Title: The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages
Author: Susan Wise Bauer
Series: Story of the World, book 2
Major Themes: World History
Synopsis: The story of world history, from the fall of Rome to the rise of the Renaissance.
We have a difference of opinion in our house about The Story of the World. I think it’s very interesting, but most of my children say it’s boring. The 12-year-old thinks it’s childish. Granted, it was written with approximately 2nd graders in mind.
The Story of the World Volume 2 covers the years from the fall of Rome, in AD 410, to the rise of the Renaissance and the beginning of the exploration of the Americas in the end of the 1500s. Susan Wise Bauer narrates events not only all over Europe but also in India, China, the Arab lands, and even Australia and New Zealand in one chapter, and the pre-Columbian peoples of America in another chapter. She goes into a lot of detail about some topics.
I really like this series as a history spine. You could use it by itself for history, but I’ve found that children remember stories a lot better. That’s why we read so many historical novels. It has taken us about a year to get through this book, because we’ve stopped to read a lot of other books along the way!
Story of the World Volume 1 very obviously was not written from a Biblical worldview. The second book is not nearly so obvious, as it does not cover any Biblical history. It does discuss various religions, with the same tone used when discussing Christianity.
There is an activity book to go along with this volume. For each lesson, there are comprehension questions, a narrative exercise, map work, and a coloring page. There is also a long list (in most cases) of additional history reading and corresponding literature suggestions, and 4-6 craft/cooking/game suggestions. I have not used this book, although I’ve looked at it fairly thoroughly. It just doesn’t fit our family, but I’m sure most families would benefit from it.
WARNING: As mentioned in the second-to-last paragraph.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15