Posts Tagged ‘book list’

Booklist: the American Revolution

  Living Books on the American Revolution

Adler, David. Picture Book of Paul Revere and Picture Book of Patrick Henry. Adler has a number of these biographies. Elementary.

Amstel, Marsha. Sybil Luddington’s Midnight Ride. Easy reader. Elementary.

Anderson, M.T. Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing. Has some mature content but we liked it. Teens +.

Benchley, Nathaniel. Sam the Minuteman and George the Drummer Boy. Easy reader. Elementary.

Blackwood, Gary. Year of the Hangman. Middle-teens.

Bodie, Idella. Secret Message. A girl in SC in 1781 has to deliver a secret message. Elementary.

Borden, Louise. Sleds on Boston Common. Fun  story. Elementary.

Brady, Esther Wood. Toliver’s Secret. Elementary.

Bruchac, Joseph. Arrow over the Door. A Quaker boy in 1777. Elementary-middle.

Bulla, Clyde Robert. Daniel’s Duck. Easy reader. Elementary.

Collier, James Lincoln. War Comes to Willy Freeman. Re an African American boy. Elementary (?).

Dahl, Michael. Row Row Row the Boats and Midnight Riders. Story songs. Elementary.

Dalgliesh, Alice. Adam and the Golden Cock and 4th of July Story. Elementary.

Fleming, Candace. Hatmaker’s Sign: A Story by Benjamin Franklin. Elementary.

Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain. Middle-teens.

Foster, Genevieve. George Washington’s World. Foster’s books make good spine books for a wide range of ages. Elementary +.

Fritz, Jean. Fritz has a lot of books on this era. Most are elementary with titles like: Can’t You Make them Behave King George and Why don’t You Get a Horse Sam Adams. Early Thunder is a slightly longer book.

Gauch, Patricia. This Time Tempe Wick. Elementary.

Griffin, Judith. Phoebe the Spy. Elementary.

Haugaard, Erik. Boy’s Will. Older hard to find book re John Paul Jones.

Hays, Wilma Pitchford. Hays also has a number of books on this era including George Washington’s Birthdays and Fourth of July Raid. Elementary.

Keith, Harold. Rifles for Watie. Middle years.

Krensky, Stephen. Dangerous Crossing. Re John Qunicy Adams. Elementary.

Kroll, Steven. By the Dawn’s Early Light and Boston Tea Party. Elementary.

Lasky, Kathryn. Voice of Her Own. Re Phyllis Wheatley. Elementary (?).

Lawson, Robert. Mr Revere and I and Ben and Me. Elementary.

Lomask, Milton. Charles Carroll and the American RevolutionThe First American Revolution, and Benedict Arnold: the Aftermath of Treason. I have not read these but Lomask is a favorite author. Middle-teens.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Paul Revere’s Ride. Picture book of the famous poem. Elementary.

Lowrey, Janette. Six Silver Spoons. Easy reader. Elementary.

Marrin, Albert. The War for Independence: Story of the Revolution. Marrin is just about my favorite author for history for teens. He also has books on Thomas Paine, Washington and more. Middle-teens.

Marshall, H.E. This Country of Ours. A good spine book for this era. Elementary +.

McGovern, Ann. Secret Soldier. Elementary. 

Miers, Earl. Magnificent Mutineers. Re Mad Anthony Wayne. Older, hard-to-find book.

Monjo. King George’s Head was Made of Lead and Namesake for Nathan. Elementary.

O’Dell, Scott. Sarah Bishop. Middle years.

Philbrick, Nathaniel. Ben’s Revolution. The Battle of Bunker Hill. Elementary.

Pratt, Mara. American History Stories. Older book. Elementary.

Paulsen, Gary. The Rifle. The title rifle is used in the Revolution though that is not what the book is mostly about. Middle-teens.

Quackenbush, Robert. Daughter of Liberty. Elementary.

Rappaport, Doreen. Boston Coffee Party. Easy Reader. Elementary.

Reit, Seymour. Guns for General Washington. Elementary.

Rockwell, Anne. They Called Her Molly Pitcher. Picture book. Elementary.

Roop, Connie. Buttons for General George Washington. Easy Reader. Elementary.

