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Historical fictions are a great way to make history come alive and get kids interested in History. It is also a wonderful and efficient way to help them enter the time period being studied. In addition to these benefits, selecting good historical fiction books can add to the literature studies in your homeschool. When choosing historical fiction, it is a good idea to include Classics so that your child, not only gets a nice historical story, but also a good work of literature in his hands. By doing so, while entering into a historical era, they also enlarge their vocabulary and learn to appreciate good writing.
With this in mind I would like to share with you a few of the historical fiction books that my son enjoyed while studying Ancient Time History this past school year:
Victory on the Wall
Age: 10 +
Grade: 5 and up
Author:Frieda Clarke Hyman
Set in the time of the rebuilding of Temple of Jerusalem, Victory on the Wall tells the story of a fictional boy named Bani, nephew to Nehemiah, who gets a part to play in the mission of rebuilding the temple.
From Amazon: ” Thirteen-year-old Bani, though born in Jerusalem, has lived from infancy with his uncle in beautiful Susa, the city of the Persian King Artaxerxes. Now, his Uncle Nehemiah wants to leave his position of high honor as Cupbearer to the King to return to Jerusalem, a city in ruins and beset by every kind of trouble! Nehemiah’s request of the king, permission to return to help his own people, could so easily in an empire riddled with political intrigue be misconstrued as treasonous scheming. Bani himself is given an unexpected part to play, the outcome of which is to forever change his life. Seen through the eyes of Bani, this novel dramatizes a turning-point of history, in 445 BC, when through confrontation and daring risks Judaism was re-established in the Promised Land, and purified for her unfolding mission.”
The Bronze Bow
Author: Elizabeth George Speare
Set in the time of the Romans, this is the story of a young boy bent in getting revenge for the death of his father, but meets the carpenter Jesus who changes everything. The book tells the story of a slow change of heart from hate to love.
From Amazon: “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. –from the Song of David (2 Samuel 22:35) The Bronze Bow, written by Elizabeth George Speare (author of The Witch of Blackbird Pond) won the Newbery Medal in 1962. This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. A fast-paced, suspenseful, vividly wrought tale of friendship, loyalty, the idea of home, community . . . and ultimately, as Jesus says to Daniel on page 224: “Can’t you see, Daniel, it is hate that is the enemy? Not men. Hate does not die with killing. It only springs up a hundredfold. The only thing stronger than hate is love.” A powerful, relevant read in turbulent times.”
The Golden Goblet
Age: 10 +
Grade: 5 and up
Author: Eloise Jarvis Macgraw
This is the story of a boy, named Ranofer, who in his quest to become a master Goldsmith, endeavours to prove that his half-brother is a tomb-robber. It is an adventure-full, and suspenseful story that is sure to keep your child wanting to know how it ends.
From Amazon: “Ranofer wants only one thing in the world: to be a master goldsmith like his beloved father was. But how can he when he is all but imprisoned by his evil half brother, Gebu? Ranofer knows the only way he can escape Gebu’s abuse is by changing his destiny. But can a poor boy with no skills survive on the cutthroat streets of ancient Thebes? Then Ranofer finds a priceless golden goblet in Gebu’s room and he knows his luck−and his destiny−are about to change.”
Archimedes and the Door of Science
Age: 10 +
Grade: 5 and up
Author: Jeanne Bendick
This is an educational and interesting biography of the great scientist, inventor and Mathematician, Archimedes.
From Amazon: “Jeanne Bendick, through text and pictures, admirably succeeds in bringing to life the ancient Greek mathematician who enriched mathematics and all branches of science. Against the backdrop of Archimedes’ life and culture, the author discusses the man’s work, his discoveries and the knowledge later based upon it. The simple, often humorous, illustrations and diagrams greatly enhance the text.”
Do you have any Historical Fiction you would recommend adding to any Ancient Time studies?