Helene A. Guerber wrote histories for grammar school children in the 19th century. Published in 1896 by the American Book Company, ‘Guerber’s Historical Readers in the Eclectic Readings Series’ were used to introduce children to the histories of the ancient and classical world. Her preface to The Story of the Greeks states her purpose followed in all the subsequent histories:
“This elementary history of Greece is intended for supplementary reading or as a first history text-book for young pupils. It is therefore made up principally of stories about persons; for, while history proper is largely beyond the comprehension of children, they are able at an early age to understand and enjoy anecdotes of people, especially of those in the childhood of civilization. At the same time, these stories will give a clear idea of the most important events that have taken place in the ancient world, and, it is hoped, will arouse a desire to read further. They also aim to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described.”
The engaging narratives that followed are richly detailed accounts of the lives and times of the most important people of the period, arranged chronologically. The people are placed within the context of their times, and their history is presented with interesting background information so that the entire narrative flows as a single, unbroken story. Dates are given in the narrative where they are known; the pronunciation of place and personal names is carefully marked at its first encounter in the text; and illustrations abound. The books includes maps, a comprehensive timeline of all the persons and events encountered in the history, a comprehensive Recommended Reading list of wonderful historical fiction and non-fiction keyed to the chapters; and a complete bibliography and index round out the book.
Please visit the individual book pages linked below for more detailed information about each of Guerber’s Histories available from Nothing New Press. From there, you may also view 2-page spreads, read the publisher’s and author’s prefaces, the table of contents, several whole chapters from each book, customer comments, and more.
We recommend these books as a child’s first introduction to history in grades 1-6 (although we have heard from many moms whose teens study these with enthusiasm). They make wonderful read-alouds, and the Recommended Reading suggestions keyed to the chapters provide additional detail and fascinating excursions into topics introduced in the narrative, often with books children can look at or read on their own.
Known for their easy-to-read style and their solid basis in Scripture, these award-winning books are fantastic additions to your home library!