“Recent Reads” is new feature on Dissonant Symphony. You can expect to see a post like this once or twice a month detailing our current page turners. I’ll include a short description of each book and every title will be a link to purchase it. However, I highly recommend utilizing your local library whenever possible. We spend copious amounts of time reading. I’d be dead broke and living in a box made out of books if I purchased all the literature we consume. I generally assuage my conscience with the idea that if I “fail” at all other aspects of homeschooling, but have passed along a voracious love of the written word, I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.
There are books I know I’ll be referencing back to throughout our homeschool journey, so I tend to purchase those and highlight the heck out of them (GASP! I write in books! Aaaaah!). Anything that’s listed as a Challenge Required Reading is a reference to our Classical Conversation program. These are books my kids will be reading when they are between 7th-12th grade. I’m attempting to get through the required reading BEFORE my children are that age, to build up our library, and also to have a frame of reference for discussions when the kids get to that point.
More often than not, I read the books Madison is currently devouring as well. I wrap Language Art questions/quizzes/reports around her reading, and that’s far easier if I’m mirroring her progress in the book. We also read aloud as a family. Our current group adventure will be listed first. Enjoy this feature, and feel free to ask if you have any questions about what we’ve recently read. If you have great book suggestions for us, I’m always open to those ideas as well!
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.
Echo in Celebration – Leigh Bortins (founder of Classical Conversations) shares her own educational journey and passion for what she calls “home-centered education.” Leigh encourages parents and educators to equip and exhort their students to become lifelong learners who study all subjects in order to know God and to make Him known. This book is a great snapshot of the classical model of education we use in our home. I absolutely LOVED it.
Johnny Tremain – Historical fiction at its best, portraying Revolutionary Boston as a living drama through the shrewd eyes of an observant boy. CC Challenge I required reading. My latest book club read, this was 5th grade (ish) reading, but a compelling story with overarching themes of the good and evil in all of us.
Favorite Father Brown Stories – By G.K. Chesterton, these stories were published between 1911-1914 and as such are a fairly intense read just getting through the language. I will admit to reading with a dictionary at my side to annotate words I was unfamiliar with. CC Challenge II required reading. Book club reading, I had to go at a slower pace than my usual zip through. But the stories were excellently written with tremendous detail and beautifully descriptive language.
Honey for a Child’s Heart
The Chronicles of Narnia
-The Magician’s Nephew
-The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe
Madison began the great journey into the world of Narnia and devoured the first two books. She then decided our next read aloud should be The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe because “Donovan will love it and I want to read it again.”. You can’t go wrong with these classics.
Little Town on the Prairie – The eighth book in the Little House series finds Laura growing up at 15 years of age, beginning her relationship with Almanzo.
The Trumpet of the Swan – Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. One of my favorite middle-elementary books.
The Horse and His Boy
Young Cam Jansen – Fun little mysteries about a girl with a photographic memory.
Henry and Mudge – Donovan’s favorite book series, which follows the adventures of a boy named Henry and his giant drooling English Mastiff, Mudge.
Corduroy Books – A series by Viking Easy-to-Read based on the characters of Don Freeman. Same Corduroy you fell in love with as a child, with new adventures.