Life Stories

Invisible Guardians

True Stories of Fateful Encounters

Jakob Streit

Softbound

$8.00

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This is a lovely little book - a gift of the heart for children and adults.

The stories in this book are based on actual events.  Some of them were told to me during conversations, and a few are taken from my own experiences.  Still others came to me by way of letters that were written in answer to a survey.  Only a portion of those were suited for the purpose of re-telling as a story. However, all the people who reported such experiences were consistent in their belief that a guiding force had intervened in their destiny.

Jakob Streit, from his Preface

Columban

Jakob Streit

Translated by Nina Kuettel

Illustrated by Christiane Lesch

Softbound

$10.00

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Jakob Streit's Columban tells the story of St. Columban (540-615 AD), also known as St. Columbanus or St. Columbano, but not to be confused with St. Columba of Iona who was also Irish and a contemporary of Columban's. 

Columban is largely credited with the development of monasteries and monastic life, and revered for his tireless travels and the development of "Celtic Christianity," thereby merging the Celt's reverence of nature with Roman Christianity. More recently, though this of course plays no part in the story, St. Columban was officially endorsed by the Vatican as patron saint of motorcyclists.   

As a reader, Columban serves as an interesting story of a fascinating life, told well by a master storyteller.  The story takes us from his early years through to the completion of his life, and lifeworks.  It fits well into the transition between Roman and Medieval history, usually taught in 7th grade in the Waldorf curriculum. [And what 7th grader wouldn't want to learn about the patron saint of motorcyclists?]

The Falconer

A Story of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen

Christopher Sblendorio

$10.00

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Federico II was a fascinating man in whom it seems that much of the Middle Ages, its greatness and its turmoil, were gathered up into one person. Christopher Sblendorio, a class teacher at the Great Barrington Waldorf School, has written this beautiful biography of the man who became the Holy Roman Emperor during the early 13th Century. It is frankly all too rare to find a book for students that is so very well researched and equally well written as is The Falconer.

Splendorio's biography does what every biography should do: it approaches its subject with what I'll call a compassionate objectivity that looks at as many facets of the life that was lived as are possible to know about. The story moves along like an exciting novel, the portrait of Federico becoming richer and more alive with each turn of the page.

This wonderful book could be read and enjoyed by anyone ages 11-12 and older. It was written with the author's 6th grade class in mind.

Famous Men of Ancient Rome

Lives of Julius Caesar, Nero, Marcus Aurelius and others

John H Haaren and A B Poland

Softbound

$8.95

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This is one of the most interesting histories ever written with young students in mind -- it would make an unbeatable reader during the 6th Grade Roman History block -- or for any young person who finds him- or herself longing to learn more about the glory that was Rome.

Its biographical sketches are arranged chronologically from 753 BC, the estimated founding of Rome, to AD 476, the fall of the Western Empire. As the successive movers and shakers of what became the Roman Empire stand shoulder to shoulder, as it were, readers will be able to see how their actions and ideas influenced and Rome and the world beyond.

The 30 chapters start with the legend of Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a wolf and grew up to found the Eternal City. Students will also meet a fascinating variety of actual historical figures, including Cincinnatus, who chose to be a farmer instead of a dictator; Nero, the mad emperor, and the warlike Julius Caesar. They'll encounter Marcus Aurelius, the emperor who used his own money to help the poor and who walked the streets, greeting people and listening to their troubles so that he could be a better leader.

Outstanding!

Copernicus

Struggle and Victory

Heinz Sponsel

Translated by Monica Gold

Softbound

$12.00

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Originally published in 1949, this lively book is an established treasure in Germany. It depicts the life struggles and striving of the Polish astronomer Nikolaus Copernicus and makes a wonderful reader for seventh and eighth grade Waldorf classes, as well as an excellent book for anyone interested in Copernicus and his world.

