Every now and then I get asked which of my novellas students should read and when. Of course, that depends entirely on how novellas plan to be used. However, there *is* a logical sequence to my books, and it’s simple. Although word count isn’t everything, I’ve found that it’s most things when it comes to the beginning student reading Latin. Therefore, reading from low to high word count pretty much as-is (i.e. 20 to 155) makes the most sense.
The only time this appears to go “out of order” is with books having a high cognate count, which I read a little earlier. For example, Quīntus et nox horrifica has 52 words, but 26 are cognates. I’ve read that immediately following Rūfus lutulentus (20 words, just 1 cognate) since the reading level is close due to the similar number of unrecognizable words between the two books. See this post on how cognates increase the likelihood of Latin being understood. In the list below, I’ve also omitted the companion texts used for additional reading, activities, and as independent reading options. However, when used along with a novella, those are just read at the same time (e.g. reading Syra et animālia along with Syra sōla). Here’s the current monthly sequence I have in mind:
September (school starts 15th):
Begin reading the very first week!
Then read each month’s new sign until end of year
Just before Halloween
Just before Thanksgiving vacation
Before Holiday break
Begin Poetry of the Week”
Read 1 section each week until end of year
After Holiday break
Before February break
Before April break
With the exception of the first 4 or 5 books, I have no intention of finishing any of them as a whole class. I enjoy reading half a book or so as a whole class so that a) the process doesn’t drag out too long, especially for books with more than 2,000 total words, and b) students have a chance to get into the narrative and continue reading on their own, at their own pace, during independent reading. This presents students with the most variety and range of topics (vs. spending moooooonths on a single book). You might have noticed that Pīsō Ille Poētulus and Tiberius et Gallisēna ultima don’t make the cut for whole-class reading. Instead, students can read those during independent reading time.