Feb-ROO-ary was quite a good reading month for me (14 books!). It wasn't a very good month as far as pronunciation goes, but reading went very well indeed. I'm certain that March will give me much less anxiety as far as pronunciation goes...in the meantime, let's talk books.
Jackaroo, Cynthia Voigt. The author of Dicey's Song has written a wonderful piece of historical fiction for the junior audience. In Jackaroo, she provides an insightful jaunt into medieval life. The book showed a woman's plight in the Middle Ages wonderfully, as well as the exsistence of massive class distinctions (and the helplessness therein). I loved how insightful and educational it was, whilst remaining eventful and interesting. I bought this from Sonlight around Christmas time, although when I recently searched for it again on their site, I was unable to find it. It was an enjoyable read, written well, and has left me wanting to read more Cynthyia Voigt.
Gone-Away Lake, Elizabeth Enright. This is a Sonlight Core 4 reader that I pre-read before handing it over to the boys. A nice, innocent, adventurous book--one that makes you happy for having read it.
The Terrible Wave, Marden Dahlstedt. This is another Sonlight Core 4 reader, but this I read aloud to the kids. They really enjoyed it, as did I.
Earthquake! A Story of the San Francisco Earthquake, Kathleen Kudlinski. Hmmm, I don't know if this should even be included on my reading list, because it is really short. But here it is. This was a Winterpromise read-aloud that we blew through in one morning. It provided a nice introductory glance at the devastating earthquake of 1906.
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath. This is a haunting story about the cloud of depression that can affect the most normal of people, and how improbable it is that anyone on the outside will understand. This book made me ache. It will definitely be one that I'll read again sometime.
Ramona and Her Mother, Beverly Cleary. I've always loved Ramona, and reading her aloud to my girls is a joy indeed.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by W.S. Merwin. This is a Sonlight Core 530 (British Literature) book. I was dreading it (have you looked at the cover of this thing?) but ended up enjoying it very much. The translation made it easy for me to get into the story and enjoy some of the symbolism and history.
Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine. This book was fun to read. It reminded me of the movie Ever After, but this book was much more alive and interesting. Fun, yet thoughtful.
The Cay, Theodore Taylor. My 12 year-old son requested that I read this, and it was a good recommendation. It takes place in the Caribbean during WWII, and is a great coming-of-age novel.
Twilight, Stephenie Meyer. Okay, so I admit that I kind-of jumped on the bandwagon with this one. This book was left at our house after our Christmas party (on purpose--it was left over from a white elephant gift exchange). It stared at me long enough and I decided to read it. It's over 500 pages, but takes the brain activity of watching a tv series (that's not a compliment, btw). It took me about 5 hours to complete. Hmph.
Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte. This somewhat autobiographical novel depicts highly believable characters. It was nice steady reading. Thoughtful, yet not overly descriptive. It tells the tale of a young girl who decides to become a governess for the sake of helping children, and finds her task to be much different from what she'd expected.
Rough and Ready, Horatio Alger Jr. I have a 1908 copy of this book, and came across it not long after we'd studied the New York newsboys in our homeschool history. I read it quickly (as it is junior fiction) and enjoyed it. Most of my enjoyment stemmed from how the style of writing differed from today's junior fiction. It was fun to read the small lectures on morality, and to notice the overtones regarding the importance of cleanliness and not being lazy. Fun stuff!
Ramona's World, Beverly Cleary. Another wonderful entry in the life of a misunderstood, and very funny, girl.
Miracles on Maple Hill, Virginia Sorenson. This is another SL Core 4 reader that I pre-read. Of course, it was another wonderful book. My kiddos get so jealous that I read their readers before them (cue evil laugh)!