Books are my passion, as any visit to my home will reveal. After almost 18 years of marriage, 14 years of parenting and 10 years of homeschooling, my bookshelves are getting pretty full. I cull through them regularly, but each year we acquire so many more for the upcoming school year. I strive to be choosy and bring the bare minimum into our library. So, do you want to know why I signed up to review Yesterday’s Classics and receive 225 more books? Easy, they won’t take up a single inch on my bookshelves–they are all digital.
Yesterday’s Classics republishes classics for children from 1880 to 1920. While they also publish paperback versions of these timeless reads, the portion of their offerings I’m reviewing is from their Ebook collection of 225 titles featuring 22 different genres. From the Golden Era of children’s literature, these books incorporate high literary and moral quality with stories that captivate imaginations with worthy heroes and characters you will be proud for them to emulate.
The Ebooks can be received in Kindle or EPUB edition with full illustrations when a book has them and linked table of contents. In addition to being able to access them on most any E-reader device you choose (including iTouch, iPad and smart phones), you also have the ability to print them from your computer. And if you don’t have an electronic reader, you can still download it straight to your computer and read using various software programs. There’s lots of support on Yesterday’s Classics site for choosing which route to go.
The set of 225 books I received is on special through the end of May for $99.95, after which it will return to the regular price of $149.95. After the sale ends, titles will also be available for purchase individually. Many of the Yesterday’s Classics titles have been included in book lists for Ambleside Online, Heart of Dakota, Living Books Curriculum and Tapestry of Grace.
I requested the EPUB format for these books so that I could download them to my iPad onto the iBooks app. Yesterday’s Classics provided instructions for downloading, as well as offered email support if needed. It did take some time to download merely due to the sheer quantity of books, but once I synced my iPad with my desktop I was all set to start reading.
I was amazed as I looked at all the books! The covers are beautiful and there are so many wonderful choices–from history to fairy tales, from poetry to nature–there’s something for almost every school subject. The illustrations and easy-to-read text made these vintage books feel like they were just published this year. I did find just a few typos or uncorrected ‘old spellings’, but it was easy to overlook. Of course, because many of these vintage texts date over 100 years old, there are some things we know to be true now which weren’t known then. This is especially true in science-related books, but it’s really more sporadic and not something to be overly concerned about. When we do encounter it, I plan to use this as a tool to teach that there was a time when certain facts weren’t yet known.
For our history read-aloud, we chose the wonderful story of “Our Little Roman Cousin of Long Ago.” It was a delightful living book geared at elementary students that followed a Roman family as they experienced common events of the day, teaching us much about Roman culture in the process. It was so much more enjoyable than just reading these facts on their own. My children (as do most) connect with characters in stories and retain much more information when it’s presented this way. Fortunately for us, there are eight more books in this “Cousin of Long Ago” series included in the Yesterday’s Classics collection.
We also began reading “The Odyssey for Boys and Girls” by Alfred J. Church from 1906. Although it doesn’t have illustrations, it’s written in an approachable way for younger children, making this Great Book accessible to a young audience.
I am thoroughly pleased with the wonderful collection of books from Yesterday’s Classics. The books are high quality, both in content and ease of use. The more vintage books I read, the more I’m humbled at the genius of generations past and saddened at the state of our sound-byte culture.
I do want to point out that all of these books are in the public domain, which means they are available online for free. But the thing about that is, they are not always available to download and the quality can vary greatly because of the way these books are scanned. While it’s nice to have this free access and certainly a viable option, it’s sometimes more work than its worth to make the book a usable part of your curriculum. Not so with Yesterday’s Classics! If there ever was a ‘grab & go’ product, this is it. Once you downloaded the books, you’ll be up and reading.
This is a sizable collection that in my opinion, is worth the .44 cents per book you’ll pay if you buy in May. It’s going to be especially more appealing to those with electronic devices on which they can read. Or a desktop computer that is comfortable to read from. You can download a sample book The Dutch Twins to try it out for FREE (scroll down 1/4 page to see the offer). If the Ebooks aren’t an option for you, you can check out the paperback bound copies if there’s some you’re interested in.
As for me, I’m happy I won’t be dusting my giant digital bookshelf anytime soon. Gotta love that!
Product: Yesterday’s Classics Ebooks in EPUB Format & Kindle Format, also sold individually
Ages: All ages
Price: Special OFFER pricing of $99.95 for all 225 Ebooks through May 31st; $149.95 thereafter
Visit the Review Crew blog to find links to more reviews of this product and others.
This product was given to me for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are all mine based on my family’s experience with the product.