Great Illustrated Classics have been some of Sweetheart's favorites for well over a year now. They are condensed version of....classics. Huh. And guess what else? They have illustrations!
I am a wealth of knowledge.
Anyway, they can be had for very cheap at Michael's stores. Strange combination, I know. Also our local used book store has a good stock and then we borrowed a bunch from my sister. They were a perfect reading level for her for quite some time (actually, I do remember having to read them to her at first) but now they are easy.
In part thanks to the book club we were in, and also these books, I have finally read books that I have only heard about my whole life. I knew the term "Liliputians" but honestly had no idea that was associated with Gulliver's Travels. But I totally read "The Natural" for a novel unit in high school and then watched the movie, so there's always that.
Sweetheart just finished reading Little Women and we watched the 90s version last night. SO enjoyable. I could not have told you ONE THING about Little Women before this year even though I've heard of the book all my life.
I have to say, Sweetheart catches references in books and movies and even cartoons all the time because of reading these classics. I think that's part of what being literate is about.
Now, do I want her to read the original versions? Maybe. Some of them. That would be good. But having read these condensed versions, she knows enough of the story that it will make reading the original easier.
I highly recommend them.
And also, what DID I read in high school? Why am I so illiterate and poorly read?
I'm telling you, Sonlight and I are going to be friends next year. I want my chidlren reading GOOD books.
Do high schools have a required reading list? I bet there are no standards and that it varies from state to state and district to district. I also bet I wouldn't want my children reading half of what's on those lists. Tell me how it works where you live.