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Monday, December 7, 2009

Timberdoodle: Stories from History Graphic Novels

Melissa J's Thoughts
I would never have thought about it, but putting history into graphic novel form is a great way to help kids learn history! That's exactly what the Stories from History: Graphic Novel Set of 10 from Timberdoodle does!  At $16.95 (when it is listed for $69.50) the entire set is a very worthwhile purchase!  Even I, who does not care all that much for history, enjoyed reading through these.

Books included in the set are:
Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada
The Life of Christopher Colombus
Gladiators and the Story of the Colosseum
The Life of Julius Casear
The Race to the South Pole
The Discovery of T. Rex
The Life of Anne Frank
The Life of Leonardo DaVinci
The Building of The Great Pyramid
Pizarro and the Incas
Alexander the Great

All the books are 48 pages in length, short enough to keep a child's attention but jam packed with enough information to pack a proverbial historical punch! There is so much information contained in one book, it can be worth a history text book chapter.

Each graphic novel follows a similar format. Immediately the reader is provided with a "Cast of Characters" who explains the key figures the book centers around. Then, an overview of the book is provided in "Contents". Once into the main part of the book, key facts are presented at the top of the graphic illustrations in boxes, short, to the point, and very concise. Then, as most comic books and graphic novels do, those facts are played out with full color illustrations that have character dialogue.

Each book then wraps up with pages that contain important dates, miscellaneous facts, a glossary, and even an index of key facts within the book--all of which would come in great for review and test purposes for homeschooling families.

Mel's Thoughts:
The Stories from History Graphic Novels set is any little boy's dream, but any mom's dream, as well, at least for this mom.  Every time we go to the library, where does Jacob head?  You got it, straight to the comic/superhero section.  Now I've been able to point him in the direction of some truly educational comic books with real heroes and figures from history.  How awesome is that?! 

This set includes the following 11 titles:
Pizarro and the Incas
The Life of Anne Frank
The Building of the Great Pyramid
The Life of Julius Caesar
The Life of Christopher Columbus
The Race to the South Pole
Gladiators and the Story of the Colosseum
The Life of Alexander the Great
Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada
The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci
The Discovery of T. Rex

Meant for ages 8-14, or grades 3-8, this set of graphic novels is particularly useful for supplementing any history curriculum.  It helps the lessons and historical figures in the curriculum to come alive before the child's eyes.  Each book has a listing with descriptions of the central Cast in each story.  There is also a Contents section.  Most of the books, but not all, have a section in the very beginning, that helps the reader to put together where the story took place.  It introduces the reader to the place and setting of the facts in that particular story, with maps that are filled with borders, sites, trails, conquests, etc.  The end of each book has a detailed Timeline and a Did You Know? section, as well as a Glossary and Index.  I particularly love the Glossary section because it helps to explain terms and serve as a reminder to Jacob of what certain places and who certain people were.  It's a really great resource to flip back to, if needed.

Timberdoodle has mentioned that page 13 of Gladiators and the Story of the Colosseum and page 26 of The Life of Leonardo DaVinci may need a little white-out, depending on your family's modesty standards.  

I do highly recommend this set of novels for any history student or history buff.  The set is significantly discounted with Timberdoodle, being lowered in price from $69.50 to $16.95.  Of course, you can buy each book individually, but the set is a considerable bargain.  I am hoping to especially use these with our history curriculum, as we have been studying ancient history and will soon be starting to study medieval/Middle Ages history.  Timberdoodle also offers other homeschool curriculum and homeschool supplies.

(Disclosure: We were provided these products, free of charge, by Timberdoodle, in association with MamaBuzz.)


Heather December 7, 2009 at 7:58 AM  

Thanks, MamaBuzz. These are a great way to get some extra exposure to history.

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