kazuo ishiguro

Stuff We Like :: 3.11.16

home|school|life's Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

We’re whistling while we work on the spring issue, which promises to be pretty fantastic. (Shakespeare! Inspiring self-directed learners! So many awesome books!) Here’s what else is making our happy radar sing lately:

around the web

I want to drape my house in Carson Ellis wallpaper the way George Costanza wanted to be draped in velvet.

This Got Milk? parody commercial for Hamilton fans is hilarious.

This post about how homeschooling is like living in a fraternity house is still [1] true and [2] the most popular blog post I’ve ever written.

 

at home/school/life

in the magazine: So excited that the fabulous Blair Lee will be joining us as a regular columnist starting with the summer issue. (She’s got a great piece on setting up a homeschool science fair in the spring issue.)

on the blog: We’re really enjoying spotlighting so many cool women’s biographies during Women’s History Month.

in the archives: It’s the perfect time to try one of Shelli’s bright ideas for welcoming spring in your homeschool.

 

reading list

I feel like I don’t always love Kazuo Ishiguro’s books, but I do usually love the experience of reading them, if that makes sense. His worlds are so deliberate, so nuanced—and The Buried Giant is no exception. I didn’t love it, but it gave me so many interesting things to think about. Worth reading, for sure.

I am almost done with my extreme Diana Wynne Jones-ing, which puts me right at The Power of Three.

Did you read Echo yet? I think it’s one of my favorite middle grades books of 2015—just gorgeous.

 

at home

I volunteered to knit another Brickless as an incentive for a friend’s Kickstarter campaign, so I had a legitimate excuse to order a pretty skein of Miss Babs yarn. Isn’t yarn delivery the best part of the day?

The Norman Centuries podcast is currently enlivening my physical therapy sessions.

My kids have got me trying to track down an Undertale-inspired cinnamon-butterscotch pie for Pi Day next week.

 

homeschooling highlights

I’ve been looking for a post-Miquon math option for next year, and I’m feeling optimistic that Beast Academy might be just the ticket. (Rebecca always finds the best stuff!)

My son has developed a passion for soap-carving, which has become his go-to project for read-aloud time. (My daughter continues to favor the time-honored tradition of doodling.) We just use plain Ivory soap bars and a small butter knife.

This has been a great week for nature journaling. We’ve been using the Know Your Bird Sounds CD to help us recognize all the different birds singing it up in the backyard.


YA Bookalikes for Summer Reading

Not sure what to recommend next for your teen? These in-the-adult-section novels are great follow-ups to classic kid favorites and great YA books to read this summer.

Never Let Me Go
By Kazuo Ishiguro

IF YOU LOVED: The Giver

CHECK OUT: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

There’s a reason utopia means “nowhere.” The perfect world always comes at a cost. Lowry’s starkly beautiful dystopia reads like a little sister to Ishiguro’s lyrical science-fiction novel about an idyllic English boarding school where special children are groomed for a bleak future. The same questions resonate through both books: Who decides how the truth is revealed? What does it mean to have free will? What makes a person alive? And in both books, the answers are complicated.

 

IF YOU LOVED: The Harry Potter series

CHECK OUT: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Just like the indomitable Mr. Potter, Brooklyn teen Quentin Coldwater finds himself enrolled in a school for magicians. But he quickly discovers Brakebills Academy is quite unlike Hogwarts and that being a magician isn’t a cure-all for dissatisfaction with everyday life. Quentin doesn't share Harry's likable heroism, which makes him a more complicated protagonist.

 

Sideways Stories from Wayside School
By Louis Sachar, Julie Brinckloe

IF YOU LOVED: Sideways Stories from Wayside School

CHECK OUT: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Heller takes a darker view of human nonsense in his World War II classic, but there’s plenty of similarity between characters like the major who never sees anyone in his office when he’s in his office and the teacher who sends herself home on the kindergarten bus for (temporarily) turning evil.

 

The Hunger Games (Book 1)
By Suzanne Collins
The Handmaid's Tale
By Margaret Atwood

IF YOU LOVED: The Hunger Games

CHECK OUT: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Panem is an equal opportunity dystopia—young men and women are equally at risk in the country’s annual ba􏰁ttle-to-the-death games. But in the republic of Gilead, a totalitarian Christian theocracy, women like Offred must play an even more dangerous game. Atwood’s dark imagined future is ripe for rebellion, but rising up against an entrenched government in The Handmaid’s Tale is not as easy — or dramatic — as taking on Panem’s President Snow.

 

We’re reprinting some of Amy’s summer reading series favorites from home/school/life magazine. This list appeared in our 2014 summer reading guide.