The Old Man Mad about Drawing

A Tale of Hokusai

François Place

Translated by William Rodarmor

Hardbound, hundreds of watercolor illustrations throughout, dustjacketed

$19.95

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Here we have a book that soars beyond any and all reasonable expectations -- it is a story worthy of Hokusai's life and genius (he is one of my favorite artists); anyone over 10 years old who reads it will hardly be able to put it down (I loved it!); the abundant illustrations charm, delight, capitivate and are beautiful; and the book itself, how it feels and how it looks, right down to the quality of the paper and the typeface, is a wonderful work of art. This is a story not to be missed, a book to treasure for many generations.

The author brings the swirling world of nineteenth-century Edo to life with an astonishing vibrance. By the time you are done with The Old Man Mad about Drawing, you will swear you can smell the food and feel the dust of the streets beneath your feet. AND, you will come away knowing a huge amount about the various styles of painting, engraving, and printing that were the life blood of Edo culture -- all while being so engrossed in the story itself that you barely knew you were learning so much.

Hokusai began as an illustrator of poetry books but came to abandon traditional engraving to perfect a technique of colored woodcut, in what many consider his greatest work, The Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji. His life was unsettled, his marriages uncertain, and his business affairs irregular, but his energy was boundless. He left for posterity thousands of sketches and drawings, illustrated books and prints, saying - just before he died in 1889, "If heaven gives me ten more years (or even an extension of five), I shal certainly become a true artist."

This is a glorious, wonderful story bound in a remarkable book -- children in 5th grade and older will love it, it can easily hold the interest of 8th graders and serve as a biography within the Waldorf curriculum.

Beautiful for everyone over 10!

Buzzy and the River Rats

Book 1 - Buzzy Moves In

John Clarke Hoffman

Softbound

$14.00

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One morning in the summer of 1954 in the Catskill Mountain town of Delhi, NY, the Fancher family moved into a vacant house on Elm Street. Buzzy Fancher's arrival heralded the beginning of many adventures for the group of boys who rallied around him and called themselves the River Rats. Their adventures sometimes brought them face to face with the tough uptown Trucker gang, but most of all they experienced the excitement, friendships, mishaps and young romance of growing up in 1950's small-town America.

The subject matter is quite appropriate for children from about grades 3 through 6 or 7, depending in large part on the particular interests of the child. This is a great "first novel" for children reading fluidly at about 5th grade level or beyond. These stories are wholesome, interesting, and well-written; told by a teacher who lived them (or wished he had!). Highly recommended.

Buzzy and the River Rats

Book 2: Exploring the Town

John Clarke Hoffman

Softbound

$14.00

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It is the autumn of 1954 in the Catskill Mountain town of Delhi, NY. John Hoffman, Buzzy Fancher, and the other members of the River Rat Gang are in eighth grade at Delaware Academy. The excitement of Halloween is in the air. Their adventures begin with an elaborate prank involving an antique fire engine. Winter brings tobogganing and romance, spring an encounter with the tough uptown Trucker gang in Stutz's junkyard, and summer a raid on a girl scout camp out at the Pine Hill Reserve. These great stories capture the both excitement and the security of growing up in 1950s small-town America.

The subject matter is quite appropriate for children from about grades 3 through 6 or 7, depending in large part on the particular interests of the child. This is a great "first novel" for children reading fluidly at about 5th grade level or beyond. These stories are wholesome, interesting, and well-written; told by a teacher who lived them (or wished he had!). Highly recommended.

Buzzy and the River Rats

Book 3 Romance and Adventure

John Clarke Hoffman

Softbound

$12.95

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It is late in the summer of 1954 in the Catskill Mountain town of Delhi, NY. John Hoffman, Buzzy Fancher and the other members of the River Rat Gang are about to enter ninth grade at Delaware Academy. As a last summer adventure they explore the old Delaware Academy school building nd get more than they bargain for. Autumn finds the River Rats plotting to disrupt the high school Halloween party. Winter brings tobogganing and exploring an abandoned barn; spring, an encounter with the tough uptown Trucker gang in the old powdered milk factory.

The Buzzy stories are for all ages and capture the excitement, friendships, mishaps and young romance of growing up in the 1950's in small-town America.

A lovely continuation of the series!

