Casting Call- American History


As I’ve said a million times- there are so many good books and not enough time to read them. I’m on the hunt for historical fiction and nonfiction that focuses on American history at the MG/YA level. I’m compiling a list/guide that I’ll provide free that will match up with the chapters in Everything You Need to Ace American History.

I’ve got a pretty good list of selections going and am pre-reading the titles that I’m not familiar with just to make sure I’m not passing along any duds. I’m using this method for my 5th-grade student right now, and if it works for us, I plan on using the rest of the Big Fat Notebook series next year. So, you’ll have the experience of one kid to decide if it will help you at all. If there is any interest, I can release what we’ve done so far. Otherwise, I’ll post about it towards the end of Spring. We will finish up in May.

All of this is part of a bigger idea I have of posts that show not how simple homeschooling is, but a glimpse into the thought that it can be open and go without buying an expensive package and that it isn’t that hard. It is time-consuming, there is no way around that.

So is raising the kid. It is an investment of your time that has worked well for my family. Reading and discussing has proved to be an excellent way to provide the kind of education that we couldn’t get in a traditional school setting.

I’m not just begging for commenters here (although that would be a nice side effect) Maybe you know a great hidden gem that I’ve never discovered. Old or new doesn’t matter. I’m looking for books that show off each period and have a great atmosphere and story. If you have a suggestion, you can leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter.

8 thoughts on “Casting Call- American History

  1. I have a few (mostly YA) things for early 20th century listed here:
    Mostly I need you to just come look at my shelves! So many gems.

    A few random favorites — the Calpurnia Tate books for turn-of-1900 Texas.
    Betsy Tacy for early 1900s upper midwest flavor
    By the Great Horn Spoon for CA Gold Rush/1849
    The Great Turkey Walk (just so fun)

    If I walk down the hall I’ll have 30 more favorites…

    1. I might take you up on that. My oldest is living in San Diego now and I am itching to visit him. Ooh, I live your list now I’m really excited about this. I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot bigger than I first guessed. 🙂

  2. I made my own literature-based US history curriculum for middle grades a few years ago. I worked hard on ot and am pretty proud of it.

    Here is the main link:
    Literature-based American History

    1. Thank you! I kinda feel like I’m reinventing the wheel now. 🙂

  3. Karen Edmisten

    You’re making me want to go through all my old blog posts and put a decent list together, all on one place. Here’s the link to all my history posts (which are mostly book posts, because that’s how we cover history):

  4. Karen Edmisten

    Also, Alicia van Hecke has a list I love, over at Love2learn:

    1. Maybe I’ll just make my own short one and link to everyone else’s? This is awesome- thanks so much!

      1. That’s a great plan.

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