World History Reading List
Middle Ages, the 1100’s
Every kid loves Robin Hood books, and there are many versions of the story to choose from…as well as movies! For the elementary student, don’t miss the DK easy reader for great illustrations in an easy-to-read format.
Books on the Crusades tend to be geared for older grades, although we did find The Minstrel in the Tower as a good choice for upper elementary. It refers to the Crusades in a more general sense and has a main character about the age of its intended reader.
Lastly are 2 short sections — we have one book selection for Byzantium and one for Korea! With the limited resources of kids historical fiction on any Asian culture, don’t miss the book A Single Shard!
1100’s: Robin Hood
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green. UE+
Classic Robin Hood!
The Adventures of Robin Hood, VIDEO, starring Errol Flyn and Olivia de Havilland. 1937.
Caution: See your favorite video review site for possible objectionable elements.
Favorite Medieval Tales Mary Pope Osborne, illus. Troy Howell. Scholastic Press, 1998. UE+
A collection of the tales passed down through the years by Medieval minstrels & bards. Includes Beowulf, The Sword in the Stone, and The Song of Roland (Charlemagne). Includes historical notes in the back by both the author and illustrator.
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood: Of Great Renown, in Nottinghamshire by Howard Pyle. C. Scribner’s Sons, 1933. UE+
Another classic Robin Hood story! Unjustly forced into an outlaw’s life, he leads his merry men in helping others. Reveals the often corrupt power of the sheriff and the nobility.
Robin Hood, retold by Carol Heyer. Ideals Children’s Books, 1993. E-UE+
Ends happily with Robin Hood meeting King Richard. Plenty of colorful illustrations.
DK Readers: Robin Hood (Level 4: Proficient Readers). Dorling Kindersley. E-UE
Robin’s Country by Monica Furlong. Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. UE
A young boy finds refuge in Sherwood Forest from his cruel past. He grows to trust Robin Hood and his men as he struggles to find his own identity.
|The Middle Ages – The Cru… Buy From Art.com|
Minstrel In The Tower by Gloria Skurzynski. E-UE
This adventure story starring two brave children is a short chapter book with large, easy-to-read type. Perfect as a chapter book for the beginning reader, it shows the Crusades’ impact on a family in Britain. Also gives a glimpse of peasant drudgery vs. noble privilege.
Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi by Tomie de Paola. Holiday House, 1982. E-UE
Depicts St. Francis’ life of poverty in devotion to God. Dramatizes him as a worker of miracles, to the point that he supernaturally receives Christ’s crucifixion wounds in his hands, feet, & sides.
Peregrine by Joan Elizabeth Goodman. Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000. JH+
A young widow flees her problems and a feared forced marriage by going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. See prequel: The Winter Hare under King Stephen: 1140.
The Ramsay Scallop by Frances Temple. Orchard Books, 1994. JH+
Thomas returns from the Crusades disillusioned, and dreading his upcoming pre-arranged marriage. His future wife’s feelings are mutual. A village priest steps in to help and arranges for a (chaste) pilgrimage for the two to atone for the sins of the village. Note: Can be read with the Canterbury Tales (see Middle Ages 1300’s: Chaucer).
Richard the Lionheart and the Crusades (Life and Times Series) by Christopher Gibb, illus. Gerry Wood. The Bookwright Press, 1985. UE-JH
A bit “textbook-y”, but this is one of the few books that describe the what, who, and why of ALL the Crusades, even the lesser known Children’s Crusade.
The Road to Damietta by Scott O’Dell. JH-HS
Historical fiction of St. Francis of Assisi. Not yet reviewed.
The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott. HS
Classic tale of King Richard and the Crusades.
Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett UE+
Not yet reviewed.
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. Clarion Books. UE-JH
Set in a small Korean village in the 12th century, this book describes the culture and lifestyle of the country and the times through masterful storytelling. An orphan boy’s hard work and determination lifts him out a life of poverty and brings him into a whole new world of opportunity. Recommended.