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If you’ve been following along on my blog or instagram, you know how much I love good, living books. As a home educator using Charlotte Mason’s method, living books are the heart and soul of our lessons. It won’t surprise you, then, that one of my favorite things is when other like-minded mamas share their favorite living books in list form.
Jessica of Living Book Lists has compiled an awesome collection of beautiful books in her Whole Story History series. She sent me Part 1, which includes both “Explorers and Pilgrims” and “The Revolutionary War” in exchange for this review and I couldn’t be happier to share it with you! This list beautifully compliments our history stream with A Gentle Feast, since this year we’re finishing up Explorers and Pilgrims before diving into the Revolution this fall.
Whole Story History includes picture and chapter book recommendations aimed toward kids ages 5-10, although as CS Lewis says, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” These are books that can be enjoyed by anyone! And if you’ve already covered early American history, you’ll be happy to hear that this summer Jessica is planning to add Whole Story History: Part Two, which will include both a “Westward Expansion” and “Civil War” pack. She’ll also be releasing each track separately if you’re only covering part of that time period.
In her description of Part 1, Jessica explains her impetus for putting together her list: to give her children a complete view of history. She goes on to say,
This view specifically seeks to bring in the viewpoints of Native Americans, slaves and other marginalized people groups. I have provided a brief summary of the main points of the book as they specifically relate to communicating a whole story view of the events in the book.
Presenting my kids with this same complete view of history is incredibly important to me, and I was so excited to find out that Jessica had done the hard work of sourcing living books that reflect those important perspectives. The long list includes not just the titles (organized chronologically!) but also short, helpful descriptions of each book.
When my family is studying a certain historical era, we like to read a general “spine” book that hits the main events of the era, and then flesh out our study with biographies and other stories that go into more detail. Whole Story History is now my go-to when looking for books to flesh out our study of American History. I’m so grateful to Jessica for putting together this great resource!
Jessica is offering Heart & Hand readers a discount for the month of March! Use the code “HEARTANDHAND20” when checking out and get 20% off any order from Living Book Lists. This code is valid until March 31, 2019 at midnight.