Monday, June 11, 2007

Q & A: The Lit Book

I've been getting questions via email and in the comments about the new lit book, so I figured I should bring the questions out here for everyone's reading ease.

What age group is the book written for?
This is a book written for homeschooling parents to help them teach their children from preschool to high school. It is filled with literary suggestions for all ages, including adult. After all, if we parents are to teach our children, we need to first teach ourselves.

Is this the expanded version of your booklet, Literature Isn't Just for Reading?
Yes it is. I put together Literature Isn't Just for Reading: Teaching Core Subjects through Real Books to accompany my conference talk by the same name. A one-hour talk just wasn't enough. From the comments and questions I received after each talk, it was evident homeschoolers needed more. They needed a resource they could hold in their hands and take home with them.

The original booklet was 5 by 8 and had 80 pages. It was nothing more than a glorified reading list, yet I found it was a real help to parents.

The new book is 6 by 9 and 300 pages. It's still a glorified reading list, but it's a pretty cool glorified reading list ... I think. It does have short chapters on such things as using your library, classical education, unit studies, Charlotte Mason, etc., but the bulk of the book the reading list (I call them literary guides in the book). There are about 950 books listed, each with a short description, with an age recommendation, and sorted by school subject.

Who is the publisher?
First, a little back story if you don't mind. I gave the booklet to my friends Mike and Terri Aquilina and they loved it, encouraging me to expand it and get a publisher. (BTW - Mike wrote a beautiful foreword to the new book.) I sent it to several big publishers and got turned down flat.

Then an angel sent Joan Stromberg to me. Joan, on more than one occasion, had a vending table next to mine at Catholic homeschooling conferences. She saw what a great resource this booklet was and asked me to send a book proposal to her. At first, I told her no. Her publishing house, Ecce Homo Press, is a small business and I was ready for the big time. (Oh, how God must laugh at me.)

At first, I thought that I could expand the focus of the book to include school teachers. I interviewed several principals, teachers, and librarians from Catholic schools. I put the book a year behind schedule doing this. I struggled and struggled, but I just couldn't do it. What we homeschoolers do is so different from what they do. Teachers would benefit from such a book, but it would have to be written completely different.

So, I realized I needed to get back to my roots. Joan is the ultimate homeschool publisher and the perfect person to publish this book. I humbled myself, went to her, and asked her to be my publisher. And, I must tell you, I am so glad I did. She is pure joy to work with.

When is the book due out and can it be pre-ordered?
The publisher will be done with editing and formatting by month's end. It will then go to the printer, which can take up to a couple of months. It should be ready by the start of school. (Let's all pray for that!)

It is not ready for preorder yet. When I have a definite publication date, I will make sure to let you all know how you can preorder.

Are those your kids on the cover?
I got this question with The Companion too. Nope, my kids have yet to grace a book cover, though I put their picture inside my little Renaissance puzzle book I'm currently updating. The children on the lit book cover belong to Joan. It's a beautiful picture - I absolutely love it!

Now I want to know how you find time to write books, homeschool and the other "mother" duties that must be accomplished daily? WOW, women like you impress me ... I can't even keep the dust bunnies under control.
Please don't be impressed. You can ask my husband and friends (Linda, feel free to pipe in); they can tell you I'm not Superwoman. I'm terribly lax when it comes to housekeeping and those dust bunnies are beyond out of control. I have children who help me a great deal. It also helps if you're an insomniac. Besides, writing is part of my homeschooling. The kids are not only my guinea pigs, but help me with it all.

Addendum: Joan put the cover on a webpage so you can see the true colors. Click HERE.


Simple Faith and Life said...

Love this post. Thank you for sharing both about the book itself and about your writing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Maureen may not have a perfectly kept house, but she is a superwife, mother and friend.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, even the publishers who turned you down were impressed. It's a wonderful book.

Renee said...

Tapestry of Grace is a classical curriculum that integrates history, geography, literature, composition and Bible/Church history. It is a protesant program but it got good reviews from Cathy Duffy. The authors actually came to my new yahoo group asking for our suggestions for year 2 which include the Reformation. The author also lists Catholic and Orthodox resources on their website that can be used in place of protestant books.
Their website is:
This will be my first year using the curriculum but it's going to make my life so much easier to have so many subjects planned for 36 weeks for all five of my children.
On the subject of dustbunnies, I'm going to borrow my neighbor's Roomba - she loves its so I'm going to give it a test run... if I do love it I'll ask dh for one for our anniversary