World History Books on Don Quixote, Louis XIV of France, the Taj Mahal, Pirates, Velasquez

Although there are a lot of topics for the 1600 – 1650 section of this Reading List, the Don Quixote books are a favorite for adults and kids alike. It’s just a silly story that somehow became a classic.

But as you browse, don’t miss the other great topics here. The early 1600’s first offers several books on London’s street children and includes several on Don Quixote. The picture book on Louis XIV is highly recommended and appropriate for all elementary grades. And now is a good time for advanced students to read The Three Musketeers.

The Taj Mahal was built in the 1630’s, followed by an historical novel set in the 1640’s on pirates.

The historical novel on Velasquez, painter for the king of Spain, is actually the fascinating story of his slave. This man had no formal training, but became a great painter himself simply by watching & imitating his master’s work. What a great lesson on hard work & determination overcoming a lack of privilege! This book is linked to another that features some of the artwork mentioned.

World History Crafts

WORLD HISTORY: 1600-1610

The Foundling by Linda Hayner. Bob Jones University Press. JH-HS
Story based on actual experiences of London’s street children in the 1600s.

A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla, ill. Michele Chessare. E-UE
Set in 1609, 3 children find themselves alone in London after their mother’s death and set off for Jamestown, America, to find their father.

Don Quixote (Oxford Illustrated Classics) by Michael Harrison, illus. Victor Ambrus. UE
Selected stories with accompanying illustrations. Not yet reviewed.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza by Margaret Hodges.


The King’s Day: Louis XIV of France by Aliki. Thomas Y. Crowell, 1989. K-UE+
A myriad of information is arranged around colorful drawings. Primary captions are simple enough for the younger child, with details written in every illustration for older ones. Recommended

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. HS
The classic tale of mystery and adventure set in France in 1625 (time of Louis XIII and Richelieu). The movie of the same name bears little resemblance to the book, but if viewed beforehand can spark interest and promote understanding. Caution: the movie is rated PG because of objectionable elements. See your favorite video review site for details.


Taj Mahal by Caroline Arnold & Madeleine Comora, illus. Rahul Bhushan. Carolrhoda Books, 2007. E-UE
Ornately illustrated pages display Indian culture and the story and wonder of the Taj Mahal, the tomb that Shah Jahan built for his wife.


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.

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino. Farrar.Straus.Giroux, 1965. JH-HS
The central character is a slave to Velasquez, painter for the king of Spain. Although never formally trained, he absorbed from watching his master and became a noted artist himself. Note: See Diego Rodriguez De Silva Y Velasquez (Art for Children) by Ernest Raboff—it includes paintings mentioned in the book.

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