History Through Great Books for a High School Boy

History for a High School Boy


“Gathering the Storm” by Joel Clarkson


I was asked for a list of good books to read to make studying History much more enjoyable and thorough than a textbook, so I put together this list of books that we have loved and learned the most from.

For American History

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes


Amos Fortune Free Man by Elizabeth Yates

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Boys’ War by Jim Murphy

World War 1

The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy


Hero Over Here by Kathleen V. Kudlinski

World War 2

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry


Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen

I also recommend books by G. A. Henty. They are fantastic!

Books about seafaring adventures that the whole family will love:

Books by R. M. Ballantyne are full of adventure, pirates, sailors, storms, intrigue, and being stranded on islands. Rollicking adventures, I guess you could say! The Coral Island is one of his best-known stories. But he wrote over 90 books, so there are many to choose from!

Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. I have heard so many people say that they really enjoyed this story. And we did, too!

Horatio Hornblower by C. S. Forester. This is a whole series about a young man who starts out as a seasick midshipman and works his way up to Admiral of the Fleet during the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

These are some of my favorite books to cover American History and some World History. I hope you can find something from this list that will inspire and inform you and your young men.

Happy History Reading!

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