Family books with literary power

In this week’s “For the Children’s Sake” reading, SSM discusses “twaddle”, referring to books that are “mentally inferior and useless stuff produced or written for children by adults”. (pg 16).  In contrast, she points out that we should be supplying our children with “living books” written with “literary power” (pg 30).

SSM quotes Charlotte Mason’s point that “children can take in ideas and principles, whether the latter be moral or mechanical, as quickly and clearly as we do ourselves (perhaps more so); but detailed processes, lists and summaries, blunt the edge of a child’s delicate mind” (pg 32).

SSM goes on to provide personal examples of her family’s “living books” (pgs 33-34):

The Bible
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Hans Christian Anderson’s and Grimm’s fairy tales
Peter Rabbit and other books by Beatrix Potter
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kippling
All of Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
Abraham Lincoln by Ingrid and Edgard D’Aulaire
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Johnny Tremaine by Esther Forbes
Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
Oliver Twist and Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Plays by Shakespeare – read aloud as plays, for shared pleasure
Robert Frost’s poetry
The Oxford Book of English Verse
The Wheel on the School, The House of 60 Fathers and anything else by Meindert Dejong
The Heroes of Asgard by A. and E. Keary
The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
The Sheldon Book of Verses by Oxford University Press
A Wrinkle in Time and others by Madeleine Engle
Ring Out Bow Bells by Cynthia Harnett
The Princess and the Goblin and others by George MacDonald
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Star of Light, Tanglewood Secrets, Teasures of the Snow, and Rainbow Garden by Patricia St. John


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