World History Reading List
Age of Discovery — 1400 – 1700
Renaissance Books and Reformation Books both give kids a look into the time period of tremendous change, but in different areas of life.
The Reformation was a time when the religious systems and norms of the day were questioned and challenged. Ultimately, that led to people breaking with tradition and forging a new path.
The Renaissance was less about radical change and more about creative license! The Renaissance was a time when the arts flourished!
The list below includes living history books on both these topics. The Renaissance books and Reformation books listed are for kids and include suggested grade levels. Links to affiliates (usually Amazon) give you more information and pictures. And, yes, we will earn a bit of commission if you buy from these links (thanks in advance!).
For particular Reformers, Renaissance artists and musicians, and more, please refer to the appropriate years, which are also linked below.
See specific men & women of the Reformation in the year 1510 and beyond.
See specific artists of the Renaissance in the year 1480 and beyond.
The Apprentice by Pilar Molina Llorente, illus. Juan Ramon Alonso.
Historical fiction set in Florence during the Renaissance. Not yet reviewed.
Eyewitness: Leonardo & His Times by Andrew Langley. Dorling Kindersley, 2000. E-UE+
Complemented with period artwork & objects, covers all facets of the time period — from Italy’s structure and leadership, to art and artists, to daily life.
Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines: A History of the Renaissance & Reformation by Deborah Mazzotta Prum. Core Knowledge Foundation. UE-HS
Was it diseased rats that sparked the beginnings of the Renaissance? Or was it an Italian poet named Petrarch as he poked around in dusty old books? What did a monk burning a papal bull have to do with the Reformation? Just what is a papal bull, anyhow? In this book, you’ll read about rats and bulls (not the snorting kind) as well as artists, inventors, and a lot of other remarkable people who lived during the Renaissance and the Reformation.
A Renaissance Town (Inside Story) by Jacqueline Morley and Mark Peppe. Peter Bedrick Boooks, 1996. E-UE+
A tour of Florence explores the time period from a variety of angles. An excellent resource for an overall grasp of the origins and spread of Renaissance art and ideas. Recommended.