World History Reading List
Present Era

This section of our World History booklist brings you great books on Einstein, Anastasia, and other fascinating people!

Read about Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, and Anastasia. Other topics include Russia during the last tsar, the Hindenburg disaster, and the Korean War.

Our book lists on World Wars I and II have their own separate page.

World History Crafts

World History Books: 1900-1909

Henry Ford: The People’s Carmaker, What’s Their Story series, by Haydn Middleton, illus. Tony Morris. Oxford Univ. Press, 1997. UE
The story of the man who founded the Ford Motor Company and made the automobile affordable for the average American. Plenty of color illustrates every page.

Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. E-UE.
Picture book with a whimsical side to it. Tells of Einstein’s growing up, leading to a brief explanation of some of his discoveries.

World History Books: 1910s


Go to World Wars for World War I (1914-1918).

Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 (The Royal Diaries) by Carolyn Meyer. Scholastic, 2000. E-UE
Fictionalized diary of the daughter of the last tsar. Includes photos.

Angel on the Square by Gloria Whelan. Harper Collins, 2001. E-UE
The years surrounding the fall of the last tsar are seen through they eyes of young Katya, a daughter of the aristocracy. While she lives at the palace as a companion to the tsar’s girls, Katya still struggles with the obvious struggles of the poor, which are ignored by the royal family. The Revolution brings huge changes to Katya’s country and her personal world. See sequel, The Impossible Journey.

The House on Walenska Street by Charlotte Herman, illus. Susan Avishai. Puffin. E-UE
The story of a Russian family around the turn of the century.

The Impossible Journey by Gloria Whelan. Harper Collins, 2003. E-UE Sequel to Angel on the Square. Marya lives in Communist Russia with her brother and parents, who remember Russia as it was before the Revolution. Marya’s parents are arrested for disloyalty to the Communist regime and are whisked away. Marya discovers where they were probably taken, and sets off with her brother to find them.

The Night Journey by Kathryn Lasky, illus. Trina Schart Hyman. UE+
Sashi grew up in Russia during the time of Nicholas & Alexandra, when Jews faced grim and uncertain futures. Now an old woman, she tells her experiences to her modern-day great-grandchild, which tactfully describes the persecutions and pogroms of Russian Jews. Caution: The modern-day scenes reflect current culture, and some phrases & references may be less than ideal, although the word “d***” seems to be the most offensive.

World History Books: 1930s


Go to World Wars for World War II (1939-1945).

The Hindenburg by Patrick O’Brien. Henry Holt and Co., 2000. E-UE+
Although a picture book, the content is more advanced. Tells the entire story of the world’s first serious effort at air travel, from the original dirigible in 1900 to the disaster that ended it all.

World History Books: 1940s


Go to World Wars for World War II (1939-1945).

World History Books: 1950s

Peacebound Trains by Haemi Balgassi, illus. Chris K. Soentpiet. Houghton-Mifflin, 1996. E-UE
In poetic language and exquisite paintings, Peacebound Trains tells of one family’s escape from Seoul at the last possible moment before the Korean War.

Back to the main Present Era Reading List

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