Schick, Alice. Remarkable Ride of Israel Bissell. Elementary.

Schurfranz, Vivian. Message for General Washington. Elementary.

Syme, Ronald. Benedict Arnold and John Paul Jones. Elementary.

Turner, Ann. When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia. Picture book. Elementary.

Vinton, Iris. Story of John Paul Jones. Older hard to find book. Elementary ?.

Walker, Sally. 18 Penny Goose. Easy Reader. Elementary.

Werstein, Irving. 1776: The Adventure of the American Revolution told in Pictures. I love Werstein. Not sure of the level of this one.

Booklist: the Settlement of the US

Living Books on the Settlement of the United States

Aliki. Story of William Penn. Picture book. Elementary.

Avi. Finding Providence. Re Rhode Island. Easy Reader. Elementary.

Brill, Ethel. Madeline Takes Command. Re New France. Middle years.

Bulla, Clyde Robert. Bulla is a favorite author for elementary. He has books on John Billington and Squanto (Plimoth colony) and Pocahontas and the Jamestown colony (A Lion to Guard Us) is about the latter. Elementary level.

Campbell, Elizabeth. Carving on the Tree. About the lost colony of Roanoke. Elementary.

Coatsworth, Elizabeth. Wishing Pear. New Amsterdam. Elementary.

Curtis, Alice Turner. Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony. There are a number in this series. Elementary-middle.

Dalgliesh, Alice. Courage of Sarah Noble. A girl in the early 1700s. Elementary. Her America Begins is talked up a lot in homeschool circles and it is a good book if you can find it but not worth the jacked-up prices. Also elementary.

d’Aulaire, Ingrid and Edgar. Pocahontas. The d’Aulaires’ books are lovely long picture books. Elementary.

de Angeli, Marguerite. Elin’s Amerika and Henner’s Lydia. Wonderful books on Swedish immigrants. Set in Pennsylvania I believe. Elementary. See also her Bright April about a black child in Philadelphia.

Edmonds, Walter. Matchlock Gun. 1750s New York. Elementary.

Field, Rachel. Calico Bush.  Set in Maine. Middle years.

Foster, Genevieve. The Year of the Pilgrims, 1620, World of Captain John Smith and The World of William Penn. Foster’s books make wonderful spine books because they cover so much territory, often including international events too. I use them even with older children and they would work well for a family with a wide range of ages. Elementary +.

Friskey, Margaret. John Alden and the Pilgrim Cow. Elementary.

Fritz, Jean. The Lost Colony of Roanoke and Who’s That Stepping on Plymouth Rock. Fritz is a prolific author. The Roanoke book is one of her longer ones and is middle school level. The Plymouth one would be elementary. She also has one on Pocahontas; I don’t remember the level of that one.

Guerber, Helene. Stories of the Thirteen Colonies. A good spine book. Elementary.

Hays, Wilma Pitchford. A favorite author with a lot on this period. Look for her books on Plimoth colony and Seige The Story of Saint Augustine 1702 for the settlement in Florida. Elementary. She also has one on the French-Indian wars called Drummer Boy for Montcalm and one set in New Hampshire — Trouble at Otter Creek.

Howard, Ginger. William’s House. House building in the 1600s. Early elementary.

Leeper, John. Meet the Dudleys, Not quite living but tells how a family in Connecticut lived. Elementary (?).

Lobel, Arnold. On the Day Peter Stuyvesant Sailed into Town. From the author of the Frog and Toad books. Re New Amsterdam. Elementary.

Lomask, Milton. Cross among the Tomahawks. Re missionaries in the 1600s. A hidden gem of an older author if you can find his books. They tend to be middle school level but this one might be elementary.

Longfellow, Henry Wordsworth . “The Courtship of Miles Standish.” The poem itself is quite long but you should be able to find a picture book version.

Marshall, H.E. This Country of Ours. A good spine book for this era. Elementary +.

Monjo. House on Stink Alley. The Plimoth colonists before they came over. Elementary.

Moskin, Marietta. Lysbet and the Fire Kittens. New Amsterdam. Easy reader. Elementary.

North, Sterling. George Washington Frontier Colonel. Washington’s early career. From another wonderful author. Elementary (?).

O’Dell, Scott. Serpent Never Sleeps (re Jamestown) and Carlota. Middle years.

