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Early Modern literature list

August 12, 2013

Last year was not an especially good year for literature.  I think A read three of the seven recommended books I pulled off of the Well-Trained Mind list for 6th grade, although he did read most if not all of the historical fiction I also picked out for him.  Undaunted, we’re pressing on to the 7th-grade list (minus a few we’ve read recently), and as C is a little speed reader, I’m sure he’ll read most of these as well.  I’ve already read most of them this time around so I won’t have to worry about trying to keep up like I did last year, and I’m having them read retellings in several cases.

  1. Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, retold by Martin Jenkins
  2. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver retold by Martin Jenkins
  3. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (Does anyone have a great retelling of this to recommend?  I don’t think we’re up for the original.)
  4. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  5. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
  6. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (maybe just selections)
  7. “The Way to Wealth” by Benjamin Franklin
  8. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  9. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  10. A few short stories by Edgar Allan Poe yet to be selected
  11. East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon: Fifty-nine Norwegian Folk Tales by Peter Christen Asbjrnsen
  12. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself


William Wordsworth

  • We Are Seven
  • Lines Written in Early Spring
  • Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey
  • Lucy Gray
  • Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
  • I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Robert Browning

  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Christina Rossetti

  • Goblin Market
  • A Birthday
  • Sister Maude
  • No, Thank You, John

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  • The Lady of Shalott
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade

Edgar Allan Poe

  • The Raven

In addition, I’d really like A to read

There is also so much good historical fiction to go along with this time period.  We read a lot of the classic books four years ago like Johnny Tremain and Carry On, Mr. Bowditch.  I need to ask the boys which books off our 2009/10 reading list they remember and if they’d like to read them again.  C was in first grade, after all.  So I’m still working on those and scouring other book lists for ones we’ve never read.  But this is a good start!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2013 10:18 am

    That does look like an ambitious list of books and poems. We are revisiting a lot of the books we read or listened to 4 years ago and adding in a few others that I have found to go along with this time period. I haven’t taken the time to actually list them. It would be good to do.

    We read Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen Taylor a few years ago. My kids loved it. We still refer to it during discussions. They loved it so much that they had their Dad read it as their bed time read aloud book shortly after reading it with me.

  2. Linda J. permalink
    August 13, 2013 8:25 pm

    The version of Pilgrim’s Progress as retold by Gary Schmidt might be just right – captures the story in detail without getting bogged down in the language.

    And copying the rest of our list!


  3. August 14, 2013 10:12 pm

    My crew is working their way through Robinson Crusoe this summer, and loving it (audio version). What a fun book!

    How does your crew react to the poetry? I haven’t ventured much beyond Mother Goose.

    • cellista permalink*
      August 14, 2013 10:28 pm

      This will really be our first time doing “serious” poetry, and frankly I’m not sure how they’ll do, or exactly what we’ll do with it! We’ve read quite a bit of fun poetry beyond nursery rhymes (Jabberwocky, Robert Louis Stevenson poems for children, T. S. Eliot’s book of practical cats, things like that) and we’ve memorized a few poems each year. I have to admit I’ve only read about two of the poems on that list. I just pulled it out of WTM. We’ve gone through 2 of the MCT poetry books though and learned about different poetic devices: stanzas, meters, alliteration, similes and metaphors, etc. so hopefully we won’t flounder and can find things to discuss with each poem.

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