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What are your favorite books to go along with SOTW 2?


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We will be doing SOTW 2 starting in the fall, and I'd really like to have a list of books that were well liked to look for before we get started. Also, how could I add some church history to SOTW 2 fairly easily? (We are Lutheran, and I am definatlely looking for some Reformation resources.)


This will be for a 4th grader and a 2nd grader (with a preschool tagalong!)


I appreciate any responses!


Thanks. :001_smile:

Edited by momtolgd
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Lutheran here too. I like Paul Maier's picture book on Martin Luther and I don't think it's too young for 4th grade. We also read Spy for the Night Riders by Dave and Neta Jackson. I personally learned a lot from The Teaching Company's Luther: Gospel, Law, and Reformation with Prof. Philip Cary. But that's way beyond elementary level! We use Biblioplan and I think their note that there isn't a lot out there on the Reformation for younger kiddos is pretty accurate. A week or two on it would suffice.


Another book that I thought added a lot to SOTW is Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines put out by the Core Knowledge folks and available at Rainbow Resource last I checked. SOTW is pretty light on the Renaissance believe it or not and this added a lot. We did it as a read-aloud.

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We will be doing SOTW 2 starting in the fall, and I'd really like to have a list of books that were well liked to look for before we get started. Also, how could I add some church history to SOTW 2 fairly easily? (We are Lutheran, and I am definatlely looking for some Reformation resources.)


This will be for a 4th grader and a 2nd grader (with a preschool tagalong!)


I appreciate any responses!


Thanks. :001_smile:


We just finished Three Swords for Granada:



which is a cat/dog story which parallels the defense Moorish Granada had to put up against Catholic Spain. We loved it.

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The Paul Maier book was the only picture book I was able to find. But I think some of the chapter books from the Veritas Press catalog could work well as read alouds for younger children. I will update the list on my blog and put the Reformation titles in bold.


Something my younger children enjoyed was memorizing the 5 Pillars of the Reformation Faith: Sola Scriptura, Solo Christo, Solo Gratia, Sola Fide, and Soli Deo Gloria. We played matching games with Scripture verses.


And here's a helpful website I found:


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Here are some we've liked:


These are in order by the SOTW spreads. Literature/reading follows the history list:



Gladiator, Richard Watkins (good)

I Wonder Why Romans Wore Togas and other Questions about Ancient Rome, Fiona MacDonald

The Celts, Hazel Martell

The Story of Writing and Printing, Anita Ganeri

The King who was and will Be, Kevin Crossley-Holland

In the Heart of the Village: The World of the Indian Banyan Tree, Barbara Bash

Ramadan, Susan Douglass

The Story of Religion, Maestro

Mohammad, Demi

The Arabs in the Golden Age, Mokhtar Moktefi

The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient China, Leonard Everett Fisher

Japan the Culture, Bobbie Kalman

Look into the Past: The Japanese, Clare Doran

Destination Australia, Grupper (good)

Charlemagne and the Early Middle Ages, Miriam Greenblatt

Eirc the Red and Leif the Lucky, Barbara Schiller

The Grandchildren of the Vikings, Matti Pitkanen

Growing up in Viking Times, Dominic Tweddle

Who were the Vikings? Usborne

The Battle of Hastings, William Lace

The Tower of London, Leonard E. Fisher

The Middle Ages, Jane Shuter

Knights, Philip Steele

Castle at War, Andrew Langley (DK)

A Medieval Feast, Aliki

In the Time of Knights, Shelley Tanaka

St. Francis, Brian Wildsmith

A Samurai Castle, Fiona Macdonald

Saladin Noble Prince of Islam, Diane Stanley

The Story of Britain: Magna Carta, C. Walter Hodges

Blessed are You: Traditional Everyday Hebrew Prayers, Michelle Edwards

Dance, Sing, Remember: A Celebration of Jewish Holidays, Leslie Kimmelman

The Golden City, Jerusalem's 3000 Year History, Neil Waldman

Masada, Neil Waldman

Milk and Honey, A Year of Jewish Holidays, Jane Yolen

Chingis Khan, Demi

The Silk Route: 7000 Miles of History, John S. Major

Ancient China, Robert Nicholson

Marco Polo and the Wonders of the East, Hal Marcovitz

Plague, Katie Roden

Kids in the Middle Ages, Lisa Wroble

Life During the Black Death, John Dunn

Joan of Arc, Angela Bull (DK)

