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Review: A Little Book for New Historians by Robert Tracy McKenzie

Homeschoolers study history; it’s one of the things we do rather well. In fact, there are many homeschool programs that organize the year, or even the full 12 years, according to historical themes. Our family, too, has learned an enormous amount of history over the years and continues to do so. Yet I have always […]

Review: Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

When her Mohawk mother died, Catherine Stand Apart went to live with her French father Gabriel Duval near Montreal. Her sister Bright Star and their little brother Joseph stayed behind and, inevitably, part of Catherine’s heart did too. But she had made her choice; her father needed her. Now, in 1759 Catherine ran his trading […]

Review: The Invention of Clouds by Richard Hamblyn

Naming things is a powerful activity—it was man’s first task in Genesis—and this power is explored in Richard Hamblyn’s brilliant book The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies. I do not think I have ever read such a satisfying, lyrical, information-packed science history book before, although I have […]

Review: Of Dikes and Windmills by Peter Spier

In the southern Netherlands many years ago, my father commuted to school on a little ferry.   He experienced the terrible flood of 1953. Eventually his family moved to one of the modern polders which had just been reclaimed from the sea.  His life, like that of many Dutch people, was defined by the sea. In […]

Review: The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman

In 17th century Europe, young Maria Merian was fascinated by butterflies. ‘Summer birds’, they were called, and no one really knew where they came from. Raised first in an engraver’s house and then an illustrator’s, Maria learned both the technical details of her craft and how to observe nature. She combined the two to become […]

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