Tuesday, August 7, 2012

King Alfred's English


Do you love the English language? Was English your favorite subject in school? If not, do you enjoy history?

What if I told you that King Alfred's English combines both to make one the most interesting books I have read in my life?

King Alfred's English is a history of the language we speak, and why we should be glad we do, just like the title says. But there is so much more in this book.

For instance, have you ever wondered why our spelling is so complex? Why some words are spelled so differently from how they sound? Laurie J. White explains this and many other mysteries of the English language so well. It all makes sense to me now!

King Alfred's English was written for 7th through 12th graders, and curious adults. Laurie was a homeschool mom with a passion for English that she acquired in college. She thought it was a shame that she wasn't taught these things when she was younger, so she taught her own children about the fascinating history behind our language. After seeing how much they enjoyed it she was inspired to write this book and share it with the rest of us. Thanks Laurie! It is currently the only book written for students below college level. Read more about why Laurie wrote this book on her website.

My children are still young so I wanted this book for myself. I looked forward to reading a little each day in my few minutes of free time. Each chapter got more and more interesting. I was sad when I got to the end! I believe I could use this book as a read aloud if I wanted to with my younger kids, and I do plan on sharing many parts of it with them through the years. I will wait to use the entire book with them later on.

The best part, in my opinion, was learning about how our English bible came to be. What a struggle! I wasn't fully aware of just how much effort, and how much risk people took so that we could have a bible in English today. Did you know that at least 80% of the King James Version bible was the translation work of just one man, and it wasn't King James? There is also a law for the way languages change that backs up Intelligent Design. The more I read, the more I could see God's hand at work throughout our history. I have a renewed appreciation for God's word now!

Laurie's writing style is like having her right there talking face to face. She writes with a conversational tone, throwing in bits of information here and there that make history come alive. She uses maps and timelines to help the reader visualize what was happening when and where. Read the first chapter here and see for yourself.

If you decide to use King Alfred's English as part of your high school student's curriculum, she has many free resources listed on her website, TheShorterWord.com.  There is also a great teacher page full of worksheets and tests. Students can earn a 1/2  high school history credit, or a combined 1/4  history and 1/4  English credit using both the book and the resources from the website.


King Alfred's English can be purchased in softcover print through Christianbook.com  for $14.95 (least expensive print version), or get the kindle version for $5.95.

Laurie has given me a code that I can share with 5 of my readers that will enable you to buy a print version of King Alfred's English for just $8.47 (half price). If you would like the code just leave me a comment below and I will email it to you.


Disclaimer ~ I received this book at no cost in exchange for an honest review after reading it myself. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. Hi Beth, I'd love the discount code, the book sounds interesting. Love your blog! - Michelle

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Michelle! I will need your email address to send it to you. You can email me at bmorr07@gmail.com with your info :)


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