Monday, October 14, 2013

#ReadItMD13 Theme Week - "The History Books - Children's books with historical leanings!"

"The Roman Mystery Scrolls" by Caroline Lawrence. Thrilling fiction, factual settings
We love history. We love visiting places that let us peek back through time, and we definitely love to explore the history of the world through children's books. 

For this week's #ReadItMD13 Theme Week we're delving into books with historical leanings. Whether you're a fan of the fun stuff like "Horrible Histories" or prefer the more serious history books, there's something for everyone. 

We'll start off with a series that's been massively successful, and has made its way to children's TV too! Caroline Lawrence's superb "The Roman Mystery Scrolls" often uses factual settings while telling brilliant stories set in ancient Rome. 

We took a look at "The Sewer Demon", telling the story of a young down-at-heel slave boy, Threptus,  who discovers something nasty lurking in the sewers. Avoiding bullies and trying to figure out who the midnight visitor is at a rich merchant lady's house, Threptus must keep his wits about him at all times in order to get to the end of this rather pongy case. 

Caroline's passion for all things Roman shines through in her books, and it's definitely a great place to start if your children love history and mystery going hand in hand. 

Though we've briefly mentioned "Horrible Histories" at the start of the article, we actually rather like the cheekily similar Tony Robinson books that take HH as their inspiration. 

Baldrick, what ARE you wearing? "Tony Robinson's Weird World of Wonders - The Greeks"


"Tony Robinson's Weird World of Wonders"  are fantastic fun, crammed with facts and figures about ancient civilisations from the Romans to the Greeks, and even charting the rise and fall of the British Empire. Though the books take a sometimes scatological look at history, a la HH, they do have some brilliant content - mixing the funny stuff with the facts to slim down on the 'poo' and 'puke' quotient to dish up some tasty nuggets of historical goodness. 

There's quite a series now, so dig in!

As you'd expect from Usborne Books, there's plenty of historical richness in their fabulous non-fiction book range...

The Usborne "See Inside" range. Absolutely essential for young historians!
The Usborne "See Inside" range are absolutely perfect for Charlotte's age group, with brightly coloured and engaging 'lift the flap' pages, showing us fascinating facts about Ancient Egypt and Rome. The range is brilliant fun, and Usborne are definitely a publisher who endeavour to make learning as much fun as possible. Fabulous books, Charlotte absolutely loves them to bits. 

We also love Dorling Kindersley books when it comes to our non-fiction fix...

DK's "Millennium Children's History of the 20th Century" - a big weighty tome full of brilliant content
We've got several DK books in our shelves but the DK History and Encyclopaedia range are our reference books of choice. We always go looking for one of these if we want brilliant photos, factual content not dumbed down in any way, and plenty of choice when it comes to books that deal with specific eras in history - from ancient to modern. 

Curious kids love history. Do you have a favourite fact or fiction book that has a historical setting? We'd love to hear about it!


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