World History Reading List
The Ancient World
Kids Books on Ancient GREECE, 1000 - 4 BC
Greek history is fun for kids when you introduce them to the myths, the fables, and the hero stories. And whoever said that the Iliad and they Odyssey were boring just didn't read the right books!
Include reading selections on the brilliant minds (such as Archimedes), the brilliant leaders (such as Alexander), and the brilliant architecture. Boys seem to especially love the tales of Greek battles and pictures of armor. And everyone loves the Olympics!
c. 1000 B.C. – 4 B.C. — GREECE
Adventures of the Greek Heroes by Mollie McLean and Anne Wiseman, illus. Witold T. Mars. E
Aesop's Fables by Jerry Pinkney. SeaStar Books, 2000. E-UE+
Sixty well-illustrated fables!
Aesops Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition by Russell Ash and Bernard Higton. Chronicle Books, 1990. UE-JH+
Aesop's fables for the older child with a variety of artwork from many sources.
Alexander the Great: The Greatest Ruler of the Ancient World (What's Their Story?) by Andrew Langley. Oxford Univ. Press, 1997. E-UE+
Archimedes and the Door to Science (Living History Library) by Jeanne Bendick & Laura M. Berquist Bethlehem Books, 1997. UE-JH
Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of The Iliad by Rosemary Sutcliff, illus. Alan Lee. Delacorte Press, 1993. UE+
Homer's Iliad is enchantingly retold for all ages and well-illustrated. Caution for the younger: The story is based on a woman leaving her husband and child for another man, resulting in the battles, which can be gory. Also, one illustration has a woman without part of her top--altho tastefully drawn, resembling classic sculpture. The sequel is The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of The Odyssey by the same author.
By Jove! Brush Up Your Mythology by Michael Macrone. Random House, 1992.
Children of the Fox by Jill Paton Walsh, illus. Robin Eaton. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1978. UE-JH
This book is a treasure, simply because there are so few quite like it. It is a chapter book, and each (rather long) chapter is a separate story, set in ancient Greece and featuring a boy or girl and his/her adventures in helping the great general Themistokles. Explanation in the back gives historical background to the tales. Recommended.
The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy by Padraic Colum, illus. Willy Pogany. UE-JH
Cupid and Psyche by Charlotte Craft, illus. K. Y. Craft. Morrow Junior Books. K-UE
An ancient Greek myth picture book. Fabulous illustrations. See King Midas and the Golden Touch below.
D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths by Ingri & Edgar Parin D'Aulaire. UE+
The D'Aulaires tell tales completely, historically, and with flair, complementing them with superb illustrations. Caution for the sensitive child: Myths in general include monsters, cutting off heads, polygamy, etc.
Fables of Aesop, ed. by Joseph Jacobs. E-UE
Out of print, but still available. Recommended by Christian sources.
The Great Alexander the Great by Joe Lasker, illus. Viking Press, 1983. E-UE+
Great story. Covers Alexander's entire life and major accomplishments, and is well illustrated. Recommended.
The Greenleaf Guide to Famous Men of Greece by Rob & Cyndy Shearer. UE-JH+
Greek Grime (Smelly Old History) by Mary Dobson, illus. Vince Reid. Oxford Univ. Press, 1998. E-UE
A humorous Scratch & Sniff book exploring Greek world from an olfactory point of view!
Greek Myths for Young Children by Heather Amery, illus. Linda Edwards. Usborne, 1999. E-UE
Colorful pages & illustrations about every other page. The stories are easy to read. *Be aware that myths in general include monsters, cutting off heads, polygamy, etc.
I Wonder Why the Greeks Built Temples : and Other Questions About Ancient Greece by Fiona Macdonald.
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky, illus. Kevin Hawkes. E-UE
The story of Eratosthenes, who measured the circumference of the earth. Entertaining, colorful illustrations.
King Midas and the Golden Touch by Charlotte Craft, illus. K. Y. Craft. K-UE
An ancient Greek myth picture book. Fabulous illustrations. See also Cupid & Psyche above.
Olympia: Warrior Athletes of Ancient Greece by Dyan Blacklock, illus. David Kennett. Walker & Company, 2000. E-UE+
What an awesome book! Tells of the origins of the Greek Olympics, and explains the events, their religious significance, and how it all related to Greek warfare. Very eye-opening, and the illustrations are fabulous. Recommended.
Pegasus by Marianna Mayer, illus. Kinuko Y. Craft. Morrow Junior Books, 1998. K-UE
Re-telling of Bellerophon and the mythical winged horse. Fabulous illustrations!
Persephone and the Pomegranate: A Myth from Greece by Kris Waldherr. Dial Books, 1993. K-UE
Greek myth that tells of the origin of the seasons. Picture book with fabulous illustrations.
Tales from the Odyssey: The One-Eyed Giant – Book #1 by Mary Pope Osborne, illus. Troy Howell. Hyperion, 2003. E-UE+
In this first of a series of 6 books, the author condenses Homer's original work into easy-to-read, short chapters. Good source for an older child to learn the story quickly. Kids love this series, which are also available in audio format. The other books are: The Land of the Dead – Book #2, Sirens and Sea Monsters – Book #3, The Gray-Eyed Goddess – Book #4, Return to Ithaca – Book #5, The Final Battle – Book #6.
Tales of Pan by Mordecai Gerstein. K-E
Pan is a Greek mythological god, and he is full of fun! Short stories with color illustrations.
Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War (Step into Reading, Step 5) by Emily Little, illus. Michael Eagle. E