History Books: Colonization

Dear Reader,

Here once again are some of the books we have been using in our homeschool this year. These are all on the settlement of the colonies. I have done posts previously on the settlement of Virginia and New England so these cover all the rest. We are still using H. E. Marshall’s This Country of Ours as our spine as well as selections from Genevieve Foster’s The World of Captain John Smith for a more global context (Foster’s books tend to give this though some are briefer than others; this one certainly goes well beyond Jamestown).

Most of the books I was able to find at our library were on New Amsterdam and maybe Pennsylvania. There was very little, and really almost no living books, on the other colonies.

Peter Stuyvesant Came to Town by Arnold Lobel — Lobel is the author of such children’s classics as Frog and Toad and Owl at Home so we had to get his book. It is a picture book and also a poem. The text is wonderful, the sort one enjoys reading aloud which is how we did this one. The pictures are great too.

Old Silver Leg Rakes Over by Robert Quackenbush — Quackenbush is another favorite author of ours. This book is a bit longer than what I would call a picture book though it does not have chapters. I read it aloud to my kids over the course of about three days. It does a good job of telling the story while till being entertaining. In addition to the main plot line about Stuyvesant (who had a fake silver leg, by the way, hence the title), there is a mini-cartoon on each page starring two pigs who comment on what is going on. It is an amusing book.

The Wishing Pear by Elizabeth CoatsworthWhen I just can’t resist a book, I often end up using it as a read aloud. So like the two previously mentioned, this is what I did with this one. This was a slightly longer book. It is not hard reading and my 8-year-old certainly could have handled it. It is the story of a young girl in New Amsterdam who has a pear tree. It does a good job along the way of showing what life was like at this moment in time and how and why the Dutch ended up losing New Amsterdam to the British. We were left wondering if the little girl was at all based on a real person since she ended up playing a pivotal role in the city’s story

Lysbet and the Fire Kittens by Marietta Moskin — My eight-year-old read this book. It is another New Amsterdam and is an easy reader type chapter book. She seemed to really enjoy the story. It helps that it has kittens in it.

Elin’s Amerika by Marguerite de Angeli — My ten-year-old read this book which is set in New Sweden (now Delaware). It tells of a boy’s life in that time and place and discusses things like the holidays they celebrated.

New Amsterdam: Old Holland in the New World by Caroline D. Emerson — My 12-yea-old read this book. It is slightly longer than those previously mentioned. It is slightly older as well, published in the 1960s. Her take on it is: “It was a little interesting. It was okay for a school book.” That’s actually pretty high praise.

New Amsterdam Days and Ways byD.N. Hults — My 13-year-old read this one. It seemed to tell quite a bit about life in new Amsterdam and he did a good job narrating it (which I take as a sign of a good book). It did not seem like hard reading for him.

The World of William Penn by Genevieve Foster — Yet another Foster book. I am having ym 12-year-old read this one. As with all her books, it gives a broader geographic context, but it is not as lengthy as her John Smith book. It seems to be easier reading too, probably simpler than what my 12yo needs but I like the added details.

The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh — My 8-year-old had enjoyed a number of Dalgliesh books. This one is about a girl of 8 or so years old herself who travels west from Massachusetts to find a new home with her dad. Presumably they will then send for the rest of the family. It definitely appeals to my 8yo Massachusetts-ite.

The Cabin faced West by Jean Fritz — Yet another favorite author. Some of her books are silly but this one is just a story of a family settling in the west, which I think at that time was just western Pennsylvania, My 10-year-old has been doing okay with it.

That’s what I’ve got on the colonies. Next time: war between the French and English.




2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall — We began this book last year when we studied the colonization of America and are continuing through it this year. I continue to love this book. The chapters usually make […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Calvinist day-school

...bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Sabbath Mood Homeschool

Desiring That a Sabbath Mood Rest on Your Homeschool


my musings, wise or otherwise


A Literary Homestead


Blogging about education, theology, and more

Harmony Fine Arts

Blogging about education, theology, and more

Sage Parnassus

Blogging about education, theology, and more

A peaceful day

Blogging about education, theology, and more

Living Charlotte Mason in California

Blogging about education, theology, and more


Weekly Walrus Whatevers

Creations by Maris

Handwoven Textiles

Fisher Academy International ~ Teaching Home

Blogging about education, theology, and more


Blogging about education, theology, and more

Homeschooling Middle East

A Homeschooling/Unschooling Adventure from Bahrain to Dubai that's a story for anyone, anywhere who's interested in offering their kids an educational alternative. Please have fun visiting and have even more fun commenting! We have now moved to Granada, Spain and I will write again once we've settled down!!

Exclusive Psalmody

For the Encouragement and Preservation of Biblical Worship

Charlotte Mason Institute

Supporting an international conversation toward an authentic Charlotte Mason education - awakening to delightful living