Otis, James. Ruth of Boston. Middle years.

Pratt, Mara. Stories of Massachusetts. Probably not necessary if you don’t live in MA. She also has American History Stories. Elementary-middle.

Pumphrey, Margaret. Pilgrim Stories. Elementary.

Quackenbush, Robert. Old Silver Leg Takes Over. Re New Amsterdam. Elementary.

Sewall, Marcia. James TowneThe Pilgrims of Plimoth and Thunder from the Clear Sky.(also re Plimoth).  Picture books. Elementary.

Spier, Peter. Legend of New Amsterdam. He has lovely books. Elementary.

Syme, Ronald. John Smith of Virginia and William Penn. Elementary.

Vinto, Iris. Boy on the Mayflower. Older book. Elementary.

Winter, Jeanette. Klara’s New World. A Little girl emigrates from Sweden. Not sure of the time frame. Elementary.

Yates, Elizabeth. Sarah Whitcher’s Story. Set in New Hampshire. I loved this one. Elementary.

Yolen, Jane. Roanoke: the Lost Colony. Elementary.

Booklist: Exploration and Discovery

Living Books on Exploration and Discovery

New World Exploration

Adler, David A. Picture book of Christopher Columbus. Adler has a lot of biographies that make good introductions. Elementary.

Averill, Esther. Cartier Sails the St Lawrence. An older, hard to find book. Middle years (?).

d’Aulaire, Ingrid and Edgar. Christopher Columbus. Wonderful books. Elementary.

Foster, Genevieve. World of Columbus and Sons. Foster’s books are wonderful because they give so much of the historical context of what is going on in an era. I use them even for older grades. They make great spine books. Elementary+.

Fritz, Jean. Around the World in 100 Years and Where do you think you’re going Christopher Columbus. Fritz had a lot of good books. Around the World is longer than her usual and is middle school-teens. Where do you . . . is elementary.

Lawson, Robert. I Discover Columbus. A harder to find book by a good author. Middle school (?).

Lomask, Milton. Ship’s Boy with Magellan. Another good author. Middle years.

Noble, Iris. Honor of Balboa. We like this older author. Middle years.

O’Dell, Scott. King’s Fifth. Re Conquistadors. O’Dell has lots of good historical fiction. Middle years.

Syme, Roald. Amerigo VespucciCartier, Syme is a wonderful older author and has books on just about every explorer you could name. Elementary.

Arctic and Antarctic Exploration

Burleigh, Robert. Black Whiteness. Elementary.

Curlee, Lynne. Into the Ice. Elementary.


Bulla, Clyde Robert. Viking Adventure. Elementary.

Coatsworth, Elizabeth. Door to the North. Elementary.

d’Aulaire, Ingrid and Edgar. Leif the Lucky. Elementary.

Steele, William O. Story of Leif Ericson. Steele’s books are usually middle school level but this one might be elementary.


Gerrard, Roy. Sir Francis Drake His Daring Deeds. Elementary.

Monjo. Sea Beggars Son. We like Monjo too. Re a Dutch sea captain fighting the Spanish. Elementary.

Noble, Iris. Spain’s Golden Queen Isabella. Middle years.

Syme, Roald. Captain Cook and Francis Drake. Again, wonderful biographies. Elementary.

Living Kidney Donation Reading List

If you are like I was, when considering donation you just cant get enough of reading about it. Below are some of my top choices.

Living Kidney Donation Reading List


Marsh, Abigail. The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths and Everyone In-Between. Basic Books, 2017. I have heard and read Marsh’s story and her theories in various formats and I will say her research is fascinating. The basic idea is that the ability to recognize other’s fear, which is rooted in the amygdala, is missing in psychopaths and is present in greater degrees in altruists. The connection here to donation is in Marsh’s selection of altruists — she studied non-directed kidney donors. The science seems fairly solid but she is upfront about the fact that she has materialistic presuppositions that lead her to different places than a person of faith might end up at. I have a lot of thoughts on this book which I will likely get around to posting on at some point so stay tuned.

Mezrich, Joshua. When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon. Harper, 2019. This is not a read for those with weak stomachs but is a fascinating and well-written book about the history of organ transplantation of all kinds. The stories, both the historical ones and those form the author’s own patients, are riveting.

