Fascinating Living History Books from Candlewick Press

These wonderful living books from Candlewick Press will make history meaningful for your child or teen. Use these books for independent reading or as read-alouds!

Stack of living history books

History is often seen as a dry, boring account of dates and facts that must be endured. And honestly, when it comes to history textbooks, that conclusion is pretty accurate.

But what if history is presented as the fascinating story of real people with real thoughts, feelings, and purposes? What if the exciting events of history are woven into a thrilling story?

That’s exactly what living history books do! Living books bring history to life, capturing a child’s interest far more readily than a textbook ever could.

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Living History Books from Candlewick Press

I recently discovered some wonderful living history books from Candlewick Press. The books I am featuring below are just a few of the large selection of books available from Candlewick Press.

Stack of living history books

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower tells the story of a John Howland, a young man who traveled with the Pilgrims to the New World. Sailing on the Mayflower as an indentured servant, Howland managed to fall overboard into the Atlantic Ocean. After recovering from his near drowning, he helped to find a safe landing site for the Pilgrims.

This book is extremely well written. The story is captivating, easily readable, and packed full of historical goodness. Kendra couldn’t wait to get her hands on it!

Recommended for grades 2-5, this book would make a great family read-aloud!

Girl reading a book

Isaac the Alchemist

Isaac the Alchemist is the story of Isaac Newton, the father of physics. He grew up in an apothecary’s house, where he loved to experiment with alchemy and record his findings in a little notebook. His entire life was devoted to learning how the world worked, and he became one of the greatest scientists to ever have lived.

This book is a fascinating read, bringing both science and history to life. Reproductions of Newton’s notes and drawings are scattered throughout the book.

This book is recommended for grades 5 and up. You won’t want to miss it!

Boy reading a book

To Stay Alive

To Stay Alive is a fictionalized account of Mary Ann Graves and the tragic journey of the Donner Party.

Nineteen-year-old Mary Ann, along with her parents and eight siblings, joined a wagon train headed for California. The group got a late start and was caught by an early winter, making their journey one of the most tragic stories in American history.

This book is written in a poetic form but is still very readable. The story is gripping and emotional. Please note that cannabalism and other difficult topics are mentioned.

This book is recommended for grades 5-9. Due to the nature of the content, I would not recommend this book for a younger listener. Please use your own judgment.

Cover of the book To Stay Alive

The Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon is a novel about a fourteen-year-old girl named Ella who is detained and forced to work in a sewing workshop in a Nazi concentration camp. There she and two dozen half-starved women sew dresses for the wives of the Nazi overseers and the female SS officers.

While the characters are entirely fictional, the book presents an accurate portrayal of concentration camp life under the Nazis. Teens will connect with Ella and see history come alive through her story.

This book is recommended for grades 7 and up.

Cover of the book The Red Ribbon

Candlewick Press Catalog and Discount Code

If you’re interested in these or other living history books from Candlewick Press, you can download the fall catalog to browse the current books. Use discount code CANDLEWICK at checkout to receive a 25% discount!

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One Comment

  1. Tammy Jones says:

    We love living history books! Thank you for the great info. They look great!