I have been reading this wonderful book by Susan Bauer Wise to my children each night for the last month or so. The past few nights, my six-year-old daughter has been demanding I read her "that Mystery of the World book". I tried to read her some of her other modern stories, but she is in love with this book.
This is the first in a series that covers history from the nomadic times through to modern day. I bought the adult version of this series last years and fell in love with the style of writing. History becomes a wonderful story told in order from the beginning, with stories from all places brought together in a way that I could make sense of. In the children's version, the language is just as beautiful. The stories included bring delight, fear, disbelief, and wonder into my children's hearts and eyes. My husband has been listening, too, learning history and English at the same time.
Tonight, we read about Gilgamesh. Last week, we read about Babylon. I'm amazed at how much my little girl retains and repeats to me. Just before sleeping, she expressed her ideas of where these places are in Africa today.
Don't be afraid to try this book out on your lower-grade elementary-aged kids. We all look forward to the new chapters each night, and it's not like we are a super-academic family.