It isn't easy to find a history book for younger children which looks at history chronologically so I was delighted to be able to review The Great History of Britain by Anne and Paul Fryer.
As a home educator, I'm not constrained by the National Curriculum. It had always seemed sensible to approach history chronologically and we, like many other home educators, had tried to do this. I was pleased to note that in the latest version of the National Curriculum, the Government has also come over to this approach!
Anyway, we've used various books but a real lack has been an up to date history of Britain for younger children. Anne and Paul Fryer have plugged this gap with their 371 page book. The book starts in Roman times and each chapter edges forward; ending with Modern Britain including a discussion of the European Union and the Channel Tunnel. Each page is illustrated with a relevant black and white drawing and the font is large making the book accessible to children. In terms of age, the book is aimed at primary ages. I read it aloud to my five and seven year olds. The five year old listened to parts but my seven year old loved this book and began to request it for her bedtime story.
The sections are short enough to be read to quite young children but its clear, uncondescending presentation makes the book suitable for a quick read for adults or teenagers who want an overview of the chronology of British history.
Many history books for children seem to be written from a secular humanist point of view and contain statements implying that religion is something that was only relevant to earlier times. This book doesn't do this, for example, in its coverage of the Armada, it states
Queen Elizabeth was delighted at the failure of the Armada. She had a special medal created which had an inscription on it which said "God blew and they were scattered".
This book does not have an overtly religious stance but comes across as respectful to Christians and the issues and concerns which been important to Christians in the history of Britain.
The Great History of Britain is going to be something that we refer to again and again.I would highly recommend this for all families with children of primary age whether they home educate or not. I liked the book enough that I have ordered another copy to give as a gift for an upcoming occasion.
The Great History of Britain is available on Amazon priced at £8.86 as a soft cover and £4.15 as a Kindle download.
A trailer for the book is available.
I understand that it is hoped to produce an accompanying activity book.
I was provided with a copy of The Great History of Britain for the purpose of this review. I was not obliged to give a positive review. The views expressed are mine and those of my children.
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