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Landmark History Books

It isn’t a book my son picked off the shelf. The plain red cover is worn, stained, and wrapped with tape.  It looks uninspiring, but after the first chapter we are both captivated by the amazing story of two brothers.

47008: Landmark Books: The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers- Pioneers of American Aviation by Quentin Reynolds was originally published in 1950 by Random House for the Landmark Series. This series contains some of the best children’s history books I’ve come across. (In fact, Raquel Werk recommends beginning a Principle Approach study with one, The Landing of the Pilgrims.)

It would be simple to use The Wright Brothers as a foundation for the science and history of  flight. My son and I discussed those things, but I observed something even more wonderful.

While reading about the insatiable curiosity of Wilbur and Orville Wright, my son’s eyes sparked with understanding. Ideas tumbled out and half grins flashed often.

Now he knows exactly where those old, history books are on the shelf.

For more information:

Our small collection of Landmark Books is from library sales and second-hand stores, but many have been republished. Valerie’s Living Books has more information about available titles and current versions.

What books have captivated the imagination of your children lately?

Written by Renae Deckard, Biblical Principled mother of 3. Find Renae’s reflections about homeschool and family life at Life Nurturing Education.

Renae (16 Posts)

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jimmie September 22, 2009, 5:47 am

    We’re reading Moccasin Trail. It’s incredible! I think it’s especially good for kids like mine — of one culture but growing up in another. Superb!

  • Cindy September 22, 2009, 8:29 am

    We’re gearing up to learn about the Wright Brothers soon. I’ll be trying to locate this book! Thanks!

  • Lisa September 22, 2009, 3:43 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation! My boys love history books from Usborne and from the library. I’ll have to look these up!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Word-filled Wednesday – Children =-.

  • Jenn4him September 22, 2009, 4:14 pm

    We have just finished reading Landmark History of the American People. I wonder if that is the same as yours? My kids loved that big old book. It is falling apart, sadly.
    .-= Jenn4him´s last blog ..More Thoughts on the Simple Life =-.

  • Renae September 22, 2009, 4:23 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll add that book to my ever-expanding watch for list.
    .-= Renae´s last blog ..Boxes of Books Scare Homeschool Mother =-.

  • Renae September 22, 2009, 4:28 pm

    It could be part of the same series. I have no idea what all the titles are. The ones I have are about specific people and events, The Voyages of Christopher Columbus, The Building of the First Continental Railroad, and The Conquest of the North and South Poles, etc.

    But there’s just something about old books…
    .-= Renae´s last blog ..Boxes of Books Scare Homeschool Mother =-.

  • Molly October 1, 2009, 9:44 pm

    We love the Landmark books, too. The best book we’ve read this year, however, is a Sonlight book, called The Great and Terrible Quest. My boys begged to hear more, more, more! This is our 2nd time through it, as we found it several years ago. I cried at the end. Truly a wonderful book for study of the Middle Ages.
    .-= Molly´s last blog ..Carnival of Homeschooling #196 =-.

  • Dan Baird August 29, 2012, 8:33 pm

    I cannot overestimate the value of the Landmark series. It sparked my love of history, and when I find any of the books in used bookstores, I snatch them up. I discovered the Landmark series as a boy in the childrens’ section of my town library. The books were written by various authors, some of whom were history professors or other professional historians, in a simplified format for children and young adults. For example, “Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde” was a Landmark book written by Harold Lamb. I loved it as a boy, but it was only years later, at a university, that I discovered that in his time Harold Lamb was considered an authority on the Mongol period and had written “real” history books for adults on the same subject. The Landmark series made history come alive for me as a boy. They were written as good history should be written – that is, as stories first and foremost. The narrative is what matters to children, the real stories of real people. In high school, my history textbooks were as big as phonebooks and about as interesting to read, even with all the charts and graphs and color pictures. The Landmark series, even with illustrations few and far between, was far better. I love the Landmark books and would recommend them to anyone.

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