So, I was emailing with Natalie from Planet Smarty Pants about finding good children’s history books. And I agree they are hard to find, but if you look you can find some good ones to use in your homeschool history lessons.
Of course, it gets easier as the kids get older…… Not too surprising.
FYI: All of these Amazon links are affiliate links, I marked some of them with asterisks, but then I got lazy.
I’m just going to highlight some great history books for kids to get you started.
I’ve had great luck with the Step Into Reading series*. It comes at many levels, obviously. The higher the number, the harder it is to read.
When I taught in school I used The First Thanksgiving* for teaching about Thanksgiving. It’s at a level that gives good information without being overwhelming.
And some of them are just cute stories (Abe Lincoln’s Hat*).
There are a couple of authors that tend to have good books every time, no matter what their topic. Aliki* is one of them, and he (or is it she? I can’t remember) pretty much always does a good job of explaining on a level most little kids can understand.
Another favorite author for the early years is David Adler. I’ve used his picture book biographies over and over again when my kids were in kindergarten to cover important people.
Like I said, once you get to about 2nd or 3rd grade it becomes much easier to find good books. I still have my copy of “Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution” from when I was in school, and I easily read that 20 times. I found it enthralling the little details she included. Jean Fritz is a master of writing history books for kids to enjoy (did you know Ben Franklin was carried to the meetings rather like the Egyptian pharaohs because he was too old to be able to ride in a carriage without a lot of pain?).
And again about the third grade level is the My America series, there’s a harder reading level series called Dear America (girls) My Name is America (boys). All of the books picture up above I own, and have read (for a short time Scholastic had a “Dear America” monthly club where you got a craft, and some more historical information, I collected all of those to use someday as a teacher).
And, of course Magic Treehouse, which so many of you have already been writing about has a lot of great history wrapped in it. Sadly my kids never really got into it, much to my dismay.
Finally, there’s those random ones you find that you got lucky to find and love it.
I found a great copy of the Gettysburg Address one day at Half Price books.
So, that’s how I’ve found my random cool book finds. The older your kids gets, the easier it is to find books. I need to look through my teaching books and reorganize them and find stuff again because I totally didn’t keep up with my stuff, and now it’s all a hodge podge mess. Kind of.
And two random cute pictures: (Batman “sleeping” on Daddy)
I love that fake snore of his, so cute.
Want some more great books to read? I’ve got loads more on my Great Books to Read pinterest board
Check out more great history ideas over at the Massive Guide to Homeschooling History
Funny how I posted about history books this week, too.
You can tell he is fake snoring, even in the picture!
Raising a Happy Child says
Thanks for good ideas. I am bookmarking this post “for later”. I also had some luck with “Step Into Reading” for geography reads. I guess I am still mostly leaving history for when she is a bit older – right now she doesn't seem to have a lot of questions when we read history books which shows me that they fly high over her head. Thanks for joining WMCIR!
Thanks for the resources! I have to supplement geography and history as Little J's school doesn't spend much time in these areas if any at all.
An Almost Unschooling Mom says
Aliki is a she 🙂
Thanks for this! I just bought a set of Magic Treehouse books from Scholastic for cheap, so I'm glad you approve of the series (being the history master, and all)! Looking forward to checking out the others in a couple of years too.
Great list. We'll have to look for these. My boys love the Step Into Reading books.
I think we have that Thanksgiving book, but I'll have to double check. I think I picked it up at a library book sale…
I love the half smile snore =)
I agree history books for children are hard to find. I am going to remember this post and look for these books. Thank you for sharing!
This is a good topic for me right now because I've been on the prowl for young child books on Gettysburg, the Liberty Bell, etc. Because we are visiting PA, NY, etc next month