Michael Clay Thompson: Literature Trilogies

Michael Clay Thompson: Literature Trilogies Series Cover

Review by Jeff Danielian, LaSalle Academy PEGASUS Program, in Teaching for High PotentialI wish (this program) was available when I was a student. Thompson’s direction and clarity, written from a practitioner’s perspective, leaves all other reading programs in the dust.... The author suggests early on that “this program is a magic synergy of book, student, and teacher.” I could not agree more. Read the full review.

Michael Clay Thompson has now produced seven trilogies for the classical literature component of his curriculum, including a trilogy of novels about Mud the Fish and other characters from the early levels.

Our purpose in the literature series, as Michael Clay Thompson writes in his introduction, “is to immerse children in great books so that they experience literature as literature and not as a drudgery of tedious school activities.”  The ultimate test of the program is “if the child does not love reading, we have failed.”  As MCT points out, “It is by loving to read that children become literate.”

The focus of the program is on the literature itself, “avoiding all traditional worksheet activities in favor of rich discussion and thoughtful reading.  Busywork has been eliminated.” 

Each part of the program consists of three works of literature (complete and unabridged), together with a parent/teacher manual.

In each of the classics chosen, Michael Clay Thompson provides close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies. They all focus on the author’s writing technique while still keeping the child's mind on the book itself.

The Mud Trilogy: This is the introductory point for literature study. Mud the Fish has been given a series of adventures in a trilogy of novels designed to introduce younger children to the complex themes and long words of classic literature, but with what he calls "a kind of academic sillinesss."

Alice, Peter, and Mole: This trilogy studies three great children's classics—Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. This is the collection most appropriate for students at the first or second level of the MCT curriculum.

The Search Trilogy: Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells are the three novels included in this trilogy. Michael has written a special poem, "Silver's Song," to go with Treasure Island. There is an Audioclip with the book, below.

The Time Trilogy: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and is most suitable for 5th and 6th grade level students.  Where the original edition contained artwork important to the tradition of the book, this has been included.

The Shadow Trilogy: This trilogy features works of three great nineteenth-century authors—Edgar Allen Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles.

The Dickens Trilogy: A Christmas Carol, The Chimes: A Goblin Story, and The Cricket on the Hearth are three novels by Charles Dickens that give young readers an introduction to his work and an opportunity to enjoy his writing without having to tackle one of his long novels.  

The American Autobiography Trilogy: This is Michael Clay Thompson's first non-fiction trilogy (fitting in with the Common Core). The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, and Henry David Thoreau's Walden. Though very different from one another, these works reveal in astonishing immediacy the thoughts and experiences of the writers against a background and description of the times they lived in, and show the contributions they made to the way we live and think now. This is for the highest level.

The illustrated-language highlights in each of the books have the intention of helping children become more aware readers. We believe they do not have any parallel in the educational experience of children.

The parent manual is designed to aid you to help students become more critical, creative, understanding, and aware readers. The books are published in trilogies so you can leverage the reading experience. The three novels are intended to be read in a particular order, with questions flowing from one classic work to the next and then to all three. Children are encouraged to make comparisons across all three novels or autobiographies and to regard the reading experience of each in relation to the others. This provides for a far richer reading experience and aids the child in developing a broad range of insights into their reading.

This is a program that encourages reflection, discussion, growth, and understanding. The literature program not only gives children an acquaintance with great authors and an in-depth understanding of many appropriate classics, but it has two additional benefits for students of the MCT curriculum. First, it reinforces the importance of all aspects of the curriculum for children because they see all the things they are learning being used by the greatest authors. Second, as children come to language illustrations of text they have read and see MCT pointing out outstanding passages, it makes many of them realize that they are reading too fast and with too little concentration, because they have missed what the author was up to.

We have taken a great deal of trouble with the design of the series.  The type is Goudy Old Style which we find to be a very pleasing font.  The margins are wide, the type is large, and the space between lines is greater than normal. The books are five and quarter inches by seven and a half inches, a very easy size for children to hold.

 

Review by Jeff Danielian, LaSalle Academy PEGASUS Program, in Teaching for High Potential:  I wish (this program) was available when I was a student. Thompson’s direction and clarity, written from a practitioner’s perspective, leaves all other reading programs in the dust.... The author suggests early on that “this program is a magic synergy of book, student, and teacher.” I could not agree more. Read the full review.

Michael Clay Thompson has now produced seven trilogies for the classical literature component of his curriculum, including a trilogy of novels about Mud the Fish and other characters from the early levels.

Our purpose in the literature series, as Michael Clay Thompson writes in his introduction, “is to immerse children in great books so that they experience literature as literature and not as a drudgery of tedious school activities.”  The ultimate test of the program is “if the child does not love reading, we have failed.”  As MCT points out, “It is by loving to read that children become literate.”

The focus of the program is on the literature itself, “avoiding all traditional worksheet activities in favor of rich discussion and thoughtful reading.  Busywork has been eliminated.” 

Each part of the program consists of three works of literature (complete and unabridged), together with a parent/teacher manual.

In each of the classics chosen, Michael Clay Thompson provides close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies. They all focus on the author’s writing technique while still keeping the child's mind on the book itself.

The Mud Trilogy: This is the introductory point for literature study. Mud the Fish has been given a series of adventures in a trilogy of novels designed to introduce younger children to the complex themes and long words of classic literature, but with what he calls "a kind of academic sillinesss."

Alice, Peter, and Mole: This trilogy studies three great children's classics—Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. This is the collection most appropriate for students at the first or second level of the MCT curriculum.

The Search TrilogyTreasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells are the three novels included in this trilogy. Michael has written a special poem, "Silver's Song," to go with Treasure Island. There is an Audioclip with the book, below.

The Time Trilogy: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and is most suitable for 5th and 6th grade level students.  Where the original edition contained artwork important to the tradition of the book, this has been included.

The Shadow Trilogy: This trilogy features works of three great nineteenth-century authors—Edgar Allen Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles. 

The Dickens Trilogy: A Christmas Carol, The Chimes: A Goblin Story, and The Cricket on the Hearth are three novels by Charles Dickens that give young readers an introduction to his work and an opportunity to enjoy his writing without having to tackle one of his long novels.   

The American Autobiography Trilogy: This is Michael Clay Thompson's first non-fiction trilogy (fitting in with the Common Core). The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, and Henry David Thoreau's Walden. Though very different from one another, these works reveal in astonishing immediacy the thoughts and experiences of the writers against a background and description of the times they lived in, and show the contributions they made to the way we live and think now. This is for the highest level.

The illustrated-language highlights in each of the books have the intention of helping children become more aware readers. We believe they do not have any parallel in the educational experience of children.

The parent manual is designed to aid you to help students become more critical, creative, understanding, and aware readers. The books are published in trilogies so you can leverage the reading experience. The three novels are intended to be read in a particular order, with questions flowing from one classic work to the next and then to all three. Children are encouraged to make comparisons across all three novels or autobiographies and to regard the reading experience of each in relation to the others. This provides for a far richer reading experience and aids the child in developing a broad range of insights into their reading.

This is a program that encourages reflection, discussion, growth, and understanding. The literature program not only gives children an acquaintance with great authors and an in-depth understanding of many appropriate classics, but it has two additional benefits for students of the MCT curriculum. First, it reinforces the importance of all aspects of the curriculum for children because they see all the things they are learning being used by the greatest authors. Second, as children come to language illustrations of text they have read and see MCT pointing out outstanding passages, it makes many of them realize that they are reading too fast and with too little concentration, because they have missed what the author was up to. 

