Great question asked today. It was posted over on the Living Books Forum Facebook page. I thought I would post it hear with the comments posted with hope the answers may help parents wrestling with what Living Books are and how they are used in the home school.
I heard Living Books are part of the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. I don't use the CM approach. Will I be able to apply what I learn at the Living Books Forum to our homeschool?
Theresa commented, "The answer is YES! Absolutely! I don't use CM but have learned so much about Living Books. My homeschooling has become a lot more fun. My kids are now excited to learn."
Cheryl answered, "Absolutely! Books that allow for learning, no matter what your philosophy may be. The Story of Louis Pasteur is an amazing Living Book which allows the reader to walk alongside Louis in the chem lab to grow bacteria and across the ocean to find a solution for the French silk industry. The biography is a GREAT book, a Living Book because the reader is living at the time of the setting. This book could be incorporated into a classical cycle of history or a unit study. It could be used as a source for a traditional research paper. It makes a great addition to an independent chemistry study. So, though the book may be called a Living Book by Charlotte Mason, it is at the core, a biography that can be woven into any study in any educational philosophy."
Tina responded, "What are some other terms for Living Books? Dr. Ruth Beechick also called them Whole Books and Real Books. Some call them Classics. Some call them Library Books! Simply put, they are books that are typically written by one author who loves the subject and that shines through the book. It causes something noble in the heart of the reader and often begs to be read again and again.