Guerber History Series
|Publisher: Nothing New Press
Author: H.A. Guerber, edited by Christine Miller
Review last updated: July 2012
This is one of my 101 Top Picks!
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Guerber History Series
See the complete review in 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
Christine Miller authored All through the Ages: History through Literature Guide, a resource for selecting "real books" for history. Christine recommends using at least one overview or “spine” type book for each historical era in addition to titles that might focus on particular people and events. (An overview or spine book functions like a history text in covering the broad range of events in chronological order.) Because it can be difficult to find appealing overview books written from a Christian perspective, Christine has updated and rewritten a series of books originally written by H.A. Guerber (first published in 1898). These new books vary from minimal rewrites of Guerber’s work to incorporation of her material into new books. The seven books in this series all begin The Story of …. The titles continue: the Ancient World, the Greeks, the Romans, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, the Thirteen Colonies, and the Great Republic (U.S. history to 1900). It is important to note that all of the material does not derive solely from Guerber’s original work. For The Middle Ages, Miller also drew upon some historical works by Charlotte Yonge.
The Story of the Ancient World is based upon Guerber’s The Story of the Chosen People, a biblical history focused on key figures and events of the Old Testament. Miller has added some history of ancient civilizations that are closely related to the Old Testament, so you learn about Egyptians, Phoenicians, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians to better understand the historical context of scripture. Miller has also made a few changes to Guerber’s wording. Most particularly she changes Guerber’s original wording about the days of Creation that allowed for “day” to mean a longer period of time to an explanation that supports a literal 24-hour-day viewpoint.
Guerber writes with a lively style that reminds me of Joy Hakim (author of The History of US from Oxford University Press). Christine Miller has retained that same engaging style in her adaptations and additions.
Part of what makes this type of writing more enjoyable is that the author’s feelings and opinions show through the narrative. That means we also get some of Guerber’s original thoughts and attitudes, and there might be a few of these with which you disagree. However, Christine Miller has added explanations in the forewords regarding topics most likely to be problematic.
None of these volumes strive to be comprehensive....
The reading level would make these most appropriate for junior high level for independent reading. However, they can be read aloud with children from about fourth grade and up. There are no questions or exercises with any of these volumes....
Of particular note is the religious perspective. This series is Christian, and it does a surprisingly good job of fairly presenting both Protestant and Catholic positions. Even in the Renaissance and Reformation volume, you read about the good and bad from both sides.
All books are available in either print or ebook versions.
print editions - $24.95-$30.95, ebooks - $14.95-$20.95
Guerber’s Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic
- $16.95 List Price at Rainbowresource.com
- $14.95 at Rainbowresource.com
Story of the Middle Ages
Story of the Thirteen Colonies
Story of the Greeks
Story of the Romans
- Suitable for: read alouds; independent reading for older students
Audience: grades 4 and up
Need for parent/teacher instruction: varies by age of children
Prep time needed: none
Teacher's manual: N/A
Religious perspective: Christian (mildly Protestant)
Nothing New Press
P.O. Box 18335
Sarasota, FL 34276
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