World History Reading List
Age of Discovery

Books on AD 1400 - 1470

Joan of Arc, Prince Henry the Navigator, Gutenberg's Printing Press, the Wars of the Roses, Queen Isabella of Spain

Knights PosterAlthough Joan of Arc and Gutenberg's Printing Press are dominant topics in the following Reading List, don't miss out on our first entry, Men of Iron. This book tends to be a favorite for boys and reviews the Middle Ages before embarking on the new era of world exploration and renaissance.

The Royal Diary series provides a book on Spain's Queen Isabella, giving a great background to later lesson plans on Christopher Columbus.

World History Crafts

WORLD HISTORY: 1400-1410

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. Harper & Row, 1891, 1919. UE+
A boy's journey from squire to knight, describing the events and ceremony like no other. We meet King Henry IV in the story, which also includes a joust and a life-or-death combat with weaponry, armor, high stakes, and the code of chivalry. Its Middle English gives it authenticity. Illustrated.

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly, illus. by Janina Domanska. Macmillan, 1928. UE+
Newbery Medal. Story revolves around Poland's unique customs and heritage during the early Renaissance.


Jeanne D'Arc by Aileen Fisher. Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1970. UE-JH+
Joan's story told for the middle school student. Includes illustrations.

Joan of Arc by Josephine Poole. 1998. E-UE
Colorful illustrations complement the story. Ends at her death, with no clear explanation of her canonization. Includes detailed chronology in the back.

Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley. Morrow Junior Books, 1998. UE-JH+
Full-page, color illustrations and a wealth of information on each page. Everything you need to know about Joan, including a preface on the Hundred Years War, pronunciation guide, map, and an epilogue of events after her death.

Joan of Arc: The Lily Maid by Margaret Hodges. 1999. E-UE
Simple and clear, with lots of illustrations. The Author's Note in the back explains Joan in relationship to the Hundred Years War.

Prince Henry the Navigator by Leonard Everett Fisher. Macmillan, 1990. UE+
Relatively short, yet concise, biography. Tells why he was called "The Navigator" and tells of his legacy to the world., Illustrated in black and white.


Breaking into Print: Before and After the Printing Press by Stephen Krensky. Little, Brown & Co., 1996. E+
Well illustrated, with tidbits of additional information in the margins. Covers "before & after the invention of the printing press."

Fine Print: A Story About Johann Gutenberg by Joann Johansen Burch, ill. Kent Alan Aldrich. Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 1991. UE+
Explores the painstaking efforts and many sacrifices made by Gutenberg over about 20 years to perfect his invention. Illustrations are black & white block printing.

Gutenberg by Leonard Everett Fisher. UE+

Ink on His Fingers by Louise Vernon.
Christian historical fiction; Gutenburg.


Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson, illus. N. C. Wyeth. Orig. pub. 1888. HS
(Wars of the Roses, 1455-1487)


Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466 (The Royal Diaries) by Carolyn Meyer. Scholastic, Inc., 2000. E-UE
Isabel's "diary" illustrates the politics of Spain in the 1460's, affecting this princess' destiny as marriage contracts are arranged with little thought for her happiness. Briefly touches on the distrust of the Jews and other non-Catholics. Family tree, pictures, and further historical information in the back.

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