The very first question, with no introduction what-so-ever, is "What is a short story and how does it differ from a research paper, poem, or biography?" That's what this should be teaching. Not just asking straight off the bat and then having a paragraph answer for the teacher to look up.
We're going to fight through this book this year but we won't be buying anything else in this series. The answers/lessons are in tiny bites as answers to questions, not actual teaching text. Unless you have a very accelerated learner expect use this book only as a guideline for questions to ask while you figure out how to actually teach the information.
Content - fantastic! Literature choices - fabulous! Lay-out/format - In my opinion, needs reworking. The answers are at the end of every lesson in the guidebook. (There is not a teacher manual and then another student book; it is all just one book.) How do I give my child the book to read the questions and do the assignments, but not see the answers? I REALLY love this curriculum, and it is FANTASTIC in every other way.... a definite 'thumbs up' as far as content and quality of the curriculum.... but I would really, really love if Common Sense Press would have the 'common sense' to reprint this book and separate the answers out into a separate paper booklet (similar to Wordly Wise 3000 answer keys... paper, inexpensive, but separate!)
I really like this book and it meets the need for high school level American literature. The only thing I don't like is that the answers are also in the book which means I must copy the lessons. It would be so much more user friendly if a separate, small "answer key" book was provided. Answers are on the back of some of the lessons, so they cannot be easily removed from the book.