Title: Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Author: John H. Haaren
Series: Famous Men
Major Themes: Conquerors, Explorers, Kings, Monks, Germany, Rome, France, England
Synopsis: In 34 short chapters, the lives of many famous men and a few women in Medieval Europe are described, telling the history of Europe along the way.
I have always loved history, and I have always loved a good story. My favorite way to learn history is through stories, so that is how I teach history to my children. We just finished reading through Famous Men of the Middle Ages as part of our study of Medieval history. We have been reading Story of the World Volume 2 and A Child’s History of the World as well, and trying to synchronize the chapters. That means we’ve read the same story several times, in some cases, but each book also has stories that are not included in the others. If I do this again, I’ll probably try to pick out just one telling of each story, though.
We skipped the two introductions, which describe the gods of the people of northern Europe at the time of the fall of Rome. We started with chapter 1, which tells the story of Alaric the Visigoth, who captured Rome. Other chapters tell the stories of many other famous men throughout European history from then until the late 1400s. Most were kings, such as Clovis, Justinian, Charlemagne, Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror and Henry V. Others were religious men, such as the monks Benedict and Gregory, or the explorer Marco Polo, or the inventor, Gutenberg. Each short chapter is further divided into two or three parts, which makes it easy to read just a little bit each day to supplement your history course.
I really liked this book. The stories of these famous people are told simply, but in a very interesting way, telling the history of the times along the way.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15