Today I’ll share a couple of short passages from books I’ve been reading recently with my children. Both made me laugh, though I guess the context also helps. The first is from Susan M. Coolidge’s What Katy Did: “Imogen was a bright girl naturally, but she had so read so many novels that her brain wasContinue reading “Milly-Molly-Mandy meets What Katy Did”
The precious book that Heidi receives in Frankfurt contains a story which she returns to time and again: the story of the Prodigal Son. Why should this story, in particular, matter so much to her? On the face of it, the prodigal son’s experience is utterly different from Heidi’s. He turns away from his father:Continue reading “Heidi, the Prodigal Son, and Patience”
An important turning point in Heidi comes when in Chapter 10 “another grandmother” comes to visit Clara and Heidi in Frankfurt and shows Heidi a book: “For a moment or two she looked at it with brightening eyes, then the tears began to fall, and at last she burst into sobs. The grandmother looked at the pictureContinue reading “‘Heidi’ – an unschooling Classic? Part 2 – Learning to read”
There is a really interesting passage in Johanna Spyri’s Heidi where Heidi’s grandfather resists the great pressure that is put on him to send Heidi to school. “I am going to let her grow up and be happy among the goats and the birds; with them she is safe, and will learn nothing evil,” heContinue reading “‘Heidi’ – an unschooling classic?”
I’m really delighted to announce that the wonderful Cranachan is going to be publishing my first children’s novel next year. I’ll write more soon but here’s the press release: Scottish publisher Cranachan has signed author Roy Peachey to its middle-grade imprint, Pokey Hat, for his debut children’s title, The Race. The dual narrative, which willContinue reading “Exciting news about my first children’s novel”
“I think we ought to start a nursery school on Saturdays.” [said Joan.] “How?” asked Peter. “We could use Timmy’s yard and play games with them. And we could educate them too. I’ve got a very interesting book. It says a lot about discipline. I don’t think Mother has ever read it,” Joan added reflectively.Continue reading “Hilda van Stockum on parenting and education”
Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is the most enjoyable children’s book I have read in a long time. It is surely destined to become a 21st century Classic.
In this meeting of our virtual book club, I look at the moment in Hilda van Stockum’s The Mitchells: Five for Victory when Miss Merryvale, the lodger, arrives and chaos ensues:
Now that we have lots of time to read, I am pleased to introduce a new reading group that focuses on children’s books. In this first episode I introduce the group and our first book – Hilda van Stockum’s The Mitchells: Five for Victory. https://anchor.fm/roy-peachey0/embed/episodes/Introducing-a-childrens-book-club-ebnbj9/a-a1nvknb
Cynthia Harnett’s The Wool-Pack is a fascinating book in all sorts of ways. I wonder, for a start, how a contemporary publisher would react to any author who presented a book to them on the 15th century wool trade? But The Wool-Pack is by no means a dry, historical tome. The winner of the 1951 Carnegie Medal (theContinue reading “Cynthia Harnett’s ‘The Wool-Pack’”
What if They Find us? is a wonderful book about two Jewish girls from Budapest who survive the Second World War in a convent in the centre of the city. It is a book about love and hope in an appalling situation and so is a book I can heartily recommend to 9-12 year olds.
Hilda van Stockum is one of my favourite children’s authors. If you haven’t read any of her books, The Winged Watchman would be a great place to start. Set in the Netherlands during World War II, it is an exciting adventure story about betrayal, resistance and eventual triumph.
I have written elsewhere about the Slow Movement and education – see here and here, for example – but today I want to consider the Slow Movement and literature. Reading quality literature, we might argue, is now an act of counter-cultural resistance.
It is easy to assume that we have read a book simply because it is a classic when, in fact, we never quite got round to it. How many people, I wonder, have read the Paddington books, the Mary Poppins series, or even The Wind in the Willows? We may have seen the movie butContinue reading “Kenneth Grahame, ‘The Wind in the Willows’”
Eagle’s Honour is one of Rosemary Sutcliff’s less well-known books. It is in fact two stories in one: ‘A Circlet of Oak Leaves’ and ‘Eagle’s Egg’.