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What assigned and alternate literature goes with Exploring America?

Here are the twelve books that we assign to go along with the lessons in Exploring America:

  • Units 2-3: The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
  • Units 6-7: Narrative of the Life of David Crockett (David Crockett)
  • Unit 8: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass)
  • Units 9-11: Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
  • Units 12-13: Co. Aytch (Sam Watkins)
  • Unit 15: Humorous Stories and Sketches (Mark Twain)
  • Units 16-17: In His Steps (Charles Sheldon)
  • Unit 18: Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington)
  • Unit 19: Mama's Bank Account (Kathryn Forbes)
  • Units 20-21: Miracle in the Hills (Mary T. Martin Sloop and LeGette Blythe)
  • Units 22-23: To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • Unit 27: The Giver (Lois Lowry)

We have some notes about these titles in the Guide for Parents. If you choose not to use one or more of these books, here are some other titles for you to consider:

  • Instead of The Scarlet Letter, you might use Calico Bush by Rachel Field. This 1932 Newbery Honor book is set in northern Maine in 1743.
  • Instead of Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, you might use one of James Fenimore Cooper’s novels.
  • Instead of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, you might use Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. This 1956 Newbery Medal book is an historical novel about the career of an American who developed important navigational tools.
  • Instead of Co. Aytch, you might use Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt. This 1965 Newbery Honor book is set during the Civil War.
  • Any of the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder would be excellent for learning about life on the American frontier in the late 1800s.
  • Sgt. York: His Life, Legend, and Legacy by John Perry is a good account by a Christian writer about the World War I hero’s entire life. The book contains two curse words, both in quotations by people other than York.
  • Instead of To Kill a Mockingbird, you might use Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor. This 1977 Newbery Medal book is set in Mississippi in the 1930s.