 We have taken a great deal of trouble with the design of the series.  The type is Goudy Old Style which we find to be a very pleasing font.  The margins are wide, the type is large, and the space between lines is greater than normal. The books are five and quarter inches by seven and a half inches, a very easy size for children to hold.

 

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Books in this series

The Mud Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Classic words

Grade: 3, 4

ISBN: 978-0-89824-845-6

Latest edition: April 2013

Order code: 8456

The Mud Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

The Rescue at Fragment Crag, The Red Tide, and The Green-Face Virus by Michael Clay Thompson feature the characters he created in his Language Arts Curriculum to help explain grammar and writing rules. Following requests for more about these characters, he decided that Mud the Fish should have a series of adventures of his own. The novels are described as Classic Word Novels, designed to introduce young readers to the literary words Michael identified in his Classic Words vocabulary research. They are full-length (around 100 pages each), exuberant, funny, and abounding in alliteration and other poetic techniques. Difficult words are defined in footnotes. The books are illustrated with charming drawings.

Michael writes in the introduction to the Teacher Manual, "These Mud novels are like training wheels for the classics, with big words, long length, complex characters, intricate plots, and big ideas, all in a magical world where little animals love sentences and stay loyal to each other."

There is also an iBook Implementation Manual.

If you have purchased the iBook versions of the Mud novels, this is the Implementation Manual that accompanies the trilogy and is essential for implementing Michael Clay Thompson's literature unit.

The Mud Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

The Mud Trilogy Set with Parent Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Classic words

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Grade: 3, 4

ISBN: 978-0-89824-843-2

Latest edition: April 2013

Order code: 8432

The Mud Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

A parent on the RFWP Support Forum says, "We are loving the Mud Trilogy already! I'm reading them aloud to my son, as I don't want to miss out. We love all the characters; Baldwin is a hoot!"

The Rescue at Fragment Crag, The Red Tide, and The Green-Face Virus by Michael Clay Thompson feature the characters he created in his Language Arts Curriculum to help explain grammar and writing rules. Following requests for more about these characters, he decided that Mud the Fish should have a series of adventures of his own. The novels are described as Classic Word Novels, designed to introduce young readers to the literary words Michael identified in his Classic Words vocabulary research. They are full-length (around 100 pages each), exuberant, funny, and abounding in alliteration and other poetic techniques. Difficult words are defined in footnotes. The books are illustrated with charming drawings.

Michael writes in the introduction to the Teacher Manual, "These Mud novels are like training wheels for the classics, with big words, long length, complex characters, intricate plots, and big ideas, all in a magical world where little animals love sentences and stay loyal to each other."

There is also an iBook Implementation Manual.

If you have purchased the iBook versions of the Mud novels, this is the Implementation Manual that accompanies the trilogy and is essential for implementing Michael Clay Thompson's literature unit.

The Mud Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

The Rescue at Fragment Crag

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Classic words

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Grade: 3, 4

ISBN: 978-0-89824-840-1

Order code: 8401

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8401S

The Rescue at Fragment Crag Cover

Most children will encounter Mud the Fish first as an endearing character learning what a sentence is in Michael Clay Thompson’s Writing Curriculum book, Sentence Island. In The Rescue at Fragment Crag, the first novel in the Mud trilogy, we meet Mud again with Fidget the cricket, his subject-verb friend; Oopsy and Daisy, the pelicans who taught him the parts of the sentence; Click the sandpiper; Clack the lobster;  Herman the kingfisher; and Merv the mouse.  They are joined by Turner the turtle, Baldwin the bellicose and eccentric big-horn beetle, and Marjorie Harbinger, the vivacious wave who brings news of a problem on Fragment Crag where little Click is injured and has become trapped.   

The animals and birds have to work together to rescue Click. Things don’t turn out as planned.  Fragment Crag is a fearsome, isolated crag where all thoughts are fragments, and the evil rat nearly succeeds in eating Click for dinner. After the rescue there is a falling-out amongst the animals who only know part of what happened. And they forget that rats can swim. There is another attack and another rescue. Then they have time to reflect about being part of a group and working together and supporting one another.

Thompson on classic words: "A national neglect of formal vocabulary instruction has left many children unable to read standard books that have been the favorites of children for generations, and so you will find these words emphasized in this trilogy, with definitions at the bottoms of the pages so that the vocabulary is not an obstacle but a treat. These novels about Mud will prepare children to read children’s classics with ease and enjoyment."

Most children will encounter Mud the Fish first as an endearing character learning what a sentence is in Michael Clay Thompson’s Writing Curriculum book, Sentence Island. In The Rescue at Fragment Crag, the first novel in the Mud trilogy, we meet Mud again with Fidget the cricket, his subject-verb friend; Oopsy and Daisy, the pelicans who taught him the parts of the sentence; Click the sandpiper; Clack the lobster;  Herman the kingfisher; and Merv the mouse.  They are joined by Turner the turtle, Baldwin the bellicose and eccentric big-horn beetle, and Marjorie Harbinger, the vivacious wave who brings news of a problem on Fragment Crag where little Click is injured and has become trapped.   

The animals and birds have to work together to rescue Click. Things don’t turn out as planned.  Fragment Crag is a fearsome, isolated crag where all thoughts are fragments, and the evil rat nearly succeeds in eating Click for dinner. After the rescue there is a falling-out amongst the animals who only know part of what happened. And they forget that rats can swim. There is another attack and another rescue. Then they have time to reflect about being part of a group and working together and supporting one another.

Thompson on classic words: "A national neglect of formal vocabulary instruction has left many children unable to read standard books that have been the favorites of children for generations, and so you will find these words emphasized in this trilogy, with definitions at the bottoms of the pages so that the vocabulary is not an obstacle but a treat. These novels about Mud will prepare children to read children’s classics with ease and enjoyment."

The Rescue at Fragment Crag Cover

Sample Pages:

The Red Tide

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Classic words

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Grade: 3, 4

ISBN: 978-0-89824-841-8

Order code: 8418

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8418S

The Red Tide Cover

Michael Clay Thompson gets into his stride with his cast of characters and the forces of nature all around them on Sentence Island. They are enjoying a peaceful life and reflecting on the meaning of words, on the two sides of sentences and on the importance of thinking clearly. They experiment with various true and untrue sentences, grammar notwithstanding. A fish is an animal! All fish are animals, and therefore all animals are fish is clearly not true.

A series of near calamities throws everything into disarray—a tsunami, a red tide, and then a waterspout. The red tide coincided with a distinguished visitor, Queequack, the famous paragraph expert and Mud has to convince everyone that the two are not connected. After the waterspout they learn that everything has to be in its rightful place. Then a tall, green stranger arrives on their shore to tell them that their disasters are a result of poor leadership and if they obey him, the mantis, and echo his words he will solve all their problems. He is a devious mantis and demands absolute loyalty and no questions asked. Daisy the pelican, Clack, and Mud do not fall for his false words and manage to persuade the others by using the logic they have all learned. As the great waterbird, Benjamin Frankloon, once said, "we must all stick together, or we will all get stuck separately.”

Michael Clay Thompson gets into his stride with his cast of characters and the forces of nature all around them on Sentence Island. They are enjoying a peaceful life and reflecting on the meaning of words, on the two sides of sentences and on the importance of thinking clearly. They experiment with various true and untrue sentences, grammar notwithstanding. A fish is an animal! All fish are animals, and therefore all animals are fish is clearly not true.

A series of near calamities throws everything into disarray—a tsunami, a red tide, and then a waterspout. The red tide coincided with a distinguished visitor, Queequack, the famous paragraph expert and Mud has to convince everyone that the two are not connected. After the waterspout they learn that everything has to be in its rightful place. Then a tall, green stranger arrives on their shore to tell them that their disasters are a result of poor leadership and if they obey him, the mantis, and echo his words he will solve all their problems. He is a devious mantis and demands absolute loyalty and no questions asked. Daisy the pelican, Clack, and Mud do not fall for his false words and manage to persuade the others by using the logic they have all learned. As the great waterbird, Benjamin Frankloon, once said, "we must all stick together, or we will all get stuck separately.”

The Red Tide Cover

Sample Pages:

The Green-Face Virus

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Classic words

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Grade: 3, 4

ISBN: 978-0-89824-842-5

Order code: 8425

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8425S

The Green-Face Virus Cover

In the third novel Mud discovers to his dismay that the other animals have been infected with a virus that destroys their altruism and makes them greedy and selfish and thoughtless of their fellows.  This cannot continue, and Mud has to embark on a perilous adventure to Nothing Atoll to find the Shadow-Keeper in order to procure a shake of shock-shade, a glowing jungle fern that opens only at midnight.  Marjorie the wave tells him he has to take Fishmeal along, the paragraph duck who studied under the great Queequack and who holds the secret of organization.

At the last minute they are joined by Baldwin the beetle on a raft that takes them across a bioluminescent sea to the atoll.  They meet strange creatures called aye-ayes who help them and even suggest that they might like to stay on Nothing Atoll with nothing to do but live a long pleasant life of comfort.  But Mud remembers his friends and their mission to save them from the virus.  A plan is formed to acquire the shock-shade from the snapping beast that is its guardian.  The friends win in the end and Mud reflects on his adventures, the various ethical concerns raised, the sights he has seen, and the meaning of friendship.

In the third novel Mud discovers to his dismay that the other animals have been infected with a virus that destroys their altruism and makes them greedy and selfish and thoughtless of their fellows.  This cannot continue, and Mud has to embark on a perilous adventure to Nothing Atoll to find the Shadow-Keeper in order to procure a shake of shock-shade, a glowing jungle fern that opens only at midnight.  Marjorie the wave tells him he has to take Fishmeal along, the paragraph duck who studied under the great Queequack and who holds the secret of organization.

At the last minute they are joined by Baldwin the beetle on a raft that takes them across a bioluminescent sea to the atoll.  They meet strange creatures called aye-ayes who help them and even suggest that they might like to stay on Nothing Atoll with nothing to do but live a long pleasant life of comfort.  But Mud remembers his friends and their mission to save them from the virus.  A plan is formed to acquire the shock-shade from the snapping beast that is its guardian.  The friends win in the end and Mud reflects on his adventures, the various ethical concerns raised, the sights he has seen, and the meaning of friendship.

The Green-Face Virus Cover

Sample Pages:

Mud: Extra Set of Novels

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Order code: 8432S

Price: $27.00

An extra set of the three Classic Words novels by MCT about Mud and his friends: The Rescue at Fragment Crag, The Red Tide, and The Green-Face Virus.

Mud Trilogy Set Bought with a Level Package

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Order code: 8432B

Price: $25.00

If you are buying a Homeschool Level Package, you can add this set to your order at this price (and as many other sets as you want). The set comprises all four books: the three novels and the parent manual.

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set With Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Grade: 3, 4

ISBN: 978-0-88092-804-3

Latest edition: July 2011

Order code: 8043

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set With Teacher Manual Cover

The three novels of the first trilogy in the literature strand of the curriculum, together with the classroom teacher manual that complements and explains the Michael Clay Thompson strategy.

For each of the titles Thompson provides background comments, quotation quizzes, Socratic questions for discussion, and suggestions for writing assignments. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

 

iBook: The Alice, Peter, and Mole Teacher Manual iBook is not part of a set. It is recommended that the iBook version be used when students are using the iBook versions of the novels.

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set With Teacher Manual Cover

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set with Parent Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Grade: 4, 5

ISBN: 978-0-88092-803-6

Latest edition: April 2013

Order code: 8036

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set with Parent Manual Cover

To aid the teaching of these classic novels, Michael Clay Thompson outlines his method in the Parent Manual as first a short Preparation, with Reading as the main event, then Illustration, or looking back at the techniques highlighted. Finally there is Writing, which may include essays for older children.

For each of the titles he provides background comments, quotation quizzes, Socratic questions for discussion, andsug gestions for writing assignments.

There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

The Parent Manual works in conjunction with the novels and therefore is available only as part of the set.

iBook: The Alice, Peter, and Mole Parent Manual is available as a single purchase only in the iBook version. It is recommened that the iBook version be used in conjunction with the iBook versions of the trilogy novels.

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set with Parent Manual Cover

Sample Pages:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Author: Carroll, Lewis; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Grade: 4, 5

ISBN: 978-0-89824-802-9

Order code: 8029

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8029S

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Cover

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is the first of Michael Clay Thompson's language-illustrated classics.

You can read the well-known story with its zany and memorable characters, surreal adventures and funny rhymes. From time to time, Michael Clay Thompson notes on the author's particular use of language, grammar, or poetic techniques. These are the uses of language that we have learned in the MCT Language Arts Curriculum and now are shown in use in great works of literature.

Footnotes explain vocabulary that may be unfamiliar.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is the first of Michael Clay Thompson's language-illustrated classics.

You can read the well-known story with its zany and memorable characters, surreal adventures and funny rhymes. From time to time, Michael Clay Thompson notes on the author's particular use of language, grammar, or poetic techniques. These are the uses of language that we have learned in the MCT Language Arts Curriculum and now are shown in use in great works of literature.

Footnotes explain vocabulary that may be unfamiliar.

 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Cover

Sample Pages:

Peter Pan

Author: Barrie, James M.; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Grade: 4, 5

ISBN: 978-0-89824-801-2

Order code: 8012

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8012S

Peter Pan Cover

The second classic novel of the first trilogy chosen by Michael Clay Thompson as part of his Literature program.

Read the entrancing story by J.M. Barrie about Peter Pan and Wendy, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys, Captain Hook and the ticking crocodile. Without distracting from the story, the author's use of language, grammar, and poetic techniques are highlighted from time to time by Michael Clay Thompson.

Footnotes explain vocabulary that may be unfamiliar.

The second classic novel of the first trilogy chosen by Michael Clay Thompson as part of his Literature program.

Read the entrancing story by J.M. Barrie about Peter Pan and Wendy, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys, Captain Hook and the ticking crocodile. Without distracting from the story, the author's use of language, grammar, and poetic techniques are highlighted from time to time by Michael Clay Thompson.

Footnotes explain vocabulary that may be unfamiliar.

Peter Pan Cover

Sample Pages:

The Wind in the Willows

Author: Grahame, Kenneth; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Grade: 4, 5

ISBN: 978-0-89824-800-5

Order code: 8005

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8005S

The Wind in the Willows Cover

The Wind in the Willows is the third book of the first trilogy in Michael Clay Thompson's Literature program.

Presented by Michael Clay Thompson as one of the world's great novels, this beautiful children's classic explores the life of the riverbank seen through the eyes of Mole, Ratty, Badger, and others, introduces us to the exuberant Mr. Toad with his delight in the new motor-car, and explores the terrors of the Wild Wood. In his illustrations he shows how the author uses grammatical and poetic devices to enhance his story and give emotional impact to his sentences.

The idea is never to distract from the story, but to help understand how great writing works.

Footnotes define words that may be unfamiliar.

The Wind in the Willows is the third book of the first trilogy in Michael Clay Thompson's Literature program.

Presented by Michael Clay Thompson as one of the world's great novels, this beautiful children's classic explores the life of the riverbank seen through the eyes of Mole, Ratty, Badger, and others, introduces us to the exuberant Mr. Toad with his delight in the new motor-car, and explores the terrors of the Wild Wood. In his illustrations he shows how the author uses grammatical and poetic devices to enhance his story and give emotional impact to his sentences.

The idea is never to distract from the story, but to help understand how great writing works.

Footnotes define words that may be unfamiliar.

The Wind in the Willows Cover

Sample Pages:

Alice, Peter, and Mole: Extra Set of Novels

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8036S

Price: $27.00

This is a special price if you wish to purchase an extra set of novels, and is only available if ordering with the Set with Parent Manual (order code: 8036A) or the Set with a Package (order code: 8036B).

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set Bought with a Level Package

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Grade: 4, 5

Order code: 8036B

Price: $30.00

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set Bought with a Level Package Cover

If you are buying a Homeschool Level Package, you can add this set to your order at this price (and as many other sets as you want). The set comprises all four books: the three novels and the parent manual.

Alice, Peter, and Mole Set Bought with a Level Package Cover

Search Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 5, 6

Latest edition: August 2012

Order code: 8197

Search Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

Michael Clay Thompson’s Search Trilogy consists of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. The set includes the parent manual.

MCT tells why he calls it the "Search Trilogy": "Our existence on this Earth is a form of prolonged search—a search for self, a search for meaning, a search for a place, and even a search for survival. Although if we are fortunate, we have the support of friends and loved ones in our quest, it is even then in its essence a solitary journey.

"The three novels in the Search Trilogy—The Call of the Wild, The Invisible Man, and Treasure Island—present three different types of searches. We see a young man taking to sea in a classic search for treasure and adventure; we see a brilliant scientist engulfed in the dark problems of his own scientific searches, and we see a tame dog thrust into a wild and perilous unknown, searching for survival."

The Search novels, rich in the kinds of vocabulary, poetic writing, and creative grammar that our curriculum makes visible and exciting, are among the best loved children's (and grown-up's) novels of all time. Study of this set works best after children have done the Alice, Peter, and Mole Trilogy, but have not yet done the Time Trilogy. 

iBook: The teacher's guide is a manual to help students appreciate Treasure IslandThe Invisible Man, and The Call of the Wild.

It is recommended that this ibook version be used if using the ibook versions of the Search Trilogy novels.

Search Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

Sample Pages:

Search Trilogy Set with Parent Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Latest edition: August 2012

Order code: 8180

Search Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

Michael Clay Thompson’s Search Trilogy consists of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. The set includes the parent manual.

MCT tells why he calls it the "Search Trilogy": "Our existence on this Earth is a form of prolonged search—a search for self, a search for meaning, a search for a place, and even a search for survival. Although if we are fortunate, we have the support of friends and loved ones in our quest, it is even then in its essence a solitary journey.

"The three novels in the Search Trilogy—The Call of the Wild, The Invisible Man, and Treasure Island—present three different types of searches. We see a young man taking to sea in a classic search for treasure and adventure; we see a brilliant scientist engulfed in the dark problems of his own scientific searches, and we see a tame dog thrust into a wild and perilous unknown, searching for survival."

The Search novels, rich in the kinds of vocabulary, poetic writing, and creative grammar that our curriculum makes visible and exciting, are among the best loved children's (and grown-up's) novels of all time. Study of this set works best after children have done the Alice, Peter, and Mole Trilogy, but have not yet done the Time Trilogy.

iBook: A parent's guide to help children appreciate Treasure IslandThe Invisible Man, and The Call of the Wild. It is recommended that parents use this ibook when children are using the ibook version of the Search Trilogy novels.

Search Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

Sample Pages:

The Call of the Wild

Author: London, Jack; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Animal story; Literature; Classic novel

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 5, 6

ISBN: 978-0-89824-816-6

Latest edition: August 2012

Order code: 8166

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8166S

The Call of the Wild Cover

The Call of the Wild is Jack London’s most popular novel and is one of the most translated works in the history of literature, making it one of the most widely read American classics. The story follows the gradual transformation of a tame dog, Buck, to a state of fierce wildness in which Buck adopts the primordial instincts of survival in the Alaskan wilderness.

Based on experiences that Jack London had when he worked in the Klondike gold rush, The Call of the Wild is filled with characters, events, and descriptions that could never have been created through imagination alone.

Sometimes regarded simply as a children’s animal story, The Call of the Wild is filled with ideas that repay mature and thoughtful consideration, and the book is read by strong readers of all ages.

The Call of the Wild is Jack London’s most popular novel and is one of the most translated works in the history of literature, making it one of the most widely read American classics. The story follows the gradual transformation of a tame dog, Buck, to a state of fierce wildness in which Buck adopts the primordial instincts of survival in the Alaskan wilderness.

Based on experiences that Jack London had when he worked in the Klondike gold rush, The Call of the Wild is filled with characters, events, and descriptions that could never have been created through imagination alone.

Sometimes regarded simply as a children’s animal story, The Call of the Wild is filled with ideas that repay mature and thoughtful consideration, and the book is read by strong readers of all ages.

The Call of the Wild Cover

Sample Pages:

The Invisible Man

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay; Wells, H.G.

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature; Classic novel

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 5, 6

ISBN: 978-0-89824-817-3

Latest edition: August 2012

Order code: 8173

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8173S

The Invisible Man Cover

"The Invisible Man is reminiscent of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, published in 1886 and of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, first published anonymously in 1818. These books were written at a time when science was making dramatic strides forward, challenging traditional ideas and inspiring profound ideas about what might become possible. In each novel, a scientist’s work produces a monster, but the monster is different in each work. Also in each novel, we see a vivid story of how science-power corrupts the individual who possesses it. Like Stevenson’s monster, H.G. Wells’s monster is a transformation of the scientist himself, and the inevitable questions arise about the price of progress and about the need for knowledge to be developed in terms that are moral and human." — Michael Clay Thompson

"The Invisible Man is reminiscent of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, published in 1886 and of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, first published anonymously in 1818. These books were written at a time when science was making dramatic strides forward, challenging traditional ideas and inspiring profound ideas about what might become possible. In each novel, a scientist’s work produces a monster, but the monster is different in each work. Also in each novel, we see a vivid story of how science-power corrupts the individual who possesses it. Like Stevenson’s monster, H.G. Wells’s monster is a transformation of the scientist himself, and the inevitable questions arise about the price of progress and about the need for knowledge to be developed in terms that are moral and human." — Michael Clay Thompson

The Invisible Man Cover

Sample Pages:

Treasure Island

Author: Stevenson, Robert Louis; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature; Classic novel

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 5, 6

ISBN: 978-0-89824-815-9

Latest edition: August 2012

Order code: 8159

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8159S

Treasure Island Cover

Treasure Island was first serialized in Young Folks magazine from 1881 to 1882 and then published in novel form in 1883. Stevenson created a world-unto-itself, with a ship’s-worth of pirates and rogues, good souls and bad. While reading Treasure Island, we feel the salt spray of the novel, hear the booming surf on the reef, and glimpse the quick wink of that smartest of pirates, Long John Silver. Jim Hawkins is a true spirit, navigating a path through the unworldly, even as circumstances become stranger and stranger. Stevenson soaks us in strong characters with vivid, rich names—rascals and thieves, lawyers and boys. From one’s first reading of Treasure Island, Long John Silver clunks into one’s inner reality with his wooden leg and his squawking parrot and his weasel words, and from that day forward, there is always an inner Long John lurking within us, ready to fool us once again. 

Without distracting from the story, examples of  the author's use of language, grammar, and poetic techniques are highlighted by Michael Clay Thompson. The glossary defines words that may be unfamiliar.

Treasure Island was first serialized in Young Folks magazine from 1881 to 1882 and then published in novel form in 1883. Stevenson created a world-unto-itself, with a ship’s-worth of pirates and rogues, good souls and bad. While reading Treasure Island, we feel the salt spray of the novel, hear the booming surf on the reef, and glimpse the quick wink of that smartest of pirates, Long John Silver. Jim Hawkins is a true spirit, navigating a path through the unworldly, even as circumstances become stranger and stranger. Stevenson soaks us in strong characters with vivid, rich names—rascals and thieves, lawyers and boys. From one’s first reading of Treasure Island, Long John Silver clunks into one’s inner reality with his wooden leg and his squawking parrot and his weasel words, and from that day forward, there is always an inner Long John lurking within us, ready to fool us once again. 

Without distracting from the story, examples of  the author's use of language, grammar, and poetic techniques are highlighted by Michael Clay Thompson. The glossary defines words that may be unfamiliar.

Search Trilogy: Extra Set of Novels

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 5, 6

Order code: 8180S

Price: $27.00

An extra set of the Search novels are only available at this price if ordering with the full set with parent manual (order code: 8180A).

Search Trilogy Set Bought with a Level Package

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8180B

Price: $30.00

If you are buying a Homeschool Level Package, you can add this set to your order at this price (and as many other sets as you want). The set comprises all four books: the three novels and the parent manual.

Time Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-809-8

Latest edition: April 2013

Order code: 8098

Time Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

Review of the Time Trilogy: by Jeff Danielian, LaSalle Academy PEGASUS Program, in Teaching for High Potential  The Time Trilogy provides a fresh and interesting look at sharing three classics with students. For me it is as if I have explored these texts for the first time. I wish the same for you and your students. (You can see and download the full review below).

The set comprises the three novels of the second trilogy (Time Machine, Connecticut Yankee and Christmas Carol), together with the Teacher Manual that complements them and which explains the MCT strategy for teaching literature.

For each of the titles Thompson provides background comments, quotation quizzes, Socratic questions for discussion, and suggestions for writing assignments. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

Time Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

Review of the Time Trilogy:

Time Trilogy Teacher Manual sample pages:

Time Trilogy Set with Parent Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Grade: 6, 7, 8

ISBN: 978-0-89824-808-1

Latest edition: April 2013

Order code: 8081

Time Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

Review of the Time Trilogy by Jeff Danielian, LaSalle Academy PEGASUS Program, in Teaching for High Potential:  The Time Trilogy provides a fresh and interesting look at sharing three classics with students. For me it is as if I have explored these texts for the first time. I wish the same for you and your students. (You can download the full review below).

The set comprises the three novels of the Time Trilogy, together with the Parent Manual that complements them and which explains the Michael Clay Thompson literature strategy.

For each of the titles Thompson provides background comments, quotation quizzes, Socratic questions for discussion, and suggestions for writing assignments. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

Time Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

Review of Time Trilogy & the Literature Program:

Sample Pages:

A Christmas Carol

Author: Dickens, Charles; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Grade: 6, 7, 8

ISBN: 978-0-89824-807-4

Order code: 8074

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8074S

A Christmas Carol Cover

In his introduction to the book, Michael Clay Thompson writes:

"Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol was first published in England a week before Christmas in 1843. The short novel helped to restore public interest in the holiday and its celebrations. Like Dickens’s other novels, A Christmas Carol ignites the reader’s sympathy for people who survive at society’s edges. It condemns mercenary and industrial indifference to human suffering and celebrates the goodness that is possible in all parts of society, although it does not overly idealize the downtrodden: Dickens includes disreputable and predatory characters from the poor ranks also.

Also like Dickens’s other novels, A Christmas Carol celebrates the ability of the individual to change for the better. Ebenezer Scrooge’s transition from odious miser to caring friend reminds us of the change we see in Dickens’s Sidney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities."

In his introduction to the book, Michael Clay Thompson writes:

"Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol was first published in England a week before Christmas in 1843. The short novel helped to restore public interest in the holiday and its celebrations. Like Dickens’s other novels, A Christmas Carol ignites the reader’s sympathy for people who survive at society’s edges. It condemns mercenary and industrial indifference to human suffering and celebrates the goodness that is possible in all parts of society, although it does not overly idealize the downtrodden: Dickens includes disreputable and predatory characters from the poor ranks also.

Also like Dickens’s other novels, A Christmas Carol celebrates the ability of the individual to change for the better. Ebenezer Scrooge’s transition from odious miser to caring friend reminds us of the change we see in Dickens’s Sidney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities."

A Christmas Carol Cover

Sample Pages:

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Author: Twain, Mark; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Grade: 6, 7, 8

ISBN: 978-0-89824-806-7

Order code: 8067

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8067S

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Cover

In his introduction to Mark Twain's classic novel, Michael Clay Thompson writes:

"This is a novel with riches to spare, filled with Twain’s irrepressible relish for the English language, loaded with characters of all kinds, pervaded with irony. There are moments when the novel seems to be entirely humorous, and there are moments when the novel is horrifyingly prophetic, as in the final scenes that seem to be visions of the great world war to come, little more than a decade after the novel was published.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is no novel for the faint of heart. Twain despised cruelty and violence, and he had to depict them to attack them, so this is a sometimes brutal story, powered by a vision of peace and humanity. It is a great read."

In his introduction to Mark Twain's classic novel, Michael Clay Thompson writes:

"This is a novel with riches to spare, filled with Twain’s irrepressible relish for the English language, loaded with characters of all kinds, pervaded with irony. There are moments when the novel seems to be entirely humorous, and there are moments when the novel is horrifyingly prophetic, as in the final scenes that seem to be visions of the great world war to come, little more than a decade after the novel was published.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is no novel for the faint of heart. Twain despised cruelty and violence, and he had to depict them to attack them, so this is a sometimes brutal story, powered by a vision of peace and humanity. It is a great read."

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Cover

Sample Pages:

The Time Machine

Author: Wells, H.G.; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-805-0

Order code: 8050

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8050S

The Time Machine Cover

In his introduction to this classic, thought-provoking, 19th century novel, Michael Clay Thompson writes:

"H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine is a supreme work of the imagination, a work so captivating in its vivid description of the distant future that the reader scarcely notices the radical art of the work, such as the almost total absence of dialogue and the fact that the main character is never named. The astounding final chapters are visionary to a degree almost unique in literature; one strains to think of comparisons other than Dante’s Inferno or Milton’s Paradise Lost.

The novel has it all: brilliant vocabulary, reflection on the implications of science, subtle and wry commentary on governmental and social systems, reflections on morality, a deep portrait of a creative genius whose mind isolates him even from his friends, luminous poetic writing, dazzling images...everything. It is a one-book humanities course."