Women in Medieval Times, Fiona Macdonald

Isabella of Castille: Queen on Horseback, Joann Burch

Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta, James Rumford

Sundiata: Lion King of Mali, David Wisniewski

Mansa Musa, Khephra Burns

Sacred River, Ted Lewin

Where do you think You're Going, Christopher Columbus? Jean Fritz

A Long and Uncertain Journey, the 27,000-mile Voyage of Vasco da Gama, Joan Goodman

Who Really Discovered America? Stephen Krensky

The Story of Amerigo Vespucci: Forgotten Voyager, Ann Alper

The Great Adventure of Christopher Columbus, a pop-up book, Jean Fritz

Exploring the World, Magellan, Michael Burgan

Growing up in Aztec Times, Marion Wood

The Aztecs, Peter Chrisp

Hands of the Maya, Villagers at Work and Play, Rachel Crandell

The Incas, Tim Wood

Cortes: Conqueror of Mexico, William Jacobs

The Middle Passage, Tom Feelings (VERY strong; pre-read!)

King Henry VIII, Robert Green

Luther the Leader, Virgil Robinson

A Medieval Cathedral, Fiona Macdonald

Journey through History: The Renaissance, Carme Peris

Breaking into Print, Stephen Krensky

Gutenberg, Leonard Fisher

How a Book is Made, Aliki

Watched Getting to Know the Worlds Greatest Artists: Rembrandt and Da Vinci

Lives of the Artists, Kathleen Krull

Leonardo da Vinci, Diane Stanley

Michelangelo, Diane Stanley

Introducing Michelangelo, Robin Richmond

Leonardo da Vinci, Norman Marshall

Science in the Renaissance, Brendan January

Galileo, Fisher

Good Queen Bess, Diane Stanley

Bard of Avon, Diane Stanley

A Child's Portrait of Shakespeare, Lois Burdett

Sir Walter Raleigh, Artuhur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

John Cabot and the Rediscovery of North America, Charles Shields

Famous Explorers: Jacques Cartier, Jeff Donaldson-Forbes

Fast Forward Shipwreck, Claire Aston

See Inside a Galleon, Jonathan Rutland

Exploring the World: Cartier, Jean Blashfield

Inside Story a 16th Century Galleon, Richard Humble

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And here's the rest of the story, because that was too long:




Roman Myths, Geraldine McCaughrean

Rome Antics, David Macaulay

The Roman Twins, Roy Gerrard

Beowulf the Warrior, Ian Serraillier

Celtic Myths, Sam McBratney

The Holy Twins, Benedict and Scholastica, Kathleen Norris

The Last Snake in Ireland: a story about St. Patrick, Sheila Macgill-Callahan

Across a Dark and Wild Seak, Don Brown (re: Columba)

The Man Who Loved Books, Jean Fritz (re: Columba)

Otto of the Silver Hand, Howard Pyle

Favorite Medieval Tales, Mary Pope Osborne (used this book several times during year)

The Baker's Dozen: a Saint Nicholas Tale, Aaron Shepard

The Legend of Saint Nicholas, Demi

Young Arthur, Robert San Souci

Lancelot, Hudson Talbott

The King's Chessboard, David Birch

The Very Hungry Lion, Gita Wolf

The Wizard Punchkin, Joanna Troughton

The Hundredth Name, Oppenheim

The Three Princes: a tale from the Middle East, Kimmel

An Arabian Tale: Hosni the Dreamer, Ehud Ben-Ezer (good)

Ali, Child of the Desert, Jonathan London (good)

The Tale of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Eric Kimmel (good)

The Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Eric Kimmel

Sinbad the Sailor, Stephanie Laslett

Cat and Rat: the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac, Ed Young

Lord of the Cranes, Kerstin Chen

Two of Everything, Lily Toy Hong

The Warlord's Puzzle, Virginia Pilegard

Yeh-Shen, A Cinderella story from China, Ai-Ling Louie

The Emperor and the Nightingale, Hans Christian Anderson (on tape)

