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Just finished my non-fiction book list for modern history for ages 10 and 13

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My dh reads history to the boys every night. They don't much like textbooks, but do love narrative non-fiction. So I have spent the past few days looking up all the award winning books, and trying to get some non-American books so that I can really call this World History. Right now, I have too many for a 1 year course, but before I begin pruning, I thought I would share it. It is often hard to judge the emotional content of non-fiction books on difficult topics without seeing them, so if any of these books are too much for my younger son, my dh will paraphrase or skip on the fly, or I will just have my older ds read them independently. I have also included some novels that each of my boys will read on their own. Luckily, my library has 2/3rds of this list!!!


Ruth in NZ


Modern History



Library books on: Edison, Bell, and Rutherford

The Wright Brothers: How they Invented the Airplane by Russel Freedman


Life in the Victorian era

Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850 by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Flesh and Blood so Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin

Shutting out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York (1880-1920) by Deborah Hopkinson

Oliver Twist by Dickens

Around the World in 80 Days by Verne

ds13 Beyond the 100th Meridian by Wallace Stegner

ds10- The Great Wheel by Robert Lawson

ds10 - Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers by Ralph Moody



Library books on Livingstone, Stanley, Shackleton, and Scott

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming

The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure by Martin Sandler

Reaching the Summit: Sir Edmund Hillary's Story by Alexa Johnston

Trapped: how the world rescues 33 miners from 2,000 feet below the Chilean Desert by Marc Aronson



The War to End all Wars: World War I by Russell Freedman


Between the Wars

Bootleg: Murder Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by Karen Blumenthal

Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929 by Karen Blumenthal

Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl by Albert Marrin

Experanza Rising by Pam Ryan

ds13 Growing Up by Russel Baker

ds13- Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald

ds13- Babbit by Sinclair Lewis

ds10- The Blue Willow by Doris Gates



Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration by Joanne Oppenheim

Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal-- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, Doreen Rappaport

The Good Fight: How WW2 was Won by Stephen Ambrose

Frontier of Dreams: The Weight of the World Wars (NZ perspective)

Diary of a Kiwi Soldier in WW2 by Cecil Coughlan

The Secret Armies: Spies, Counterspies, and Saboteurs by Albert Marrin

Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler's Shadow

ds10- Miracle on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen

ds10- House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong

ds10- Winged Watchmen by Hilda Von Stockum


Asia and Oceania

Library Books on NZ and Australia

Young Fu of Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis

The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle

Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle

Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China by Guy Delisle

Illustrated History of the South Pacific by Marcia Stenson

ds10- Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry



Black Gold: The Story of Oil in our lives by Albert Marrin

ds13- Silent Spring by Rachel Carson


Civil Rights

After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Non-violent Resistance Perry O'Brien

They Call themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom by Sue Macy


Cold War

When the Wall Came Down: The Berlin Wall and the Fall of Soviet Communism by Schmemann

Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin

Mao's Last Dancer by Chuxin Li

ds10- Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai



Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Thimmesh

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Just wanted to say thank you. One of my to do list items for today was to create a similar list. We are heading to the States on Monday for a a couple of months. History will be library books since they will have access to a really great library. I can't believe you did it for me on the day I needed it! Talk about timing!:)

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