Back to School!

Posted on September 1, 2014 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off

It is September and in many countries this is the month when school starts again. Whether you love school or hate it – get in the mood with 10 gems from our catalog.

Let’s do something easy to warm up: In A Soup of Alphabets from A – Z various authors teach children about birds, famous people, the evils of slavery… all in a pleasant way using little poems.

Not quite so pleasant are the school days of Laura, who enters a boarding school in Melbourne in the novel by Henry Handel Richardson. There, the poor girl faces the ridicule of the wealthy ones, and soon learns that The Getting of Wisdom means more than just acquiring bookish knowledge.

Morgan is The Pupil of Pemberton, a young man with more education than money. Unfortunately, Morgan’s parents also develop financial problems and cannot pay the tutor Pemberton, so he is forced to leave. When he finally returns in Henry James’ novel, things have gotten even worse for Morgan and his family.

Different problems – those of an intercultural kind – awaited Anna H. Leonowens in 1862, when she became The English Governess at the Siamese Court. Although the king wanted a Western education for his wives and children, she came to be seen as difficult person and often reflects critically.

22 year old Ann Veronica is a biology student and moves out of her father’s home after a fight. H. G. Wells describes her slow emancipation from a timid school girl to a New Woman, which caused a sensation when published in 1909.

All about emancipation – in the strict sense of the word – is the work of Dr. Maria Montessori. The Montessori Method of Education supports the self-development of children, who are naturally curious; and even today, the system is used in thousands of schools all over the world.

Children learn easiest when they are involved on more than one level. Mary Ella Lyng created 14 short History Plays for the Grammar Grades about famous people and incidents, for example: Columbus, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln,…

Finding the right type of teaching is always difficult, and even more so when the child has special needs. John Dutton Wright, a pioneer in the education of the deaf, explains in What the Mother of a Deaf Child Ought to Know his method of acoustic and auricular training.

Of course, such special approaches were quite unknown when Ralph Connor grew up in rural Ontario. The very popular sketches of his Glengarry School Days take you back to the time of the Canadian Confederation.

A similar book is by Thomas Hughes, whose book about Tom Brown’s School Days is based on his own experiences at Rugby School for boys in the 1830s. Still, life and school are different on the two sides of the great pond: Tom’s top event is a cricket match…

Enjoy – and never stop learning!

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