Don’t forget that my page on self directed reading is currently being updated. In the next few days I should have titles organized slightly differently after some reflections as I end my school year.
Brando Brown Canem Vult by Carol Gaab and translated into Latin by Justin Slocum Bailey is a student favorite. It is interesting to observe students because many seem to feel it is too childish at the beginning. This is probably mostly due to Brando thinking about Clifford to describe the kind of dog that he wants in the first chapter. The story offers sufficient repetition, especially at the beginning.
The story progresses with Brando and his mother engaged in conflict. Brando wants a dog but his mother doesn’t think he can take care of it. This moment is where the story becomes compelling. Students can connect to conflict with their parents, even if they think it is childish at first.
After this conflict, Brando finds a way to have a dog. It is surprising but realistic so that students stay engaged in the story. There is plenty of detail to keep students wanting to read more but the book progresses with sufficient repetition so that a Novice level reader can stick with the story. Many of my students move from the Rufus titles to Brando Brown Canem Vult and demonstrate a sense of accomplishment when they finish the story.
Lastly, because of the compelling nature, Brando Brown is fitting to read as a class. I imagine doing so with second semester Latin 1 or 1st semester Latin 2 classes. The family and friend relationships plus the theme of pets offers many opportunities for PQA (Personalized Question and Answer) that students will connect to their own lives. Check out Keith Toda’s plans for chapter 1.