Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Literature for High School Summer School

High School Civil War Literature

This year, we aren't taking a big summer break -- we will take it in the fall when we have family visiting.  That means Luke is diving right into his 11th grade booklist.    Though we will be on a relaxed schedule for the summer, the plan is to just keep going.  He's entering his second year of American History, and we're up to the Civil War, so most of the books will be about the era.  We decided to skip over the "summer classics" - like Fitzgerald and Steinbeck - and read them as we get to the 20s (The Great Gatsby) and the Depression (The Grapes of Wrath).

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Of course, we do have to shake things up a little bit.  The original plan was to read this book later in the year, when we were studying the Great Depression.  However, Luke decided he wanted it to pull double duty as a read-for-a-report book that goes along with our review of Analytical Grammar's Beyond the Book Report.  I'm really excited because it is one of my favorite books ever, and it was JUST released in eBook format. I can't wait to discuss it with him!

Image: pathughesbooks.com
Seeing the Elephant:  A Story of the Civil War by Pat Hughes

Last year, Luke read and enjoyed Five 4ths of July, a Revolutionary War story also by Pat Hughes.  Seeing the Elephant is set in the Civil War, and is the story of how a Yankee meets a Rebel soldier and comes to see him as not the enemy but a human being.  Yes, this is actually for younger students, but it's a quick read (only 40 pages), and an important thing to learn about the War between the States -- these were human beings out their on the battlefields, not automaton killers.

Image: pathughesbooks.com

 Guerrilla Season by Pat Hughes

Guerrilla Season, also by Hughes, is a young adult novel set in Civil War Missouri.   Timed right in the middle of the war - 1863 - it highlights the story of a young man who just wants to farm, not fight, but has to make difficult choices about where his loyalties lie.

Image: Amazon.com

Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen: A Culinary View of Lincoln's Life and Times  by Rae Katherine Eighmey

And for "fun," the plan is to explore Abraham Lincoln in a different way -- through food!  This Smithsonian-printed volume mixes history with food, from foods from Lincoln's simple childhood table to his grand political barbeques, and includes an number of recipes.  Luke is looking forward to eating his way through history!

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  1. To Kill A Mockingbird was one of my favorites from my own school days as well. I've not heard of the other titles you listed, but the Lincoln one sure looks interesting!

  2. Wow! My oldest is 6... Just reading your post has brought me to the shocking conclusion that my little girl is going to be reading this literature one day in the not so distant future... Shocking!

    To Kill A Mockingbird was one of my favorites too... It's one of those I can honestly say has shaped the person I am today!

    Thanks for linking to the #SHINEbloghop

  3. Sigh. To Kill a Mockingbird ..... one of my very favorites.

    I may have to drag it back out again. One of the best things about homeschooling is revisiting all of these classic treasures.

    Thanks for linking up with The Thoughtful Spot!


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