Saturday, April 09, 2022

Books we are reading this school year (2021-2022)

The Sonlight Curriculum is CHOCKED full of reading. There are SO many books. I am constantly reading. I thought I would try to do a post where I shared the books we are reading this year.  I am also including books I have read in my spare time this year. So here we go. I'll put comments on them to as I can!

I read this book with my 7th-9th graders. I did an oral reading of it which you can view here. Holy cow was this a POWERFUL book about war, community, different cultures coming together ... incredible and so pertinent as our world seems to be falling apart all over again.

Pontius Pilate by Paul L. Maier was a HUGE surprise to me. I never dreamed I could find a book "like this" so interesting. I truly feel every Christian should read this to understand the political climate around the time of Christ. This was a SONLIGHT book (through the Christian History curriculum). I am changed because of this book. Truly had my eyes opened to a lot of things. I actually believe they have phased this book out of the current curriculum (I bought an older version) but it was just GREAT! (Sonlight: 10th grade British Literature/Christian History Curriculum)

The Ravenmaster's Secret was generally received with good reviews by my Language Arts class at co-op. A part of the Sunlight CORE H, it follows the life of a boy in the Tower of London. Did you know this was a real place that people lived (and still live today?) Did you know that people were hung for the entertainment of others? Did you know that the ravens in the tower are full of some great lore and history? A good book with good lessons and good history. An easy read for your middle schooler. (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

This book: A Murder for Her Majesty was SO fun to read. Truly one of the most fun and well-done and cleanest kid's "mysteries" I have ever read. Gives a great look inside the church and boy's choirs in England. Loved this one! (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

Escape Across the Wide Sea was a look at the Jacobites and the French and what it meant to not be Catholic during this time ... and also what it meant to be a slave during this time. Follow a family basically forced out of France unless they convert aboard a ship that first goes to Guadeloupe and then onto the East Coast of the USA where they developed their own colony. Not the best written book ever but a very easy read with lots of eye-opening reminders of the challenges people faced in their journey to America and freedom. In general, the kids thought it was "okay" but the learning from it was substantial. (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

I am not sure HOW in my life I escaped high school and college without reading this book but what a TRAGEDY that I did not. Truly, this is one of the most brilliant pieces of literature I have EVER written. Bronte's writing is simply beyond words. How can she have such a complete handle on the English language so continuously?! How can the story by THIS good?! Blown away. This will rank as one of my all-time favorite books. (Sonlight: 10th grade British Literature/Christian History Curriculum)

What would a good ol' British Literature course be without a bit o' Shakespeare. He's never been my favorite and never will be ... I read Romeo and Juliet with my three tenth graders. We watched the 1964 film as we read it. None of us enjoyed it very much. There are other Shakespeare novels I prefer so we will try another one later. (Sonlight: 10th grade British Literature/Christian History Curriculum)

The Broken Blade was FANTASTIC! A great middle school piece of fiction with lots of adventure and lots of learning. Sidge thought this was one of the best books he read all year. I really enjoyed reading it and learned a lot about the Voyageurs who travelled long distances in a canoe to sell goods to the Native Americans. (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

The King's Fifth was not one of our favorites. It is set in the world of Spanish conquistadors and involves the hunt for gold with murder and adventure. I read it with my 7th-9th graders, and we all liked it "okay enough" but it wasn't our favorite. (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

This version of Anna and the King was "okay." I have not read the more Adult version, but this one was simply "okay." It was interesting to get the general gist of the story (and we watched the musical that has made the book famous) but none of us loved it. I did this book as a read-along for the kids. (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

But Don't All Religions Lead to God
This story just did not work for me OR my students. To be honest, the dialect that the author chose to use made it SO hard to follow along. I tried it on audible and "in the flesh" and just had such a hard time understanding what was happening. I abandoned it, as did all four of the kiddos reading it. We won't read this one again. (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

The Gammage Cup was an enjoyable read for me, but the 10th graders I had read it, weren't impressed. I really think it has to be intended for a younger audience. It's a witty tale about a race of people called the Minnipins -- small people who become BIG heroes. It's an introduction to fantasy for kids (and actually, the word "muggles" is first introduced here), but I am not sure I would have my students read it again. Really didn't offer anything historical and just sort of a dud for my high schoolers. (Sonlight: 10th grade British Literature/Christian History Curriculum)

 Enchantress from the Stars is a book I will read with my kids, but I read it on my own in preparation, and I loved it. (Sonlight: 10th grade British Literature/Christian History Curriculum)

The Sherwood Ring was a VERY fun story. Told with ghosts and flashbacks. Peggy finds herself involved with Colonial ancestors and personally witnesses the unfolding of a centuries-old romance. This was brilliantly spun, and a bit older than some of the other CORE H books we read insomuch as following the story. (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

The Ramsay Scallop follows a young betrothed girl on a pilgrimage to far off Spain. This book was a good read, easy to follow, and presented a thorough explanation of what a pilgrimage actually looks like with a bit of adventure and romance intertwined. (SONLIGHT: Core H World History 2 designed for students in grades 7-9).

Still working through this one with my high school students but REALLY enjoying it. I am learning SO much about all the contributions of Christians/Christianity to our history. Women's rights, human rights, the rights of the unborn ... the first scientists were definitely Christians as a matter of fact. Really outstanding. My 10th graders are really enjoying it as well. This is definitely a book for kids old enough to discuss sexual topics/sexuality/perversion/ etc. (Sonlight: 10th grade British Literature/Christian History Curriculum)

No comments: