BOOK REVIEWS

Latin for Children, Primer A History Reader (Libellus de Historia) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-06-14 
Review Score: 3 out of 5 star From 5 user ratings
ISBN:1600510043
LANGUAGE:English

"This book claims to "feature stories of Ancient Greece and Rome". This is not true. It contains no stories from Ancient Greece. At least 9 of the 15 stories are Christian stories--they are not history, nor are they classical tales. Each "story" is in fact 3-5 individually numbered sentences. They have no plot and do not recount any logical story of history. The sentences are okay for learning Latin, but it is a very small book (55 small pages with very little content). The vocabulary lists are hurt by long and unconnected footnotes that usually relate to some obscure point related to a Christianized version of history. More than a primer in Latin this seems to be a church indoctrination book. The Christian propaganda point of view aside, I still don't think this is a good Latin exercise book--I would rate it very poor. This book needs a BIG disclaimer put on its description saying: "does not contain actual stories and is only appropriate for a highly Christian point of view"." said.

"This Latin reader does not contain any coherent stories about the Roman Empire. Instead, each lesson contains 3 to 5 numbered sentences that often do not even make up a complete paragraph. The vocabulary lists are extensive and do not seem to correspond with the rest of the Latin program. I was extremely disappointed with this purchase. If you are looking for a good Latin reader for your upper elementary (or older) student then would recommend Lingua Latina instead." said.

"This book is an excellent addition to the Latin for Children, Primer A. It is not difficult, and just like in early phonics readers, sometimes one wishes for a little better of a flow. But, when you do not yet know multiple tenses or are familiar with using nouns in all of their cases, this is the best one can do.
My students find it refreshing to be translating something with a bit of a plot, even if it's not the Aeneid.

And, as to other reviewers' frustration with the "highly Christian point of view", I did not find it highly Christian - and the parts that are Christian fit in with Latin history. The story of Christ's birth is told, yes, but it would have been told in Latin at that time, so it's not the subverting of an ancient language - it coincides nicely. Just like using Latin to retell Roman mythology is not inappropriate, neither is using Latin to retell the stories of the Christian religion.
" said.

"There seems to be a slight misunderstanding over what this book is. It's a companion reader for Latin for Children, Primer A. It could, I believe, be used with other Latin programs, but it's geared to very young Latin students who are still mastering English grammar (third and fourth graders) hence the simplicity. The other books in the series, Primer B and Primer C are more advanced and have paragraphs rather than individual sentences.

My students (3rd through 5th grade) love these little translation exercises. It makes them feel like real pros and motivates them to keep studying. I've used these books with older Latin students who are struggling with basic translation as well. The simplicity helps them to focus on the basics and get a feel for translating without being overwhelmed by complicated grammar and vocabulary.
" said.

"If you purchase the Student workbook that compliments this reader, the stories are already in there so this is a supplement only. I did find it helpful to have a smaller book/reader to work from rather than just the student workbook, but in the future this will be an optional purchase rather than required." said.

August 2017 New Book:

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