and not for dubya either

A gleeful report on booky goodness for the months of Jan and Feb:

Russell Freedman - Lincoln: An Autobiography
Liz Nelson - Concord: Stories to Be Told (A Massachussetts Town Memoir)
John Grafton - The American Revolution: A Picture Sourcebook
Benjamin Franklin - The Autobiography and Other Writings
Mortimer J. Adler - The Paideia Proposal

Sylvia Plath - The Journals of Sylvia Plath
Sophocles - The Oedipus Cycle

I also picked up two volumes of "The World's Greatest Classics," c. 1900: "Oriental Literature" and "Short History of the English People." Two places that are a treasure trove of literary staples and oddities, yet are also hugely overpriced as far as used books go: Punahou Carnival White Elephant Sale and Rainbow Books (University).

Still trying to build the classroom library with books to supplement the, ahem, hearty text. I don't want them to think historical events are one-sided, and don't want them to think that the, ahem, hearty text is the end-all be-all of this thing called Social Studies. Just like we want to teach them that math is actually useful (I was in grad school before I truly believed that one, actually), I also want them to be able to find meaning in the five Social Studies strands: history, political science, cultural anthropology, geography and economics. And gdamnit, they need to know that war is not as simple as good guy/bad guy. Highly recommended: Jean Fritz books. Funny. And balanced. One of the books I just put on the shelf, Liberty! The American Revolution by Thomas Fleming contradicts the, ahem, hearty text at least three times a chapter. To quote one of the kids, "How wonderful is that!"

I'd like to give them a sense of history that is richer than just chronology, map skills, and memorization of grand battlefield quotations that no one can prove were even said. Although I must admit: "George Washington's dead, right?" is not something you want to overhear while teaching. So chronology, timelines and all that jazz - still v. important. Next thing you know, they're going to ask me if I voted for Abraham Lincoln.

*** Clarrification: the "World's Greatest Classics," Plath, etc. are NOT going in the classroom collection.

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