Guerber's Historical Readers

Authors: Helene Guerber
Publisher: American Book Company, New York
Dates: 1896—1910

Helene Guerber was an American author who wrote a series of Historical Readers intended for Middle School School children. Her books provide an excellent introduction to the most important periods of world history, and all are appealing to novice readers. Each book is divided into a large number of short chapters, each of which deals with a specific character or event. This helps younger students who are not yet familiar with the history of a particular period, remember the highlights and most important characters. They stories themselves, are told with great interest and provide just enough information to help middle school readers master the subject.

We use the Guerber Historical readers as one of our main sources for creating historical questions and answesr because they provide such an excellent outline of basic events. The author knows very well how to write in a manner that is appealing to children, and yet covers almost all the most important character and events from each time period. Her books are packed with information, while still being attractive to novice students.

Guerber's books are also richly illustrated. Instead of original color prints however, most of the illustrations are black and white renditions of famous historical paintings, portraits, or other imaged.

Story of the Greeks   by Helene Guerber
Elementary history of Greece, made up principally of stories about persons, giving at the same time a clear idea of the most important events in the ancient world and calculated to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described. Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome. 116 credits

Story of the Romans   by Helene Guerber
This elementary history of Rome presents short stories of the great heroes, mythical and historical, from Aeneas and the founding of Rome to the fall of the western empire. Around the famous characters of Rome are graphically grouped the great events with which their names will forever stand connected. Vivid descriptions bring to life the events narrated, making history attractive to the young, and awakening their enthusiasm for further reading and study. 114 credits

Story of Old France   by Helene Guerber
This book, along with its companion volume, The Story of New France provides a comprehensive overview of French history from Roman Gaul to the First World War. This first volume begins with stories of the Gauls prior to the Roman Conquest, and ends with the death of Louis XVI. The Merovingian, Carolingian, Capet, and Valois dynasties are covered, as well as the early Bourbon monarchs.165 credits

Story of the English   by Helene Guerber
Middle school level introduction to British history, from the age of the Celts and Druids to the Victorian Age. Many of the most romantic stories from English history are recounted in simple terms for school aged children. Includes a great many famous anecdotes and legends from English history. Stories about Arthur, Alfred, Canute, Lady Godiva, William the Conqueror, Thomas Becket, Richard Coeur d' Leon, and many others English heroes are featured.145 credits

Story of Modern France   by Helene Guerber
This comprehensive history of France from the years leading up to the French Revolution to the years immediately before World War I give an excellent overview of one of the most dramatic and turbulent centuries in European history. Beginning with the corrupt and extravagant reign of Louis XV, much of the book focuses on the turbulent period from the events leading up to the French Revolution to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. The final third of the book covers the Restoration, the second Empire under Napoleon III, and the Third Republic formed after the devastating Franco-Prussian war.142 credits

Story of the Thirteen Colonies   by Helene Guerber
This book is the first part of a two book series written to provide a comprehensive history of the United States to middle school aged children. It begins with the explorations of Columbus, tells the story of the founding of each of the American colonies, and ends with the Revolutionary War, which severed the colonies from the British Empire. Its companion book, The Great Republic covers American history from the Revolutionary war to the early 20th century.141 credits

Story of the Great Republic   by Helene Guerber
This book is the second volume of Guerber's American history series. It covers United States history from just after the Revolutionary War to the beginning of the 20th century. Guerber uses short, story-based based narratives, each based on a particular character or incident, to tell the story of America from the founding throughout the 19th century. An excellent introduction to American history for middle school students.151 credits

Story of the Chosen People   by Helene Guerber
Guerber's history of the Jewish people tells many familiar stories from the Old Testament, but is not written as a Children's Bible. She recounts the stories of Genesis and Moses in detail, but moves quickly through the histories of Israel and Judea, and uses independent historical sources to describe events of the Babylonian captivity, and exile of the Jews. Her story passes over the life of Christ, but ends with the conquest of Judea by the Romans and the destruction of the Temple. 100 credits