Category Archive: Book Series Reviews

Articles featuring a series of books from a single author or publisher

Apr 09

Hell on Earth: A Million “Casualties” at Verdun

Thousands of shells were fired on the fortifications, day and night for months on end.

Under the weight of superior numbers and superior artillery the French troops, brave as they were, were gradually cut to pieces. Except for two brigades, which came in toward the end, they were without reinforcements of any kind. Their mission was to hold to the very last, and right nobly had they fulfilled it. Their duty was to exact the greatest possible price for each yard of German advance, and right powerfully had they exacted it. For every Frenchman who went down, it is said at least four Germans did likewise. The slaughter was great. Verdun thus gained, almost instantly, the place it was to hold for many months as the graveyard of the contending armies.

Nov 06

Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite History Series

Lincoln reading with his son Tad.

“I want to thank you and your brother for Abbott’s series of Histories. I have not education enough to appreciate the profound works of voluminous historians, and if I had, I have no time to read them. But your series of Histories gives me, in brief compass, just that knowledge of past men and events which I need. I have read them with the greatest interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I have.” —Abraham Lincoln.

Oct 17

Ancient Classics for Teens: Alfred J. Church


Alfred Church is especially gifted at exciting a real interest in classics for the intermediate student. He does not write introductory histories, in the style of Guerber, or Macgregor, but rather, he writes for junior or senior high school students who are already familiar with the basics of Ancient history, but would like a more in depth knowledge of these areas, without having to tackle college-level classics. Church’s works are full of fascinating details that introductory texts leave out, and they inspire an abiding interest in the ancients.

Sep 15

British History Core Reading Selections

The Heritage History library contains dozens of books about English History and heroes, but while our complete collection includes over 80 books in its British category, only a few of these can be considered comprehensive histories (also called spines). Since spines are often assigned as required reading, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce these books to those families who are considering a study of English history.

While all of the following books are excellent, Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall is the most well-known. It is recommended by several traditional curriculums and never disappoints. The others, however, are worthy of note, and each is considerably shorter than H. E. Marshall’s landmark work.

Sep 14

Featured Series: Makers of England


One of our favorite biographical series is Eva March Tappan’s Makers of England series. This series introduces middle school aged students to the lives of four fascinating kings and queens and each book is entertaining and fast moving.

In all four books, the author emphasizes the childhood and education of the monarch, rather than dwelling on the political events of their reign. In this way the author introduces the reader to the world in which each of her heroes grows to manhood or womanhood. The heroes’ relationships with their parents and tutors, the customs of their society, and the ideas which guided the education of well-brought up children of their age are all explored.

Sep 04

Featured Series: Colonial Children

James Otis, author of the Colonial Children’s series has an extraordinary ability to weave complex characters and communicate vivid images with exceedingly few words. The series was written to appeal to very young readers, and features short chapters, simple sentences, and an illustration on nearly every page. The books can be read by novice readers, yet the stories are rich with character development, drama, and fascinating observations.

Aug 17

Featured Author: Robert Van Bergen


Robert Van Bergen was one of the first American scholars to study in Japan after its opening to foreigners in the 1860’s. In addition to mastering Japanese and other oriental languages, he taught English to the Japanese and was personally known to many of the revolutionary statesmen of Japan who transformed the country from a feudal empire, with medieval customs to one of the most advanced technological countries in the world in only a single generation.

Aug 16

Ancient History Core Reading Selections

Ancient Greece Classical Library

Heritage History recommends that every student of Ancient History read at least two comprehensive histories (sometimes called “spines”) for both Greece and Rome. Instead of writing individual reviews for a dozen such histories currently available from Heritage History, this review gives an overview of book sets from five different authors that we recommend as “core” reading for beginning and intermediate students.

Dec 20

Featured Author: Paul du Chaillu

Paul du Chaillu’s “Stories of the Gorilla Country” series tell the humorous and hair-raising story of the earliest American explorer of equatorial Africa. It has all of the attractions of a good Tarzan style adventure story, combined with the reflective philosophy of Robinson Crusoe. It differs from both of these however, in that it is the true account of the first American explorer to live among the interior African tribes of Equatorial Africa for an extended period of time. . .