Conflict: The Lifeblood of Drama

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...and perhaps the motivation to read.

Growing up, I had no idea that lame books existed in the world. My steady diet of Sonlight titles left me with the impression that books were great. Sure, there were some I didn't care for as much. But overall? Books contained characters I loved doing meaningful things in exciting and interesting places. They overcame obstacles and enemies, persevered through hardship, and made the world a better place. I found myself cheering often.

I was completely unaware of the large swath of literature that contains no such depth.

So when I read accounts like this, I'm thankful for the background in literature my mom gave me. Though, I must say, I found much of the literature in high school AP English to be... well... less than impressive when compared to what I read growing up. If there is a drawback to reading all the great books in Sonlight's homeschool curriculum, it's that you see more clearly where other titles fall short. Which could be problematic if you're asked to give your opinion on a "classic" bit of English history.

For young children, Barney may be just the thing. But the older you get, the more important conflict becomes. Real conflict. The kind of edge-of-your-seat excitement that keeps you invested in a story. The kind of suspense that makes you beg for one more chapter! The kind of events that inspire you to take a stand.

Part of the reason Sonlight books are so exciting is because there are so many biographies. We get to witness things God has done and marvel at how He brings His followers through intense situations.

What are your favorite stories? Do they have conflict?

Looking for a book that will make you cheer? Check out The Great and Terrible Quest.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

Word of the Day
Fecundity: fertility; the capacity of abundant production, especially of offspring

Brought to you by Karen Campbell

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6 Comments

  1. I have to throw in a recommendation for the Dragon Keepers Chronicles, by Donita Paul. They're Christian fiction, but written in an alternate world, so God takes on a different form (much like Aslan in Narnia is still God, but presented differently). They are utterly exciting! There's something going on every minute, from leaping from a cavern on a cliff onto a dragon flying below, fighting strange evil creatures, rescuing dragon eggs and children in peril, etc. I think they'd be great for any kid in high school or older. Possibly in middle school (if a kid can handle Lord of the Rings or Beowulf, they can certainly handle these). There is some violence, but it's never gratuitous.

  2. Rikki

    @ Sarah, I must totally agree with you on the Dragon Keepers series. I just finished them. What a fun series.
    Luke, I personally think we can offer our younger children something better than Barney. I will admit, my children never watched Barney while in my care, and I doubt they watched Barney while at a friend's house, but you never know for sure. They don't watch anything I don't watch with them, and I'd never made it through an episode of Barney- the commercials were enough to make me say NO! (Same for Dora the Explorer)
    I am glad that Sonlight gives us so many good literature choices. My son is a crazy reader. We are doing Core B (we're on week 15) this year with Readers 2 (he has read ahead to week 28 and would be further ahead if I didn't slow him down, he has read the sequels to everything that I could find one for.) If I don't get through a read aloud fast enough for him, he grabs the book and takes off with it. I'm thankful for sequels- he has read all of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books, all of the Henry Huggins books plus several more by Beverly Cleary, and all of the Gooney Bird Greene books. Frankly, I could use a longer book list- it is hard coming up with books that he enjoys that are appropriate for a 6 1/2 year old. But Sonlight has a great start.

  3. Aww, I inspired you! I do pity those poor children who don't get to choose what they read, or who are fed a steady diet of fluff fiction.

  4. Thanks, Sarah!

    Rikki, I hear ya! Commercials can be so off-putting.

    And, yes, Mrs. C, you inspire many posts (I've written a number based off things you've blogged about). That's one of the reasons I'm so glad to have you as a blogging buddy <smile>.

    ~Luke

  5. Sheila

    My son enjoyed reading Ender's Game with Core 100. When he found out that a movie was being made it made him want to re-read it. He enjoyed it so much that he looked for the sequels at the library.

  6. Pingback: How Reading Aloud Instills a Love of Books | Sonlight Blog