Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS > Novels to Teach Middle Ages (Medieval) - Help!

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message 1: by Lea Ann (new)

Lea Ann (buntingla) Okay, I've got the green light from my principal to purchase a class set of novels to use as a springboard for my 6th grade social studies classes. I'd like to find a book that would be good to use to teach about the Middle Ages.

I am not a fan of The Door in the Wall, so that one is off the list. I've been doing some searches and have come up with a few titles, but I thought I throw the question out here since I know a lot of us are in the field of education on this board.

If you have a good suggestion, please let me know. Thanks in advance!


message 2: by Ariana (new)

Ariana I do not know what you are saying


message 3: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
Off the top of my head, I can think of a few. Adam of the Road is one, though I haven't read it for years, so you'd need to take a look and see how good. Knight's Fee I read recently and it was pretty accurate.

I'll do a little looking around. Medieval lit was my field back in grad school, which meant a lot of history, so maybe I can figure out some that have good history. Most of the Arthurian stuff is pretty bad, if you're trying to teach how it really was.

Ah--Karen Cushman's books are well-researched (The Midwife's Apprentice, Matilda Bone and (maybe the best) Catherine, Called Birdy.


message 4: by Lea Ann (new)

Lea Ann (buntingla) I was considering Catherine, Called Birdy, but I haven't read it. There is kind of a short time frame for me to use the money I was offered for this, so I don't have the luxury of reading a ton of novels.


message 5: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments I was thinking of The Midwife's Apprentice also -- I haven't read any of Cushman's other books, but she's a fabulous writer.

What about Avi's Crispin: The Cross of Lead?


message 6: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Goldsmith (suzannegoldsmith) | 35 comments I second Crispin! It is gripping and filled with details of life in that period--as a bonus, it will interest boys and girls alike.


message 7: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (hollyshort) Cushman's latest two books are linked, one with a girl main character and one with a boy. Alchemy and Meggy Swan was published first, then Will Sparrow's Road. Look around on GoodReads for comments about them, check her official website too... Is "Elizabethan" the same time period as "Medieval"? If not, her Medieval titles are noted there. I've held a mother/daughter book discussion of Caterine Called Birdy, and it was well-received. It's pretty funny.


message 8: by Lea Ann (new)

Lea Ann (buntingla) I was concerned with Catherine, Called Birdy being a book primarily for girls. We aren't reading this until April or May so I really need a book that will hold the attention of the boys in the room that time of year. lol

Thanks so much for the recommendations!


message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
I'm trying to remember if when I read Crispin I was as confident about the historical detail. It's been too long--doesn't it have a magical element? Or am I thinking of something else?


message 10: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Goldsmith (suzannegoldsmith) | 35 comments Here's a link to an article you may find helpful about Crispin the Cross of Lead as historical fiction: http://reviews-of-childrens-literatur...


message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1668 comments Mod
Suzanne wrote: "Here's a link to an article you may find helpful about Crispin the Cross of Lead as historical fiction: http://reviews-of-childrens-literatur......"

Thanks,Suzanne. Clearly I was remembering something else, and this would be a good selection. Too many books, too few synapses...


message 12: by wanderer (new)

wanderer (vwanderer) | 50 comments One of my old favorites fits this category, I think:
The Perilous Gard

On my to-read list:
The Trumpeter of Krakow

And one of my favorite authors, Eloise Jarvis McGraw, writes books in this era, though I've not read any of those. Yet. :)


message 13: by Mary (new)

Mary The "Pagan" series by Catherine Jinks is quite good. Perhaps if you start with the first one there is the opportunity for your students to read the rest of the series. There is a new series about a young Knights Templar but I'll have to find out who the author is:)


message 14: by Emma (new)

Emma Lesko | 2 comments I love that this topic came up because I was just trying to find the same thing. I just read an article the other day (on Jezebel I think?) about miserable it was to be a kid in the Middle Ages. Now I want to read everything about it! I'm looking forward to exploring all of the suggestions.


message 15: by DeAnna (new)

DeAnna I read this one as a child and it sparked a continual fascination with Eleanor of Aquitaine and her times: A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver


message 16: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyhuthjones) | 5 comments Loved Catherine, Called Birdy, Crispin, Adam of the Road, and one I had forgotten about but rediscovered, The Ramsay Scallop by Frances Temple, which would appeal to both boys and girls. :)


message 17: by Emma (new)

Emma Barnes I also loved Catherine Called Birdy. For boy protagonists how about Arthur, the Seeing Stone (Kevin Crossley Holland) and One is One (Barbara Leonie Picard). the last one is an older book and maybe quite a demanding read but excellent - includes knights, monks and castles!


message 18: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Moore Lea wrote: "Okay, I've got the green light from my principal to purchase a class set of novels to use as a springboard for my 6th grade social studies classes. I'd like to find a book that would be good to use..."

Take a look at the Horrible History series by Terry Deary. This is non-fiction but presents history in such a fun refreshing way... There's bound to be one that covers the period your after.


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