The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer.
It’s been five years since we travelled to rural Ghana, five plane flights, four kids, boxes of dried pudding and a full sized chocolate bars for kids’ Halloween treats. This story brought me back. It also validates my sense of ‘what an education is’.
If you’re interested in a book that touts the effectiveness of unschooling and teaches about energy, magnetics, and electricity, the story of a schoolboy in Malawi is the book! (And there’s a Netflix film after you’re finished the book).
Jason’s Gold by Will Hobbs. Our very first family adventure was into the North, Fort Smith, to be exact. We travelled more than a dozen hours in a minivan. When it felt we’d reached the ends of the earth, we discovered there were trees, more trees. Wasn’t this the arctic? No. This was just over the Alberta-NWT border. We’d discovered trees but many, many more bison, and no gold.
This story is of a teenage boy who stows away on a ship bound for the goldfields of the Klondike. Along the way, he meets Jack London, moose, bears, subarctic winter, and the infamous Chilkoot Pass.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler by E.L. Konigsburg. A surprise trip to New York City to see the Broadway Play Something Rotten was exciting. Naturally, we also visited the United Nations (fabulous field trip) and the Met (a field trip made for mama!)
Reading this book brought us into the Metropolitan Museum of Art in ways we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. We follow Claudia as she runs away to teach her parents a lesson, and as she hides in the Met, she learns her own life lessons. This is a fun, quick read.
Sweetgrass by Jan Hudson. This is an offering we enjoyed on one of our trips to the gorgeous Rocky Mountains in Canmore, Alberta. This short novel charts the unknown territory of the early 19th century prairie, where the Blackfoot confederacy was declared. Get to know fifteen year old Sweetgrass, her life, her family, and her teenage yearnings.
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Because if you haven’t read this series, I’m not sure you can even call yourself a homeschooler? This series is close to my heart: the warmth of family and simple abundance is right up my homesteading alley.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by, well, Anne Frank. A true story that was made especially real as we wandered through her wartime hideaway in Amsterdam. Remarkable how an adolescent engages in boyhood crushes despite the trouble outside her door.