March 29, 2014

Medieval Historical Fiction Novels for the Intermediate Reader

(I had to find an historical redhead since that is most apropos for my house.)

Although we haven't gotten through as much of the Middle Ages as I had hoped, we have still had a delightful time with what we've studied.  As I've mentioned before, Miriam (age 10, advanced reader) is assigned extra books to read for all of our units.  I recently made her stop reading long enough to attach a rating to each of the books she's read for history so far.  I thought it would be helpful to see which books she liked the best.  


Mostly she likes every book and is irritated when her mother presses her for details.  Despite their uniformity, her ratings might be useful to you, so here is the first installment (she has two books left from the Viking unit so I'll be posting those shortly).  I'm including links to amazon only to facilitate your reading more reviews if you are interested.  I haven't read most of these books and have only Miriam's limited reviews to pass along so I thought amazon readers could help provide more insight.

400-600 AD

The Story of the Champions of the Round Table by Howard Pyle.  Miriam: "I liked it.  Four stars." A collection of King Arthur stories.  

Augustine Came to Kent by Barbara Willard.  Miriam: "I really liked it. Four stars."  

Now, when Miriam read the book she was super excited about it, told me the whole plot line, then told me to read it.  Which I did.  I thought it was a perfect historical fiction for an intermediate reader and a great introduction to Christianity during the Middle Ages and how different areas of the world interacted.  This is the story of Augustine leading a group of Christian missionaries into Britain and establishing their religion there.  

The White Stag by Kate Seredy.  Miriam: "I liked it.  Three stars."  This is about the Huns and Magyars during the collapse of the Roman Empire.  

700-900 AD

The Story of Roland by James Baldwin.  Miriam: "I liked it.  Three stars."  This is about a French baron, Roland, during the time of Charlemagne.  I was excited to find something for Miriam to read about Charlemagne because the pickings are slim.

The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle.  Miriam: "I loved it!  Five stars!"  This has, obviously, been one of Miriam's very favorite assigned books.  It is about the daughter of King Alfred--a Saxon king.  Apparently the main character is the "greatest woman in Old English history."  According to amazon reviews this is a good pick for boys despite the female protagonist because there is a lot of military strategy involved in the story.

That's it.  I will try and ask for Miriam's reviews as she reads the books, instead of months later, to get a fresher perspective.  Right now she's in the middle of one of her last two Viking era books.  I'll post about them soon.

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