Thursday, July 28, 2016

History Corner: History for Kids CAN Be Fun!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these books, free of charge,from the author, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them.

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Last month I shared a new series of history books for kids, from one of our favorite children's authors, Carole P Roman. Today I have more of the series to share with you!

These books are 5-7 in the series. This book series is aimed at kids Grades 2-7 but even older kids can use the info in them for school! I would recommend having the whole set as a home resource! And not only are these great resource books, they can make Summer a lot more interesting, if you take one of the books and then devise some Summer projects around it, like cooking, play, museum or historical location visits!

If You Were Me and Lived in...the American West 

Setting the book before the Civil War, in 1843, this book centers on a family who leaves Ohio and travels across the West in a wagon train to Oregon. A trek of 2000 miles and 5 months! Miss Grace was awestruck by how long it took! She enjoyed seeing how similar their journey and arrival was, for her ancestors who came to Louisiana from Virginia.I was grateful for Carole sharing about the DIFFERENT Native American tribes along the way, acknowledging differences. 

Seeing how the log cabins were built, what food was eaten, children's names, and more, brought more meaning to our own family history, that she has heard and seen. Especially the tale of the 1 room school house! She gets to visit an actual old cabin school house every year at our county fair, so she was able to point out quite a few things from 'our' cabin! She couldn't believe how different the clothing was, and how 'uncomfortable' her ancestors had to have been! 

This book was Miss Grace's favorite of the entire series!

If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient China: The Han Dynasty 

The Han Dynasty ruled from 206 BC to 220 AD, and this story of kids in China is centered around 150 AD, the time that was known to be the Golden Age of China, when there was many discoveries and advancements. The book discusses 4 primary professions, which shows basically a middle class, that most kids are familiar with, and can relate to. Everyday life for kids is fully discussed, including food and 

I also liked how Carole discusses all 3 of the Chinese religions at the time, and showed how they evolved to modern day, such as the Chinese Zodiac, that modern kids are aware of , with different 'Year of" celebrations. Seeing how things were different and how the Emperor lived, with different rules than his citizens, is a way to help kids appreciate the difference between our culture and that of the ancient Chinese Dynasty. We have visited different museums, so Miss Grace was familiar with a lot of different topics in the book, but she still learned a lot from the book!

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Middle Ages

This book is the longest of all the books in the series, at 98 pages, and rightly so! The Middle Ages was such a world altering period! Centered in England, history, religion, culture, clothing, and social are all touched on, as well as jobs, coinage, education and the many advancements made during the period.

i like the many comparisons of the nobility to the serving class, to show the different sides and how there was not a middle ground, until land started being handed out to smaller nobles and they granted part of it to favored people, creating the stirrings of a middle class. But the book puts emphasis on the differences of education, clothing, food and activities, to show the gulf between the two. The book was very informative, and if Miss Grace had to do a report on the Middle Ages, she would have everything she needed!

Each of the 4 books features a glossary of terms for the book (very helpful for Middle Ages and China), although Carole does provide explanatory info in the text itself. Each of the books also includes a list (along with portraits) of leading people of for the time period. This is also helpful for use for further educational projects, after reading the book, and to set different discoveries into a time frame kids can understand.

These books are not only great for homeschoolers, for at home resources, they will be great for assistance during the school year, when there are papers due on these different time periods! Carole has done a great amount of research, and the books are excellent teaching and learning tools. The illustrations are by different illustrators, but they are all charming and help to explain what Carole is talking about very well, and help kids to understand more.

About the Author:

Carole P. Roman’s is the award winning author of the nonfiction If You Were Me and Lived in… series of children’s books. The first title in the collection, If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico, won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Nonfiction in 2012. If You Were Me and Lived in…Russia and If You Were Me and Lived in...France were finalists in the Indie Fab Foreword Review Book of the Year. Norway and South Korea have also been named as Book of the Year with Rebecca's Reads and Children's Reader's View Book of the Year. Roman has also found success with her Captain No Beard children’s books. Her debut, Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, was named a Kirkus Best of 2012, received a Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award in 2012. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and very near her children.

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