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Need help with a book list (world history)


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I thought I was going to use BJU 7th grade with some added books but decided not to because it would just be to much. I decided I should just make a book list and have her read it with our version of notebooking and a timeline. :001_smile: I could use some help putting together a book list though because there's just so many books to choose from. :tongue_smilie: We did ancients this past year but we decided to finish world history to the present this year.


I need anywhere from 30-40 books depending on their length. Any suggestions are helpful! :bigear:

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The following is a list of materials (fiction, non-fiction, movies and music) that my daughter used in 8th grade. They cover the time span AD500 to about AD1700.


Eighth Grade History Reading and Resource List


Dorling Kindersley History of the World edited by Plantagenet Somerset Fry **

The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon **

The Story of Mankind: A Picturesque Tale of Progress by Olive Beaupre Miller **

The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart

The Man Who Loved Books by Jean Fritz

Across a Dark and Wild Sea by Don Brown

The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White

Brendan the Navigator by Jean Fritz

The Illustrated History of the World, Vol. 3, Rome and the Classical West by J. M. Roberts **

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley – audio (Vol. 1)

The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin **

Then and Now by Stefania and Dominic Perring **

I am Mordred by Nancy Springer

The Illustrated History of the World, Vol. 4, The Age of Diverging Traditions by J. M. Roberts **

Tusk and Stone by Malcolm Bosse

Muhammad by Demi

The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Real Middle Earth by Brian Bates **

The Middle Ages by Mike Corbishley **

Beowulf the Warrior by Ian Serraillier

Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye

The Collected Beowulf by Gareth Hinds

Maples in the Mist by Minfong Ho

Ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde by Caroline Arnold

The Arabian Nights retold by Neil Philip

The Age of Chivalry edited by Merle Severy **

His Majesty’s Elephant by Judith Tarr

Charlemagne and the Early Middle Ages by Miriam Greenblatt

Prison Window, Jerusalem Blue by Bruce Clements

Norse Gods and Giants by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire

The Real Vikings by Melvin and Gilda Berger

Medieval Knights by Trevor Cairns **

Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle

The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way by Joy Hakim **

The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle

Alfred the Great and the Saxons by Robin May

The Time Traveler Book of Viking Raiders by Anne Civardi and James Graham-Campbell

Blood Feud by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Song Dynasty by Scott Ingram

Hakon of Rogen’s Saga by Erik Haugaard

Early Explorers of North America by C. Keith Wilbur **

The Cartoon History of the Universe III by Larry Gonick

Fafnir by Bernard Evslin

The King’s Shadow by Elizabeth Alder

1000 Years Ago on Planet Earth by Sneed Collard

The Legend of the Cid by Robert Goldston

Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield **

Shakespeare and MacBeth: The Story Behind the Play by James Barter

Shakespeare’s MacBeth (video)

William the Conqueror by Thomas B. Costain

Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett

A Travel Guide to Medieval Constantinople by James Barter

Robin Hood by Neil Philip

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E. L. Konigsburg

Daily Life in the Middle Ages by Paul B. Newman **

Brother Cadfael videos: A Morbid Taste for Bones and Monk’s Hood

Tales of the Crusades by Olivia Coolidge

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Saladin by Diane Stanley

In a Dark Wood by Michael Cadnum

The Story of the Wise Men by Regine Pernoud and Canon Grivot

Canticles of Ecstasy (the music of Hildegard von Bingen) by Sequentia

The Magna Charta by James H. Daugherty

Marvels of Science by Kendall Haven **

The Road to Damietta by Scott O’Dell

Eyewitness Medieval Life by Andrew Langley

Music of the Gothic Era (The Early Music Consort of London/David Munrow)

Brother Sun, Sister Moon (video) (Wertmuller and Zeffirelli)

Book of the Lion by Michael Cadnum

Angkor: Heart of an Asian Empire by Bruno Dagens **

Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (video, BBC production)

Quest for a Maid by Frances Hendry

Castle by David Macaulay

The Ramsay Scallop by Frances Temple

Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen

Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed by Priscilla Galloway

The King’s Swift Rider by Mollie Hunter

Marco Polo: To China and Back by Steven Otfinoski

Cathedral by David Macaulay

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer as retold by Geraldine McCaughrean

Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (read by Prunella Scales and Martin Starkie)**

Dog of the Bondi Castle by Lynn Hall

Harold the Herald by Dana Fradon

Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354 by James Rumford

The Inferno of Dante (cantos 1 – 5) translated by Robert Pinsky

Beckett (video, 1964)

The Lion in Winter (video, 1968)

A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman **

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

The Second Mrs. Giaconda by E. L. Konigsburg

Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines by Deborah Prum

The Passion of Joan of Arc (video, 1928, Carl Th. Dreyer)

1492: Music from the Age of Discovery by The Waverly Consort

The Cargo of the Madalena by Cynthia Harnett

1492: The Year of the New World by Piero Ventura

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Great Painters by Piero Ventura **

Accidental Explorers by Rebecca Stefoff **

Greensleeves: A Collection of English Lute Songs by Julianne Baird and Ronn McFarlane

Beware, Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer

The Sea King: Sir Francis Drake and His Times by Albert Marrin

Elizabeth R: The Lion’s Cub (video, BBC production, 1971)

Elizabeth (video, 1998, with Cate Blanchett)

Den of the White Fox by Lensey Namioka

From Coronado to Escalante: The Explorers of the Spanish Southwest by John Miller Morris

Cantos 1 – 5 of Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves: A retelling of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Book 1 by Roy Maynard

On the Banks of the Helicon: Early Music of Scotland by the Baltimore Consort

The Inquisition (video, The History Channel, 1996)

The Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes (adapted by Leighton Barret)

The World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster **

The World of Lully by the Chicago Baroque Ensemble

John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress retold by Gary D. Schmidt

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino

Dowland: Ayres and Lute Lessons by the Deller Consort

Out of Many Waters by Jacqueline Dembar Greene

The Trial and Execution of Charles I by Leonard W. Cowie

Rembrandt by Ceciel de Bie and Martijn Leenen

The Reduced Shakespeare Company (video, Acorn Media, 2003)

Witch Child by Celia Rees

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper

Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery: A Tale of Venice and Violins (audio)

Girl with a Pearl Earring (video, 2003)


The asterisks indicate that only a portion of the material was used.




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A warning -- I'm not too picky about what my kids read, but I'd caution you to take a close look at Marion Zimmer Bradley "Mists of Avalon". There are some scenes involving incest and rape.


This is a good point. My daughter was a mature 8th grader when she read the books listed above, and we're also quite liberal. Please preview for your own children.




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