Sytner, Ari. The Kidney Donor’s Journey: 100 Questions I Asked Before Donating My Kidney. 2016. A short book good for potential donors and for friends and family who may have questions about the risks of donation. Sytner is a rabbi and writes from his perspective which is a little different than mine but I still found a lot of points of commonality. A short and easy read. Free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Websites about Donation:

Donor Care Network. The Donor Care Network uses the NKR’s system to create paired donations but aims for a higher level of care. Their lst of qualifying hospitals is smaller because their criteria are higher. I first began the process of donation by filling out a form on their website. I can’t honestly say if overall this made a difference relative to going directly through the NKR but my experience was a good one.

Living Donors Online has a long list of kidney donation stories as well as stories related to other kinds of donation and general information on donation.

National Kidney Registry (NKR). I did my donation through the NKR. They are the forerunners in matching paired donations to maximize transplants. I found the interview with its founder (see Donor to Donor under videos below) very interesting.

Us for Them. A Christian group promoting kidney donation, started by living donors. The videos of the founders’ story are moving and very well done.

Donor Stories:

There are so many kidney donation stories out there one can read (or hear or watch). These are some of my favorites.

Conversations with Living Organ Donors. This podcast only lasted a few episodes but the ones they did were quite good.

“Donating My Kidney at 19,” by Shelby Tacker. YouTube video. I wouldn’t normally advocate that one should donate so young but it is hard to argue with this young woman’s determination and sense of calling (she appears to be Christian). She tells her story well.

Cara’s experience as a non-directed donor

OK Solo, another non-directed donation story

Ray’s Story

My Kidney, God’s Path


Donor to Donor. YouTube channel. Including an interview with Abigail Marsh (see her book above) and Garet Hil, founder of the NKR (also see above).

National Kidney Donation Organization (NKDO) 2020 Virtual Living Donor Advocacy Conference. On YouTube.

“Why Some People are More Altruistic Than Others,” by Abigail Marsh on Ted talks. For more detail, check out her book (above).

Theological Implications

Lewis, Robert L. “Don’t Bring Your Organs to Heaven Because Heaven Knows We Need Them Here: Theological Issues Surrounding Cadaver Organ Donation,” Boston University. At one point I went looking for articles on the ethics of organ donation from a Christian perspective. I didn’t find much. This series of articles by Lewis is pretty much it. The title, as you may guess, gives away that he is pro-donation. He does gives many denominational statements on donation which is useful.

Stats and Complications

“OPTN/SRTR 2018 Annual Data Report: Kidney,” by A. Hart, et. al. If you like stats, as I do, this is a great but long report to peruse. If the reading is too much, skip to the charts at the end.

“Risks of Living Kidney Donation,” by Krista Lentine, from Evidence Based Nephrology. A scientific article on the risks of living donation. I will admit that I found it a bit much to read but there is an abstract and some helpful graphics.

Testimony of Jane Zill from Organ This is mostly a call for better follow-up.

“Life after Living Organ Donation Not Always Bright,” by David Wahlberg from The Wisconsin State Journal and “Lessons Learned: The Reality of Living Organ Donation,” by Donna Luebke from Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (vol. 2, no. 1, spring 2012). These two articles tell Luebke’s story. I do think it is important to note that she donated a while ago and that she had an open procedure which is no longer the norm.

Booklist: Native Americans

Living Books on Native Americans

Averill, Esther. King Phillip: the Indian Chief. A wonderful older author but may be hard to find. Elementary?

Bruchac, Jospeh. Arrow over the Door. Elementary.

Colver, Anne. Bread and Butter Indian. Illustrated by Garth Williams. Chapter book. Elementary.

Garst, Shannon. Picture Story and Biography of Red Cloud. Older book. May be hard to find. Elementary?

Hays, Wilma Pitchford. Little Yellow Fur. Wonderful author. Elementary.

Holling,  Holling C. The Book of Indians. I don’t love all of Holling’s books but I do like this one. Elementary.

Lenski, Lois. Indian Captive and Little Sioux Girl. We love Lenski’s books. Elementary-middle.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Hiawatha’s Childhood. A famous poem about a Native American boy. There is a lot of idealization here but it is worth reading because a) it is famous and oft-quoted and b) you can discuss how Hiawatha is portrayed and if this is fair and/or accurate.

