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Till We Have Faces: Walking to Wisdom Literature Guide Review by Melissa Batai

Hannah Eagleson
Classical Academic Press
2151 Market St.
Camp Hill, PA 17011

Till We Have Faces: Walking to Wisdom Literature Guide is one of eight guides in Walking to Wisdom’s Literature Guide Series. These cover well known writers C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and J.R.R. Tolkein. Written by Hannah Eagleson, this guide comes with a student workbook and a teacher’s manual. C.S. Lewis’ novel, Till We Have Faces, will need to be purchased in addition to the literature guide set.  Though you could borrow the novel from the library, Eagleson recommends that students write in the book, underlining passages and annotating as they read, so it is best to buy it. The workbook, which retails for $14.95, is 176 pages long, covers all of the chapters in the novel, and has ample room for the students’ to write their answers. The teacher’s manual, which retails for $19.95, is also 176 pages long and includes not only answers to the questions students are asked, but also an explanation of the strategies recommended to teach this novel, a recommended schedule, and background information on the novel.

This series is ideal for homeschoolers and is recommended for students in 7th through 12th grade. If high school students utilize all eight study guides in the series, they will earn their British literature high school credit. For this particular literature guide, the student and teacher can choose between following one of two suggested schedules: one for 28 days (reading approximately one chapter a day) or one for 56 days (reading one chapter every two days). If they choose the former, all eight literature guides in the series can be completed in a year. If they choose the latter, they will be able to cover half of the literature guides. Of course, each literature guide can be completed independently of the others, too. This guide would be ideal for homeschoolers who enjoy the classical method or the Charlotte Mason method, as the guide often asks students to narrate what they’ve read in each chapter. I used this literature guide with my son, who is in 6th grade. Because he’s younger than the suggested age and because the study guide was a fair amount of work for him, we chose to cover one chapter a week. During that time, we read the book aloud together, and then he independently completed the workbook for that chapter.

My son and I really enjoyed this guide! Many parents are intimidated by teaching British literature to their children, but all concern can be set aside with this guide. Eagleson thoroughly discusses the elements of literature in the teacher’s guide, and she also gives plenty of background information about C.S. Lewis and the novel. In addition, she outlines the Great Ideas found in Till We Have Faces. The novel itself was easily understandable for my son, despite his younger age.

While the recommended age for using Till We Have Faces is 7th to 12th grade, based on our experience using this guide, I would recommend it mainly for high school students. Some of the themes in the novel are mature for a middle school student. Also, the workbook, because it relies in part on a knowledge of mythology and requires deep levels of thinking and analyzing, may be too advanced for middle school students. However, for mature high school students, I absolutely recommend this guide and novel.

Till We Have Faces: Walking to Wisdom Literature Guide is an excellent, thorough guide and will help make the C.S. Lewis novel by the same name more accessible for students. In addition, students will learn how to annotate while reading and get practice writing essays. I plan to revisit these guides when my son is in high school and ready to earn a British literature credit.

-Product review by Melissa Batai, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2016