Monday, December 13, 2010

History and other Non-Fiction: the Ten-Turning-Eleven Edition

One is still up to his old tricks of devouring history books every night before he falls asleep; as has been his thing for years, we know he's fallen asleep when he lets the book fall out of his hands and bang on the floor over our heads every night. Since June he's read a lot of history, and branched out into some other non-fiction as well. Here's the big list:

Four books from the Essential Histories collection: The Spanish Civil War, The Zulu War 1879, The Indian Mutiny 1857-58 and The Boer War 1899-1902. Most of the books in this series have been hits. A few of them are too detailed on tactics and troop movements to interest him, but mostly he loves the chance to dig into different historical events in a little more detail.

The Mexican Revolution: the last of the four-book series, The Story of Mexico. This has been one of One's favorite history series. They are well-written and move along quickly. And he just plain likes Mexican history - just like both his parents.

The Spanish American War, by Georgene Poulakidas.

Battle in the Arctic Sea: a Sterling biography, which is a series that we've come to love. We've pretty much run out of them, though, which is why the Essential Histories collection is even more of a find. One other Sterling read in the last six months was Albert Einstein: The Miracle Mind.

The Tuskegee Airmen, by Phillip Brooks.

Going Solo, by Roald Dahl. The 2nd non-fiction work of Dahl's that One has read. He loved it as much as Boy.

I Remember Korea, by Linda Granfield. One loved the voice in this book, as the author used a tactic similar to Stephen Ambrose's of using different voices to tell the story.

We Shall Overcome, on the Civil Rights movement.

Another Sterling book, Martin Luther King, Jr., A Dream of Hope.

Revolution is not a Dinner Party, by Ying Chang Compestine. A fantastic look at China at the end of Mao's rule; One was both disgusted and enthralled.

The Wall, Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, by Peter Sis. Another "I love this, I hate this" kind of book. In other words: he loved reading it and looking at the powerful drawings, and he hated communism even more when he was finished.

Marooned: The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe, by Robert Kraske. This was a fascinating look at the man whose life inspired Daniel Dafoe's novel.

Jack London: A Biography. London might be one of One's favorite people after reading this. How can a boy not like an adventurer and a writer in one?

It's Elementary! How Chemistry Rocks our World, by Robert Winston.

Mystery of the Periodic Table. Another favorite. Both boys love chemistry - and to talk about chemisty - prompting Husband to comment recently "I'm glad I paid attention in high school chemistry; otherwise you two would be driving me crazy."

The Illumined Heart: Capture the Vibrant Faith of the Ancient Christians, by Frederica Mathewes-Green. I've read this at least five times; I told One to keep reading it and someday he'd get everything out of it. Compact and full of goodness.

And circling back around from modern to ancient history (thank you, Susan Wise Bauer):

Archimedes and the Door of Science, Herodotus and the Road to History, and Galen and the Doorway to Medicine. All three are from the Living History Library, and were all well-received.
Heroes and Gods and Monsters of Greek Myths. He eats this stuff up, as you can imagine.

Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church. One is in the middle of this one now, and has more to say about the Arian heresy than any decent 10 year old should.

I hoping this won't be the last year he can do his history reading at bedtime. He really enjoys it, but middle school homework may take its place, unfortunately. I guess we'll just not worry about that right now, though, and let him continue to enjoy all the books he wants to.

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