Read-Alouds: Unicorns, Dragons and Freedom

I almost didn’t write this post because two of my four entries today were review items, but I wanted to stay in a rhythm sharing our read-alouds, so I’m here to share again!

The first read aloud for this week is A Plague of Unicorns.  I reviewed it here.  It’s a sweet story that has almost a fairy tale quality to it.  An abbey is being plagued by unicorns eating their apples and they are determined to stop it.  They finally find a solution to their problem in a young boy who has been sent to the abbey by his family to learn everything that he will need to know to become the next duke in the family.

It’s very sweet, and there’s not a lot of action to it.  The biggest thing I learned from it was that my children know very little about the Catholic church or about the middle ages.  However, when I think about it, the only thing medieval that we’ve done other than our How to Train Your Dragon books was a review we did for Progeny Press last year and the fairy tales that we have read.  So, this is a portion of their education that we’ll need to revisit in the future.  Books like this one make a good introduction though.

A plague of unicorns

Speaking of Medieval, we also listened to the audio drama In Freedom’s Cause.  If you saw my review, you know how much I loved it.  This is the true story of what really happened with William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, unlike the Braveheart version that is riddled with historical inaccuracies.  Whenever we get back around to medieval history, my plan is to use this audio drama as a unit study because we really just preferred to listen to it for fun this time around.  However, if we continue to follow the Veritas history cycle, our next real foray into medieval history is going to be a couple of years away.

In Freedom's Cause

We also read Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot.  This is also a true story of a young pilot during the Berlin Airlift who dropped candy from his plane for the children to have.  I loved the idea that at the end World War II, as Berlin is ravaged by war and by the siege from the Communists, that someone cared enough about making children happy to send them candy from the sky.

I really didn’t know what the Berlin airlift was until we read this book either.  I’m woefully ignorant about it, so this was great for my own education.  This was a recommended go-along with our history program, and I’m glad that I made the effort to get it because it was a beautiful book and the story was one that I’m glad we didn’t miss.

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In our other book news, we read How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm.  In this book, the Vikings are having a “friendly race” to see who can go the furthest in the ocean, stay out the longest, and still come back alive.  Things are starting to get more serious for Hiccup now as he is kidnapped, receives a slavemark, and is almost killed by Norbert the Nutjob.  The world is expanding for Hiccup, the danger is getting more serious, and the books are becoming more and more interesting for all of us.  I’m anxious to see what happens to Hiccup next.

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That’s about it for this week’s read-alouds.  Of course, I’m writing this only two weeks late.  I swear that I could write three posts a day and still not write about everything I need to share (reviews) or want to share!

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