Thursday, July 22, 2010


I learned a new word today while Mike was reading a Hardy Boys Mystery to the boys.

clamber: to climb quickly but awkwardly, using hands and feet

I thought I heard him say clamor but that means to demand something noisily or desperately. That just doesn't make sense in the context of the story.

The Hardy Boys series has repeatedly impressed us with its use of language. It is not dumbed down or simplistic. We are constantly coming across words that are new to us. The best part though is that the boys LOVE these mysteries! Extra vocabulary lessons for the whole family!!!

I think there can be a time and place for watered down language in books. Like when we were trying anything to get Elijah to even be interested in reading on his own. But now that he's hooked on reading, we're encouraging him to read books with more substance. I often find great book suggestions from homeschooling magazines and sites like Sonlight, Veritas Press, 1000 Good Books List, and Ambleside Online. I also love the book Honey for a Child's Heart.

Just take a look at this small section from The Missing Chums...

The boys scrambled madly uphill, their pursuers only yards behind! Hand over hand, they clambered upward. Once Jerry stumbled and Joe paused to help him regain his balance. The short, muscular Stark was now gaining rapidly.

Joe uprooted a small prickly bush and fired it back. The bush hit Stark in the face. He cried out in anger, but kept staggering upward. In a moment he made a leap for Joe's ankles!

"I've got you!" he cried as the boy slid backward on his stomach.

"Keep going, Jerry!" Joe shouted before turning to grapple with his antagonist.

At the same time the second man skirted them both, and disappeared over the top of the ravine, pursuing Jerry.

Though Joe fought savagely, Stark's weight finally won out and soon the boy's arms were pinned behind him and bound together with a belt.

Then Jerry appeared at the top of the ravine, his arms held securely by Stark's henchman.

"Get down there!" his captor ordered roughly.

While he and the boy descended, Stark eyed Joe with an unpleasant smile.

Exciting adventures. Challenging vocabulary. Sophisticated language. Happy boys. Satisfied parents.

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