Buzzy and the River Rats - Books 1, 2 & 3 - Special

Regular price for all three: $38.85

$35.85

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Bones of the Master

A Buddhist Monk's Search for the Lost Heart of China

George Crane

Softbound

$17.00

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I read an excerpt of Bones of the Master in the Spring 2000 issue of Tricycle. It knocked my socks off - such beauty, such writing, what a story! Without even bothering to question, I ordered a copy the very next day. Then I proceeded to read it as though it were food and I were starving. It filled me completely.

Bones of the Master is a true story about a Ch'an (Chinese Zen) Buddhist Master, Tsung Tsai, then living in upstate New York. At the age of 72, Tsung Tsai determined to return to China - from which he had escaped during the Great Leap Forward in 1959. His purpose was to find the bones of his beloved Master, rebury them with proper Buddhist rites, and create a shrine in his master's memory. He selects as his traveling partner his neighbor and "heart friend," George Crane, the author of the book. Crane's life up to that point had as little to do with the renunciation of desire as Tsung Tsai's had to do with its cultivation - the way they weave their worlds together is as much an adventure as their remarkable trek into the mountains of Inner Mongolia to carry out their unlikely task. The Truth that Tsung Tsai shares with us along the way is as powerfully transforming as it is beautiful and wise.

Bones of the Master is so valuable on so many levels that I am joyous to offer it to you!

Never Cry Wolf

Farley Mowat

$12.99

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Never Cry Wolf was my first encounter with Farley Mowat as a naturalist and gifted writer. I have never forgotten it. There is more heart, clear observation, and truth in this book than in dozens of reports on the state of the environment. It is an unflinchingly true story.

Sometime in the early 1960s, the Canadian government's Wildlife Service assigned Farley Mowat to investigate reports that hordes of bloodthirsty wolves were slaughtering the arctic caribou. Mowat was dropped alone onto the frozen tundra, where he began his mission to live among the howling wolf packs and study their ways. Contact with his quarry comes quickly; and Mowat discovers not a den of marauding killers, but a courageous family of skillful providers and devoted protectors of their young. As Mowat comes closer to the wolf world, he comes to fear not the savagery of the wolves, but that of the bounty hunters and government exterminators who seem bent upon erasing the noble wolf community from the Arctic. Mowat now lives in Port Hope - an ideal name for his dwelling place on Earth. Outstanding for teens and adults.

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be

Farley Mowat

$5.99

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In this practically perfect story, Farley Mowat recounts his boyhood days on the Canadian prairie as they revolved around Mutt, a dog of uncertain pedigree and absolutely certain eccentricity. Mutt climbed trees and ladders, rode in an open car wearing goggles, and hunted with a skill approaching genius. A thoroughly marvelous dog portrayed in a thoroughly wonderful story. For ages 10 and up at family reading time, for teens on their own and for any adult in need of a refreshing break.

Rascal

Sterling North

$5.99

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Our family read Rascal many times over the course of our nightly family story time - it never lost its ability to captivate, charm and delight. Rascal is truly one of the best animal stories every written - and even better because it is a true story, told by an author who lived every wonderful minute of it.

Rascal is a baby raccoon, orphaned in the woods when the boy Sterling brings him home. Soon, Rascal is ready to join Sterling at swimming, fishing, and camping. He's also ready to initiate some of the most hilarious adventures of his own. The raccoon's unique approach to life fits right in with the home Sterling and his father share - a home where skunks, woodchucks, a crow named Poe and an 18-foot, half-finished canoe are resident in the living room!

Wonderful reading for everyone - as a read-to for ages 7 and up; read on their own from age 12.

Honey-Bun

Anne Stockton

Hardbound

$14.95

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It's hard to know what to say about a book whose every passage evokes tears of both joy and grief. Honey-Bun is as much a Song of Songs to the love that passes between human and animal as it is a Requiem for a lost friend. Anne Stockton has not written just another beautifully written story about a beloved pet (and I love such stories); she has created a work of art - poetic prose, luminous pastel paintings, and a story both unique and universal. This is a very special book - the kind that is treasured and cherished as it is passed among family and friends.