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Bennett, Ms. April » Recommended Reading Lists

Recommended Reading Lists

Reading for pleasure is one of the best things you can do to improve your skills in World History class. Yes, that's right! Some of you may be thinking, "What does a book like The Hunger Games have to do with the history of Japan or the Inca or India? The only thing I ever read in history class is a boring old textbook."
When you read for pleasure it improves your reading skills for all genres of reading, including boring old textbooks, news articles, encyclopedias, blogs, and many more. And, guess what? It also improves your writing skills! This includes writing narratives, explanatory texts, and argumentsthe three genres of writing you will continue to practice in seventh grade. The more you read for pleasure, the more your reading and writing skills will improve.
Improving our skills is a great reason to read for pleasure, but it is not the best reason. The number one reason to read is because it is FUN. Reading can open up our imaginations and take us to exciting places. We can learn new things about ourselves right along with the characters of a mystery, adventure, or romance. Reading can provide us with a needed escape from a stressful day and lighten our mood when we are feeling down.
I have created the first two lists of books to go with our topics of study. If you would like to read a novel set in one of the civilizations we study, refer to the historical fiction list. Check out the list of nonfiction books if you would like more information about any topics we explore in class. The final list gives recommendations of titles from other eras and places in history. Many of the titles on the final list will help you preview the history you will learn in eighth grade, high school and college.
H I S T O R I C A L   F I C T I O N
The Maya
The Well of Sacrifice by Chris Eboch
North America
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Inca Empire
Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark
The Ugly One by Leanne Statland Ellis
Roman Empire
City by David Macaulay
Medieval Europe
Castle by David Macaulay
Cathedral by David Macaulay
Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Islamic Civilization
The House of Wisdom by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland, Illustrated by Mary Grandpre
Mosque by David Macaulay
Imperial China
Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim
Medieval Korea
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Seesaw Girl by Linda Sue Park
Medieval Japan
The Samurai's Tale by Eric C. Haugaard
Heart of the Samurai by Margi Preus
Renaissance Era
Leonardo's Shadow: Or, My Astonishing Life as Leonardo Da Vinci's Servant by Christopher Peter Grey
The Reformation
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Schwartz & Wade, Candace Flemming, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa M. Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, Deborah Hopkinson
Exploration, Colonization, and the Atlantic Slave Trade
Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad by Monica Edinger
The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander
H I S T O R I C A L   N O N-F I C T I O N
Indigenous People of the Americas (including Maya and Aztec Empires)
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Ballplayers and Bonesetters: One Hundred Ancient Maya and Aztec Jobs You Might Have Adored or Abhorred by Laurie Coulter
How to Be an Aztec Warrior by Fiona MacDonald
Turtle Island: The Story of North America's First People by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger
Islamic Civilization
1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization by Salim T.S. Al-Hassani
Empires of West Africa
Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali by P. James Oliver
The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval West Africa by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
Sundiata: A Epic of Old Mali by D.T. Niane
Medieval Japan
Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner
The Scientific Revolution
Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton Reveal'd by Mary Losure
Exploration, Colonization, and the Atlantic Slave Trade
How to Be a World Explorer by Joel Levy and James Gulliver Hancock
The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano by Ann Cameron
Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos
The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked and Found by Martin W. Sandler
Science and Environmental Issues
Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel by Nancy F. Castaldo
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Reader's Edition) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Dark Matters: Nature's Reaction to Light Pollution by Joan Marie Galat
O T H E R   H I S T O R I C A L   F I C T I O N / N O N-F I C T I O N   B O O K S
from eras and places studied after 7th grade~
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper
Day of Tears by Julius Lester
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
The Lost Year by Katherine Marsh
March, Books 1-3 by John Lewis
Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandini
Red Scarf Girl by Ji Li Jiang
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
The Story of Science by Joy Hakim
Sylvia & Aki by Winifred Conkling
War Horse by Michael Morpugo
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park