When I knew I was talking about character at BYU’s Education Week, I turned to my clutch player. Karen Arenesen has homeschooled her children, written curriculum for a religious charter school and teaches an English AP class for her homeschool community. She knows her stuff and she delivered!
After looking at her list, I “read” Johnny Tremaine, by Ester Forbes on the app “Libby”. Which means I listened to an audible book for free. I posted about Overdrive and Libby here. I LOVED it. But that is food for another post.
I also posted about Hoopla here, which doesn’t have the waiting time that Libby does. I haven’t used it yet but I am going to try it. I love reading audible books because it turns mindless tasks like driving, gardening, and housework into an enthralling adventure that you get lost in. Every time you get in a car, you can have one of these books going for your children.
THE KAREN ARNESEN AWESOME LIST:
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Two on an Island, Blaine Bradbury
The Lost Prince, Frances Hodges Burnett
The Little Princess, Frances Hodges Burnett
The Wheel on the School, Meinert DeJong
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Mary Mapes Dodge
Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes
Follow My Leader, James B. Garfield
Blue Willow, Doris Gates
North to Freedom, Ann Holm
Heidi, Johanna Spyri (need a good translation)
All-of-a-Kind-Family, Sydney Taylor
Amos Fortune: Free Man, Elizabeth Yates
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor
The Hawk that Dare Not Hunt by Day, Scott O’Dell
On to Oregon, Honore Morrow
The Endless Steppe, Esther Hautzig
Across Five Aprils, Irene Hunt
Little Britches series, Ralph Moody
Little House on the Prairie series, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Johnny Tremaine was dripping with examples of character. I found myself thinking a lot about his choices and how the obstacle is the way, for all of us to grow, over and over again. This is what really good books do for our children. There is this feeling of fulfillment, of empathy, new mental models of how things were and a desire to be better.
I can’t wait to hear which ones are your favorites!