In his introduction to this classic, thought-provoking, 19th century novel, Michael Clay Thompson writes:

"H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine is a supreme work of the imagination, a work so captivating in its vivid description of the distant future that the reader scarcely notices the radical art of the work, such as the almost total absence of dialogue and the fact that the main character is never named. The astounding final chapters are visionary to a degree almost unique in literature; one strains to think of comparisons other than Dante’s Inferno or Milton’s Paradise Lost.

The novel has it all: brilliant vocabulary, reflection on the implications of science, subtle and wry commentary on governmental and social systems, reflections on morality, a deep portrait of a creative genius whose mind isolates him even from his friends, luminous poetic writing, dazzling images...everything. It is a one-book humanities course."

The Time Machine Cover

Sample Pages:

Time Trilogy: Extra Set of Novels

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8081S

Price: $27.00

This is a special price if you wish to purchase an extra set of novels, and is only available if ordering with the set (Order Code: 8081).

Time Trilogy Set Bought with a Level Package

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8081B

Price: $30.00

Time Trilogy Set Bought with a Level Package Cover

If you are buying a Homeschool Level Package, you can add this set to your order at this price (and as many other sets as you want). The set comprises all four books: the three novels and the parent manual.

Time Trilogy Set Bought with a Level Package Cover

Shadow Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

ISBN: 978-0-88092-849-6

Order code: 8496

Shadow Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

The set comprises the three novels: The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Hound of the Baskervilles, together with the parent manual that complements them and which explains the Michael Clay Thompson strategy for teaching literature.

For each of the titles Thompson provides background comments, quotation quizzes, Socratic questions for discussion, and suggestions for writing assignments. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

Shadow Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

Sample Pages:

Shadow Trilogy Set with Parent Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-848-9

Order code: 8489

Shadow Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

The set comprises the three novels: The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Hound of the Baskervilles, together with the parent manual that complements them and which explains the Michael Clay Thompson strategy for teaching literature.

For each of the titles Thompson provides background comments, quotation quizzes, Socratic questions for discussion, and suggestions for writing assignments. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

Shadow Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

Sample Pages:

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Author: Poe, Edgar Allen; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 78-0-88092-845-8

Latest edition: September 2014

Order code: 8458

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8458S

The Murders in the Rue Morgue Cover

Originally published in Graham’s Magazine in 1841, The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as the first detective story—the story that created the genre. Michael Clay Thompson writes in his Introduction that reading this short story is to “witness the very point in intellectual history at which one of our great literary traditions began.”

Thompson highlights the details of the language and the literary devices that Poe used to achieve to maximum effect the horror and mystery of a murder by a non-human agent in nineteenth century Paris.

Unfamiliar vocabulary words are defined in footnotes.

Originally published in Graham’s Magazine in 1841, The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as the first detective story—the story that created the genre. Michael Clay Thompson writes in his Introduction that reading this short story is to “witness the very point in intellectual history at which one of our great literary traditions began.”

Thompson highlights the details of the language and the literary devices that Poe used to achieve to maximum effect the horror and mystery of a murder by a non-human agent in nineteenth century Paris.

Unfamiliar vocabulary words are defined in footnotes.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue Cover

Sample Pages:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Author: Stevenson, Robert Louis; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-846-5

Latest edition: September 2014

Order code: 8465

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8465S

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Cover

Another great classic novel chosen by Michael Clay Thompson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a profoundly disturbing account of murder and personality, good and evil, and dangerous experiments in a foggy London of the nineteenth century.

This annotated version highlights with language illustrations the literary devices which the author uses to produce what Michael Clay Thompson describes as: “One of literary history’s great stories of intuitive inspiration." He likes us to read and reread, allowing ourselves to be pulled into the story and its language. The reasons that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are famous all lie within the book itself, and it is an extraordinary book by one of literature’s most talented writers."

In addition, Stevenson’s “On Some Technical Elements of Style in Literature” is included to demonstrate that the author knew what he was about in the craft of writing. Thompson believes that Stevenson is under-appreciated as a serious and profound writer. He says this essay is “one of the best statements in literary history of what a supremely talented writer is thinking."

Unfamiliar words are defined in footnotes.

 

Another great classic novel chosen by Michael Clay Thompson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a profoundly disturbing account of murder and personality, good and evil, and dangerous experiments in a foggy London of the nineteenth century.

This annotated version highlights with language illustrations the literary devices which the author uses to produce what Michael Clay Thompson describes as: “One of literary history’s great stories of intuitive inspiration." He likes us to read and reread, allowing ourselves to be pulled into the story and its language. The reasons that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are famous all lie within the book itself, and it is an extraordinary book by one of literature’s most talented writers."

In addition, Stevenson’s “On Some Technical Elements of Style in Literature” is included to demonstrate that the author knew what he was about in the craft of writing. Thompson believes that Stevenson is under-appreciated as a serious and profound writer. He says this essay is “one of the best statements in literary history of what a supremely talented writer is thinking."

Unfamiliar words are defined in footnotes.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Cover

Sample Pages:

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Author: Doyle, Arthur Conan; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 78-0-88092-847-2

Latest edition: September 2014

Order code: 8472

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8472S

The Hound of the Baskervilles Cover

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third novel in Michael Clay Thompson’s Shadow Trilogy. It is one of the most famous novels in English—but how many readers ever notice how Conan Doyle achieves his literary masterpiece of suspense and mystery? Michael Clay Thompson shows how to look closely at Doyle’s grammar, poetics, punctuation, and choice of vocabulary. These are the devices that "Lift the words of the story above the random clutter of ordinary, toneless prose.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third novel in Michael Clay Thompson’s Shadow Trilogy. It is one of the most famous novels in English—but how many readers ever notice how Conan Doyle achieves his literary masterpiece of suspense and mystery? Michael Clay Thompson shows how to look closely at Doyle’s grammar, poetics, punctuation, and choice of vocabulary. These are the devices that "Lift the words of the story above the random clutter of ordinary, toneless prose.

The Hound of the Baskervilles Cover

Sample Pages:

Shadow Trilogy: Extra Set of Novels

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8489S

Price: $27.00

This is a special price if you wish to purchase an extra set novels in the Shadow Trilogy and is only available if ordering with the set (Order Code: 8489).

Shadow Trilogy Set Bought with a Level Package

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8489B

Price: $30.00

If you are buying a Homeschool Level Package, you can add this set to your order at this price (and as many other sets as you want). The set comprises all four books: the three novels and the parent manual.

Dickens Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-866-3

Latest edition: November 2014

Order code: 8663

Dickens Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

This trilogy includes three novellas by Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol, The Chimes: A Goblin Story, and The Cricket on the Hearth. These are the first of what Victorian scholars call Dickens’s Christmas stories because they were published just before Christmas in 1843, 1844, and 1845.

Although only A Christmas Carol deals directly with Christmas, all three are linked not only by the time and circumstances of publication but also by their themes and by Dickens’s handling of the characters. These are books with exaggerated hard-hearted and materially comfortable people like Ebenezer Scrooge and cheerful, good-hearted, but downtrodden people like Bob Cratchit. All three books explore issues of charity, sympathy for the downtrodden, kindness, and open-heartedness.  

Dickens was the greatest genius of the Victorian novel; this trilogy gives young readers an introduction to him, and an opportunity to enjoy his work without having to tackle one of his long novels. 

