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A Review of CC’s Copper Lodge Library Books

We’ve been in a Classical Conversations (CC) community since 2013 and have really benefited from their curriculum. In the last few years, CC’s Publishing arm, CCMM has released an eye-catching series of paperback books called the “Copper Lodge Library” books.

Some of these books are classics with footnotes and images. Others, like the American Experience Storybook (which students read in Challenge B) are written or compiled by the people at CCMM, so the Copper Lodge edition is the only one available. I’ll focus on the classic books and talk about them first.

Copper Lodge Classics with Footnotes

One common question I get is if you need to purchase the Copper Lodge edition of a classic book to fully participate in a CC Challenge community. The answer is no, but there may be some reasons you choose to. Here are my additional thoughts:

Reasons to Buy the Copper Lodge Books

  • They are beautiful– printed on high-quality paper, many with crisp color images. (Honestly, Audubon‘s artwork, printed in Walden is why I purchased it!
  • The text is in an easy-to-read font and nice size. It’s NOT “large print” by any stretch, but it is easier to read for my old-ish eyes compared to the other versions we have. (I’ve heard other people say the font was still too small for them in the Copper Lodge books)
  • The books have helpful footnotes (again, only in the classics like Walden, Up From Slavery, etc). To me, this is the main reason to purchase these editions. The footnotes include vocabulary, pronunciation help, and helpful connections. Read how CC describes their annotations here.

Reasons NOT to Buy the Copper Lodge Books

  • They are expensive ($10-17 last time I looked). The classic books in this series can be purchased cheaply new or used in other editions- often the Kindle edition is less than $1 and the paperback is less than $5. Perhaps you can find a Copper Lodge edition used on ebay!
  • It’s hard to get these books to stay open. I know CC has tips on “How to Coax Your New Book to Lay Flat,” but I haven’t succeeded in making it work yet, so…
  • Your student would prefer to listen to the book on audio. Since these are classics, they’re almost all available somewhere on audio. If your student isn’t going to use the paper copy then you surely don’t need an extra expensive copy.
  • Your student is really hard on books and they’ll destroy it! (Is this just me? I must confess, I bought my oldest son a separate copy of Walden and didn’t let him near my Copper Lodge copy.)

Copper Lodge Books Written or Compiled by CCMM

Several of the Copper Lodge Library books are written or compiled by the folks at CCMM. The exact text of these books is not available anywhere else. For example, Ancient World Echos is a read-aloud complied by Jennifer Cortney to complement the history and geography in Cycle 1 of Foundations. They are essentially old fables written long enough ago (many around 100 years ago) that they are beyond copyright.

We were unimpressed with Ancient World Echos. It was designed as a read-aloud for the “Scribblers” level (4-8 years old), so perhaps that’s why we found the stories to be dry renditions with uninspiring pictures (in spite of their high print quality).

There is also a set of science-related stories. I don’t own any of them so I can’t speak about them.

Summary and Recommendations

  • Overall, I really like the footnotes in the classics and think it’s worth it to purchase them if you can.
  • I’m not impressed with the original works.
  • I have to say, I find it odd that half of this series of books is directed to 4-8-year-olds while the other half is directed to 12-18-year-olds…

You can read more about how we use CC in our homeschool here!

CC's Copper Lodge books

Classical Conversations has asked me to tell you that “References to Classical Conversations do not constitute or imply endorsement by the company.” I’m guessing you knew that, but now we’re all on the same page.

FYI- I try to use affiliate links whenever possible, but I’m not a CC affiliate. (Does such a thing exist?) You can learn more about my affiliate policy here.

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