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Help me put together my wishlist for SOTW 2...


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What are the must-have books to go along with SOTW 2? My ds6 has loved SOTW 1 and we got wonderful recommendations from the board about the must-haves for the ancients. Can you all help me again with medieval history?


Also, what books would you want to purchase b/c you use them again and again and which books are one-time-check -them-out-from-the-library books!


Thanks so very much!

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So far we/ve enjoyed:

Augustine Came to Kent

First Empress of China

Science in China

Art of China

Art of Japan

Sword in the Tree

Arabian Knights

Shadow Spinner

The Vikings

Beorne the Proud

EyeWitness Vikings

Beowulf - I did 2 different versions of this this - one illustrated and another.


I have others planned but havent gotten that far. We keep getting bogged down in history fun!

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Marguerite Makes a Book

Johann Gutenberg and the Amazing Printing Press

Across a Dark and Wild Sea

The biographies from PeaceHillPress.com/ Acrobatic Princess, Forgotten Explorer, etc.

The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor

The Minstrel in the Tower

How to be a Medieval Knight

How to be a Samurai Warrior

Eric the Red, Leif the Lucky

Marco Polo Overland to China

Favorite Medieval Tales

The Squire and the Scroll

A Medieval Feast


As many readers as you can get for your child's reading level, there are leveled readers by DK Publishing and Usborne about Joan of Arc, Knights and other medieval topics.


There are many books about knights and castles- so that is relative to what your boys would like. We really enjoyed Philip Steele's book about castles and the How to be a Medieval Knight book. It spurred great converstaions for us.


There are a lot of wonderful books to choose from, I would try to stick to the ones that are indicated as IR (independent read) for your grade level in the AG, that really helps. Even if your boys don't read them, it will be books for their age, some of the books in the AG are too heavy (read: boring) for younger kids because they are too dense in information. There are plenty of picture book biographies out there to help with fleshing out material from SOTW.


Also to keep from reading double- consider whether to read the stories that are in SOTW or to use books. For example reading about Sinbad in SOTW or reading a book about Sinbad. This will help you trim the budget if you need to.

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We weren't using SOTW yet when we did yr 2 of the history cycle, but my ds enjoyed The Little Duke and Howard Pyle's Robin Hood as read alouds. We also got enjoyed a book called Coat of Arms that explained coats of arms, shields, heraldry symbols. It included a template for making your own too. (Don't know if something like that might already be in the Activity Guide or not). My kids still get our book out to make new shields even though we're way past that part of history. (Reading Narnia might be part of the reason, LOL).


I'm sure others will give more recommendations than this. I also like to browse the Veritas Press catalog for good reading suggestions.



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I guess I didn't buy a whole lot of books for SOTW2 -- my shelf is pretty bare for that period of history:eek: -- but, our library had a ton of books and I got good at working the interlibrary loan system too, so it helped stretch our budget.


One thing I did invest in, though, was Jim Weiss. The boys absolutely loved several of his CDs which fit nicely in this time period:


King Arthur and His Knights


Robin Hood


Shakespeare for Children


I could go broke at his site!:D


I also picked up a "Shakespeare Can be Fun" book by Lois Burdett, who is really fabulous at teaching Shakespeare to elementary aged children. I had gotten A Midsummer Night's Dream for Kids, and it was great to read it and also listen to Jim Weiss' version as well.


Another book that I had picked up was a See Through History book called Medieval Knights. Seriosuly, the boys looked at it for HOURS and HOURS at a time. And, I've read it I-can't-even-begin-to-know-how-many-times! I think that type of book is a great book to keep on hand during an extensive study of a subject because it can captivate a child's imagination for ever.


Another thing that was super important for our studies (from one mom of boys to another) was having lots of play knights and castles on hand (We even used them to act out the Battle of Hastings)-- and foam swords and shields.


Have fun -- it is a period of history just made for little boys!

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Saint George and the Dragon

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by De Paola

Saint Nicholas by Tompert

Viking Adventure by Clyde Bulla

The Reluctant Dragon by Grahame(read aloud)

Leif the Lucky

Knights of the Round Table by Green

Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (read aloud)

The Empty Pot by Demi

Clown of God by De Poala

Pirates by Anastasio

The Secret of Roanoke Island by Hubbard-Brown

Suleyman the Magnificent by Greenblatt



Some of these are read alouds. I did not label all of them because I did not mark it on my list. I got all of these books from the library.





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I second Days of Knights and Damsels--I like all the "Days of...." books, even tho I think SOTW AG has plenty of activities.

I also would be sure to read Castle Diary. It's about an 11 yo boy who spends the year with his uncle, learning to be a page. He goes to a tournament, gets sick and sees the dr., goes on a hunt, etc. It's a painless way to read about the facts of medieval life. The illustrations are beautiful, and it's a large format book (maybe 8x15?). I don't think you'd have to purchase it, but I renewed it at the library! lol

We also enjoyed the Viking Treasure Chest. We didn't use the Runes for fortune telling, just to see the letters they used.

I also liked Adam of the Road, but dd thought it was a little too much.

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