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Christ and the Abbot Mena CCH's Online Catalog

Grammar Stage
Literature for 4th Grade


Quality literature and poetry from the
1000 Good Books List

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The Best-Loved Poems of the American People
Hazel Felleman

Click to order The Best-Loved Poems This wonderful anthology was compiled in 1936 by Hazel Felleman, who was the editor of the Queries and Answers page of the New York Times Book Review. Daily over a period of fifteen years, she received inquiries from people all over America to print the text of favorite poems of which only a line or two, or perhaps the title, were remembered. During that time she learned something of the poetry preferences of the American people, which she used in choosing the selections in this volume rather than her own personal preferences (although she states most she would have chosen herself). Poems are arranged thematically under the headings of Love and Friendship, Inspiration, Story Poems, Faith and Reverence, Home and Mother, Childhood and Youth, Patriotism and War, Humor and Whimsey, Memory and Grief, Nature, Animals, and Miscellaneous. An index of authors and first lines rounds out this superb collection. We have discovered glorious poems in this wonderful volume that we have not found anywhere else, such as To My Unborn Son; Living; How He Saved Saint Michael’s (what a wonderful poem!); Oh! Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud? and so many others.


The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales
Brothers Grimm; James Stern, editor

Click to order The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales Here in one volume is a classic of Western literature--the complete fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. These magnificent tales, which date back to the dawn of storytelling among the people of Northern Europe, were first compiled by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and published in Germany in 1812 and 1815. Editions have come and gone since that time, but rarely are all 215 tales offered together in one volume, complete, unabridged, and unexpurgated. Discover old favorites such as Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and the Frog Prince over again, and make the acquaintance of The Juniper Tree, Clever Gretel, King Thrushbeard, and the Singing Soaring Lark and other little-known treasures.


The Crimson Fairy Book
Andrew Lang, editor; H. J. Ford, illustrator

Click to order The Crimson Fairy Book “All the tales are narrated in the lively, clean prose for which Lang was famous. Not only are Lang’s collections generally considered to contain the best English version of the standard fairy tales; they are also the richest and widest in range. His position as one of England’s foremost folklorists as well as his first-rate literary abilities make his collections unmatchable in the English language.” -Publisher. I read these over and over again as a child, as my children have also done. There are twelve color Fairy Books all together; and all are wonderful: the Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Grey, Lilac, Orange, Brown, Violet, Pink, and Olive Fairy Book.


Peter Pan
James M. Barrie, illustrated by Scott Gustafson

Click to order Peter Pan Normally I link to a paperback edition of a book if possible, to help homeschool parents save a little money on their book budget. But this handsome hardcover edition is here because it is unabridged, something that is hard to find in modern editions of Peter Pan. And you definitely want to read the unabridged version of this timeless children’s classic -- it is full of fascinating vocabulary, and Barrie had a quaint way of putting things that is absolutely charming. Besides all that, Gustafson’s lavishly detailed paintings, reminiscent of N. C. Wyeth, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Arthur Rackham, send readers right into the magical world of Neverland. All the unforgettable adventures of Peter Pan and the three Darling children are captured in more than 50 illustrations, each as captivating as Barrie’s timeless text.


Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress
John Bunyan and Oliver Hunkin

Click to order Dangerous Journey This is a retelling of the classic allegory of the Christian life written by John Bunyan in 1676 in England. In the early days of our country, many families owned just two books--the Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress. This classic retelling retains the poetic flow of the language while making the story more accessible for all. The full-color illustrations throughout by Alan Parry are beautiful and help illuminate the story further. For those families that would also like to tackle the original Pilgrim’s Progress for family read-aloud time, a complete and unabridged hardcover and paperback edition is also available.


The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett; Tasha Tudor, illustrator

Click to order The Secret Garden Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett created richly developed characters woven with detailed descriptions of places and events that easily allow the reader to identify with and visualize the story. Her prose and vocabulary have the depth characteristic of that earlier era. In The Secret Garden, orphaned and sullen Mary comes to live with her disinterested uncle in Yorkshire England. The housekeeper’s son befriends her and her crippled and equally sullen cousin. Together they discover the secret garden, locked up for years, which has a profound impact on all their lives. (Also in hardcover.) The Little Princess (my favorite) is Sara Crewe, daughter of a wealthy Englishman who comes to live at a proper English boarding school in London. When her father is killed and she is left penniless, she is reduced to cruel servitude at the school where she was once the star pupil. This beautiful story of a young woman who remains unchanging and true in spite of her changing circumstances is inspirational. (Also in hardcover.) The setting in Little Lord Fauntleroy is just the opposite: Cedric is a poor New York City street boy who turns out to be the only living heir of the meanest (and wealthiest) Earl in all of England. Suddenly rich in England, he discovers that money has certainly made his grandfather neither happy nor compassionate for others. Another powerful story of a young man who remains true in spite of his circumstances, who changes the lives of others in the process. (Also in hardcover.)


