The other day, my youngest exclaimed, “I hate history!” This from the girl who carries around her big sister’s Horrible Histories collection so she can read the comic strips and laugh and at the covers. I know she doesn’t “hate” history. I do know several teenagers who avoid the subject at all costs because they consider it boring and unnecessary.
Yet, history helps us understand people and societies, trends and cycles, and how global dynamics have evolved over time. So, how do we impress upon our kids that history is full of treasure, action, and important knowledge? Introduce them to the right books! Avoid the dry texts from high school and discover fantastic titles that will bring history alive for you and your children. Our family has enjoyed the following titles. ~ Nikki
Top 9 history books list:
One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II, by Lita Judge
I love this true story about one American family that makes a difference in the lives of thousands of European families who are desperate for shoes in the aftermath of World War II. Judge includes pictures of the letters and foot tracings found in her grandmother’s attic, bringing the story to life for the young reader. The theme of human kindness throughout the book makes it difficult to read without tearing up.
Eat My Dust! Henry Ford’s First Race, by Monica Kulling
This Step Into Reading book chronicles Henry Ford’s interest in automobiles and his quest to build a car “everyone can drive.” It is an exciting tale that my girls have read again and again.
The History of Fun Stuff, by various authors
This fun series covers the history of subjects from ice cream to video games. Written for young readers and packed full of facts you never knew!
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, by Barack ObamaIn this beautifully written book to his daughters, Obama provides a stepping stone to learning about thirteen influential people in history while praising their attributes and contributions to our society. The illustrations are wonderful.
Magic Tree House Research Series, by Mary Pope Osborne
A perfect nonfiction companion to the popular adventures of Jack and Annie, the MTH Research series delves deeper into various topics covered in the fictional series. Our family owns them all!
Horrible Histories, by Terry Deary
Terry Deary often tells interviewers that he hated history in school: too boring, too many
useless facts, too many tests. He was commissioned to write a joke book with a little bit of history, but as it turned out, he discovered history is entertaining all by itself and instead wrote history books with a few jokes. Greatly entertaining, especially for the 9- to 12-year-old set.
You Choose History Adventures, by various authors
Have your kids discovered the joy of the Choose Your Own Adventure series? This series takes the same approach but guides through historical events. Titles include Life of a Pirate, The Civil War, The Race to the Moon, and many more.
Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone, by Jordan Stratford
In this historical mystery fiction, Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley meet as teenagers and form their own detective agency. The girls use math, science, and critical thinking skills to solve mysteries while learning about real figures from history.
Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
I have to admit, I put this book on the list as a guilty pleasure. I couldn’t put down this historical fiction about a female spy and female pilot during World War II. It is chockful of history that is rarely taught in a classroom, and the story is gripping.
These titles and many other intriguing stories are available in the GHF Amazon Store. Support GHF at no extra cost to you and delve into some fascinating history that you and your family will enjoy!
When she is not stuck in a book, Nicole Linn homeschools two of her three children, and blogs about gifted children and adults at Through a Stronger Lens. She is also Online Merchandise Manager for GHF.