Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Favorite History Reads

Ellen Baumler writes about Montana History.  She finds interesting stories and shares them with humor.  Two of her titles that I really enjoy are Montana Moments and More Montana Moments.  The stories are short and well told.  They are great read-alouds.

She has also written a collection of "Ghost Stories":  "Montana Chillers: 13 True Tales of Ghosts and Hauntings";  Spirit Tailings: Ghost Stories from Virginia City, Butte, and Helena.

For a flavor of her writing check out her blog Montana Moments http://ellenbaumler.blogspot.com/.   It was from Ellen's work that I first learned about Camel's in Montana during the Gold Rush era.

Another writer I have recently been introduced to is Lauren Tarshis. She is the writer of the historic fiction series "I survived".  The books are written for kids but are solidly researched.  I am currently reading "I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906" to my 5th graders.  The books provide the hook and background knowledge for working with primary sources around the event.

When I told my students that Lauren Tarsis was a female author they looked at me and said, "The author is a girl?  How do you know?"

"She was in Billings in October and I got to hear her talk about her books at a luncheon."

It is always fun to find new reads and authors?  What are some of your favorites?


  1. We just had our book fair last week, and they featured the I Survived series. I noticed quite a few kids looking at them. Wish I'd had your recommendation then, Ruth. It's hard to tell sometimes what's good & what isn't. Now I'll at least know to look for them! Thanks!

  2. I have always been fascinated by local ghost stories of strange and unusual occurrences in PA. One year a friend gave be a book called "Weird Pennsylvania". There is a whole series of these "Weird" books. Quite interesting.

  3. She has a contract for a total of 13. My kids love them they go out all the time. They are a little simplistic - but that is due for the age level. They sure make a great intro for some of the topics though.

  4. I'll have to check these out, Ruth - I'm always on the prowl for engaging history books.


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