Tuesday 25 August 2015

Books for Children about the Middle Ages

We are using the Veritas self paced course on The Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation. Veritas has a helpful list of suggested books which we add at the point when these are suggested but we are also hoping to add  to this. My list isn't exhaustive. I'm using these books with my children aged 6 and 8 but do bear in mind that one of the children loves history and would spend all day learning about history given half a chance. 

This list is mainly for the Middle Ages and Renaissance. There are some more books that I would like to add for the Reformation but I need to do some prereading first, for age suitability.

I'm always looking for more ideas so feel free to suggest books.

General Books
  • Story of the World:volume 2. The Middle Ages. Susan Wise Bauer's book is the basis of its own history curriculum but it is well written and easy to add as an extra. We already had this book but not the activity book. However, since I found the activity book in the local home education library, of course, I borrowed it. The activity book has been a rich source of ideas and discussion, particularly, around the authenticity of the recipe for Viking bread.
  • Great History of Britain by Anne and Paul Fryer. This is suitable for many children of this age to read on their own and has clear, large print.
  • Our Island Story. This classic, by Henrietta Marshall, has many chapters on the Middle Ages. 
  • Simonetta Carr has produced a range of biographies in her series Christian biographies for Young Readers. These are beautiful books containing illustrations, maps and timelines. Several of these cover the Middle Ages and the Reformation: These books aren't cheap but are well worth adding to your library.
  • Ladybird history books again have a wide range and many cover characters from this time period. They are out of print but can often be found second hand fairly cheaply.
  • Saint Patrick: Pioneer Missionary to Ireland by Michael McHugh. Don't be put off by the saint in the title. This isn't hagiography but the account of a Christian missionary in the Early Church.
  • Beorn the Proud is the story of a young Viking chieftain. I am sure that this book presents a rather rosy view of life as a Viking captive but that does make it suitable reading for children!
  • The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge
  • Lord of the Forest by BB is the fictionalised story of an oak tree and starts in the Middle Ages. 
  • Enid Blyton's Tales of Robin Hood and King Arthur and his knights. The Veritas list includes the Roger Lancelyn Green version of Robin Hood.
Other Non-Fiction

  • Castle and Cathedral by David Macaulay. These are fascinating accounts of the way in which a fictional castle or cathedral was built.
  • DK Eye Witness guides including Renaissance, Knights and Leonardo. 
  • Double Take: Two sides One story. Battle of Hastings. This gives Harold and William's side to the story. My children have strong opinions about who was really entitled to the throne so this will make interesting reading.
What would you add to this list?

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  1. That is a great list of books. Double Take sounds like a good read.

    1. Double Take is a useful introduction to looking at different sides of a conflict. I think we have another, not about a conflict, but about the race to Antarctica.

  2. Have you looked at the older veritas (as in older grades)? I have been thinking about using it with my near teens but it is expensive and I don't know anyone who has used the older levels - although I think they look great - lots of meaty discussions which my son in particular needs.
    Thanks for sharing all these book recommendations! Fantastic!

    1. Claire, I haven't really looked at it but know that Annie Kate from Tea Time with Annie Kate has used it with her children. It is probably worth asking her about Omnibus.

  3. It's probably a bit late in terms of the time period you're looking at, but we enjoyed The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, last year, I think. Thanks for all your recommendations!

    1. Thank you, Gwen, I will look that out. I've heard of the title but not read it.