McGovern, Ann. Defenders. Another good author. Her books are usually chapter books. Elementary.

Monjo. Indian Summer. Love Monjo too. Elementary.

O’Dell, Scott. Zia and Thunder Rolling in the Mountains. O’Dell has lots of wonderful historical fiction. Middle years.

Speare, Elizabeth George. Calico Captive and Sign of the Beaver. Middle years.

Spradlin, Michael P. The Legend of Blue Jacket. Long picture book. Elementary.

Steele, William O. Flaming Arrows and Buffalo Knife, et. al. Steele has wonderful, adventurous books. Middle years.

Syme, Roald. Geronimo. Older author. Syme writes great elementary level biographies.

Turner, Ann. Dakota Dugout and Sitting Bull Remembers. Elementary.

Various. If You Lived with the . . . (series). Maybe a little less living but a good series for reading about how various tribes lived. Elementary.

Whelan, Gloria. Indian School. Middle years (?).

Booklist: the Middle Ages

Living Books about the Middle Ages

The first time we studied the Middle Ages, I went to Heritage History for a lot of our resources. If you are willing to use older books (which are often better anyway) and don’t mind have them in a digital format, this is a wonderful site.  We went through the Middle Ages once in broader perspective in the first 12-week term and then once focusing in on specific countries in our second term.

Ackroyd, Peter. The Canterbury Tales . There are of course other versions of these classic stories. I happened to find the version edited by Peter Ackroyd  so that is what we used. The original tales are bawdy and this version includes those bits so I was discriminating. We did not read every tale and I occasionally edited on the spot while reading aloud.

Armstrong, Karen. Islam: A Short History. This time period is as good as any other for covering Muslim history. I have liked many of the short books in this series. Middle-teens.

Avi. Crispin (series). We loved these books. Middle years.

Baldwin, James. The Story of Roland. Version of the medieval tale. Middle years-teens.

Bonner, John.  A Child’s History of Spain. Middle years (?).

Cushman, Karen. Catherine, Called Birdy and The Midwife’s Apprentice. Middle years.

D’Angeli, Marguerite. Door in the Wall. Upper elementary-middle.

Demi. Marco Polo. Demi mostly does picture books on China. Elementary.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. White Company. From the author of Sherlock Holmes. Middle years +.

Florian, M. The Moors in Spain. Available from Heritage History. Middle years.

Gray, Elizabeth Janet. Adam of the Road. Historical fiction. Middle years.

Harding, S.B.  Story of the Middle Ages. Another older book. Middle years.

Kelly, Eric. Trumpeter of Krakow. A wonderful, don’t-miss book on Poland. Middle years but you can read it aloud earlier.

Konigsburg, E.L. Proud Taste of Scarlet and Miniver. Historical fiction re Eleanor of Aquitaine. Middle years +.

Marshall, H.E. The Story of Europe. An older spine book. She also has books on specific countries, eg. The Story of Germany and Scotland’s Story. Our Island Story covers English history. Heritage History uses Marshall’s books and I find them very engaging. Middle years but could be used with a wide range of ages.

McCaughrean, Geraldine. El Cid. Spanish hero. McCaughrean has lovely illustrated books. Elementary.

Meigs, Elizabeth. Crusade and the Cup. Older book. Middle years.

The Middle Ages: An Illustrated History of the Church from 900 to 1300. This is a book I stumbled across some years ago. It is not the best living book though it is somewhat engaging. I like that it gives church history. Middle years but can be used for a wide range of ages.

Mills, Dorothy. The Middle Ages. Middle years.

O’Dell, Scott. The Road to Damietta (about Francis of Assisi) and Hawk that Dare Not Hunt (about Tyndale). Middle years.

Paterson, Katherine. King’s Equal. Chapter book. Upper elementary-middle.

Pyle, Howard. Men of Iron and Otto of the Silver Hand. An older author. Middle years.

Riley-Smith, Jonathan. Crusades, Christianity and Islam. A good, scholarly consideration. Teens.

Scott, Sir Walter. Ivanhoe and Talisman. Classic. Teens.