In the parent manual, Thompson provides background comments, quotation quizzes, Socratic questions for discussion, and suggestions for writing assignments. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

Dickens Trilogy Set with Teacher Manual Cover

Dickens Trilogy Set with Parent Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-865-6

Order code: 8656

Dickens Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

This trilogy includes three novellas by Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol, The Chimes: A Goblin Story, and The Cricket on the Hearth. These are the first of what Victorian scholars call Dickens’s Christmas stories because they were published just before Christmas in 1843, 1844, and 1845.

Although only A Christmas Carol deals directly with Christmas, all three are linked not only by the time and circumstances of publication but also by their themes and by Dickens’s handling of the characters. These are books with exaggerated hard-hearted and materially comfortable people like Ebenezer Scrooge and cheerful, good-hearted, but downtrodden people like Bob Cratchit. All three books explore issues of charity, sympathy for the downtrodden, kindness, and open-heartedness.  

Dickens was the greatest genius of the Victorian novel; this trilogy gives young readers an introduction to him, and an opportunity to enjoy his work without having to tackle one of his long novels. 

In the parent manual, Thompson provides background comments, quotation quizzes, Socratic questions for discussion, and suggestions for writing assignments. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

Dickens Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

A Christmas Carol (Part of Dickens Trilogy)

Author: Dickens, Charles; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature; Christmas

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-862-5

Latest edition: November 2014

Order code: 8625

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8625S

A Christmas Carol (Part of Dickens Trilogy) Cover

Michael Clay Thompson writes: "Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol was first published in England a week before Christmas in 1843. The short novel helped to restore public interest in the holiday and its celebrations. Like Dickens’s other novels, A Christmas Carol ignites the reader’s sympathy for people who survive at society’s edges. It condemns mercenary and industrial indifference to human suffering and celebrates the goodness that is possible in all parts of society, although it does not overly idealize the downtrodden: Dickens includes disreputable and predatory characters from the poor ranks also.

Also, like Dickens’s other novels, A Christmas Carol celebrates the ability of the individual to change for the better. Ebenezer Scrooge’s transition from odious miser to caring friend reminds us of the change we see in Dickens’s Sidney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities."

Michael Clay Thompson writes: "Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol was first published in England a week before Christmas in 1843. The short novel helped to restore public interest in the holiday and its celebrations. Like Dickens’s other novels, A Christmas Carol ignites the reader’s sympathy for people who survive at society’s edges. It condemns mercenary and industrial indifference to human suffering and celebrates the goodness that is possible in all parts of society, although it does not overly idealize the downtrodden: Dickens includes disreputable and predatory characters from the poor ranks also.

Also, like Dickens’s other novels, A Christmas Carol celebrates the ability of the individual to change for the better. Ebenezer Scrooge’s transition from odious miser to caring friend reminds us of the change we see in Dickens’s Sidney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities."

A Christmas Carol (Part of Dickens Trilogy) Cover

The Cricket on the Hearth

Author: Dickens, Charles; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-863-2

Latest edition: November 2014

Order code: 8632

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8632S

The Cricket on the Hearth Cover

The Cricket on the Hearth is a short "Christmas Story’" published in December 1845. Dickens described the novel as "quiet and domestic...innocent and pretty.”  It is subdivided into chapters called "Chirps," similar to the "Quarters" of The Chimes: A Goblin Story.

Michael Clay Thompson writes that, "Dickens made poor and powerless individuals the central characters of his plots, causing readers to identify with them and feel compassion for their plights."

The Cricket on the Hearth was very popular when it was published as a book, and also as a play, about the ideal Victorian family and home. In the story, John Peerybingle, a slow but honest carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy, and their nursemaid Tilly Slowboy. A cricket chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle's house for a few days. The plot becomes a complex love story that is resolved in time for a festive Christmas.

The Cricket on the Hearth is a short "Christmas Story’" published in December 1845. Dickens described the novel as "quiet and domestic...innocent and pretty.”  It is subdivided into chapters called "Chirps," similar to the "Quarters" of The Chimes: A Goblin Story.

Michael Clay Thompson writes that, "Dickens made poor and powerless individuals the central characters of his plots, causing readers to identify with them and feel compassion for their plights."

The Cricket on the Hearth was very popular when it was published as a book, and also as a play, about the ideal Victorian family and home. In the story, John Peerybingle, a slow but honest carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy, and their nursemaid Tilly Slowboy. A cricket chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle's house for a few days. The plot becomes a complex love story that is resolved in time for a festive Christmas.

The Cricket on the Hearth Cover

Sample Pages:

The Chimes: A Goblin Story

Author: Dickens, Charles; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-864-9

Latest edition: November 2014

Order code: 8649

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8649S

The Chimes: A Goblin Story Cover

The Chimes: A Goblin Story, is a short novel by Charles Dickens written and published in 1844, one year after A Christmas Carol and one year before The Cricket on the Hearth. It is one of his  "Christmas books” that are five short books with strong social and moral messages.

The chimes are the old bells in the church on whose cold and windy steps poor and elderly Toby Veck waits for jobs. He is a "ticket porter"—or messenger—for those rich enough to use his services—although they despise his poverty and those like him. The book is divided into four parts named "quarters," after the quarter chimes of a striking clock and we meet an array of characters, stereotypically good and bad.

The story begins on New Year’s Eve and "Trotty" has a dream about mankind. Michael Clay Thompson shows us the power and significance of Dickens’s message that, as in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the pure in heart."

 

The Chimes: A Goblin Story, is a short novel by Charles Dickens written and published in 1844, one year after A Christmas Carol and one year before The Cricket on the Hearth. It is one of his  "Christmas books” that are five short books with strong social and moral messages.

The chimes are the old bells in the church on whose cold and windy steps poor and elderly Toby Veck waits for jobs. He is a "ticket porter"—or messenger—for those rich enough to use his services—although they despise his poverty and those like him. The book is divided into four parts named "quarters," after the quarter chimes of a striking clock and we meet an array of characters, stereotypically good and bad.

The story begins on New Year’s Eve and "Trotty" has a dream about mankind. Michael Clay Thompson shows us the power and significance of Dickens’s message that, as in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the pure in heart."

The Chimes: A Goblin Story Cover

Sample Pages:

Dickens Trilogy: Extra Set of Novels

Author: Dickens, Charles; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8656S

Price: $27.00

This is a special price if you wish to purchase an extra set novels of the Dickens trilogy and is only available if ordering with the set.

Dickens Trilogy Set Bought with a Level Package

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8656B

Price: $30.00

If you are buying a Homeschool Level Package, you can add this set to your order at this price (and as many other sets as you want). The set includes the three novels and the parent manual.

Dickens Trilogy Parent Set Without Christmas Carol

Author: Dickens, Charles; Thompson, Michael Clay

Latest edition: November 2014

Order code: 8670

Price: $32.00

Dickens Trilogy Parent Set Without Christmas Carol Cover

If you have purchased A Christmas Carol previously as part of the Time Trilogy, you can order just The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth and the Parent Manual at this price.

Dickens Trilogy Parent Set Without Christmas Carol Cover

The American Autobiography Set with Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-857-9

Latest edition: August 2013

Order code: 8579

The American Autobiography Set with Teacher Manual Cover

The set comprises three great American autobiographies: The Autobiography of Benjamin FranklinThe Narrative of Frederick Douglass, and Henry David Thoreau's Walden together with the Parent Manual.

