TTT: History Books I Teach

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101 (examples: YA fantasy 101, feminist literature 101, magic in YA 101, classic YA lit 101, world-building 101). Since I actually DO teach, I’m giving you the Top Ten History Books I Teach. The list includes classic fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and other non-fiction books for elementary age children.

  1. A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park – 12th century Korea (historical fiction)
  2. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – WWII (historical fiction)
  3. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson – Pirates in the 1700s (classic / historical fiction)
  4. The Magic Tree House series (historical fiction), the Magic Tree House “Merlin Mission” series (historical fiction), and the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker series (non-fiction) by Mary Pope Osborne – a little bit of everything
  5. Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali by Khephra Burns – medieval Africa (biography)
  6. The Wishbone Classics series by various authors – classic literature made accessible (not dumbed down) for children (classic fiction)
  7. Ink on His Fingers by Louise A. Vernon – Johannes Gutenberg’s  printing press (biography)
  8. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes – American Revolution (historical fiction)
  9. The Magna Carta by Roberta Baxter – the English charter of 1215 (non-fiction)
  10. The American Story series by Betsy Maestro – American history from prehistory through the War of 1812 (non-fiction)

I’m linking up: Top Ten Tuesday

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16 thoughts on “TTT: History Books I Teach

  1. mtsedwards says:

    I am toying with the idea of doing a literature circle unit with children’s fiction (based on a list in a “Lists for Book Lovers” book) and I’ve got Treasure Island queued up. I’ve never read it, however. Is there enough of the story or the writing of it or both to sustain a 4-week 60-minute discussion amongst 4 teenagers?

    P.S. Peter Pan, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are also on my short list. Comments?

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    • Selah at A Bibliophile's Style says:

      Yes, I think there is definitely enough in Treasure Island to talk about for 4 hours, especially if some historical context is provided. Peter Pan and The Secret Garden could probably also sustain discussion. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? I suppose if the discussion delved into Biblical allegory it could hold up for 4 hours. Ugh, I really dislike Black Beauty.

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        • Selah at A Bibliophile's Style says:

          The plot is almost nonexistent. It is episodic and preachy (not that I approve of animal cruelty, but I don’t need to be whacked on the head with the same message for 200+ pages). The information about training and caring for horses is vaguely interesting, but reads as nonfiction. Overall, I’d say Black Beauty is best left to diehard hippophiles.

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  2. Alison's Wonderland Recipes says:

    I love A Single Shard! My parents have a copy, and I always wind up picking it up when browsing their bookshelves. I should get myself one too!

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    • Selah at A Bibliophile's Style says:

      #s 1-3, in particular, are just great reads, whether you’re interested in the historical aspects or not. As to diversity, I do strive to not teach Euro-centric history, although I will admit to being heavy on American history, simply because it is my home country. I particularly try to teach American history within a world history context, instead of separately.

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  3. elyjayne says:

    I haven’t read any of these…which is terrible because I really love historical fiction. I suppose I tend to stick to the WWII stuff and not really branch too much further. I’ll have to change that!

    My list

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