Seraillier, Ian. Beowulf, the Warrior. A fairly short version of the story. Various ages.

Seredyk, Kate. White Stag. Re Attila the Hun and the Huns and Magyars in modern day Hungary. Elementary.

Skurzynski, Gloria. Minstrel in the Tower. Upper elementary-middle.

Stanley, Diane. Saladin and Lionhearts. Stanley had lots of biographies. Elementary.

Tappan, Eva Marie. When Knights were Bold. Middle years.

White, T.H. The Once and Future King. Classic version of the King Arthur tales. Middle-teens.

Withrow, Mindy and Brandon. Monks and Mystics. This volume of the Withrows’ church history series fits the period. Elementary-middle.

Booklist: Living Books on Ancient Rome

Living Books about Ancient Rome

Angeletti, Roberta. Vulcan the Etruscan. The Etruscans preceded the Romans. Elementary.

Asimov, Isaac. The Roman Empire. From the famous scientist and science fiction writer. Teens.

Balit, Christina. Escape from Pompeii. Elementary.

Banks, Lynne Reid. Tiger, Tiger. From the author of The Indian in the Cupboard. Middle years.

Church, Alfred. Aeneid for Boys and Girls. A good retelling of the classic Roman story. I find it to be a poor man’s Odyssey but that’s for the Romans and Greeks to duke out, I suppose. Elementary+.

Connolly, Peter. Connolly has some books with lovely illustrations including Greece and Rome at War, The Roman Army, The Roman Fort and Pompeii.

DiPrimio, Pete. How’d They do That: Ancient Rome. Not the most living. Elementary-middle.

Douglas, Lloyd. The Robe, Really a negative recommendation — I assigned this one  to myself, and honestly couldn’t get through it all. The writing is okay, though not stellar. At times it was engaging. But it is set at the very end and just after Christ’s time and says a lot about Him and His disciples and I found that it plays with the biblical story too much. Teens.

Foster, Genevieve. Augustus Caesar’s World. Foster’s books make wonderful spines that can be used for a variety of ages. Elementary +.

Gerrard, Roy. The Roman Twins. Elementary.

Hamilton, Edith. The Roman Way. Good older book on the culture and influence of Rome. Teens.

Harris, Jacqueline. Science in Ancient Rome. Elementary.

Hillyer, V.M. Child’s History of Art . This book could be on most of my booklists. We read the sections on Rome from all three books within a book: painting, sculpture and architecture. This is elementary level but one can still get quite a bit out of it at later ages.

Lawrence, Caroline. Roman Mysteries (series). Middle years.

Macaulay, David. City and Rome Antics. All his books are lovely. Elementary+.

McCaughrean, Geraldine. Roman Myths. Her books are lovely. Elementary +.

Mills, Dorothy. The Book of the Ancient Romans. Another spine type book. Middle years, but could be used for a range of ages.

Moss, Marissa. Galen: My life in Imperial Rome. Elementary.

Sinkiwicz, Henryk. Quo Vadis. Historical fiction set in the time of Christ. Teens.

Snedden, Robert. Technology in the Time of Ancient Rome. Elementary.

Snedeker, Caroline. White Isle, Forgotten Daughter and Triumph for Flavius. White Isle is about Romans in Britain. Middle years.

Speare, Elizabeth George. Bronze Bow. Middle years.

Tappan, Eva Marie. Story of Rome. I much prefer Tappan’s volumes on Greece and Rome to Guerber’s for style and the treatment of myth and false gods. These are probably written at a middle school level but can be used as a spine for a wide variety of ages.

Usher, Kerry. Heroes Gods and Emperors from Roman Mythology. Rome largely borrowed the mythology of Greece so it is harder to find books on Roman religion (but see this post for some books on Greek mythology). This is one. Middle years.

Wallace, Lew. Ben Hur, You really should watch the movie too. Teens.

Winterfield, Henry. Detectives in Togas and Mystery of the Roman Ransom. Middle years.

Booklist: Living Books on Ancient Greece

Living Books about Ancient Greece

See also my post on myths and tales

Asimov, Isaac. The Greeks: A Great Adventure. From the famous science and science fiction writer. Teens.

