(I moved the topic here from the general forum so that you can get more feedback.)
spqr wrote:As a companion to Wheelock I am considering 38 stories by Anne Groton or Familia Romana. What are the merits of these 2 books and do they offer a companion translation? Thanks, Paul
Both books have their merits, but they are very different beasts.
Groton's book is very small and a true companion volume to Wheelock. It is graduated to match the grammar/vocab of Wheelock's chapters, starting in Chapter 3. It's intended as additional reading practice. The stories are short and simple, but good practice and interesting enough adaptations of popular myths. I don't know of any translation, but, if I remember, there are notes that help you. However, since the readings are short/simple, you can easily post any questions here or elsewhere to check your translations.
Familia Romana, of the Lingua Latina series, is intended as part one of a comprehensive two part course. It starts you off with simple writing, but it's completely inductive and doesn't use any language but Latin. The texts become quite long and involved, so you get a lot of terrific practice. You learn the grammar and vocabulary through reading, but the end of each chapter also includes a review of the new grammar points and exercises--both written in Latin.
There are many discussions of Lingua Latina on these forums, so I recommend you browse a few topics. Generally, it's highly recommended and many people have had terrific results with it. I used Wheelock/38 Latin stories when I started and later worked through Lingua Latina, and I got a lot out of both of them.
If you're currently working through Wheelock, I'd stick with it until the end and do the 38 stories as you go. When you're done, embark on Familia Romana and really develop your reading ability and take it to the next level.