In October, 2008, our family went to a giant book sale at the downtown library. We brought home about forty books, picked out by various members of the family. At that time, we had one Squirreling in high school, one who was spending a year in public school, and one doing second grade at home. Now we have two Big-Squirrels moved out, and one Teenage Squirrel who is no longer homeschooling. We've also been through several bookshelf purges.
So this is the question: out of such a random list, what did we love? And what do we still have? The titles are in bold; my comments follow each one.
A Story of the Group of Seven (Hunkin--about a well-known group of Canadian artists): I still have this, I think; I don't think I can ever escape the Group of Seven.
Cornelius Krieghoff (Hugues de Jouvancourt) (one of our term's artists): something we used and then passed on.
Adventures of Richard Wagner (Opal Wheeler) and
Young Brahms (Sybil Deucher--same series as the Wheeler music bios): we probably used these at some point, but they've been passed on to other homeschoolers. We kept the first one in the series that we ever used, Grieg.
Elisabeth & the Water Troll (Wangerin): I didn't keep this because the same story appears in Swallowing the Golden Stone.
Meet the Malones (Weber) and
Beany Malone (Weber): These have stayed on the shelf, partly out of sentiment (they're identical to the ones I used to borrow from the library) and partly because they're good books.
The Glass Slipper (Eleanor Farjeon--her version of Cinderella): we haven't managed to get rid of this one yet. Like, it's Eleanor Farjeon.
Go With the Poem (Lillian Moore): this was an anthology of 20th-century children's poems, but I don't remember it at all; we must not have kept it long.
The Unbroken Web (Richard Adams), a.k.a. The Iron Wolf and Other Stories: we probably picked this up because of reading Watership Down, but I don't remember anyone being that interested; it got kind of "meh" reviews on Goodreads too.
The Cuckoo Clock (Mary Stolz): I think we still have this with the fairy tale books. It's one of the ones that gets pulled during cleanouts and then put back.
The Story of Holly and Ivy (Christmas story by Rumer Godden; we already have a copy of this, but this edition has illustrations by Barbara Cooney): we kept this one. It was a favourite of Lydia's when she was younger.
The Coat-Hanger Christmas Tree (Eleanor Estes): I like Eleanor Estes, and I thought I would really like this, but I think we read it once and then passed it on. I get it mixed up with Elizabeth Enright's "A Christmas Tree for Lydia," which we also had a copy of and gave away.
'Round the Christmas Tree (Corrin): a collection of stories; it wasn't one we kept
The Alley (Eleanor Estes): I don't remember reading this with the girls (or in my own childhood), but according to the Goodreads reviews, we seem to have missed something worthwhile. Maybe it was the slow start.
Doctor on an Elephant (Kroll): we must not have read this much because I barely remember it
Diamond in the Window (Langton): this one comes up all the time on lost-books boards, but it was too creepy for my readaloud taste.
Harry's Mad (Dick King-Smith--about a parrot): a favourite. I think we must have borrowed this from the library before finding it at the book sale, because I'm sure we read it with The Apprentice, um, much earlier than eleventh grade.
Ben and Me: we used this when we learned about Benjamin Franklin.
Backyard Vacation: Outdoor Fun: this is by Carolyn Haas, and looks like it would have been fun, but maybe the activities were just things we couldn't do.
Mountain Bluebird (Hirschi): I don't remember this one.
Thanksgiving Fun: there are several books with this title, and I don't remember which this one was--must not have been one we used much
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving (Alcott): we must have skipped over this one too; maybe it was just that particular time in our lives.
Cat's Cradles, Owl's Eyes: I think this was an extra copy, because it was already one of the girls' favourite cats-cradle books
Winners! Super Champions of Ice Hockey (don't ask): Lydia wanted this because her best friend loved hockey.
Not Much News: Ruby's Letters from Home (Edna Staebler): I was looking forward to reading this, but for some reason I never got into it. I think I felt too nosy, reading someone else's personal letters.
These High Green Hills (Jan Karon): this was around the time I was first reading the Mitford novels
Crystals and Crystal Gardens: do not remember this
Sugar Free Kids' Cookery: do not remember this either
Make Clothes Fun!: this was published in 1992 and was already pretty dated by 2008. How to make your clothes funkier.
Miss Patch's Learn to Sew Book: this was one I had seen listed in Books Children Love, and it did turn out to be a good introduction to simple sewing projects
Dancing Is (Ancona): I think that was also listed in Books Children Love, but it wasn't one the girls liked much.
Ballet Company: I know this was by Kate Castle, but it wasn't one we kept.
Some others I've forgotten:
Have Fun with Magnifying
The Past of Pastimes (Bartlett)
World of Swans
Music for Very Little People.
So, maybe half a dozen keepers after eight years. Was it worth the trouble? Of course.
"'A parrot,' the man said carefully. 'Shpeaking on the telephone. Time I shtopped,' and he emptied the bottle onto the pavement." ~~ Harry's Mad