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Progeny Press Guides: What are your favorites?

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We've used a number of the PP guides with our DSs from 8th grade on.




An aside:

To enrich the PP guides and to make the most of our literature discussions and analysis, I also use free online lit. guides (Glencoe Literature Library, Sparknotes, Cliff's Notes, etc.), which are usually secular, but really help bring out even more discussion.


I also really like to use the "challenger level" Discovering Literature secular guides by Garlic Press publishers -- the guide to The Odyssey is absolutely a "don't miss" guide, and the one for To Kill a Mockingbird is pretty good, too -- Portals to Literature guides, and Christian worldview guides from The Great Books -- the Beowulf guide is awesome; some others we've used were "just okay" -- alongside (or sometimes in place of) the PP guides.


And for covering Shakespeare, I really like "Brightest Heaven of Invention: A Christian Guide to Six Shakespeare Plays", though it is written at an upper high school/adult level, and would be a bit much for 8th/9th grade. However, the Parallel Text Shakespeare guides and workbook sets, while secular, are GREAT for the middle school/young high school age.




The very best PP guide we've used so far is the Poetry one, which has 3 units on poetry. Lots of very helpful information and practice in reading, understanding, and analyzing poetry.


PP literature guides we've liked and found worthwhile:

- Frankenstein (a bit stiff going due to vocabulary/sentence structure, but if your 8th/9th grader is a good reader, then do this one and compare/contrast with Dr. J & Mr. H below)

- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

- Farenheit 451

- The Old Man and The Sea (a little on the "lite" side, but both book and guide are perfect for 8th/9th grade)

- The Great Gatsby (a book to wait on -- maybe 11th/12th grade)


JMO: the PP guide for Huckleberry Finn (HF) seemed "lite" and lacking -- HF is such a rich/complex classic, that I was disappointed the guide didn't delve into very much or very deeply.


This year we will be trying out the PP guides for:

- Out of the Silent Planet

- Perelandra

- Lord of the Flies


To see the table of contents and sample pages of each PP guide you are interested in, check the guides out at Christian Book online.



Finally, two full-year literature programs that our 8th/9th grade sons absolutely *loved* were:


Lightning Literature & Composition 8 (Christian author, but not overtly Christian in teaching text)

- scope and sequence

- student guide sample

- teacher guide sample


Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings (Christian author, but not overtly Christian in teaching text; there is a whole additional unit in the appendix of the program on Biblical themes in LotR)

- course content

- table of contents

- sample lessons



Hope that is of help! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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While we have not used any of these PP guides, these books for which PP has guides would be very "8th/9th grade boy friendly" ;) :


A Christmas Carol

Call of the Wild

The Hobbit

Last of the Mohicans

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

The Yearling

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