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Lit suggestions for becoming well read

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I never thought about it, but our list would include many titles that show up as we do history: Shakespeare, Dickens, the bible, cultural mythology, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, Aesop's,
folk tales...


And then also ones that are essential for childhood: Barrie, Baum, Stevenson, Burnett, Milne...things that would come up in others' writing, just because of how widely read it is.

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My education was science-based and humanities-deficient, so I also wondered about instilling literary awareness, having passed over many of the classics myself. I liked ED Hirsch's Cultural Literacy and Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, which address this issue.


All of the suggestions on your and HomeAgain's lists are great. The Greek and Roman myths come up a lot in literature, so definitely those. The Mensa book lists cover a lot of the classics that HomeAgain mentioned and more. 

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There are lots of allusions in literature. How do you try to ensure that your child is able to understand many common/popular allusions referred to in many great works?  What do you read? Bible? Shakespeare? Fairy Tales? Any particulars?


Nursery Rhymes

Aesop's Fables

Bible Stories

Fairy Tales and Folktales from around the world

Greek, Roman, and Norse Mythology

American Tall Tales

There are many child-friendly versions available for The Odyssey, The Illiad, King Arthur's Tales, and Shakespeare


It's hard to be prepared for every allusion you come across in literature, but the above list should help.


Also, it isn't a bad idea to make sure that your kids familiar with the original tales that all of those Disney retellings are based on .

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Bible, Narnia, old real fairy tales (not the ones altered to be happy), anything considered a Classic, really. The best readers and writers are those who read good literature. These are the books you loved as a child, a young adult, now a parent, and will still love when we are old fogies in a nursing home.

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