The Crane Wife, Odds Bodkin

The Boy who Drew Cats, Margaret Hodges

Little Oh, Jim Lamarche

The Seven Gods of Luck, David Kudler

Yoshi's Feast, Kimiko Kajikawa

Mysterious Tales of Japan, Rafe Martin

Kongi and Potgi, a Cinderella Story from Korea, Oki Han

Mr. Pak Buys a Story, Carol Farley

The Rabbit's Judgment, Suzanne Han

The Story of Rosy Dock, Jeannie Baker

Going for Oysters, Jeanie Adams (good)

Favorite Fairy Tales Told in France, Virginia Haviland

Three Golden Oranges, Alma Flor Ada

Favorite Fairy Tales told in Spain, Virginia Haviland

The Beautiful Butterfly: a Folktale from Spain, Judy Sierra

Castles in Spain: From the Alhambra, Jane Watson

Puss in Boots, Fred Marcellino

Tales from Perraults, Ann Lawrence

Toads and Diamonds, Charlotte Huck

East o' the Sun and West O' the Moon, P. J. Lynch

Leif the Lucky, D'Aulaires

Favorite Norse Myths, Mary Pope Osborne

Odin's Family: Myths of the Vikings, Neil Philip

Castle Diary, the Journal of Tobias Burgess, Page, Richard Platt

Till Year's Good End, a Calendar of Medieval Labors, W. Nikola-Lisa

Saint George and the Dragon, Margaret Hodges

The Reluctant Dragon, Kenneth Grahame

The Making of a Knight, Patrick O'Brien

The Samurai's Daughter, Robert D. San Souci

The Inch-High Samurai, Shiroka Samatsu

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table, Cindy Neuschwander

Three Samurai Cats, Eric Kimmel (good)

Knights of the Round Table, Gwen Gross

The Dragons are Singing Tonight, Jack Prelutsky

The Gargoyle on the Roof, Jack Prelutsky

The Braggin' Dragon, Bill Martin, Jr.

The Saracen Maid, Leon Garfield

The Legend of Robin Hood, Dami Editore

Don't Know Much about the Pilgrim's, Kenneth Davis

Pilgrims of Plymouth, Susan Goodman

On the Mayflower, Kate Waters

The First Thanksgiving, Jean C. George

The Rabbit Who Flew, Renate Dollinger

Raisel's Riddle, Erica Silverman

Snow in Jerusalem, Deborah da Costa

The Tale of Meshka the Kvetch, Carol Chapman

The Hunter, A Chinese Folktale, Mary Casanova

The Dragon Prince, Laurence Yep

The Emperor and the Kite, Jane Yolen

Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun's Kung Fu, Emily McCully (good!)

Bitter Dumplings, Jeanne Lee

The Weaving of a Dream, Marilee Heyer

Bestiary: an Illuminated Alphabet of Medieval Beasts, Jonathan Hunt

Clay Boy, Mirra Ginsburg

The Old Man and His Birds, Mirra Ginsburg

Baboushka and the Three Kings, Ruth Robbins

The Littlest Matryoshka, Corinne Bliss

Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, Marianna Mayer

The White Stag, Kate Seredy (I LOVE this book! totally boybarian!)

The Legend of the Persian Carpet, Tomie de Paola

The Seven Wise Princesses, Wafa Tarnowska (good! pre-read; might be difficult for youngers to understand)

