There’s one thing about history that my daughter quickly learned in her early elementary school days. Humans seem to always be fighting each other.
It’s an unpleasant subject on the surface, but if you’re going to instill a love of history in your children, you can’t avoid the fact that they will, inevitably, be reading about war.
And they will find it utterly fascinating.
With this year marking the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, or The Great War, we’ve seen a deluge of books on the subject.
One of these new ones is especially for kids. It’s not only a fascinating look at the deadliest conflict in human history, but it’s a primer on how to enjoy reading history.
World War I for Kids, by R. Kent Rasmussen, is, quite simply, the best children’s book about war that I’ve ever seen. The reason I think it’s the best is because of the way the author engages young readers with vibrant illustrations and hands-on activities.
This is not just a book for reading. It’s a book for doing. Activities include camouflaging an egg, making a trench periscope, and baking up some genuine “war bread” (no sugar or lard allowed). There are 21 activities in all, spread throughout the book to help bring the descriptive passages to life.
The author never talks down to his readers. He offers up clear and lively explanations on key aspects of the war, from its buildup to the rapid advances in military technology to the war’s impact on later historical events.
If your kids think history is boring, hand them this book. I guarantee they won’t put it down for awhile. The easygoing format, incredible photos, and fun activities are a welcome change from the usual dull texts with their laundry lists of names and dates.
World War I For Kids encourages its readers to connect the dots between the major events, why they happened, and how all the events, both past and future, are related. That, right there, is critical thinking, folks.
This book is good for any age from 4th grade up to early high school. It can certainly be enjoyed by anyone who is looking for an introduction to World War I.
You can buy a copy of World War I for Kids: A History with 21 Activities at Amazon.
I also have a copy to give away to one lucky reader. Leave a comment here or on the Idaho Dad Facebook page. I will pick a winner in a week’s time.