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American Girl and other great books for history-loving kids


Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 10/03/22

As a homeschool mom and history lover, it’s so important to me to cultivate my kids' appreciation for history.

Let me start with the most important part of this article, the one thing I hope you take away from it:

You can listen to all of the original historical American Girl books for free using your library card through the audiobook app Hoopla. 

I recently shared this little fact on Instagram and was floored at how many people messaged me with excitement, thanking me for sharing. Apparently American Girl books are really popular! So I wanted to make sure to let you know, too.

Anyway, if you haven’t guessed, my kids and I have been listening to all of the historical American Girl books recently. I put them on for my kids, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t listening too. 

Like fine wine, the original American Girl books get better with age. Those books are so well written. They feature great moral lessons that help my kids think through how to handle various tricky situations with courage and character, opening the door for important conversations.

And they bring history to life with delightfully compelling detail. My husband read the books as a child, and credits them with sparking his lifelong interest in history that led him to be a history major in college. (Like father, like son: Our little boy loves them too!)

As you can imagine, history is a big deal in our family. I love history as much as my husband does, and our children are following fast in our footsteps. (One of them chose to have a birthday party with the theme “Ancient Rome”!)

As a homeschool mom and history lover, it’s so important to me to cultivate appreciation for history in our home. Here are some of my favorite resources for raising kids who love history.

1The American Girl books

You know how much we love these. I bet your kids will too!

2The Usborne First History Series by Jane Chisholm

We stumbled upon this short little series of 3 books at our library, and thank goodness. They are the absolute best history picture books I’ve ever seen.

My kids love them so much that I tired of endlessly checking them out from the library and instead searched out and bought the entire series secondhand. What I wouldn’t give to see them back in print and the series expanded! 

I don’t have any Usborne affiliation. I just know these books are absolute treasures. My kids read them over and over, sparking their obsession with ancient Rome and history in general.

The three books in the series are called Living in Castle Times, Living in Prehistoric Times, and Living in Roman Times, all by Jane Chisholm. Usborne, if you’re reading this, please make more of these!

3The Story of Civilization

We also found this audiobook on Hoopla and were able to listen to it through our library. I didn’t use the related curriculum at all, but my kids very much enjoyed the audiobook. It’s longer and better for slightly older kids, but is wonderfully engaging and sure to encourage a fascination with history.

Are you a history buff too, or raising kids who are? I hope you find these resources helpful. And I’d love to know what history books your kids love, too!

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