St. Bartholomew’s Eve: A Tale of the Huguenot Wars
G. A. Henty

Click to order St. Bartholomew’s Eve “George Alfred Henty’s stories revolve around a fictional boy hero during fascinating periods of history. His heroes are diligent, courageous, intelligent and dedicated to their country and cause in the face, at times, of great peril. His histories, particularly battle accounts, have been recognized by historians for their accuracy. In fact, the only criticism Henty faced by the liberals of his day was that his heroes were ‘too Christian.’” --Publisher. Henty wrote over 140 stories for boys during the Victorian era, many drawn from his own courageous and adventurous life at the Crimean War, during Garibaldi’s fight for Italy’s independence, at the Franco-Prussian War, in Spain with the Carlists, at the opening of the Suez Canal, touring India with the Prince of Wales, and in the California gold fields. “...boys, when they reach the Henty stage, discriminate to the extent of rejecting almost every other author.” --Librarian, 1900. Although Henty is absolutely essential for boys, my girls have also loved these stories. The godly characteristics of the Henty heroes have helped all my children grow in character and develop high standards in their choice of acquaintances. Children should continue to read Henty for the rest of the grammar stage, not just in 4th grade only. St. Bartholomew’s Eve takes place in France during the Huguenot Wars of 1580, when the French government and the Roman church attempted to exterminate the French Protestants (Huguenots). A paperback edition is also available.

Other Renaissance & Reformation era Henty stories include:
By Pike and Dyke: A Tale of the Rise of the Dutch Republic (1579) paperback edition
By England’s Aid: Or the Freeing of the Netherlands (1588)
Under Drake’s Flag: A Tale of the Spanish Main (1580’s) paperback edition
The Lion of the North: A Tale of the Times of Gustavus Adolphus (1630) paperback edition
Won by the Sword: A Story of the Thirty Years’ War (1640) paperback edition

Ancient & Classical era Henty stories include:
The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt (antiquity) paperback edition
The Young Carthaginian: A Story of the Times of Hannibal (220 B.C.) paperback edition
Beric the Briton: A Story of the Roman Invasion (61 A.D.) paperback edition
For the Temple: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem (70 A.D.) paperback edition

Dark and Medieval era Henty stories include:
The Dragon and the Raven: or the Days of King Alfred (870) paperback edition
Wulf the Saxon: A Story of the Norman Conquest (1066) paperback edition
Winning His Spurs: A Tale of the Crusades (1190) paperback edition
In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce (1314) paperback edition
The Lion of Saint Mark: A Tale of Venice (1300’s) paperback edition
St. George for England: A Tale of Cressy & Poitiers (1346) paperback edition
A Knight of the White Cross: A Tale of the Siege of Rhodes (1480) paperback edition

American era Henty stories include:
By Right of Conquest: or With Cortez in Mexico (1595) paperback edition
With Wulf in Canada: Or the Winning of a Continent (1763) paperback edition
With Lee in Virginia: A Story of the American Civil War (1860’s) paperback edition
In the Heart of the Rockies: A Story of Adventure in Colorado (1860)
A Tale of the Western Plains (1880’s)

Modern era Henty stories include:
Bonnie Prince Charlie: A Tale of Fontenoy & Culloden (1746) paperback edition
In the Reign of Terror: The Adventures of a Westminster Boy (1793) paperback edition
The Dash for Khartoum: A Tale of the Nile Expedition (1885) paperback edition


The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling

Click to order The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling was a master of English prose and poetry, and was the first English recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. The Nobel committee chose him because of their “consideration of [his] power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize [his] creations...” The Jungle Book tells the story “of Mowgli, an Indian boy who is raised by wolves from infancy and who learns self-sufficiency and wisdom from the jungle animals. The book describes the social life of the wolf pack and, more fancifully, the justice and natural order of life in the jungle. Among the animals whose tales are related in the work are Akela the wolf; Baloo the brown bear; Shere Khan, the boastful Bengal tiger who is Mowgli's enemy; Kaa the python; Bagheera the panther; and Rikki-tikki-tavi the mongoose.” --Merriam- Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. Also in hardcover.


