30 March 2016
Day 67 / 105 - Ten Kings and Ten Queens
About three years ago, I picked up Milton Meltzer's book Ten Kings for one dollar at a local library sale. It was a large hardback book in perfect condition, and it told the sagas of ten of the most legendary kings and their complex kingdoms. Hammurabi, David, and Charlemagne are just three of the kings profiled. We love history books. This one reads narratively while including many details and facts about each empire. Plus, it has fantastic illustrations and maps.
Last month, my daughter began researching a Celtic queen for a year-end report for her Essentials class. I was thrilled to discover that Meltzer has a similar book of queens profiling ten women who ruled alone or shared governing power with their husbands. In this book, we discover Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabel of Spain, and more. I am impressed with the history (and geography) lessons that I have learned from these books.
One of Meltzer's contributions to children's non-fiction history was to offer young readers both the best, and the least admirable, sides of historical giants. He shows how political leaders can use and abuse power, and how just one person can change the course of history. That being said, I definitely recommend these books for older children to be read alongside their parents.