Back to School: History 101

Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Tuesday, the topic for Top Ten Tuesday was to make up a reading list of a pretend class you'll be teaching.  Since I was away on vacation-- went to Salem, MA-- I wanted to be given the chance to do it.  Instead of ten books, I only have five.  How many books can you finish in the semester?

Back to school is fast approaching.  My brother is already getting in the school mode-- going to sleep earlier, spending time with friends less.  For me, I feel weird since the summer is finally coming to an end and just having recently graduated, I stay back instead of going to school.

However, today I'll be sharing my pretend-reading-list with you from my History 101 syllabus.  A little fact: History was one of my worst subjects in high school.  I'm not that good at remembering dates.  However, if my class had an awesome reading list like this one, I would have probably gotten better grades.

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (my review): Let's go way back.  I learned all about Alexander the Great in my History course.  Well, if this book was taught during that section, I would have probably retained much more.  A new release, Legacy of Kings is written by an acclaimed historian, Eleanor Herman.  YA knows how to get educational.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (my review): This one is a little different from the rest.  Our protagonist time travels, starting the story in New York.  Students would get the most out of the book when they reach the travels back in time.  Let's learn about the French Revolution.  Also, with the time traveling aspect, readers get a modern perspective on the time period and will be much more likely to understand.  Plus, if this was a real reading list, I would bring in a health teacher to lecture about some of the other themes in the book like suicide and drug abuse.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: We could have a whole section on society and school systems in different time periods.  Gemma, this protagonist, is subjected to British boarding school.  Let's have a class where we discuss the book over tea time.
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: Manhatten in 1899 was one dramatic era and before we start talking about the Depression in the 20s, we will begin with The Luxe.  During this section of the course, we could touch upon the clothing worn and what was proper and not.  It would make an awesome lecture!
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak: As much as I want to go in chronological order, The Book Thief and World War II is definitely not what I want to end on (I want to end with a happy note)-- maybe, I'll have to teach History 102. Narrated by Death, our main character strives to read books she picks up along her travels.  It's a touching and meaningful tale and as much as I don't think the movie did it enough justice, I think I would still show it in class as a supplement to reading.  And let's get real: The Book Thief teaches some German words throughout the text so I would definitely invite a foreign language to come and give the class a lesson on basic German.

Would reading these books or other YA make you want to take a history course?  Wouldn't this be such a great class?

What are you reading for class?

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