Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Swallows and Amazons is one of the recommended books for classic children's literature for Mater Amabilis, Level 2. I had seen this book recommended a number of times but had never read it myself. What a shame! First Son will read this book in fourth grade next year.
The four Walker children are on holiday with their mother and young sister when their father gives them permission to camp alone on an uninhabited island. The book is full of their elaborate imaginative play (along with friends) and their opportunities to grow in responsibility. It's really wonderful and highly recommended.
A central part of the storyline is the sailboat the Walkers use (the Amazon) and the book is full of extensive sailing vocabulary. Because that and the sayings of sailors and pirates are not commonly heard here in Kansas (surprised, aren't you?), I created vocabulary sheets as I read the book myself. I copied sentences from the book with words or phrases underlined. If First Son can tell me what they mean (after reading the chapter independently), he's done. If not, either we'll look them up together or he will alone and then report back to me. If I need any, many of the sentences would work well for copywork.
My only disappointment is that the library has only two of the novels. It will be expensive if I decide to collect the series for our home library (though undoubtedly worthwhile).