November 27, 2012
When I heard that Veritas Press published a new history narrative, I had to check it out. With their rich literature selections, rigorous academic offerings, and terrific customer service, Veritas is one of my favorite homeschool curriculum suppliers.
“From a mysterious safe in a dusty library comes the gateway to a journey through history. What James and Lance thought would be a boring school project is astonishingly transformed into an adventure that will forever change their lives.
Perfect for family story time or individual study, Pages of History transports the reader through the timeline of the world—providing a view of God’s work in every age.
In this exciting first volume, James and Lance travel from Creation through the Reformation. Their adventures in history will captivate readers young and old.”
This 448-page, hardcover book covers 96 major events and thousands of years of history in the format of a compelling story with an unapologetically Christian worldview.
What I Love
The storyline woven throughout the book involves two boys who basically travel through time, learning about different pieces of history as they go. A wise dove guides them through, introducing the boys to different characters and providing moral commentary on the events. The way the authors use the dove as a thread through the story is a clever tool to keep the story moving and to provide the boys with mature oversight as they continue their adventure.
The history for this time period is addressed in a very age-appropriate manner. Without covering up ugly episodes, the authors have been discerning in how much detail the story needs. The boys have many zany adventures, which are thoughtfully interspersed with some of the heavier historical events. I really enjoyed that balance.
This story really shows how history is God’s story and that every time has validity. The boys are today’s boys… they talk like today’s boys, think like today’s boys and question like today’s boys. Children of today will relate easily to the language the boys and their culture references, however, the authors keep it tasteful. As the story progresses, the history points the boys to God and His plan for the world.
What Could Be Improved
In future books, I would like to see just a little more fluidity to the story line. For instance, the first time I came across Alexander the Great, he was given a brief mention and then the story moved on. I had no way of knowing whether that thread would be picked up again later. (It was:-) In my mind though, the flow of the story would be a little smoother if there was a callout box or something that would let me know that more was forthcoming… Maybe something like a foreshadow box or something of that nature.
Also, the two boys are definitely boys, and there is a slight flavor of “why would a battle be fought over a girl?” It didn’t bother me, but some girls may have a hard time relating.
Grade from the Professor
This series looks very promising and, frankly, it is just plain fun. I am especially pleased to see such a well-done narrative of history for the elementary age. Even my fifth-grader enjoyed whiz zing through it because the story was catchy and it reinforced some of his more in-depth studies. For fourth grade and under, this would be a great spine for the study of history. And, it is my understanding that more volumes will be forthcoming.
I am also pleased to let you know that the folks at Veritas are running a launch special that includes a $10 Veritas coupon with every order AND volume pricing of 40% off of orders for 5 copies or more. The link for that is http://resource2.veritaspress.com/Promotions/Pages_of_History.html. After the cutoff on Friday, November 30 at midnight, that will convert to an About The Book page with order link.