Story of the World Volume 2: Middle Ages
by Susan Wise Bauer
Story of the World, Volume 2 is written for kids in 3-6 grade, but have a wider appeal as a basic reader even for older students. Volume 2 covers early modern times from the "fall of Rome to the rise of the Renaissance." Susan Wise Bauer's "Story of the World - History for the Classical Child" is generating lots of interest among homeschoolers. This series of books is well-written and my kids found them appealing and interesting. Bauer takes the child through the entire history of the world in 4 volumes through short vignettes of famous people and events. Your kids will learn a lot. The books can stand alone as history readers, or you can purchase the activity books. I used mine to supplement our studies in Mystery of History. What I don't like: Though written from a conservative point of view, these books do not go out of their way to include Bible history or to show the providence of God throughout history (though they don't ignore it either - these are not revisionist history). In fact, the worldview of many historical figures is ignored, leaving this a somewhat "fluffy" version of history. Having said that, the second volume in the series stands out as the one where Bauer does an excellent job introducing the Reformation, the constant battles between Catholic and Protestant, and the reasons why. She does a great job of making a complex subject understandable for kids. So, depending where you stand, you might appreciate the way these books try to present history "fairly." If you are looking for a more inclusive look at God's providence and worldviews, you will undoubtedly find these books to be weak.
"Story of the World, Vol. 2" is a recommended spine book for a couple of TruthQuest guides: "Middle Ages," and "Renaissance/Reformation." Remember, in TruthQuest history, no single book is "required," however, there are a number of books that are referred to to create an educational/historical spine in which your student can "hang" all his new-found knowledge. If you are using TQ history, you may find it helpful to include one or two of these in your study. This book would also provide support for Mystery of History 2.
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