Since I was a little girl, I’ve been an avid reader. I remember coming home from the library, barely able to balance on my 10-speed because of my huge load of delightful reading. Even earlier than that, I remember my mom sighing as I climbed into bed, struggling with the stack of books I expected her to read to me before bedtime. Memories like these come back to me when I take the kids to the library and I pick myself up another couple of books from The Royal Diaries series. I had been searching the library shelves for some good summer reading books for my (now) 3-grader when I found The Royal Diaries: Anastasia. The story of Anastasia has always intrigued me, but as I looked further, I saw there were tons of these books! I went home with two of them and have been reading them all summer.
Each book is based on the life of a young, royal girl. The books are written like a diary would be. They are fictional books, but each one is written based on facts. These stories are all exciting, factual, and chalk-full of learning potential! I’m pretty sure Charlotte Mason would agree 🙂
Besides the fact that there are 20 princesses in this series, such as…
- Cleopatra VII
- Isabel of Castilla
- Marie Antoinette
- Anastasia of Russia
- Elizabeth I
- Mary, Queen of Scots…just to name a few
…each book offers tons of information at the end of each exciting story. The diaries are written when the girls are around the ages of 12-14, before they are famous. Then the story ends right as something big in their life begins to happen, such as a royal marriage. After the diary, each book includes:
- an Epilogue explaining how the story continues or ends
- Historical Notes, giving more information about the royal families and the effect they had on that period in time
- A Family Tree with continuing pages explaining each person on the family tree and their role in history
- Drawings, paintings, photos, or statues of the royalty depending on the point in history
- Maps showing the area that the princess was talking about in the story
- About the author section where it explains their research for the book (there are several authors in this series)
- Pronunciation of difficult words found in the book
- Glossary of characters, which is very helpful since many of the books have lots of characters
Overall, these are absolutely fabulous books to include in your homeschool curriculum. At our house, we are studying the Middle Ages this year so I think I could use several Royal Diaries in our studies. I think these would be great read-alouds for middle-elementary kids and then even better books to assign to upper elementary and middle-school kids to read on their own. Of the several diaries I have read there has been some violence, but very minimal and I tend to over look some of that for the sake of history and learning. I would highly recommend these lovely, historically-rich books!
-Alicia can be found either reading classic literature to her three busy kids or blogging over at La Famille.