Wednesday, May 20

Audiobooks for American History

Teaching history classes at our local co-op has been eye-opening!  I was blessed with a history teacher who brought the past to life, but have learned that so many adults did not have that experience, and have passed their 'history drudgery' onto their students.  My goal as co-op teacher is to get these kids excited about history!

Audio books are an excellent way to make historical fiction accessible.  I hear parents talk about lacking confidence in their read-aloud ability, and that's ok!  We all have different talents.  Me...I do the voices.  All of them!  And my kids love being read to...even as teens (though they'd surely deny it if their friends ask).

When we're travelling in the car, one of the boys is reading something he finds difficult, or we just want to break up the monotony, we turn to these historical audio books.  The characters bring the stories to life...and these stories are our boys' favorites (so they're pretty light on the romance).

The list below are our top ten favorite American history audio books - with the stamp of approval from a house full of boys! - but it is not exhaustive. Use these as a jumping off point for finding your family's next listen...

With Lee in Virginia
The Civil War, as seen through the eyes of young Vincent Wingfield, a spirited teenager from the South and heir to a southern slave plantation, who staunchly supports the rights of slaves but, because of fidelity to the state of Virginia, joins Lee's cavalry and fights for the Confederacy.
The Sign of the Beaver
Twelve-year-old Matt is left on his own in the Maine wilderness while his father leaves to bring the rest of the family to their new settlement. When he befriends Attean, an Indian chief’s grandson, he is invited to join the Beaver tribe and move north. Should Matt abandon his hopes of ever seeing his family again and go on to a new life?

Johnny Tremain
Johnny Tremain is historical fiction at its best, portraying Revolutionary Boston as a living drama, through the shrewd eyes of an observant boy. -- A story filled with danger and excitement, Johnny Tremain tells of the turbulent, passionate times in Boston just before the Revolutionary War. -- Johnny, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught up with Otis, Hancock, and John and Samuel Adams in the exciting and dramatic operations and subterfuges leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. As Johnny is forced into the role of a full-grown man in the face of his new country's independence, he finds that his relations with those he loves change for the better as well.
Farmer Boy
The Story of a boy named Almanzo Wilder...While Laura Ingalls grows up on the western prairie, a boy named Almanzo Wilder is living on a farm in New York State. Almanzo and his brother and sisters work at their chores from dawn until supper most days -- no matter what the weather. There is still time for fun, though, especially with the horses, which Almanzo loves more than anything.
Under Drake's Flag
Ned Hawkshaw is about to take the greatest adventure a boy could ever imagine… with one of the most celebrated heroes in history – Sir Francis Drake! Ned fights off a shark attack, survives a shipwreck, engages in fierce battles on sea and land, and comes face to face with the Spanish Inquisition. Experience the swashbuckling tale that pits faith against fear, and helps Ned grow from a boy into a man.

Captain Bayley's Heir
Frank Norris, accused of theft and unable to prove his innocence, leaves for excitement and adventure in the California Gold Fields of 1850s America. He sails the Atlantic, braves a storm while working as a barge man on the Mississippi, survives an Indian attack while crossing the plains with a caravan, strikes it rich in the California Gold Mines, and is finally able to clear his name and return to England to claim his rightful inheritance. A great adventure story that illuminates the trials and tribulations of many who traveled to California during the great Gold Rush!
The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There's Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, Kenny, and Byron, Kenny's older brother, who, at thirteen, is an "official juvenile delinquent."

When Momma and Dad decide it's time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the amazing Ultra-Glide, and the Watsons set out on a trip like no other. Heading South, they're going to Birmingham, Alabama, and toward one of the darkest moments in America's history.
Bud, Not Buddy
It’s 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him:

1. He has his own suitcase full of special things.
2. He’s the author of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.
3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!

Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

Rush Revere & the American Revolution
Be a part of Rush Revere’s crew as we rush, rush, rush into a time when British rule had become a royal pain, and rebellion was in the air. We’ll be on hand to see two lanterns hungin the Old North Church, prevent a British spy from capturing Paul Revere, and grapple with danger at the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill.  The extra-special part of this trip is that right here in the twenty-first century, Cam’s dad is a soldier fighting in Afghanistan, and Cam has been pretty angry that he is away. Visiting with exceptional American heroes like Dr. Joseph Warren and George Washington, racing along after Paul Revere on his midnight ride, and seeing the Declaration of Independence signed make Cam see his own dad in a new and special way.

Guts & Glory: World War II
From massive aerial battles that clouded the skies with planes to deathly secret operations deep behind enemy lines, the events of World War II are some of the most awe-inspiring of all time. Discover legendary commanders, tremendous fights, elite soldiers, and courageous individuals whose deeds truly made the difference in this jaw-dropping guide to the biggest war the world has ever seen. History buff and popular blogger Ben Thompson's extensive research and irresistible storytelling puts readers right in the middle of the action in this third book in the unforgettable Guts & Glory series!

One of the most beloved bestsellers in recent years, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir. A powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the end of the 1950s, it is the story of a mother's love and a father's fears, of growing up and getting out. With the grace of a natural storyteller, Homer Hickam looks back after a distinguished NASA career to tell his own true story of growing up in a dying coal town and of how, against the odds, he made his dreams of launching rockets into outer space come true.  This is one of our boys' favorite stories about space, rockets, and future dreams!

Access all of our FREE Novel Studies for both modern and vintage literature here.

This SchoolhouseTeachers American Revolution course introduces elementary and middle school students to the key battles and players of the Revolutionary War and incorporates history, geography, reading, critical thinking and analysis, and cursive writing throughout.

From the discovery of the New World to the end of the American Revolution, let Dave Stotts take your family on a Drive Thru History. Join him as he takes you to the places where America was born, shares facts about history you have never heard, and has a great deal of fun along the way. Plus, enjoy a special set of worksheets only available here!  Find out more about Drive Thru History...

Trouble in Paradise

When we got a new car, we had instant issues with our audiobooks!  The problem?  No cd player.  It's a bit discriminatory of companies to just assume that everyone has a smartphone and streaming capabilities...   Nevertheless, we wanted to continue listening to the books we owned while driving, so we searched and searched and finally found this integrated vehicle cd player.  It can be mounted vertically or horizontally in your car.

You have to get one that will work with your specific car, so be sure to check the chart online, but this one - in spite of the additional cost - worked well with our car and allowed us to still use the books we had, without having to repurchase them in a different format or subscribe to a cell service for same reason.  If you're in the minority, like we are, I highly recommending checking it out, as it looks like cars aren't going to be going back to CD players, and our manufacturer insisted that they couldn't install one aftermarket....

1 comment:

  1. We have read almost all of those books and listened to a few, but not all of them. I rarely think to get audio books!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.