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Happy Birthday, M.K. Rawlings

August 8

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953).  the celebrated American author of The Yearling, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939. (edelweiss)

Although The Yearling is the most common of Rawlings work among home education curriculum sites, according to the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society, Rawlings lead an interesting life in which she developed into her writing.

“It is so easy for me to live their life with them, that I am in some danger of losing all sophistication and perspective. I feel hurried sometimes, as though I must get `written out’ in this country within the next few years, because so much is no longer strange or unusual to me” (45). In this statement she is showing the strong empathy she developed for her Cracker friends which she would eventually convey to her fictional characters. Her vision would culminate in The Yearling, which powerfully evokes the scrub life she lived with the Fiddias and other scrub friends, including Cal Long and Barney Dillard, who taught her how to hunt and fish, identify plants and animals, and survive in the wild. In the 1930s and early 1940s, Rawlings would make use of this material and write her famous Cross Creek-area works Golden Apples (1935) and Cross Creek (1942) and her big scrub novels, South Moon Under (1933) and The Yearling (1938), the last of which won her the 1939 Pulitzer Prize and fans worldwide.  ~ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society

The Yearling

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Recommended Reading Level:  RA: 3-A R: 6-A

Parent/Teacher: Advisory/Discussion Level

Recommended Curriculum/Literature Guides:

  • Veritas Press: Sixth Grade Literature
  • Ambleside Online: Year Pre-7
  • Total Language Plus: Study Guide Grades 8, 9, 10

Personal Notes:  I am intrigued by Rawlings history in Florida, and the writings that came from it.  Unfortunately, not many of these are considered Juvenile Fiction or Young Adult Fiction.  I recommend reading Cross Creek or The Sojourner to review their suitability.  There are a variety of Short Stories, Poetry and Letters if you would like to learn more about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

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"Drive away and try to keep smiling. Get a little rock and roll on the radio and go toward all the life there is with all the courage you can find and all the belief you can muster. Be true, be brave, stand. All the rest is darkness. " - Stephen King, IT

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Happy Birthday, Betsy Byars

August 7

Betsy Byars (1928-? )  Well loved children’s author who wrote many family themed books. “Making up stories and characters is so interesting that I’m never bored. Each book has been a different writing experience. It takes me about a year to write a book, but I spend another year thinking about it, polishing it, and making improvements. I always put something of myself into my books — something that happened to me. Once a wanderer came by my house and showed me how to brush my teeth with a cherry twig; that went in The House of Wings.” copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. (edelweiss.com)

Betsy Byars is a Newbery Medal winner and a National Book Award winner. Her books have appeared on the best books lists of the American Library Association, School Library Journal, and American Bookseller, among others. (amazon.com)

Multiple Biographies – LibraryPoint   Autobiography

Many of Betsy Byars’ titles have been in print for some time.  I recommend searching through her Author page on your favorite book/ebook site.  See below for just a handful of Byars’ books, great for the whole family.  RA: K-A  R: 3-6

Tornado is included within the Sonlight Grade 3 Readers list, and Heart of Dakota’s Emerging Reader Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory and Bigger Hearts for His Glory.

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Happy Birthday, Barbara Cooney!

August 6

photo found on pinterest

Barbara Cooney (1917-2000) was a renowned children’s book author and illustrator who published more than 100 books. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she lived much of her life in Maine and focused often on the culture and landscape of that state, and her artistic style portrayed a rural New England full of peaceful tranquility. A two-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, she was the recipient of countless other honors and distinctions, and was declared a “Living Treasure of the State of Maine” in 1996. She once said, “Of all the books I have done, Miss Rumphius, Island Boy, and Hattie and the Wild Waves are the closest to my heart. These three are as near as I will ever come to an autobiography.” (edelweiss.com)

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Notes: Cooney’s illustrations became an integral part of telling the story in classic children’s picture books.  Folktales and fables, and few original works by Barbara Cooney create an extensive read-aloud, reading library for any family.  RA: K-A  R: K-A

  • Miss Rumphius (written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney) AmblesideOnline Aux
  • Island Boy (written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney) AmblesideOnline Aux
  • Eleanor (written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney)
  • Roxaboxen (illustrated by Barbara Cooney) Five In a Row: Volume 4 Literature
  • Chaucer’s Chanticleer and the Fox (illustrated by Barbara Cooney) AmblesideOnline Yr 2; Veritas Press: Easy History Readers 4th grade
  • Ox-Cart Man (illustrated by Barbara Cooney) AmblesideOnline Yr 0

 

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Happy Birthday, Herman Melville!

