We love to snuggle up and read books in our house. So, when we decided to study the 20th Century for a year, the first thing we did was look for books.
There are so many good books to choose from. It was hard to narrow it down.
We looked at HIS Story of the 20th Century to choose books that would dovetail nicely with the material covered in each decade.
Here are the books we chose.
Kim by Rudyard Kipling is set in Colonial India when it was under British control. Kim gives us a great look at what is was like to be in the British Empire generally and India specifically. The story is an engaging one, though frustrating at times as Kim makes choices that will keep him from knowing the Lord. An Irish subject in the British Empire, Mr. Kipling shows us his roots in several ways--maybe you can find them. One of the things that impacted me was an up-close look at how the culture in British colonies influenced the English as much as they spread their culture to the lands they ruled over. It was said that "The Sun Never Set on the British Empire." Kim will give a taste of that empire, as well as an exciting story.
The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy is supposedly for younger children and my kids were teens. But who can resist this story that takes you into the heart of a industrious, loving Hungarian family who is drawn into World War I? I love the opportunity to see the war from the other side. Of course, there is All is Quiet On the Western Front, but I find that book dull and preachy. So, we dove into The Singing Tree. Yes, it was an easy read, but a great story set in Hungary.
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreath, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreath Carey is a delightful zany adventure set in the Roaring Twenties into a family with 12 children. Written by two of the children, it is refreshing to read about a large family whose parents planned to have so many children. Of course, the changes of the 1920s affect this family much to father's consternation. The book is a lighthearted and fun trip back to the 1920s.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is a classic mystery set on the famous Orient Express (that we read about in HIS Story of the 20 Century) in the 1930s. The twist involves another famous story from this time period. You'll have to read it to discover the surprise historical ending. Again, this book pulls us right into the 1930s with the glamour of the famous train that delivered Europeans to Istanbul.
The younger children read The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum, set in the Nazi-occupied Holland where we jump into the activities of the Dutch Resistance. We almost read this one, but decided to read Vienna Prelude by Brodie and Brock Thoene. Be careful; this book is hard to put down! Set in Austria right before Hitler "annexes" it, the lives of Jewish musicians are in peril. This is the first in a series, so we may have to take a break and read all nine books.
While suburbs were springing up, people were purchasing cars to drive on brand new highways, and airlines experienced their golden age, all was not well in New York City with gangs seeking to steal, kill, and destroy the lives of one another. Into this environment, David Wilkerson and his wife entered with the love of Christ. The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and John & Elizabeth Sherrill is the story of their ministry to gang members in NYC.
Peace Child by Don Richardson is an amazing story of a faithful couple who were seeking a way to explain the love of Christ to a cannibalistic tribe that esteemed treachery. Finally, the Lord showed them a way to reach them with the Gospel and that's what this book is all about. Set in the jungles of Indonesia, this story will captivate your heart.
The Seventies were a wild time, to say the least. Born Again by Charles Colson will take you in the dark steamy side of politics. Mr. Colson was a "White House Plumber" who was arrested, tried, and convicted for his role in Watergate. In jail, he gave his heart to Christ and experienced the power of God's redemption. Another great book that will give you a taste of life in the seventies.
No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green by Melody Green is the story of a struggling singer caught up in the hippie lifestyle who finds Jesus, his Messiah. The Lord radically changed his life and used in to reach young people for Christ. This book is written with love by his widow and will inspire you to follow the Lord in your generation, just like Keith did. Set in the late seventies and early eighties, this is a great story of how God uses people who are willing to surrender.
41: A Portrait of My Father by President George W. Bush is about one President by another President who happens to be his son. This book is full of affection and respect from the author to his father. It paints a picture of a father and son who share timeless values of faith, family, and country. You will enjoy this glimpse into the twentieth century by looking at the life of a World War II hero who became President of the United States.
Wow! That's a lot of great books to learn about the 20th Century. We also recommend the one-credit high school world history course, HIS Story of the 20 Century. You can purchase HIS Story of the 20th Century on Amazon and the E-book at PayHip. The accompanying workbook, HIS Story of the 20th Century High School Workbook is available at Amazon and the E-book at PayHip.
We hope you appetite is whetted for learning more about the 20th Century. It is an exciting time in history to delve into.
For the glory of the Author of History,