Church, Alfred.  The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer. There are so many versions of these classic sagas. While it is worth reading the full stories with older children, there are also many good versions for younger ones. Elementary-middle.

Colum, Padraic. Children’s Homer ,  The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tale of Troy, and The Golden Fleece. Wonderful retellings of these classic stories. Can be read aloud to elementary and used for a wide variety of ages.

Connolly, Peter. Ancient City and Greece and Rome at War and others. Lovely illustrations in these books.

Cottrell, Leonard. The Mystery of Minoan Civilization. Read about the Greeks’ predecessors. Middle years (?). 

Hamilton, Edith. The Greek Way and Echo of Greece. Good older books on the culture and influence of Greece. Teens.

Hillyer, V.M. Child’s History of Art . This book could be on most of my booklists. We read the sections on Greece from all three books within a book: painting, sculpture and architecture. This is elementary level but one can still get quite a bit out of it at later ages.

Homer’s the Odyssey, trans. by Robert Fagles. I really enjoyed reading this with my high schoolers and was surprised how accessible it was. If you want a study guide for it, try the one by Leland Ryken. Teens.

Macrone, Michael. By Jove! Brush Up Your Mythology. Maybe not the most living but I liked this book. It has short chapters which discuss words we sue in English which come from Greek myths. Middle-teens.

Mills, Dorothy. The Book of the Ancient Greeks. Another spine type book. Middle years, but could be used for a range of ages.

Osborne, Mary Pope. Tales from the Odyssey (series). From the author of The Magic Treehouse Series. Elementary-middle.

Robinson, Charles Alexander. First Book of Ancient Crete and Mycenae. An older book but good if you can find it. Middle years.

Strauss, Barry. The Battle of Salamis. For the battle loving boy. Middle-teens.

Sutcliffe, Rosemary. The Wandering of Odysseus and Black Ships Before Troy. Elementary-middle.

Tappan, Eva Marie. Story of the Greek People. I much prefer Tappan’s volumes on Greece and Rome to Guerber’s for style and the treatment of myth and false gods. These are probably written at a middle school level but can be used as a spine for a wide variety of ages. She also has a volume called Greece and Rome from her World’s Story series which has primary source documents.


Booklist: Living Books on Egypt

Living Books about Ancient Egypt

Asimov, Isaac. The Egyptians. From the famous scientist and science fiction writer. Teens.

Baum, L. Frank. The Boy Fortune Hunters in Egypt.. A geography choice from the author of the Wizard of Oz. Middle years.

Brier, Bob. Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians. Not truly living but useful. Middle+.

Fisher, Leonard. Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. More of a reference than something to read straight through. Early-upper elementary.

Frank, John. Tomb of the Boy King. Story in verse. Elementary.

Gerard, Roy. Croco-Nile. Picture book. Elementary.

Giblin, James Cross. Secrets of the Sphinx. I believe this was upper elementary-middle.

Glubok, Shirley. The Art of Ancient Egypt. Elementary.

Green, Roger Lancelyn. Tales of Ancient Egypt.. Various ages.

Macaulay, David. Pyramid. Macaulay’s books are lovely ones on architectural elements. Elementary +. Elementary-middle.

McGraw, Eloise Jarvis. Mara, Daughter of the Nile. Historical fiction. These are popular. I don’t think they are very well written. Middle years.

Meyerson, Daniel. In the Valley of the Kings. Archaeology. A wonderful find. Teens.

Mike, Jan. Gift of the Nile: An Ancient Egyptian Legend. An older book.

Mills, Dorothy.  The Book of the Ancient World. Mills’ books are popular spines. I actually find this one a bit thin on information. Middle years.

Morley, Jacqueline. Egyptian Myths.

Noble, Iris. Egypt’s Queen Cleopatra. Middle years.

Payne, Elizabeth. Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. A wonderful spine book for this period that can be used with all ages. Reading level is probably middle school. The Greenleaf guide uses this book.

Rumford, James. Seeker of Knowledge: The Man who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Elementary.

Ryan Donald. Beneath the Sands of Egypt. Teens.

Sabuda, Robert. Tutankhamun’s Gift. Elementary.

Scott, Geoffrey. Egyptian Boats. Elementary (?).

