10 August 2012

King Alfred's English: a Review


Call me a nerd, but I was very excited to review King Alfred's English {A History of the Language We Speak And Why We Should Be Glad We Do}.  For some reason I thought that the history of the language I speak would be very interesting and I was so right.  I loved this book!

Laurie J. White, of The Shorter Word, has written a very informative history of the English language.  It is the only book on this subject that has been written for students below college age, being recommended for grades 7 and up.  Laurie's writing is conversational in tone and draws you into what could otherwise be a very dry subject.  I found it difficult to stop reading this intriguing book.

Beginning with the Roman invasion of Britain and traveling through history until modern times, Laurie takes her readers on a journey of the English language.  You can view the table of contents here.  This book came at a great time for me since I have been traveling through history with my children beginning with ancient times and then moving through the middle ages this past year.  Reading this book really tied in all of the history we've been reading.

It also answered many questions that I've had concerning all the many strange grammar exceptions in the English language.  While so many of our grammar rules haven't always made sense to me, all of this history explained all of them.  

Some other fun tidbits that I learned from this books were:
  • ain't was originally bad grammar at all
  • the English people were actually discouraged from speaking English at one time
  • the English language contains more than words than any other language....by a long shot!
To go along with this book the author also offers, for free, supplemental materials and study guides that could easily make this a great course for your jr. or sr. high student.  

King Alfred's English is available for $14.89 for a softcover or for $5.95 for a Kindle edition.  I don't think you'll be disappointed in this book--definitely check it out!

Don't forget to check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew to see what other homeschool parents have to say about this book.  

Disclaimer: I received the Kindle version of this book through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.  

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1 comment:

April Bradley said...

Great review! I'm right there with you - I loved the book too! Having taught English for years, there were certainly times when I couldn't answer why we spell things the way we do. I'm bookmarking those sections to take with me to class this year. lol It really was a fun and engagin read!

April