World History Reading List
Books on the Vikings, AD 800 - 1000
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To supplement your curriculum for a unit on the Vikings, choose from the several good adventure stories for the elementary reader.
Another idea to add flair to your history lessons is to include the tales of the Norse gods, and the D'Auliare book (listed below) is tops!
Beorn the Proud (Living History Library) by Madeleine Polland. UE+
When the Vikings destroy her Irish village, one girl survives and is taken as a slave. Her courage brings her Viking captor to the true God.
Black Fox of Lorne by Marguerite de Angeli. Doubleday, 1956.* JH+
When a Viking family tries to resettle with relatives in Britain, a storm veers them off course. Now captives in Scotland, they help overthrow evil leaders to win their freedom. They also encounter stories of the Christ, comparing this with their gods. *Out of print, but still available.
D'Aulaires' Norse Gods and Giants by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire. E-UE+
The D'Aulaires tell tales completely, historically, and with flair, complementing them with superb illustrations.
Eric the Red: The Viking Adventurer (What's Their Story) by Neil Grant, illus. Victor Ambrus. Oxford Univ. Press, 1997. E-UE
The story reveals Viking life & culture, and tells of Eric's influence on his well-known son, Leif, and of their early visit to North America
Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky (Adventures in the New World) by Barbara Schiller. Troll Assoc., 1979. E-UE
Tells how Leif and his father explored western lands long before Columbus. Black & white illustrations.
Harald the Ruthless: The Saga of the Last Viking Warrior by Andrea Hopkins, illus. Leo Duranona. UE+
Story originates from a Viking saga, written down c. 1230. Harald's climax was his fateful invasion of England in 1066. Historical details are included in boxes to the side and a separate section at the end.
Leif The Lucky by Ingri & Edgar Parin D'Aulaire. Beautiful Feet Books, 1941, 1968. E-UE+
This book tells Leif's story like no other. His way of life, adventures, and influence are captivatingly told & well illustrated. Recommended.
Leif the Unlucky
by Erik Christian Haugaard. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982. E-UE+
Although this book is set about 1410 or later, it is included here as part of Viking history. No one knows exactly what happened to the Viking colony on Greenland, and this story imagines the circumstances. Leif tries, unsuccessfully, to keep the families working together, and the book ends with not many left to carry on. Warning: Includes killing between the clans, which may upset sensitive children.
The Namesake: A Story of King Alfred by C. Walter Hodges. Coward-McCann, Inc., 1964. JH+
In answer to Britain's prayers to be delivered from 'the fury of the Northmen,' King Alfred led his people to reclaim their country from the Vikings.
The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow by Allen French. UE+
Sword Song by Rosemary Sutcliff. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997. UE
When a 16-year-old Viking boy is banished from his settlement for 5 years, he hires himself out as a swordsman, finding adventure and proving his worth.
The Viking Adventure by Clyde Robert Bulla. Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1963. UE
A Viking boy who idolizes Leif Ericson joins the crew of a ship sailing west to fulfill his dream of following in Leif's footsteps.