Saturday, October 21, 2006

History? I quit!

With the honorable exception of Usborne's Time Traveller which Star loved, my daughters dislike non-fiction history books in any shape or form. They have also developed to a high degree the ability to take in information through their ears and eyes and promptly eliminate it from their brains. The final straw was Angel yesterday, who proclaimed complete ignorance of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 despite the fact that we read about and discussed that very incident only two weeks ago.

I give up.

For the rest of this year we are just going to read historical fiction. I'm sticking with my plan to study 20th century history with Angel, but ditching Star's intended foray into the middle ages and having her listen in to Angel's books where they are appropriate - many are not, but if she does history-light for a year it won't ruin her entire future! She has voluntarily opted in to Angel's current read aloud, The Angel in the Square by Gloria Whelan, and I'll play it by ear from there. History should merge neatly with geography as we wander through Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

I already have quite a good book list, though I'll have to do a bit of pre-reading as there are some tough themes and some may be too 'young adult' for Angel ...

Women's Suffrage (British)
Bring Out the Banners by Geoffrey Trease
Miss Rivers and Miss Bridges by Geraldine Symons

First World War
War Game by Michael Foreman
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
(though WW1 decidedly did not capture Angel's interest, so I think we may skip these)

The Angel in the Square
The Impossible Journey
(Stalinist era)
Burying the Sun (siege of Leningrad during WW2)
The Turning (end of Communist era)
- all by Gloria Whelan, an author we are very much enjoying

Spanish Civil War
Toro! Toro! by Michael Morpurgo

Second World War
Dolphin Crossing by Jill Paton Walsh
Carrie's War by Nina Bawden
Fireweed by Jill Paton Walsh
Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry
The Silver Sword (a.k.a. Escape from Warsaw) by Ian Serallier
When Hitler Killed Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop
The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
The Small War of Sergeant Donkey by Maureen Daly

Communist Europe
Song for a Tattered Flag
(Geoffrey Trease) - collapse of Ceaucescu regime in Romania

Bosnian War
Zlata's Diary by Zlata Filipovic

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park
Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi (and sequels Echoes of the White Giraffe and Gathering of Pearls)

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples (and sequel Haveli)

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis (also sequels Parvana's Journey and Mud City)
Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples

One More River by Lynne Reid Banks (and sequel Broken Bridge)
Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye

South Africa
Journey to Jo'burg by Beverley Naidoo
Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope by Beverley Naidoo

The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo

That should be more than enough to keep us going for a year ... and I'm sure I'll find more!


Love2learn Mom said...

I don't know if you're interested in more titles or not, but my children very much enjoyed The Good Master and the Singing Tree by Kate Seredy (Hungary, before and during World War I) and Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan (Norway during World War II).

Alice said...

This is an excellent list.

You are wise to combine history for both girls--we do this as much as possible, and it really helps.

Anonymous said...

Does a 'book of centuries' come into play? Do you thik the girls might benefit from a little artistic documentation?