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Sinead Roy will be hosting an online book club for young lovers of historical fiction.

Historical fiction is a wonderful way to introduce to expand a person’s knowledge of the past. The historical fiction book club uses narratives that unfold in settings that realistically portray what life would have been like for young people thousands of years ago. The literature also matches the grade 7 social studies program and also covers many of the requirements of language arts.  Classes will be held on Thursdays at 12:00 pm PST and run for 10 weeks from October 3 – December 12, 2019. There are no classes on November 5th.

Students will spend 3-4 weeks on each book and discussions will be in the form of literature circles with specific roles such as discussion director, vocabulary enricher, literary luminary and world explorer assigned to each student. Roles will alternate on a weekly basis. The book club is based on grade 7 standards but is open to students from other grades as well.


  • Trumpeter of Krakow –  Eric Kelly

There is something about the Great Tarnov Crystal…. Wise men speak of it in hushed tones. Others are ready to kill for it. And now a murderous Tartar chief is bent on possessing it. But despite this, Joseph Charnetski is bound by an ancient oath to protect the jewel at all costs.

 When Joseph and his family seek refuge in medieval Krakow, they are caught up in the plots and intrigues of alchemists, hypnotists, and a dark messenger of evil. Will Joseph be able to protect the crystal—and the city—from the plundering Tartars?

  • Adam of the Road – Elizabeth Grey Vining

Awarded the John Newbery Medal as “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” in the year of its publication.

“A road’s a kind of holy thing,” said Roger the Minstrel to his son, Adam. “That’s why it’s a good work to keep a road in repair, like giving alms to the poor or tending the sick. It’s open to the sun and wind and rain. It brings all kinds of people and all parts of England together. And it’s home to a minstrel, even though he may happen to be sleeping in a castle.”

And Adam, though only eleven, was to remember his father’s words when his beloved dog, Nick, was stolen and Roger had disappeared and he found himself traveling alone along these same great roads, searching the fairs and market towns for his father and his dog.

Here is a story of thirteenth-century England, so absorbing and lively that for all its authenticity it scarcely seems “historical.” Although crammed with odd facts and lore about the time when “longen folke to goon on pilgrimages,” its scraps of song and hymn and jongleur’s tale of the period seem as newminted and fresh as the day they were devised, and Adam is a real boy inside his gay striped surcoat.


  • The Ravenmaster’s Secret: Escape from the Tower of London – Elvira Woodruff

It’s 1735. Forrest Harper’s life inside the Tower of London consists of three ways to pass the time: chores, chores, and more chores. His only friends are the spirited ravens he tends with his father. So when vicious Scottish Rebels are captured, Forrest can’t wait to prove himself by standing guard. If only Forrest’s prisoner hadn’t turned out to be the noble and daring Maddy. And if only Maddy wasn’t about to be executed. . . .

Students will cover the following social studies curricular competencies:

  • Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to — ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions
  • Assess the significance of people, places, events, or developments at particular times and places
  • Determine which causes most influenced particular decisions, actions, or events, and assess their short- and long-term consequences (cause and consequence)
  • Explain different perspectives on past or present people, places, issues, or events, and compare the values, worldviews, and beliefs of human cultures and societies in different times and places (perspective)
  • Make ethical judgments about past events, decisions, or actions, and assess the limitations of drawing direct lessons from the past (ethical judgment)

Students will cover the following language arts curricular competencies:

  • Apply appropriate strategies to comprehend written, oral, and visual texts, guide inquiry and extend thinking
  • Synthesize ideas from a variety of sources to build understanding
  • Recognize and appreciate how different features, forms, and genres of texts reflect different purposes, audiences, and messages
  • Think critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond texts
  • Recognize and identify the role of personal, social, and cultural contexts, values, and perspectives in texts
  • Recognize how language constructs personal, social, and cultural identity
  • Construct meaningful personal connections between self, text, and world
  • Respond to text in personal, creative, and critical ways
  • Understand how literary elements, techniques, and devices enhance and shape meaning
  • Exchange ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking
  • Use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful literary and informational texts for a variety of purposes and audiences

Classes will take place in Zoom on a weekly basis.  All sessions will be recorded and made available to participants. A list of formative assessments will be provided ahead of time and reports will be provided at the end of the 10-week session.

Contact sroy@onlineschool.ca for questions.

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