“You Wouldn’t Want To…” :a Recommended Resource for History

History Resources @ Three Cornered HugIf I haven’t already mentioned it, history was not my favorite subject in school. In fact, I would have rather taken “Watching Paint Dry 101”.

Now, as a homeschooling mom, my view is quite different. We both look forward to our history lessons. I believe this is due in large part to the way we’ve approached history–as a story. A fascinating story.

We have a timeline in our basement consisting of about 20 pieces of poster board. We’ve been studying history from Mesopotamia on, pasting little facts in the appropriate time slots.

While we’ve used many resources to do this, such as Story of the World, and various works of historical fiction, one of our favorite and most informative sources is a series of books whose titles all begin with “You Wouldn’t Want To…”  These silly books give you information from Sumerian times to the more recent American History events in a memorable way.

Amazingly, the amount and type of information given in these books means that they’re real competitors in the non-fiction genre. For instance, when we were studying Ancient Egypt, I picked up You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy! and a couple other from that series, along with some more “serious” works. To my surprise, the former contained almost all of the same facts as the latter–and in better format! The comedic presentation makes for an interesting read that will stick in the minds of youngsters–especially boys!

You can find these books on Amazon, but check your library first. In my experience, most libraries carry at least some of this series.

Here is a complete list of what’s available that I found at
http://teachwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com/2009/05/you-wouldnt-want-to.html

***Please note that although I do appreciate this series as a whole, all of these books don’t necessarily represent our views. Use your best discretion, as usual.

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Mammoth Hunter!(c. 10,000BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Sumerian Slave (c. 5000-2000BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Egyptian Mummy! (c. 3000BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Pyramid Builder! (c. 2500BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Assyrian Soldier (c. 2000-600BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Slave In Ancient Greece! (c. 1100 – 150BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Work On The Great Wall of China! (500-200BC)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Roman Soldier!(400BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be In Alexander The Great’s Army! (336-323BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Roman Gladiator! (c. 260BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be Cleopatra (69-30BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Viking Explorer! (c. 1000)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Crusader! (1095-1099)
You Wouldn’t Want To Live In A Medieval Castle! (c. 1200s?)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Medieval Knight!(c. 1200s?)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be In A Medieval Dungeon! (c. 1200s?)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be In The Forbidden City! (built 1406-1420)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be Married To Henry VIII! (1491 – 1547)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be Ill In The 16th Century/ Tudor Times! (1500s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be Mary, Queen Of Scots! (1542-1587)
You Wouldn’t Want To Sail In The Spanish Armada! (1588)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Pirate’s Prisoner! (1660s?)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An 18th-Century British Convict!
You Wouldn’t Want To Travel With Captain Cook! (1760s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Aristocrat In The French
Revolution! (1789-1799)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A 19th-Century Coal Miner in England!
You Wouldn’t Want To Sail On An Irish Famine Ship! (19th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Suffragist!(19th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Victorian Schoolchild! (1880s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Victorian Miner! (1880s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Victorian Servant! (1880s)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be A Victorian Mill Worker! (1880s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Live In Pompeii! (AD79)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Mayan Soothsayer! (AD250-900)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Aztec Sacrifice! (c. 1200s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Inca Mummy! (c. 1450)
You Wouldn’t Want to Sail With Christopher Columbus!(1492)
You Wouldn’t Want to Explore With Sir Francis Drake! (1570s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An American Colonist! (1585)
You Wouldn’t Want To Sail On The Mayflower! (1620)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party!(1773)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An American Pioneer (18th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be In The First Submarine! (19th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want Sail On A 19th-Century Whaling Ship!
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Civil War Soldier!(1861-1865)
You Wouldn’t Want To Work On The Railroads! (1860s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Live In A Wild West Town!
(c. mid 19th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Worker On The Statue
Of Liberty! (1876-1886)
You Wouldn’t Want to Sail on the Titanic!(April 1912)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Polar Explorer!
(Ernest Shackleton: 1914-1917)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be On Apollo 13! (April 1970)

Bookworm Fridays: The Bronze Bow

Bronze Bow @ Three Cornered Hug

The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth Speare, is another book we included in our history studies. It follows a young zealot, Daniel, living at the time of Christ. After his father was crucified by the Romans, Daniel lived in the mountains with a band of Zealots until some young people from town discover him one day. He is eventually compelled to rejoin his community and care for what’s left of his family. While this book is not religious, it uses the commandment to love to challenge the hate that’s in Daniel’s heart for the Romans. It also highlights the conflict that must have been in the minds of many Jewish people of Daniel’s time: how could this man, Jesus, who teaches love possibly be the savior they hoped for? Find The Bronze Bow here.

Bookworm Fridays: God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah

God King @ Three Cornered HugGod King was a book we came across when studying ancient history. Set in the time of King Hezekiah, the story brings to us in detail the life of a prince, Taharka, from Kush. Although it’s historical fiction, and should be read as such, Taharka (AKA Taharqa & Tirhakah) is mentioned in many early recordings including the Bible (Isaiah 37:8-9, & 2 Kings 19:8-9). God King brought us greater understanding of the brutal Assyrians as they went through the area wiping out entire nations. It also shed a lot of light on King Hezekiah and we marveled as we read about the aqueduct system he made which enabled his people to survive the Assyrian onslaught. This book really “fleshed out” not only general history, but this Biblical story, and was a really enjoyable read.

Find it here.