The Duchess Bakes a Cake, Virginia Kahl

Little Johnny Buttermilk, Jan Wahl

The Acrobat and the Angel, Mark Shannon

The Red Balloon, Albert la Morisse

Up the Chimney, Margaret Hodges

Joan of Arc, Michael Morpurgo

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lesley Sims

Tom Thumb and Other Favorites, L. Leslie Brooke

Tales from Shakespeare, Charles and Mary Lamb

Nanta's Lion, Suse Macdonald

Africa Calling, Nighttime Falling, Daniel Adlerman

Count Your Way through India, Jim Haskins

The Old Woman and the Red Pumpkin, Betsy Banc

The Rumor: a Jataka Tale from India, Jan Thornhill

So Say the Little Monkeys, Nancy Van Lann

Cuckoo, Lois Ehlert

Moon Roper, Lois Ehlert

My Song is a Piece of Jade, Toni de Gerez

Musicians of the Sun, Gerald McDermott

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, John Steptoe

Koi and the Kola Nuts, Brian Gleeson

This for That, Verna Aardema

Starwalk, S. Simon

Francis, the Poor Man of Assisi, Tomi de Paola

The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh, Janet Nolan

Leonardo and the Flying Boy, Laurence Anholt

Katie and the Mona Lisa, James Mathew

Leonardo's Horse, Jean Fritz

Marguerite Makes a Book, Bruce Robertson

Pish Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch, Nancy Willard

The Genius of Leonardo, Guido Visconti

Brother Wolf of Gubbio, Colony Santangelo

Starry Messenger, Peter Sis

She was Nice to Mice, Alexandra Sheedy

Hear, Hear, Mr. Shakespeare, Bruce Koscielniak

Macbeth, Bruce Coville

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coville

Romeo and Juliet, Lois Burdett

Hamlet, Burdett

The Tempest, Ann Beneduce

Don Quixote and the Windmills, Leonard Fisher


Son's Reading that was related to history topics:


Androcles and the Lion, Janet Stevens

Romulus and Remus, Anne Rockwell

Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland, Tomie de Paola

In the Moonlight Mist: a Korean Tale, Daniel San Souci

Yo, Vikings! Judith Schachner

Felipa and the Day of the Dead, Birte Muller

My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, Becky Reyher

Veronica, Rober Duvoisin

Tom Tit Tot, Evaline Ness

The Toy Brother, William Steig

Joan of Arc, Shana Corry

Brendan the Navigator, Jean Fritz

African Tales, Uh-Huh, Ashley Bryan

Young Christopher Columbus: Discoverer of New Worlds, Eric Carpenter

Meet Christopher Columbus, James de Kay

A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus, David Adler

Christopher Columbus, Stephen Krensky

The Cabin Faced West, Jean Fritz

Ferdinand Magellan: The First Voyager Around the World, Jim Gallagher

The Legend of Lord Eight Deer: An Epic of Ancient Mexico, John Pohl

The Last Snake in Ireland: a Story about Saint Patrick, Sheila MacGill-Callahan

Saint Patrick, Ann Tompert

The Life and Work of Leanardo da Vinci, Sean Connolly

Galileo, Jacqueline Mitton

Day of the Knights, Christopher Maynard

Robin Hood, Angela Bull

Uh-oh, Leonardo! Robert Sabuda

Elizabeth the First, Carol Greene

Welcome to the Globe! Peter Chrisp

How Snowshoe Hare Rescued the Sun, Emery and Durga Bernhard

The Huron Carol, Frances Tyrrell

Do Pirates Take Baths? Kathy Tucker

Sir Francis Drake: His Daring Deeds, Roy Gerrard

The Princess and the Painter, Jane Johnson

Pirates: Robbers of the High Seas, Gail Gibbons

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...and I heartily second the Paul Maier book and "Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines." The PM book has a Lutheran bias, and I would say that RBFM is not biased at all--very tricky under the circumstances. Avoid the book "The Reformation" that is recommended in the AG. It is extremely biased in the RC direction, and was inaccurate in places. There are two books by Miriam Greenblatt that are particularly good for background for this era and location: "Suleyman the Magnificent" and "Lorenzo De'Medici."


Having gone through all of those books, you might want to take a look at "Teh Story oft he REcaissance and Reformation" by Christine Miller. It has a good, long section on Luther's life that is quite well done. I would say that it's at a level too high for your younger child, but if your older one has heard the basics of the story from the other reading, you could use this to take him to a deeper level. I have not read that whole book, so I don't know how good it is overall.


I use Concordia Publishing House's series "Voyages" for Bible, and it covers the Reformation quite well in the middle grades. So if you're using it (and it's very good, by the way) you might not need much in the way of separate resources.


The old "Luther" movie is still available from Lutheran Hour Ministries--it's black and white and very good. I watched it as a kid, and seeing it as an adult, I'm really impressed with the way that it has stood up historically. Definitely rated G as well--no really alarming violence or anything, unlike the newer movie about Luther that came 4-5 years ago. I would recommend the older one for children your age, for sure.

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