August 1

Herman Melville (1819-1891), born August 1, found early success with stories inspired by his adventures in the South Seas. His fortunes declined with the 1851 publication of Moby-Dick, now recognized as a masterpiece but scorned by Melville’s contemporaries. The author was obliged to work as a New York City customs inspector and died in obscurity, three decades before the critical reassessment of his work. (Edelweiss.com)  In addition, Melville published additional works of poetry; his first on the Civil War, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War.

 

(click image to see more information) 

Recommended Reading Level: R: Grades 9+ RA: Grades 8+ For younger ages, try the Dover Thrift Edition.

Parent/Teacher: Advisory/Discussion Level

Recommended Curriculum/Literature Guides:

  • Sonlight: American Literature Core 400
  • Veritas Press: Omnibus VI 1st Semester Primary Reading
  • Ambleside Online: Year 10
  • Literature Guide: Sparknotes available

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Columbus Day

It’s Columbus Day!

Are you excited?  Or are you uninspired?  Did it sneak up on you, and now you wonder what can you possibly do at this point?  Well, I’ve gathered together a few books we have on hand at the CERC Bookstore, and a few more quick and easy resources.  Your local homeschool bookstore and/or library should have some of these books on-hand.

Depending on your current homeschool history curriculum, you can choose how in-depth you wish to tackle the subject of Christopher Columbus and the Exploration of the New World.

Resources

Many of the books and resources I will be listing come from Nothing New Press’ All through the Ages: History through Literature Guide by Christine Miller.  For today’s purposes, I will share a couple of recommended titles, but you can check out this great resource on the Nothing New Press site for future studies. ($30.95 paperback; $20.95 ebook).

  • Ship by David Macaulay (RA/IR: all ages K+) – You can not go wrong with David Macaulay books.
  • Voyages of Columbus by John D. Clare (RA: K+; IR: 6th+) – Living History book.  Well written.  Great Series.
  • Christopher Columbus by Stephen Krensky (Step into Reading Step 2 Gr. 1-3)
  • Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad (RA: K+; IR: 4th+) – Loved this as a read aloud.
  • I, Columbus: My Journal by Connie Roop (RA: K+; IR: 3rd+) – Easy read with pictures.
  • A Book of Discovery by M.B. Synge (Yesterday’s Classics)(IR: 7th+) – check your local homeschool bookstore.
CurrClick
*affiliate link – Columbus Day

If you are a first time visitor, you are about to find out that one of my favorite sites for a quick and easy Unit Study is CurrClick.com.  You can type in any subject or idea, and there is at least one resource or unit study available to download and print.  For today’s purposes, you can find multiple resources for “Columbus Day” or “Columbus”.  They have resources and crafts for all ages.

  • History Pockets: Explorers of North America from Evan-Moor (EMC 3708) is a fun project based resource if you want to spend more time on Explorers.  Graded for 4-6th, it’s a great hands-on supplement to any text on Explorers, while providing educational text which can stand alone.  You can find this resource at most teacher or homeschool stores, as well as in whole or in part at CurrClick.com.
  • Notebooking Nook – great printables.  Love their images – you will find Columbus Day in their October Notebook.
  • M.K. Harllee produces a variety of materials.
  • Hands of a Child produces a variety of materials for LapBooks – recommend for 4th+.

Additional Texts:

  • Exploration of North America Coloring Book from Dover
  • Explorers Who Got Lost by Diane Dreher
  • The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster

As always, have some fun!  There can be joy in the learning!

  • Shop Local! – As a bookstore manager myself, I highly recommend shopping your local homeschool resource store.  They work really hard to be there for their homeschool families year round!  (our Store Locator List is growing – if your local homeschool bookstore is not listed here, please recommend them!)
  • For quick access for Columbus Day, check out your Local Library!
  • Shop the publishers directly!
  • For the out-of-print, and hard to find pieces, I’m including Amazon pictures and linksBy clicking links into Amazon Marketplace, I do earn a small commission based on your purchase.  It doesn’t change the listed price, it just supports my glorious book addiction.