In the Manual, Thompson provides background information and profound, insightful comments about style, character, and content for each of the books in the trilogy. There are Socratic questions for language discussion, quotations to study, creative questions and activities, and suggestions for academic writing practice. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

The American Autobiography Set with Teacher Manual Cover

Sample Pages:

American Autobiography Trilogy Set with Parent Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-856-2

Latest edition: August 2013

Order code: 8562

American Autobiography Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

The set comprises three great American autobiographies: The Autobiography of Benjamin FranklinThe Narrative of Frederick Douglass, and Henry David Thoreau's Walden together with the Parent Manual.

In the Manual, Thompson provides background information and profound, insightful comments about style, character, and content for each of the books in the trilogy. There are Socratic questions for language discussion, quotations to study, creative questions and activities, and suggestions for academic writing practice. There is also a compilation of vocabulary that is common to all three books.

American Autobiography Trilogy Set with Parent Manual Cover

Sample Pages:

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Author: Franklin, Benjamin; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; American History; Autobiography; Franklin, Benjamin

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-853-1

Latest edition: August 2013

Order code: 8531

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8531S

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Cover

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is, by any reckoning, among the most extraordinary documents of the New World. Written in Franklin’s signature clear prose style, the autobiography, which Franklin called his memoir, tells of Franklin’s rise to manhood first in Boston where he was apprenticed to his brother, James, and then in Philadelphia, where his industry, frugality, integrity, and erudite intelligence helped him rise to prosperity and importance in the community. 

Benjamin Franklin was an extraordinary man—America's original Renaissance man, skilled not only in politics but in writing and science; an inventor and publisher; on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence; instrumental in developing America's first libraries and fire departments; a strong advocate (in voice and in example) for the abolition of slavery.

Fitting in with the Common Core, this is the second part of our American Autobiography Trilogy. The books, though very different from one another, reveal in astonishing immediacy the thoughts and experiences of the writers against a background and description of the times they lived in, and show the contributions they made to the way we live and think now.

 

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is, by any reckoning, among the most extraordinary documents of the New World. Written in Franklin’s signature clear prose style, the autobiography, which Franklin called his memoir, tells of Franklin’s rise to manhood first in Boston where he was apprenticed to his brother, James, and then in Philadelphia, where his industry, frugality, integrity, and erudite intelligence helped him rise to prosperity and importance in the community. 

Benjamin Franklin was an extraordinary man—America's original Renaissance man, skilled not only in politics but in writing and science; an inventor and publisher; on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence; instrumental in developing America's first libraries and fire departments; a strong advocate (in voice and in example) for the abolition of slavery.

Fitting in with the Common Core, this is the second part of our American Autobiography Trilogy. The books, though very different from one another, reveal in astonishing immediacy the thoughts and experiences of the writers against a background and description of the times they lived in, and show the contributions they made to the way we live and think now.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Cover

Sample Pages:

The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

Author: Douglass, Frederick; Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: African-American; Slavery; English Language Arts; American History; Autobiography

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-854-8

Order code: 8548

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8548S

The Narrative of Frederick Douglass Cover

The full title of this book—one of the most significant works of American letters—is The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself.  According to Michael Clay Thompson, it is "a book that every American student should read."

It is the remarkable and harrowing story of Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), who was born into slavery and poverty in Maryland, but who managed to escape with the help of the Underground Railroad and later became a powerful voice for freedom and equality. At the time of his writing his narrative it was still too dangerous to name those who had helped him escape.

MCT points out in the text that much of the power of Douglass’s writing comes from his flat, direct, declarative statements of terrible truths. His childhood and growing up was marked by cruelty and degradation, yet also by a determination to learn to read, be educated, and to run away.

Footnotes explain words that may be unfamiliar, and MCT illustrates the text with examples of style and grammatical devices.

Fitting in with the Common Core, this is the second part of our American Autobiography Trilogy. The books, though very different from one another, reveal in astonishing immediacy the thoughts and experiences of the writers against a background and description of the times they lived in, and show the contributions they made to the way we live and think now.

The full title of this book—one of the most significant works of American letters—is The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself.  According to Michael Clay Thompson, it is "a book that every American student should read."

It is the remarkable and harrowing story of Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), who was born into slavery and poverty in Maryland, but who managed to escape with the help of the Underground Railroad and later became a powerful voice for freedom and equality. At the time of his writing his narrative it was still too dangerous to name those who had helped him escape. 

MCT points out in the text that much of the power of Douglass’s writing comes from his flat, direct, declarative statements of terrible truths. His childhood and growing up was marked by cruelty and degradation, yet also by a determination to learn to read, be educated, and to run away. 

Footnotes explain words that may be unfamiliar, and MCT illustrates the text with examples of style and grammatical devices.

Fitting in with the Common Core, this is the second part of our American Autobiography Trilogy. The books, though very different from one another, reveal in astonishing immediacy the thoughts and experiences of the writers against a background and description of the times they lived in, and show the contributions they made to the way we live and think now.

The Narrative of Frederick Douglass Cover

Walden

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay; Thoreau, Henry David

Subjects: English Language Arts; Autobiography; Thoreau, Henry David

Age: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-855-5

Latest edition: August 2013

Order code: 8555

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 8555S

Walden Cover

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) is best known for his ideas about individual liberty. He was an abolitionist, attacking the Fugitive Slave Law, and he wrote a famous essay, On Civil Disobedience, advocating resistance to unjust laws. He influenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He spent a night in jail in opposition to the Mexican-American War.

His most famous work is Walden, a uniquely American mixture of dissidence, transcendental philosophy, natural science, self-reliance, and iconoclasm. The book is filled with memorable lines and thought-provoking challenges to conventional assumptions, against a background of living in the woods by Walden Pond in Massachusetts.

In this language-illustrated edition, Michael Clay Thompson encourages us to read at "thought speed" (rather than "talk speed") which is much slower and deeper, pausing for the processing of profound ideas and special language, and looking up strange words, place names, and other references. He shows us Thoreau's extraordinary number of references to Greek and Roman mythology, and interdiscplinary vocabulary.

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) is best known for his ideas about individual liberty. He was an abolitionist, attacking the Fugitive Slave Law, and he wrote a famous essay, On Civil Disobedience, advocating resistance to unjust laws. He influenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He spent a night in jail in opposition to the Mexican-American War.

His most famous work is Walden, a uniquely American mixture of dissidence, transcendental philosophy, natural science, self-reliance, and iconoclasm. The book is filled with memorable lines and thought-provoking challenges to conventional assumptions, against a background of living in the woods by Walden Pond in Massachusetts.

In this language-illustrated edition, Michael Clay Thompson encourages us to read at "thought speed" (rather than "talk speed") which is much slower and deeper, pausing for the processing of profound ideas and special language, and looking up strange words, place names, and other references. He shows us Thoreau's extraordinary number of references to Greek and Roman mythology, and interdiscplinary vocabulary.

Walden Cover

Sample Pages:

The American Autobiography: Extra Autobiographies

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8562S

Price: $27.00

This is a special price if you wish to purchase an extra set of autobiographies, and is only available if ordering with the Set with Parent Manual (Order Code: 8562)

The American Autobiography Set Bought with a Level Package

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: English Language Arts; Reading; Literature

Order code: 8562B

Price: $30.00

If you are buying a Homeschool Level Package, you can add this set to your order at this price (and as many other sets as you want). The set includes the three autobiographies and the parent manual.

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