Silverberg, Robert.  The Mask of Akhnaten (Fiction about a boy looking for the mask) and Akhnaten the Rebel Pharaoh  (non-fiction). Middle-teens.

Walsh, Jill Paton. Pepi and the Secret Names. Elementary.

Warringtons. The Warringtons Abroad. An older geography book about a family’s travels. Middle years.

Woods, Geraldine. Science in Ancient Egypt. These books are not the most living but provide good information. Elementary-middle.

Booklist: Living Books on China

Living Books about China

First off, if you (like I) am a bit lost on the history of China and want a guide to walk you through it, try Judy Wilcox’s  Ancient China to the Great Wall . . . and Beyond. What I liked about this guide is that it gave me a framework on which to hang any topics we might study. It goes through Chinese history dynasty by dynasty and along the way also deals with other topics like art and poetry. It suggests other resources and readings as well as providing summaries for each dynasty. It also suggests activities such as doing one’s own calligraphy, but we did not use these. I did find that it gave different dates for the dynasties than other sources I looked at so I would use those with caution. You can see how we divided up the readings when my kids were little in this post.

Bell, M.C. Little Yellow Wang Lo. The name probably tells you this is an older book. Upper elementary, I believe.

Beshore, George. Science in Ancient China. Not the most living but a good resource. Elementary; could be used in middle school as well.

Brother Yun. The Heavenly Man. The account of a modern Christian. See my blurb here. Teens.

Buck, Pearl S. The Good Earth. A classic. Teens.

Coerr, Eleanor. Chang’s Paper Pony. Easy reader level chapter book.

Compestine, Yin Chang. Revolution is not a Dinner Party. 20th century. We really enjoyed this one. Middle-teens.

DeJong, Marguerite. House of Sixty Fathers. Upper elementary-middle.

Demi. This one-named author has lots of lovely picture books on all things Chinese. Some are folk tales and others are biographies of famous people. Elementary.

Flack, Margorie. Story about Ping. Classic picture book.

Fritz, Jean. China’s Long March. 1930s. Middle-teens.

Goldstein, Peggy. Long is a Dragon. On Chinese writing.

Greenberger, Robert. The Technology of Ancient China. Not the best living bok. Elementary.

Hong, Lily Toy. Empress and the Silk Worm. Picture book on silk.

Lattimore, Eleanor. Little Pear. Wonderful older story. I believe there is a sequel as well. I think it is chapter book level.

Lewis, Elizabeth. Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze. Chapter book level. Upper elementary-middle school.

Mahy, Margaret. Seven Chinese Brothers. Picture book.

Major, John S. The Silk Route: 7,000 miles of History.

Marx, Tricia. Elephants and Golden Thrones. Shorter stories. Elementary.

Morley, Jacqueline. You wouldn’t want to be in the Forbidden City! Not the best living book but fun. Elementary.

Nagda, Ann Whitehead. Bamboo Valley. About the bamboo forest.

Ng, Teresa. Strange Stories from Ancient China. Elementary +.

Paterson, Katherine. Rebels of the Heavenly Kingdom. Re Christians in the 1850s. Middle years.

Paterson, Katherine. Tale of the Mandarin Ducks. Picture book. Elementary.

Phillips, Eliza Caroline. Peeps into China. Elementary.

Preston, Diana. The Boxer Rebellion. Events of the early 1900s. Teens.

Raper, Eleanor. The Little Girl Lost. Elementary.

Seeger, Elizabeth.  The Pageant of Chinese History. Middle-teens.

Shepard, Aaron. The Monkey King. We loved this one. Elementary.

Silbey, David. The Great Game in China. 20th century/the Boxer rebellion. Teens.

Silverberg, Robert. The Long Rampart. Re the Wall. Middle-teens.

Tappan, Eva Marie. The World’s Story, Volume I: China, Japan, and the Islands of the Pacific. Part of her  The World’s Story series which covers different regions of the world, telling their stories and culture through their own myths, legends, songs, and historical accounts. Various ages.

Treffinger, Caroline. Li Lun, Lad of Courage. Elementary-middle.

Whelan, Gloria. Chu Ju’s House. Upper elementary-middle.

Williams, Susan.  Made in China. Not the best living book. Elementary-middle.

Yep, Laurence. Yep has a number of books set in China. Middle years.