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Medieval History Book List

A collection of medieval history books for children

The books included in Bringing Up Learners Introduction to World History Part 2 program are listed in the first two sections. Books that would be good for supplementing older or younger students are listed at the end.

The Starting Point: World History Part 2 Spines

The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia Of World History

We continue using this resource from Introduction to World History  Part 1 as a springboard for exploring history. Internet links from the Usborne website provide lots of additional reinforcement.

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 2: The Middle Ages, Revised Edition

You can choose whether to use SOTW 2 or continue using E.H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World (or both!) to supply exciting history in a narrative format.

Living Books:

Marguerite Makes a Book

This gorgeous book explains the process of making illuminated manuscripts in a four part story about a medieval girl named Marguerite. This book is truly a treasure, and its magnificently gilded illustrations are great preparation for inspiring your own family’s illumination projects. All ages.

Starry Messenger:

Another fabulously illustrated treasure, this Caldecott Medal winner brings the story of Galileo Galilei to life in a beautiful and memorable way.

Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

An exciting and fascinating look at the life of William Shakespeare, in a format that all ages will appreciate! Well-done illustrations help hold interest, while interesting anecdotes and little-known facts (at least to me!) weave a compelling tale. Great for stimulating an interest in reading Shakespeare’s plays.

Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess

An exciting and endearing look at the life of a medieval page, as he travels to begin his instruction in the ways of a knight. Fun and interesting entries convey details about many aspects of medieval life, all beautifully illustrated.

Pedro’s Journal

An inside look at Christopher Columbus’ most famous discovery, from the perspective of a cabin boy on his ship. Novel look at the very human Columbus. The story conveys a sense of the hardships of the explorer’s life, and could very well inspire some journaling to boot!

Coat of Arms

This interesting and age appropriate introduction to heraldry includes a plastic stencil with commonly used images, so children can use the templates to design their own coats of arms.

D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths

This gorgeously illustrated book is full of all the great Norse mythical beings: trolls, gnomes, Odin, Thor, and, of course, Loki! These stories (like many fairy tales and myths) deal with ideas of character and right and wrong in dramatic terms that speak to a child’s developing sense of how the world works.
Minstrel In The Tower (Stepping Stone)

This exciting and yet sweet story about a brother and sister who strike out on their own to find their mysterious uncle will intrigue youngsters with its themes of youthful independence and co-operation, not to mention adventure and kidnapping! Brief tale with plenty of action.

Leonardo da Vinci
Some of the books I found about Leonardo da Vinci didn’t have any of his pictures in them! Diane Stanley has created a beautiful book that creatively interweaves da Vinci’s works with color illustrations of her own. Also includes many of da Vinci’s notebook drawings on the text pages. Fascinating story of one of the most interesting people in history.

Fine Print: A Story About Johann Gutenberg

Follow the exploits of the eccentric innovator who instigated one of the most far reaching inventions in world history, the printing press. At the same time, this book brings you an inside look into many of the details of medieval life.

History And Activities of the West African Kingdoms (Hands-on Ancient History)

Many history courses tend to overlook African history, other than ancient Egypt! I was happy to find this resource, the first part of which has interesting pictures and text that explain the history of three kingdoms of western Africa. The last part of the book includes detailed instruction for several hands-on African activities.

Who Was Marco Polo? (Who Was…?)
This delightful book is full of the page turning escapades of Marco Polo, written in an easy to follow and exciting style that is engaging and informative. Includes brief sidebars with details about life in the Mongol territories, medieval China, and medieval Italy, plus information about typical trade routes and obstacles to adventurers.

Classic Starts: The Adventures of Robin Hood (Classic Starts Series)
This retelling of the Howard Pyle original is particularly well done. Older students can often understand the difficult language of the original version, but this retelling will whet the appetites of younger students, and turn them into fans of the Robin Hood legends through its exciting selections from the old stories. For such an inexpensive book, it is very well made, with sturdy hardcover binding and a pleasant typeface and page layout, and charming illustrations. As they get older, I’m guessing fans of this book will be excited to read the full Howard Pyle version, to get the rest of the story!

Children and Games in the Middle Ages (Medieval World)
What could be more interesting to our children than . . . other children! This book takes a fascinating (and enlightening!) look at ordinary life for children who were living in the middle ages. This volume is sure to be an eye-opening favorite, as your offspring learn how far we’ve come, from the perspective of a child.

Supplementing Up

If you have an older or advanced child in your family, you could consider adding or swapping any of these:

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

Just in time for our new program! The most recent winner of the Newbury Medal is none other than a book of medieval character skits. This lovely volume contains 22 monologues (mostly in poetic formats) that help students learn about the people who might have lived in a medieval village. Ideal for putting on small scale family productions, as well as just reading aloud and discussing! The authentic language combined with poetic elements makes this book too challenging for youngsters, but great for slightly older students.

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