This was my next choice for the kids’ Great Book of medieval literature. I’d read several times that it was best appreciated orally, so I made it our read aloud.
Published: 1975 for this version, around 1400 for the original
Genre: epic poetry
Length: 97 pages for this poem, 158 for the entire book with two other poems
Setting: King Arthur’s England
Summary: Short version: The mysterious Green Knight challenges King Arthur’s court to a contest Continue reading
This is the sixth book in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon series that started with The Mists of Avalon. I’ve always enjoyed Bradley’s writing and picked that book up a while ago. Paxson finished up the series when Bradley died. I happened to see this book at the library when it first came out and picked it up, even though I hadn’t read all the intervening books.
Genre: historical fantasy
Length: 394 pages
Setting: first century Britain Continue reading
I’m trying my hardest to finish up my Alphabet Reading Challenge. In this case, I was looking for a book title starting with V (finding titles starting with a specific letter requires wandering the library and just scanning titles until something catches my eye. Turns out I already had a V title that I hadn’t recorded so I didn’t need to read this one). Haven’t read any British historical fiction in a while, so this looked interesting and different.
Genre: historical fiction
Length: 438 pages
Setting: England, 1557-1560 Continue reading
Things have been crazy, but we still manage to squeeze in some schoolwork. We had an American History Club meeting on the Cold War. With as important as the Cold War was, and the long time it lasted, there were few historical fiction novels set in that time period for a younger audience that I could find. It wasn’t a total bust – we managed to scrape together two, and they were both excellent.
First off, there was The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. This added a fantastical/magical component to the fears of the Cold War. It is set in England, just after WWII, and you see all fears associated with the Russians and the nuclear bombs, played out in young, teen-aged kids. The book brought up all kinds of discussion point about the Cold War, and kept two nearly teen-aged boys interested in the topic.
The other find was The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman. This book is set in Hollywood, but still in the 1950s so you still get quite a bit about McCarthyism and atom bomb scares. This is aimed at a slightly younger audience (which was perfect, since it was read by a couple of just about 10-year old girls). You also see some strong character growth and development in speaking up for wrong things. The ending doesn’t wrap all the plot lines into a neat little bow, which lead to some discussion of “What do YOU think happened?”
We’ve used some other books recently, but I want to keep this post thematic. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up
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Genre: middle grade historical fiction
Length: 181 pages
Setting: 1800s England (they had trains and fowling pieces as the technology to date the setting)
Interest: It was recommended as a good read aloud and it sounded like something different from our last bedtime story. Continue reading
Genre: alternate history/fantasy
Length: 350 pages
Setting: England and France, early 1800s
Interest: I was looking for an N author and for my reading challenge and came across an Andre Norton book. I read a lot of her stuff as a kid and enjoyed it, so it seemed a safe and enjoyable bet. Continue reading
Genre: period paranormal romance
Length: 320 pages
Setting: 19th century England, mostly Kew
Interest: I’m at the end of the year and trying to finish out my Alphabet Challenge – this got me a “Q” author. Continue reading