World History Reading List
Age of Discovery — 1400 - 1700
Books on General Discovery Topics, Explorers, & Pirates
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Under General Discovery Topics you will find 2 books by Genevieve Foster, telling stories that span this entire time period. Then comes some general books on world exploration and explorers.
The last section is the always-enticing subject of Pirates! Our favorite books there include The Dark Frigate and a book from the Magic Tree House series entitled Pirates.
The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1965. JH+
Told in story format, this chronicles key figures during Columbus' lifetime (1462-1507), from kings to religious leaders to artists.
World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster. JH+
Told in story format, this chronicles key figures during Smith's lifetime (1580-1631), from queens to religious leaders to artists.
See America to 1600
A 16th Century Galleon (Inside Story) by Richard Humble, illus. Mark Bergin. UE+
Around the World in a Hundred Years: From Henry the Navigator to Magellan by Jean Fritz. UE+
Well researched and presented, this chronicles the key figures of the "exploration explosion." Nice black line illustrations.
Explorers: From Columbus to Armstrong (Famous Lives) Usborne.
Explorers News by Michael Johnstone. UE+
Exploring the World by Fiona Macdonald, illus. Gerald Wood. Peter Bedrick Books, 1996. E-UE+
The stories of the first 2 voyages around the world opens our eyes to the explorers of that era -- their preparations, their skills, and their risks. Well done.
Scholastic Atlas of Exploration by Dinah Starkey. HarperColllins Publishers Ltd., 1993. E-UE+
Covers ancient explorers to the present, with a section on the "First Great Age of Exploration." Tells of individual explorers and their experiences, travel conditions, supplies taken and items brought back.
The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes. Little, Brown and Co., 1971. UE+
Newbery Medal. The adventures of young Philip, a crewmember of a merchant ship that is overtaken by pirates. Vocabulary reflects the era (1640's). Caution: A few "mild" curse words.
Hostage on the Nighthawk: Governor William Penn (Trailblazer Books) by Dave & Neta Jackson. E-JH
Christian historical fiction. William Penn and pirates, c. 1690's.
Pirates (Magic Tree House Research Guide) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne. Random House, 2001. E-UE
The Osborne's research guides provide all the facts in a fun way, with lots of black-and-white illustrations. Recommended.
Pirates by Philip Steele. Kingfisher, 1997. UE+
In typical Kingfisher style, everything "pirate" is covered in detail with illustrations that make the book hard to put down. Very well done.
Terror of the Spanish Main: Sir Henry Morgan and His Buccaneers by Albert Marrin. Dutton, 1999. UE-HS
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. JH-HS
Westward Ho By Charles Kingsley. Dodd, Mead & Company, 1855, 1941. HS
A classic novel set in the Elizabethan Age. Sea adventures are told as the main character sails west.