Posts tagged ‘medieval history’

A nice way to learn about African history

Njinga of Ndongo

Written by Ekiuwe Aire

Illustrated by Natalia Popova

This beautifully written picture book is a wonderful addition to the library of late elementary and middle-school students. It relates the story of an African princess who became queen of two African kingdoms of the 1600s.

Njinga survived a difficult birth. After her father breathed life into her, he realized she was a survivor. Despite the jealousy of her older brother, Njinga succeeded in school and observed carefully. When her brother became king, she had to flee, but she returned when the country needed her.

This story is told simply yet eloquently. The illustrations are exquisite. There are beautiful maps, a timeline and historical facts that provide a plethora of information on African and Portuguese history.

I highly recommend the book to parents, teachers and librarians as a valuable reference book on medieval African history. It also provides a strong role model for young women who seek to be the future leaders of tomorrow.

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Check out learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

SUBWAYS TO SCOTLAND

The Camelot Kids: Part One

Written by Ben Zackheim

thecamelotkids

First book in a new middle grade series that mixes medieval history, knights, castles, adventure and coming of age with a modern twist. Protagonist Simon Sharp is a fourteen year old who becomes an orphan at the age of twelve when his archaeologist parents die in an airplane crash over Scotland. Simon finds himself in a New York City orphanage and foster care. He is clever, smart and streetwise, though he is bullied by Brad. When strangers ask how his parents died, he replies, “King Arthur killed them.” Their lifelong mission had been to find Camelot.

Simon’s unlucky situation becomes more mysterious, when he gets a letter from an uncle in Scotland who claims that he has just found out about the accident and will assume responsibility for Simon. The boy is soon on a plane to Scotland and a new life in a mysterious castle. Though he now attends a private school, the bullying situation is the same. Simon will discover hidden passages and meet mysterious creatures like gargoyles, trolls, and magicians. Who are they and what is his connection to them?

This book of slightly less than one hundred pages has charming black and white illustrations that add to the depth of the characters and setting of the tale. The writing of the plot is well-executed and the characters are interesting and endearing. Zackheim seems to have found the right combination of modern day grit and medieval fantasy in setting the right tone for the series. I think tweens and teens will want to get involved with this story. I know that many adults like me have fond memories of Camelot.

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