The Story of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting

Click to order The Story of Doctor Dolittle Doctor Dolittle was a people doctor who did not get along well in his people practice, due to the abundance of unusual pets he kept about the place. On the advice of his parrot, Polynesia, he turned to animal medicine, and that is how he came to learn the language of the animals. He and his menagerie are called on to cure an outbreak threatening a tribe of monkeys in Africa, and from then on they are embroiled in one adventure after another. Hugh Lofting’s style is rich and witty, the characterizations remarkable, the situations hilarious. The subsequent Doctor Dolittle books, written with the same delightful wit and humor, are (in order): The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, Doctor Dolittle’s Post Office, Doctor Dolittle’s Circus, Doctor Dolittle’s Zoo, Doctor Dolittle’s Garden, Doctor Dolittle’s Caravan, Doctor Dolittle in the Moon, and Doctor Dolittle’s Return. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle won the 1923 Newbery Award, and is the only book still in print besides The Story of Doctor Dolittle; however, I was unable to find an unabridged, unrevised, unedited edition that I could recommend. Try the used book searches ... (sigh).


The Light Princess
George MacDonald, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Click to order The Light Princess C. S. Lewis was deeply influenced by George MacDonald and considered his works essential reading. Like Lewis’ fantasies for children, MacDonald’s stories contain messages that make you think and are not just for children. In The Light Princess, the princess loses her gravity through an evil curse. Not only is she rendered weightless, she has no inner gravity as well--she has never cried. Because she has not experienced sorrow, her joy and laughter are meaningless and empty. She becomes whole and “weighted” once more through the self-sacrificing love of the prince. The story carries the eternal message of the self-sacrificing Prince of Peace upon Whom our wholeness depends, told with strength, humor, and grace. Maurice Sendak’s whimsically wonderful illustrations are the perfect complement. A hardcover edition is also available. Other not- to-be-missed MacDonald fantasies and stories include: At the Back of the North Wind, The Golden Key, The Lost Princess, The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, Gifts of the Christ Child and Other Stories and Fairy Tales, and The Complete Fairy Tales in both paperback and hardcover (the ‘complete’ editions contain twelve of the shorter fairy stories).


Tales From Shakespeare
Charles and Mary Lamb, illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Click to order Tales From Shakespeare No better introduction to William Shakespeare’s dramatic masterpieces exists than the delightful prose adaptations of Charles and Mary Lamb, first published in 1807. The two selected twenty of Shakespeare’s best-known plays and set out both to make them accessible to children and to pay enthusiastic homage to the original works. Together the Lambs distilled the powerful themes and unforgettable characterizations of Shakespeare’s plays into elegant narratives--classic tales in their own right. Charles took responsibility for the powerful tragedies, while Mary worked on the light-hearted comedies. As the authors point out in their introduction, their versions of the tragedies tend to rely on the language of the original plays, while the comedies are more freely adapted. But all of the Lambs’ stories--with their clear, supple, and rhythmic prose--reward any reader, whether encountering Shakespeare for the first time or revisiting his work. This edition of Tales From Shakespeare is reproduced from one first published in 1909 and features twelve full-color paintings and many drawings by the renowned illustrator Arthur Rackham. The twenty plays adapted are: Tempest, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Winter’s Tale, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Merchant of Venice, Cymbeline, King Lear, Macbeth, All’s Well That Ends Well, Taming of the Shrew, Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Timon of Athens, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, and Pericles, Prince of Tyre.


Heidi
Johanna Spyri

Click to order Heidi After Heidi is orphaned she goes to live with her crusty old grandfather high in the Swiss Alps. Her sweetness and innocence softens him, and they learn to love, respect, and depend on each other while she leads a carefree life with him and her new friend, Peter the goatherd. Her life changes dramatically however when she must go live with her wealthy aunt in the city as a companion for her crippled cousin. How Heidi sacrifices and struggles with the loss of her second family and learns to live compassionately through adversities makes a wonderful, compelling story. A beautifully-illustrated hardcover edition is also available.

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