Currently we are using years 2,4, and 6 so I will gradually be compiling these resources onto this post for handy reference for myself and others in the same years. Even if you are not using Ambleside, they have great recommendations for free reading books or supplementation to other studies you may be doing.
For now this is a work in progress . . .
Here are the links to the Year 2 booklist page and the Year 2 Weekly Reading List.
These are the recommended books for free reading along with any links I have found to them and our thoughts on the ones we have read so far:
Heidi by Joanna Spyri (another copy available online with illustrations)
- We all enjoyed this delightful story (see the Wiki entry on Heidi) of a sweet child raised by her grandfather in a remote area in the Swiss Alps. We romped through the fields with the goats relishing the sunshine and almost tasting the fresh milk and cheese. We marveled at Grandfather's ability to fix almost anything and the wonderful, simple life that they lived. We also watched the movie with Shirley Temple and compared and contrasted the two. We enjoyed them both, but the book carried us further into Heidi's precious world and innocent perspective on life.
A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and it's sequel, Tanglewood Tales
The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
- My kids all really enjoyed this, and adored Polly throughout the story. I was a little more indifferent to it, but found the ending satisfying.
Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales
Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning
Abraham Lincoln by Ingri D'Aulaire
Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Of course this whole series has charmed us. We can't stop with the "suggested books," but keep on working our way through this enjoyable look at the daily life of the pioneer families of the late 1800s.
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
- We read this a couple years ago, and although we enjoyed the book overall, we did find it a bit dry in parts. Doctor Dolittle is a likable character and we were drawn to his animal loving ways, especially my animal loving daughter.
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater (wiki post)
- Who would not love to redo their basement into a refrigerated den for penguins? This book definitely sparked our imagination. It also made me think again about a simpler time -- the father in the story only worked part of the year (as a painter), and through the winter months sat at home usually reading the paper and living on beans with the family since that was all they could afford when he wasn't working. So different from this day and age.
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle
Chanticleer and the Fox Barbara Cooney's is one version
Along Came A Dog by Meindert De Jong
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angli
HistoryAn Island Story by HE Marshall (Our Island Story is the same book) Free Audio at Librivox Part 1, Part 2. Kings and Queen timeline figures here.
This Country of Ours (TCOO) by HE Marshall
A Child's History of the World by Virgil Hillyer
The Discovery of New Worlds by MB Synge
History Tales and/or Biography
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula (This is a powerful book! Some spots I do adjust as I read to younger kids since it doesn't skirt some of the gory facts of martyrdom. I have had to choke back tears during more than one reading as we witness the power of God spoken through many humble servants. I would highly recommend this book).
* ** The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge
*** Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley
Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling (there is a map in the book, and online map as well)
Seabird by Holling C. Holling
The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock (a 1911 version is online in various formats here) -- we bought this book before our Ambleside days and have enjoyed its vast information and topics
The Burgess Animal Book for Children ( I prefer the format on the Baldwin Project, found here) by Thornton Burgess See Kelly Kenar's taxonomy key to supplement the learning and get a visual on the categories of animals.
- I also found a site called the Tree of Life, and despite its strong evolutionary slant, it is a great resource for pictures and animal classification.
*** Pagoo by Holling C Holling
- Here are some notebooking pages and ideas for reading Pagoo.
Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
Pilgrim's Progress Book 1 (Christian's Journey) by John Bunyan
Parables from Nature by Margaret Gatty, selected tales
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (published as "Betsy" in the UK)
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (available as an unabridged audio with British accent from Audible.com).