• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 16/Grade 11, 14/Grade 9, and 13/Grade 8.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

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    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Uh-oh Canada

I forgot.

I recuperated and got busy with Easter, and then Tom’s birthday (Tuesday) and Laura’s 4H field trip to a nearby bakery (also Tuesday and delicious), and then got thoroughly sidetracked by some Spring cleaning and shopping (yesterday).

Which means I missed getting anything ready for Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray‘s literary salute to Canada. But plenty of others weren’t sidetracked. Lots of good stuff to read, especially if you’re a Pierre Berton fan, which you should be.

And while I didn’t have a post for yesterday, I’ll just offer this little tidbit: Pierre Berton‘s children series, those slim yellow paperbacks which have been out-of-print for a while, have been reissued by Fifth House/Fitzhenry & Whiteside in bindups as a new series, “Pierre Berton’s History for Young Canadians”. Think of PB as a northern David McCullough for the junior set:

The Battles of the War of 1812 by Pierre Berton, with a foreword by Charlotte Gray

Exploring the Frozen North by Pierre Berton, with a foreword by Eric Wilson

Canada Moves West by Pierre Berton, with a foreword by Arthur Slade

The Great Klondike Gold Rush by Pierre Berton, with a foreword by Ken McGoogan

And for adults and older children, this Spring Penguin is launching “Extraordinary Canadians” (the website seems to need work, but there’s lots more here from The National Post — JoVE, look away): biographies of 20 of Canada’s “most influential historical figures” by 18 of Canada’s best contemporary writers; such as this biography of Nellie McClung by celebrated historian Charlotte Gray. The series editor is the writer (and husband of the former Governor General) John Ralston Saul. I saw the series mentioned on the Amazon.ca home page the other day and meant to explore further, but do you think I can get the little “Extraordinary Canadians” blurb to pop up now?

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7 Responses

  1. Wow Becky – I had no idea Berton wrote history books for kids. This is so awesome! I will completely get copies of these for my son as one of his grandfathers was born in Alberta and another (my father) was the first one in his family born outside of Quebec.

    So so cool! Thanks!

    Colleen

  2. We’ve coincidentally been reading our way through the slim yellow books of Berton’s (this time from the Railway series) for the past month. I heartily second your recommendation!

  3. Colleen, yes, and they’re wonderful. Fortunately, by the time most kids are done with his children’s histories, they’re ready to move on to the rest of his work. His storytelling ability is a true gift.

    He also wrote one book of fiction for kids, “The Secret World of Og”, based on his own children. Truly delightful.

  4. Miranda, much as I like the convenience of the new bind-ups, there’s just something so perfectly child-sized about the original yellow books. Just perfect for a kid to grab and read.

  5. Oh, these sound good. Thanks, Becky! We ordered two copies of “The Inuit Thought of It,” per your recommendation, and the copy that we gave to the school has helped a lot with the third grade’s Alaska projects. Jr. enjoys reading his on his own, too. Merci!

  6. These are great! I am going to certainly be making us of my local inter-library loan system in a big way now….

  7. Susan, so glad Junior and his classmates liked “The Inuit Thought of It” and that my recommendation panned out!

    Angela, the kids’ version will likely be too young even for NatureGirl — get one or two and check — but she and Scout should enjoy just about all of Berton’s “adult” histories, and his memoirs too. I think I recommended PB back when you were looking for suggestions for Canadian history!

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