My kids and I love learning about history through historical fiction and biographies. Reading a story set right in the middle of the action just gives you a feel for the time period like nothing else can.
In today’s Top Ten post, I wanted to share some of our favorites from American history. This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means. Just some that stick out from our recent studies and a few that left a lasting impression from when Brianna and I studied American history together.
1. Across Five Aprils – This was probably our (Brianna and me) favorite Civil War era book. I haven’t gotten that far with Josh and Megan yet, but it’s one I look forward to reading again with them..
2. Johnny Tremain – I almost quit reading Johnny Tremain because it was taking so long, but Brianna wouldn’t hear of it. She loved it as much as I did. Put this one on your list for when you study the American Revolution.
And, don’t think you can cheat and just watch the Disney movie. It’s not the same thing. Brianna was very disappointed in the movie.
3. Justin Morgan Had a Horse – The younger kids and I just finished this one. It was one that often found me reading way past where we were supposed to stop for the day just because I wanted to find out what happened. If I didn’t read longer, Megan would often beg me to and Josh, who would never ask me to read longer, never complained when I did. It’s set around the time of the War of 1812.
4. Girl of the Shining Mountains – Best Sacagawea/Lewis and Clark book ever! Well, of the ones I’ve read, anyway. I’m hoping to read this one with Josh and Megan before our summer break is over.
5. Little House on the Prairie – Enough said, right?
6. Sower Series Biographies – We’ve really been enjoying the Sower series biographies. They include how the subjects’ faith guided their decisions. They’re not all written by the same authors, so some are better than others. We really enjoyed the ones about Abigail Adams and Frances Scott Key.
7. Guns for General Washington – Another favorite American Revolution story, we liked how the perspective would shift among different people to give the reader a really good feel for what was happening during that period in history.
8. Pedro’s Journal – This is a wonderful discovering the New World book written from the perspective of Christopher Columbus’s cabin boy, Pedro. This, for us, was a much better option than boring textbooks.
9. Westward to Home: Joshua’s Oregon Trail Diary – One of our most memorable books about westward expansion, Westward to Home made me cry. That always amuses my children.
10. Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims – I’m guessing you probably don’t need me to tell you the time period on this one. I’m hoping you don’t, anyway.
What are some of your family’s favorite read-aloud books for American history? We’re only to the point just after the War of 1812. We’ve got lots of time to cover and we’d love to find some new favorites.
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This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday and iHomeschool Network’s 10 in 10 series. This post contains affiliate links.
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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.