mother, have all died from various afflictions & she's now on her own living with William Brewster's Family. The author shows the contrast between those who called themselves Separatists & the Dutch people they were living amongst. I enjoyed the story that was portrayed & the struggles that young Elizabeth learned to cope with & many of the conclusions she came to. Don't miss the Afterward of this book! I'm really looking forward to my boy reading this & seeing how much he remembers from our earlier studies of this time period from the English perspective to see how he applies that knowledge to this particular story.

A Long Way From Chicago: This story takes place over a varied amount of years from the 1930's through the 1940's, each chapter dealing with a new year & a new visit to Grandma. In fact, each chapter is sort of like a whole new story, all though there's mention of previous antics from the former years. This was a fun read to watch Grandma get up to so many funny little antics & to watch how her grandchildren changed because of them, but also how they coped at times. This is one in a trio of books, & I really need to obtain the other 2 in the series, but I'm waiting to see which, if any, are included in our curriculum when it arrives.

Dear Mr Henshaw: I have to say I was pretty dissapointed in this book & plan to drop it from our upcoming list of books. There are far too many wonderful stories to waste time on this one. I'm not opposed to my children reading it by any means, but rather it's not one I'd require of them. The story is many letters written by one young boy to his favourite author. Said author suggests the young boy start a journal as he can't answer all the letters the little boy writes. Thus, a good portion of the book is also the journal Leigh writes. Over all there is nothing wrong with the story, but it is incredibly sad. Leigh is dealing with the separation of his parents & the fact that his Dad took the dog so his Mom got him. He deals with resentment & anger over what has happened & learning to cope. He admits at times that he's furious with his mother even though he knows it's not her fault & throughout the book comes to conclude that he cannot count on his dad, or even trust him because he doesn't keep his word. I think that this is a hard story to swallow, not because I don't think it could happen, but rather because there is no happy ending, no resolve, & no closure.

Call Of The Wild: I made a huge mistake when I started reading this book, yep I kept thinking the whole time of White Fang & thus I was so confused by why the story wasn't unfolding as I remembered. I have always gotten the two titles mixed up & once I sorted myself out it made reading this more enjoyable, or as enjoyable as it could be. The vocabulary is, as with most London books, beautiful & he holds no bars on his descriptions of times gone by, but there's a large amount of unexpected gory descriptions in the book. From the first beating of Buck to the final ending with the Yeehat Indians. It's certainly not for the faint of heart, & it's really hard to say if the ending is happy. While Buck may finally understand the calling of the wild, his life is never easy. I'm not entirely sure that my boy will enjoy this book, but we'll see.

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