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Non-fiction American History books?

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    Non-fiction American History books?

    While I understand and agree with the classical approach to teaching history, my daughter prefers to read non-fiction history books to fiction. She hasn’t enjoyed the fiction selections for American history in 4th or 5th grade, thus far. Since she is an avid reader who enjoys a great deal of fiction and non-fiction, I am not sure this is a battle I’m willing to fight at this point. She has read all of the non-fiction American history books from 4th grade and the Smithsonian American History visual encyclopedia. I’m hoping to crowd source additional recommendations in order to keep that assignment as part of her school work.
    Heidi

    dd- 5th
    ds- 2nd
    dd- K
    And one on the way

    #2
    Outside of primary source material, "nonfiction" history material geared toward kids has an undeserved authoritative status and suffers from undisclosed bias.

    While my MP4er has loved the MP picks, it has launched an insatiable thirst in her for history books. We have really enjoyed reading collections of primary source documents. One of our recent favorites was Letters from John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings. It's amazing how a couple of years of MP scripture memory work has attuned our ear to early American English.

    Look to great American speeches (Patrick Henry's Give Me Liberty or death speech, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address) and colonial charters/proclamations (i.e., the Mayflower Compact, anything by William Bradford--Of Plymouth Plantation is a gripping read!), or letters from old patriots: I love this letter from Dr. Benjamin Rush to John Adam's some three decades after the war. It has dark humor and incredible insight into how aging war heroes feel when they witness a new generation speak about history they feel confident about assessing but who weren't there and couldn't fully understand the particulars in the way those who were in the "room where it happened" could.

    Not every child will find source documents interesting. YMMV.

    I have found that a few episodes of WallBuilders or Drive-thru History can open up interest in PSDs.
    Mama to 2

    Summer:
    MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
    SY 20/21
    4A

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      #3
      Heidi,

      Does she like the biographies of Americans? I loved those childhood biographies as a child. There are lots of those Childhood of Famous Americans books that we didn't put in our sets. And there is also a cute little book from a long time ago called A First Book of American History by Eggleston. It's one of my favorites for non-fiction American history. It is the same as the little Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans that we reformatted and sell. Here is the link:

      https://www.amazon.com/First-Book-Am...s%2C165&sr=1-3

      Tanya

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        #4
        My kids really liked the Landmark books. There are a few in the cores, but so many more if you check places like eBay. I think many are out of print. My oldest son refused to read fiction for what seemed like forever and he still really likes non-fiction. Historical fiction isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and that is OK. I also liked the George Washington’s World by Foster. There are several others. My younger kids are liking the Child’s First Book of American History that I picked up at Sodalitas a couple of years ago. It is published by Beautiful Feet Books and the illustrations are wonderful. Beautiful Feet might be a site to check out. Has she read the Hollings books like Paddle to the Sea? He wrote several others.
        Dorinda

        For 2020-2021
        DD 17-12th with MPOA(Classical Studies 3), CLRC (Latin 6, Greek 5), Thinkwell (Calculus and Chemistry), Vita Beata (Divine Comedy), American History
        DS 15-9th with Lukeion(Latin 1 and Greek 1), Vita Beata (9th Literature)
        DS 12-7th with Right Start Level H online class, Vita Beata (6th Literature)
        DS 6 - 2nd blazing our own trail with Right Start D and a mix of MP materials

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you ladies! These are wonderful suggestions. I’m compiling a spreadsheet with the titles or series and we’ll slowly work our way through then. Dorinda, she was glad to know she wasn’t the only one who preferred the non-fiction, especially the Landmark books, to the historical fiction. Tanya, our library has several of the Childhood of Famous American biographies and we were able to pick one up yesterday. 🙌🏻
          Heidi

          dd- 5th
          ds- 2nd
          dd- K
          And one on the way

          Comment

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