The Old Schoolhouse Crew published these reviews around 2011 so some of the links may no longer work–depending, I suppose, on if the homeschooling mom decided she could no longer keep up a blog and homeschool too! :)
Do you love the English language? Was English your favorite subject in school? If not, do you enjoy history? What if I told you that King Alfred’s English combines both to make one the most interesting books I have read in my life?…. I looked forward to reading a little each day in my few minutes of free time. Each chapter got more and more interesting. I was sad when I got to the end!
STOP! Don’t scroll through – This isn’t ‘just another review’. So I’m going to put it in the top paragraph. Buy This Book. Read This Book. It NEEDS to be in your library. What is the book? King Alfred’s English from The Shorter Word . Go ahead and click over and just get it and skip my review. You as the parent need to read it. Your teens will enjoy reading it…
…If you love language – if you teach languages – if you have questions about our spelling – if you wonder about our grammar – if you are looking into which second language to teach – Read. This. Book. Not sure without driving you mad and loosing you with too many words – how to say it. I had so many a-ha moments, wonders answered, giggles given, and thoughts stirred. Nate will be reading this book in the fall as his first history assignment. If he does the supplements as she suggests, he’ll earn a credit of History. I can’t believe that something this fun and simple and easy to read could earn high school credits.
I was surprised by how engrossed I became and how fun this was to read.
I took it along a few times when we went to the pool thinking I’d read a chapter or so and then read another book, but I couldn’t put it down.
Over the years, I’ve used many books in teaching my children history. King Alfred’s English. We’ve learned history through the lives of fictional and real characters, traced political history through the accounts of wars and elections and discovered the world with biographies of the explorers and scientists.
….I found it a charming read, full of humor and historical interest. This book is listed for grades 7 – 12, but I feel it could be enjoyed by slightly younger children who read well.
King Alfred’s English comes from a totally unique perspective. It is a lively, “living” book that describes a lot of history through the context of how the English language developed and changed over the centuries.
Let me just say, I loved, loved, LOVED this book! Call me a geek, but I thought it was an absolute page-turner.
…This book is history, grammar, spelling, language arts, and religion in one. And best of all, it was fun to read. Though it may sound as though it would be stuffy and dry, the author has done a fabulous job creating an entertaining narrative. Her casual style and sense of humor make this a very enjoyable assignment for a junior high or high school student.
Sarah in Ohio:
I never imagined that learning about the English language could be exciting or something more than dull – however having had the pleasure of receiving King Alfred’s English to read and review, my opinion has now changed. This is geared for ages 12 to adults, but I could see a younger child who is advanced enjoying this book too. If you have a high school student and are wondering if this could be used for credits toward graduation, the answer is yes. If you use this book in conjunction with the supplemental (and free) materials your student could earn a full semester of history (equal to 1/2 unit) or 1/4 unit history and 1/4 unit English.
Honestly, I’m not even sure where to begin with this review. I am absolutely blown away with what I read, learned, and the laugh out loud moments I had while reading this. I couldn’t keep it to myself! My poor husband constantly heard, “listen to this”. This book has my all time highest praise of any review that I’ve done so far. Before I go on, I must say that this a book that belongs on every bookshelf in America! I want all my homeschooling mamas to read it.
Warning: Once you pick it up – you will not put it down. I could not stop until I reached the end. Laurie’s writing style is so engaging that it keeps you interested and blown away the whole time.
During the month of July, I was given the opportunity to ready a new book that rocked my socks!
Reading this book was such a hoot! Every day I was sharing new tidbits with my family. …Laurie White has really hit the mark with this book! I look forward to sharing it with my son fully this coming school year. But I sense you may not be completely convinced. I have a suggestion.Read the first chapter and see with you think!
Jennifer Hyatt, M.A.:
I found the book to be a VERY interesting read and honestly had a hard time putting it down, … In fact, beyond the book Laurie has a website full of fantastic resources. I will be able to expand our study into a full semester, perhaps even a full year curriculum with all Laurie has packed into her website.
… this book reads like a well written fiction novel, and you just can’t wait to see what happens next.
This is without a doubt, the most interesting history book that I can remember reading. The author, Laurie White, has an engaging writing style. The book is easy to read, yet not simple. It is full of facts, but not dry or boring.
Who would have thought that reading about the history of our language could be so fun. King Alfred’s English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do is a very easy read that contains a lot of information.
Once again, fascinating, is the only word I can think of to describe this book both from an English standpoint and a History standpoint. I feel this is going to be a great asset to our understanding of the why’s of English Grammar. And who knows, just maybe it will stop Sarah’s complaints of “Well, it should be spelled that way!” when she knows the reasons behind the strange spelling.
The author’s style is engaging, dynamic, and modern. This is nothing like my own high school or college history texts. Beyond history, this is a clear explanation of how our words originated and changed over time to become our modern English language.
White Trash Mama:
The author is funny and drew me right in, sucked me in really; I didn’t want to put the book down! It needs to be in everyone’s library. It is a must-read for anyone studying the Middle Ages.
With humor and keen historical and biblical insight, Laurie White combines my two favorite subjects – English and history – with a large dose of linguistics. One would think that such a college level combination would cook up a torture as dry as dust, but White has a way with words that makes you feel like you are actually being entertained rather than merely educated!
How can you possibly make the history of a language “fascinating” and enjoyable to read? you might be asking. Trust me, once you begin reading, you will find yourself saying “Oh, I didn’t know that!” or “That explains why we . . .” You can fill in that blank with reasons for why we spell things the way we do, what battles and invasions have to do with language, and how the printing press changed and cemented our language. You’ll also learn about early Christians like Constantine, Tyndale, Martin Luther, and Wycliffe. I love seeing the element of Divine Providence at work in the details.
So one evening I made myself sit down and start reading it. It was already late but I knew I needed to get it started! …HOURS later I had to MAKE myself put it down! It is that good. You will not understand until you read it yourself. I’m not making it up.
Laurie has this amazing way of capturing your attention and its like she is speaking right to you. The information is amazing and I learned so much. The book is about the English language and I know when I say that, you’re thinking” BORING” but it was the farthest thing from boring.
(lost name on this one):
I would share a bit aloud with whomever was in the room. If I didn’t share, they would often ask because I laughed so much while reading. King Alfred’s English is just as entertaining as it is educational.