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What We Are Reading Right Now #3 – The Back to School Edition…

August 14th, 2012 · 12 Comments

This is a special edition… When my friend Zoe at Playing By the Book calls for books on a particular topic… then we respond!!! I thought we might battle to find books about “Back to School” since we have never been in school… turns out there are heaps of school books out there and tons that we love – we had a really hard time selecting just one book each – in fact one person, who will remain shortest, had to pick two!!!

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So here you go: Se7en + 1 Back to School Books:

Let’s begin with a book from my book pile:

The Mother Person: If you follow our blog then you will know that this is my all time favourite, favourite book!!! I love the tale of a little girl’s resilient spirit against all odds… She meets up with some alarmingly mean characters… the baddies in this book really are bad, and yet she remains her sweet little self soldiering on!!! If you have a child that complains about school then Jane Eyre is the book to read… A worse school who can find!!!

And now for the kids:

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Hood #1: I think we may be stretching the theme with this one, but he was adamant!!! The first back to school book that our Dickens fan could recommend: Oliver Twist is a story all about school… the school of the pick-pocket. This book cleverly demonstrates the class system in London at the time… the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich, and everything in-between. This is a classic everyone should read.

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Hood #2: There is something about this book that all my kids love and adore… I am guessing this could be called extreme project-based schooling!!! A young girl writes a story, and her mum is a publisher. She knows first hand how hard it would be to get a book off the “reject pile” and actually published… So she enlists the help of a friend, who acts as her agent… Together they do it: Write a book, go through all the legal loops and get it published, all without the help of her mum. Quite a triumphant read… Lovely to see young folk excelling!!!

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Hood #3: Not many folks would think this was a school book… but Heidi really encompasses all forms of education… A heap of unschooling in the Alps with Peter, then a private tutor with Clara and finally a trip in and out of the Village school depending on the weather. Heid i is such a sweet gal and embraces life so gloriously, you can’t help getting caught up with her good spirits and enthusiasm. As she dashes through life and makes mistakes and learns and loves… this is just such a great book…

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Hood #4: This is our absolute favourite Sonlight book… and we have read a lot of them!!! The story of a teeny tiny community school in the far north. In a world surrounded by snow and a community caught up in fishing and hunting for survival… it is hard to fathom where school would fit into the picture. But a teacher arrives that loves and adores the children and she opens up the world for them literally with a wall size map… She teaches them well and spreads their wings. I think the word for this book would be heartwarming!!! In a world caught up in go getting and extra-murals and over-achieving… this is a book about taking it slow and learning to love learning for the sake of it.

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Hood #5: We love and adore Gooney Bird Greene, this little character sure is in school and she sure does learn a lot… She is an unconventional thinker to say the least and lots of fun!!! While there is a continuous theme throughout the book, each chapter has its own lesson… a topic within the topic. The poetry book has different types of poems in each chapter, the creative writing book has a different type of writing assignment in each chapter. While you are learning a lot when you read these books you don’t feel like you are… Good solid easy chapter reading fun and a great resource in our creative writing list of resources.

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Hood #6: The Magic School Bus of course… OF COURSE!!! Who wouldn’t want Miss Frizzle as there teacher!!! To go to the depths of the earth, to fly through the water system, explore outer space and course through the human body. These books are just fantastic and all my kids have read them again and again and again… In fact I can’t believe folk ever grow out of reading this series of books.

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Hood #7: In a word… Lauren Child!!! In their inimitable style Charlie and Lola wage battle on that first day of school… cuteness from cover to cover… we will find it an amusing read as the author so cleverly creeps into a little persons head-space. But my four year old loved this book to bits but did not find it funny at all… dead serious all the way through!!!

And the se7en + 1th Book:

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Hood #8: We just couldn’t decide… Our littlest guy loves his animals and we all love Laura Numeroff… her rhythm, her rhyme… unbeatable!!! Who could possibly resist this mischievous little mouse and its scholarly antics. And then of course there is Harry… and since my little guy has a bucket… and he has some dinosaurs … then this book has to feature!!!

And of course we ran out of reviewers long before we ran out of books – what about heaps of school series… The Naughtiest Girl in the School; Malory Towers that we have read to disintegration; Just William; and we even have a homegrown series, that everyone will love, though South African readers will relate to on every level… Spud, and his latest book is just releasing now!!! This is the story of a young lad and his journey through high school, boarding school… the trials and tribulations… you will laugh out loud and cry genuine tears too… a great, great series!!!

If you need to see a whole heap more books then head over to Playing By the Book for lots more brilliant reads!!!

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Tags: Language Arts · Reviews · Se7en at School · What We Are Reading

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Zoe // Aug 15, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Woo hoo! You rose to the challenge magnificently :-) A great list.
    Zoe´s last blog post ..2 new and exclusive minibooks from Clara Vulliamy to inspire storytelling about starting school

  • 2 Tammy // Aug 15, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I am too small for school, love Lauren Child! And Heidi ….. What a classic!

  • 3 Katja // Aug 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Hello!

    Haven’t read your blog for a while, but being an avid reader myself, today’s insert caught my attention. :)

    Jane Eyre is also one of my absolute favourites. Great read! I am a huge Jane Austen fan, and while the writing style of the Bronte sisters is so completely different, I enjoy their books immensely too.

    Through getting to know Hood #1, it is clear that he is a well educated young man and clearly gets heaps of knowledge from books. Great to see him reading classics!

    Love your blog. It really is rather inspirational and very informative every time.

  • 4 se7en // Aug 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you Zoe!!! We did indeed!!! And we have started our list for next month already… working ahead!!! Wouldn’t it be good if we could be on time even once this year!!! Hope you are having some summer because we sure are having a heap of winter…

  • 5 se7en // Aug 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Hay Tammy… It is amazing how many lovely books about school are out there… how did that happen – clearly a large part of everyone’s lives!!! Have a great day!!!

  • 6 se7en // Aug 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you Katja for your lovely comment!!! So glad you enjoyed your literary visit!!! Thank you for sharing your favorites!!!

  • 7 Rikki // Aug 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Gooney Bird Greene was one of my son’s favorites last year! He has read the entire series and loved them all. I think he will enjoy School Story this year.

  • 8 se7en // Aug 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Rikki, Oh School Story is just brilliant… I couldn’t put it down!!! Have a great day!!!

  • 9 Carolyn // Aug 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Just loved this list of back to school books! We’ve loved The School Story, The Year of Miss Agnes, and of course The Magic School Bus series in this house over the years. I just ordered the first Spud book for the boys on your recommendation. It looks like a great glimpse of a totally different educational path than what my boys know.

  • 10 se7en // Aug 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Oh Carolyn… Hope you enjoy Spud… life in a South African boys boardings school my older two loved it!!! Have a great week!!!

  • 11 katherine marie // Aug 19, 2012 at 7:01 am

    WOW! Love this idea… what a brilliant and creative way to showcase their favorite books. This is so awesome— I really think it would be fun to do this every month and then make a coffee table style photo book every 365 days!

  • 12 se7en // Aug 20, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Katherine-Marie, That is a fabulous idea… imagine a year of book covers… I totally love it!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

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