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MamaSheep

What are your ancient history must-reads (read alouds)

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Suppose you have a 13yo boy and an 8yo girl and you are studying ancients. Then suppose you could only choose 5 literature-type books to read aloud to them along with your history studies. Which 5 would you choose?

 

(I'm not necessarily limited to 5, I'm just trying to make next year low-pressure on the mom around here so I'm picking essentials first, and then the "if we have time" items. Getting through 5 read-alouds won't be stressful.)

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Ancient Egypt: The Golden Goblet

 

Ancient Mesopotamia: Hittite Warrior

 

Ancient China: ??? We read the Chi'i-Lin Purse, a collection of stories, not a novel, but still good.

 

Ancient India: ??? never found anything

 

Ancient Africa: ??? only found picture books

 

Ancient Israel: The Bronze Bow

 

Ancient Greece: ??? We read D'Aulaires's Greek Myths but actually enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief a lot more. (I advise pre-reading to make sure it's suitable for your family).

 

Ancient Rome: Detectives in Togas was fun. It has a sequel "Mystery of the Roman Ransom" but we won't start that till Monday:).

 

Okay, that's more than 5, but at least I kept it to one per geographical area!;)

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Ancient Egypt: The Golden Goblet

 

Ancient Mesopotamia: Hittite Warrior

 

Ancient China: ??? We read the Chi'i-Lin Purse, a collection of stories, not a novel, but still good.

 

Ancient India: ??? never found anything

 

Ancient Africa: ??? only found picture books

 

Ancient Israel: The Bronze Bow

 

Ancient Greece: ??? We read D'Aulaires's Greek Myths but actually enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief a lot more. (I advise pre-reading to make sure it's suitable for your family).

 

Ancient Rome: Detectives in Togas was fun. It has a sequel "Mystery of the Roman Ransom" but we won't start that till Monday:).

 

Okay, that's more than 5, but at least I kept it to one per geographical area!;)

 

Great list!!!

 

:iagree:

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Go with Jen+4dc's list. The only other one we loved was Mara, Daughter of the Nile. Otherwise she has picked all winners!

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We read To Ride the God's Own Stallion, Diane Wilson, for Mesopotamia..... Haven't read Hittite Warrior......

 

For the late Greek period, you might read Caesar's Gallic Wars, Olivia Coolidge. Or Foster's The World of Caesar Augustus..... (We also really like Black Ships Before Troy, Rosemary Sutcliff. And she did The Wanderings of Odysseus, too.....)

 

For India, you could read Jataka Tales, which is an ancient collection of folklore.

 

Likewise, for Africa, you could read Tokoloshi, Diane Pitcher, which is a collection of African folklore.

 

For late Roman Britain, you could read the Eagle of the Ninth series, also by Sutcliff.... it will take you into the medieval period....

 

For late Roman occupied Israel, you could do The Bronze Bow....

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We read The Golden Goblet for Ancient Egypt. It was a little slow to get started but once it did, we loved it! My daughter checked Mara, Daughter of the Nile out from the library last fall and loved it so much that she read it twice before returning it and just asked me yesterday if we can buy it.

 

We read Classic Myths to Read Alound for Ancient Greece. It did a good job of introducing my children to all of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Both of my children read the entire Percy Jackson series. Even my son who does not care to read couldn't put them down. I highly recommend them!

 

I hope you find some wonderful selections. I will be keeping my eye on this thread since we will be covering Ancient Rome in the fall.

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For the Odyssey and the Iliad I tried to find something more tame than Rosemary Sutcliff and I really like Tales of Troy: Ulysses the Sacker of Cities by Andrew Lang.

The Æneid for Grammar School is shorter than other versions and more appropriate for an 8 year old if you want to get in that connection from Troy to Rome.

Emily is learning a lot of Greek Myths by reading Percy Jackson and then looking up some of the names of people, monsters, etc. on the internet with her dad. We all love Percy Jackson. I just ordered the last book of the series. :tongue_smilie:

 

Just an FYI about one: There was a recent discussion about Tirzah being a difficult book to read aloud and containing too much about a romantic relationship for an 8 year old.

 

We haven't gotten to most of the others, since we are behind you. :D Jenn and Regena listed a couple I hadn't heard of, how exciting!

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Ancient Egypt: The Golden Goblet

 

Ancient Mesopotamia: Hittite Warrior

 

Ancient Israel: The Bronze Bow

 

Ancient Greece: ??? We read D'Aulaires's Greek Myths

 

Ancient Rome: Detectives in Togas was fun. It has a sequel "Mystery of the Roman Ransom" but we won't start that till Monday:).

