Top positive review
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Book list and summaries of many book topics
on June 22, 2002
This book was written as a listing of books for children, of many topics. I want to make it clear that this is not just a book list of children's fiction. There are different books on the market that list only works of fiction. This book includes lists of books for these subjects: animals, art and architecture, bible/spiritual teaching, biography, crafts, hobbies, domestic arts, dance, drama, geography, history, horticulture, humor, language, literature (in several reading levels), poetry, rhymes, math, misc. music, outdoor activities other than group games, physical education, reference, science, technology, and special days and seasons.
This book was written by a homeschooler who is using the Charlotte Mason method. The Charlotte Mason method uses real books also known as living books, (not textbooks or boxed curriculum). This method allows the individual to use many different books written by people who are passionate about the subject to learn about a particular topic or unit of study. Living books are great books, books that capture the attention or imagination of the reader. Living books are not boring or uninspiring. I appreciate having this reference guide available to me, a pre-sorted list written by a user of the Charlotte Mason method, someone on the lookout for quality and inspiring books. It helps sift out the exceptional books from the unremarkable.
OK so this was published in 1987 and any book list that is written poses the risk of immediately containing out of print books. The fact that this book is 14 years old (at the time I of this writing) adds to the possibility that some of these books will be out of print. I see that other reviewers don't like book lists that contain out of print books. I appreciate a listing that contains out of print books, because besides shopping for new books, I also shop at local used book stores, online used book store and online out of print book stores. It is helpful to know about a great book and be on the lookout for that at a used bookstore (or by simply doing an online search for that title). As a homeschooling parent, our family library is growing and I do appreciate the ability to buy used books for sometimes as low as one or two dollars, and end up with better quality book than some currently-in-print, more expensive, new book. Let's not also forget that our public libraries are full of out-of-print books, and that library used book sales are another source of finding great books that are out-of-print. In defense of the author, to further complicate matters books come in and out of print...one never knows when a previously out of print book will go back into circulation.
If you are looking for a book of children's fiction lists that deletes out of print books, see "The Read Aloud Handbook"-with each revision the author deletes the out of print books and only includes the in print books (at the time of the printing, of course).
I appreciate the detailed index, which allows easy scanning by title or author, something that not all book list-books include.
I found this interesting reading and went right through it, cover to cover, with pencil in hand to circle those that I thought our family would like to read. I also found that this book inspired me to think about introducing different topics to my children that I would not have thought about, such as studying the life of colonial American children or learning about what pioneer Americans ate for food.
A great reference book at a low cost!