Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Story of the World ~ Susan Wise Bauer ~

It can be difficult to find a good overview of history written in a captivating yet simple form. The Story of the World series is one such work. These are not in-depth accounts of history, but enough to become familiar and spark interest.

After we started reading this account of ancient history from the nomads to the last Roman emperor, my siblings begged to go to the next chapter; they couldn't get enough. Bauer draws the reader in by writing as if she's having a one-on-one conversation with him.

Very easily understood by children, yet written well enough that adults enjoy it, this and Bauer's other World series is a must for your school library.

A few of the numerous, fascinating stories include:

Romulus and Remus- the boy kings raised by wolves and that founded Rome
"The basket floated along the river until it got stuck in the root of a fig tree at the river's edge. That might have been the end of the two boys-but a wolf heard them crying...The wolf had cubs of her own. But she felt pity for the two hungry babies, and so she tugged the basket up onto the bank and then back to her own den. There, she raised the babies with her own wolf cubs, as her own."

Dido the Phoenician princess- the woman that founded Carthage on a bull skin

When they reached the place where Dido wanted to settle, they found that the land was already settled...But Dido was determined to build her new city on that very spot...So she said to the owner of the land, "Will you sell me as much land as I can cover with the skin of a bull?"
Alexander the Great - The richest man before 30 and ruler of the Persian Empire
What is that? Alexander asked. That is the Gordian Knot," the people told him. "We have a legend about it. The man who loosens that knot will rule all the rest of Asia. But it is impossible to untie the knot. Hundreds of men have tried, and no one has ever succeeded!" Alexander studied the knot carefully. Then he took out his sword and sliced the knot in half. "There," he said. "I have loosened the knot."

Pharaoh Cheops-Making his mummy!
"Let's imagine that we're back in the old Kingdom of Egypt, at the time of the Pharaoh Cheops. Cheops has been pharaoh for years. He has made Egypt's army strong, and he's kept Egypt safe from enemies. But in the middle of the night, word comes from the palace that Cheops is dead!"

The Story of the World also provides geographical locations and shows you maps of ancient history. This is also a wonderful book to explore as a family. Dads will enjoy this too!

Violence: Brief, non-graphic accounts of battles fought
Indecency: Many mythological stories told of the Roman and Greek gods and goddesses
Language: None

Age Interest: Whole family
My Rating: 5 out of 5

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