 

Okay, that's more than 5, but at least I kept it to one per geographical area!;)

 

Go with Jen+4dc's list. The only other one we loved was Mara, Daughter of the Nile. Otherwise she has picked all winners!

 

For the late Greek period, you might read Caesar's Gallic Wars, Olivia Coolidge. Or Foster's The World of Caesar Augustus..... (

For India, you could read Jataka Tales, which is an ancient collection of folklore.

 

The Bronze Bow....

 

 

:iagree:

 

ITA with all of these as well, and funny, but I just bought Tales of Troy by Andrew Lang for my dd next year. (It’s suggested on AO) :D

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I like The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy by Padraic Colum for Ancient Greece, although The Lightening Thief and the other Percy Jackson books are a lot of fun for free-reading time. For Rome, you might want to try The Thieves of Ostia (and there are a bunch more in the series Roman Mysteries) by Caroline Lawrence. The Roman Mysteries series isn't literary, as such, but the author went to a lot of trouble to set them historically, and they're fun and interesting. Detectives in Togas and Mystery of the Roman Ransom are good too, but they're a bit draggier than the Lawrence series. For some reason, the Lawrence books can be hard to find, but we got them from our library--it might be worth doing inter-library loan.

 

 

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We loved the Caroline Dale Snedeker books.

 

For Greece: Lysis Goes to the Play

Theras and His Town

For Rome: A Triumph for Flavius

 

Also: Tirzah (Egypt and the Exodus)

The Cat of Bubastes (and other Henty books) Jim Weiss has wonderful recordings of these.

The Bronze Bow

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We read The Golden Goblet for Ancient Egypt. It was a little slow to get started but once it did, we loved it!

 

This is really good to know. Back when ds was in fourth grade (our first year homeschooling) I tried reading "The Cat of Bubastes" to my family at story time, and even dh and I were bored to tears by the rather wandery writing style. We quit even trying about half way through. Ds thought it was incredibly dumb to name it that and not even have it be about a cat. And dd was too young to even care. Then we tried The Golden Goblet, and it took long enough for the real action to start up that it became obvious that I'd lost ds entirely, and I switched to a book of Egyptian myths hoping that short stories would get to the point a bit faster. That worked out pretty well. I think we'll skip The Cat this time, but maybe we'll give the Golden Goblet another try. I have Hittite Warrior, but we never read it back then...I don't remember why, scheduling conflict, or maybe I was just too exhausted by that point to do more than the bare bones basics with my son. (That boy was quite a handful that year!)

 

Which makes me wonder...is The Cat of Bubastes a good representative of Henty's writing? (Anyone?) Because based on our experience with that book, I'm not sure I want to even try any of his others.

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D'aulaires greek myths

Illiad and Odyssey - Sutcliffe

Golden Goblet

Bronze Bow

Julius Caesar (we're reading a great abridged version now)

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Brownie-what is that abridged version of Julius Caesar you liked? Thanks!

 

Great thread-we're doing Ancients next year with 10 yo and 7 yo!

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This list plus the Eagle of the Ninth and the Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff are very good. (Don't know about the China book above, but we loved the others.)

 

I agree with another pp that the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan would be good with ancient Greece as fun reading for both your kids. I did not like the 1st book in his Egypt series (Red Pyramid) though . I thought the plot rambled more and there was much more "attitude" /rudeness in the dialog than in the Percy Jackson series. If you are a Christian, you may also object to the Lord's name being used in vain frequently and the aspect of gods possessing the brother and sister in the story.

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Thanks for all the great books. I will save this list for later. We are doing Ancient with ds7 and ds5.

J

If you look at the tag you will find some more lists like this that are more suited to these ages.:)

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I second Detectives in Togas. What a fun book! It transports you to ancient Rome.

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You might try looking at some of the books by Alfred J. Church for your 13 yr. old. He's best known for his Iliad & Odyssey for Boys & Girls but he has a number of other books set in ancient times.

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&sort=relevancerank&search-alias=books&field-author=Alfred%20J%20Church

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Which makes me wonder...is The Cat of Bubastes a good representative of Henty's writing? (Anyone?) Because based on our experience with that book, I'm not sure I want to even try any of his others.

 

I have never read a Henty book, only listened to the audio. We have Beric the Briton, The Cat of Bubastes, and The Young Carthaginian. All read by Jim Weiss. He is wonderful and really makes this stories come alive. Maybe see if you can get one of the audio books from the library. Not like you have to love Henty:), but they are really good historical fiction. Ds and I have listened to some of these stories more than once. Just for fun.

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