Dry-as-dust history textbooks have never been for us. We prefer learning through living books. Living books are REAL. They are seeped in literary-rich language. They focus on the bigger picture, not just names and dates. They provide a third dimension to an otherwise two-dimensional study.
In short, they're just more interesting.
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While I usually use TruthQuest history as a guide in my history plans each year, I've also been known to veer off the beaten path. I often find myself coming back to one of these foundational series. They make for great segues from one section of history to the next. And since many of them are biographical, they add a lot of "personal" to some difficult-to-relate-to people and places.
Please note that the asterisk indicates an older, harder-to-find series. But, don't just hastily dismiss those titles. Be on the lookout for them at used book stores or online. You won't be disappointed!
While I have linked to only one book within each series name, each collection contains multiple titles. Be sure to check out the entire set.
Childhood of Famous Americans
Cornerstones of Freedom
Fact Finders Biographies
Great Battles and Sieges
Great Historic Disasters (for middle school and older)
History I Can Read (easy reader series)
If You Lived in the Time of...Series
Land of the Free (fiction series)
Look into the Past
Masters of Infamy*
Native American Series*
Step Into History (easy reader series)
The American Adventure (fiction series)
The First Book of...Series*
We Were There
World Leaders Past and Present
You Wouldn't Want to...Series
Young Discovery Library (history, science, and geography books)
Although it's financially impossible for me to own the entire series of each of these collections, I do own some and frequently check out the others from our interlibrary loan system. Keeping an on-going list of exceptional books and authors helps to ensure a robust living history study for all ages!
Do you have any living history series favorites? What are your go to titles?