Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction

Macaulay, David. Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction. 1973. 80pp. Lexile 1120. Available in paperback.
This remarkable book broke ground in the field of young people's nonfiction with its elegant design and attention to detail.  With large black-and-white pen drawings filling each page, it tells the story of how a fictional medieval cathedral was built, from quarrying stone to hanging the final banners and lighting the candles.  The many diagrams and the well-written text explain the complicated process clearly.  A must for readers interested in construction.  This heavily illustrated book is a Common Core exemplar, one of the few with a lot of technical information in it.

Reading Std #3: Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.  Students have a rare chance first to consider the author’s choices in unfolding his topic and then to read the author’s own reflection about those choices in his 1999 book Building the Book Cathedral.  He discusses the writing, illustrating, and editing process, and considers what he would do differently if he had the chance to re-write the book.

Macaulay, David. Building the Book Cathedral. 1999. 112pp. Lexile 1070.