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Sonlight 100/Notgrass Expl. Amer. users...what books from those are your favorite??

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I can't afford to buy the whole Core 100, but would love to have my son read some of the books along with A History of Us and/or Notgrass Exploring America, both of which we can borrow for this year. :) Which literature selections do you (or your children) think are the best choices? I know they've changed some of them for this year, so you can choose from either the current or previous Core 100. Notgrass has some literature, too, which I think we can borrow as well, so if you are familiar with their selections you could choose from those, too.



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How old is your DS? That will make a difference. If he is younger (say, 8th grade) and enjoys historical fiction and living books, he will likely enjoy a number of (old or new) SL100 titles. If he is in the upper level of high school... well, then, maybe just the Classic works and a few other titles would connect with him...



Our DSs were grades 10 and 11 the year we did Notgrass American History, along with making our own American Lit. (some of which they greatly enjoyed), and DSs solo read a few historical fiction works of their choice from the "book basket" -- most of the SL100 books in the basket did NOT get read, as most were just too young and not of interest to DSs. I would place quite a few of the books (old or new SL100) at about a 7th grade reading (and interest) level, some at a 5th grade level -- and two books ("Shh, We're Writing the Constitution and Panama Canal) at a 4th grade level. :( Not going to connect very well with 16yo and 17yo students...


Below are the hits and the "didn't mind" titles for our DSs, in case it is of any help -- realizing that every student and their reading interests are very different! :) BEST of luck in putting together your American History/Lit year! Warmest regards, Lori D.



Of the SL100 books, DSs really enjoyed:

- Call of the Wild (done as the American Lit in 10th/11th grades)

- To Kill a Mockingbird (done as part of Lit in 9th/10th grades)

- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (done back in 7th grade as part of LL7)


Of the SL100 books, DSs didn't mind:

- Rip Van Winkle (DSs did it as part of Amer. Lit in 10th/11th grades)

- The Boys' War (DSs did it as a solo read in 10th/11th grades)

- Maniac Magee (DSs did it as a solo read back in 7th grade)



Titles from OTHER SL cores DSs really enjoyed that would fit into an American History/Lit year:

(note: NONE I would classify as Literature or a Great Book)

- Cheaper By the Dozen

- The Great Brain

- The Giver

- The Day They Came to Arrest the Book



Notgrass titles DSs really enjoyed:

- The Giver

- To Kill a Mockingbird



Notgrass titles DSs didn't mind:

- Mama's Bank Account



Other Classic Lit. that our DSs really enjoyed that would fit into an American History/Lit year:

- "The Raven" (poem by Poe)

- short story by Poe

- Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (short story by Bierce)

- Luck of Roaring Camp (short story by Harte)

- Gift of the Magi; Ransom of Red Chief (short stories by O. Henry)

- The Most Dangerous Game (short story by Connell)

- The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

- Thank You Ma'am (short story by Hughes)

- The Catbird Seat (short story by Thurber)

- The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)

- Farenheit 451 (Bradbury)

- There Will Come Soft Rains (short story by Bradbury)

- A Canticle for Leibowitz (sci-fi classic by Miller)

- A Good Man is Hard to Find; Revelation; Everything That Rises Must Converge (short stories by Flannery O'Conner)

- The Lottery (short story by Jackson)

Edited by Lori D.
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His will be in the 9th grade. He is not as into reading as much as my older daughter had been at that age, but he did Sonlight 5 last year and said he liked reading more after that (not to mention he got some eye therapy last year that helped tremendously as his muscles were weak, although his vision was 20/20.) He did like a lot of the books in 5 (F). He does read at or above grade level. I was thinking I would assign some books and then give him a selection to choose a certain number from, too.


Thank you so much for taking the time to give me so much helpful information!! I really, really appreciate it!!

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Here are a few that we particularly enjoyed in 8th/9th grades. Some were done as read alouds, others as readers:


Dragon's Gate

Farewell to Manzanar

Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold

Tom Sawyer (also read & loved Huck Finn)

Amos Fortune, Free Man

Bonanza Girl

Call of the Wild

Rip Van Winkle

To Kill a Mockingbird (a huge hit)




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