24.1.15Posted by Jeanne
We're just about to change a couple of books in the book bag, and so I thought it might be a good time for a post, only to discover that haven't posted about what's in our bag for almost two years. That's bad.
For the benefit of those of you that have joined us in that time, I am a self confessed read-aloud tragic, and since the number of opportunities to read Jemimah's school books to her has diminished as her reading ability has increased, the value of my precious book bag has grown. In it are five books that I've carefully selected to read aloud to my family during our regular 7 hour round trip commute every weekend. You can get through a lot of pages in 7 hours, and together our family has a lovely set of group memories from the long list of books that we've read together.
Generally I select the five books from 5 different genres: must-read literature, Christian literature, popular science, fantasy, and Australian literature. Our books right now don't quite reflect that, since we're finishing up with one Christian book, and just starting a new one, just in time to coincide with its history period in AO, but that's the aim.
If you would like to hear about what we're reading, here they are.
From the bottom:
David Copperfield by Dickens needs no introduction, I'm sure. It's a carry over from AO7, where it is a free read. We're currently a little over a third of the way through, and we're enjoying it more now that David's life isn't quite so dismal. Those first few chapters are so lovely and tranquil with their reflections on early life, but the next bit is just so hopeless, and filled with despair. We were so happy when he met up with Betsey Trotwood and life became at least a little more tolerable. Ours is a lovely Folio edition, which makes it a pleasure to read, with its thick creamy and lovely formatting.
The Betrayal is an historical fiction biography of John Calvin by Douglas Bond. This book is sort of an additional AO8 History book for us, since we want to concentrate more on the Reformation than the curriculum allows, but since it is in the book bag, I don't think Jemimah has noticed that it is a school book. Heh heh heh. We have only just started, so I can't tell you how we like it, but we read the John Knox book in the same series last year and enjoyed it, so we have high hopes.
Both my husband and I adored The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner as children, and so we really needed to introduce Jemimah to it as well. It's a rule. It's a book filled with wizards, goblins and other creatures, and if the weirdstone, which hangs on the bracelet that young Susan wears around her wrist, should fall into the hands of the morthbrood, the world will be powerless against Nastrong, the Great Spirit of Darkness. It's a thrilling fantasy adventure. If you haven't read it, you really, really should. Weirdstone is first in a trilogy. The third book was written only a few years ago; Weirdstone itself was written in 1960.
Why Aren't We Dead Yet by Aussie author, Idan Ben-Barak, is a witty introduction to our immune system and how we fight off infections. It is absolutely fascinating, and is highly recommended to everybody except the anti-vax brigade, who probably won't like it at all. This is what science books are supposed to be like.
Finally, How Sleep the Brave by James Hunter. My favourite. It's a wonderful tale of action, adventure and romance, as well as good Reformed Presbyterian teaching, and tells the story of the suffering and perseverance of the Covenanters during the Killing Times in 17th Century Scotland. Those of you AO Forum gals who are reading Josephine Tey's The Story of Time might enjoy to read this one to get the opposite side of the story to that presented in Chapter 10 of Tey's book.You will learn what suffering for one's faith is all about. This is real heroism. I love this book and can't recommend it highly enough.
So, here endeth the book bag for today. Our bedtime Newbery read is Holes by Louis Sachar; Jemimah is reading Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. Both are great.
What are you reading aloud right now with your kidlets? Do you love it as much as I do? Do tell.