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Oct 6, 2016

If You Were Me and Lived in... History Books Homeschool Crew Review

The boys have become obsessed about time travel of late, thanks to Back to the Future.  Recently, we were able to do a bit of time travel of our own thanks to the If You Were Me and Lived in... history series.  We didn't need a fast car for our trips, just the books Brought to you by Carole P. Roman and

The four paperback books we received are

The If You Were Me and Lived in... series answers pretty much any question you could think of for each time and place in history.  I could not think of a single thing I wondered about any of these places that wasn't answered in each one of the books.  Many details weren't even things I had wondered much about, so it was neat to find out all of those details.  One of the first things in each book is a comparison of the modern day location to the time period covered in the text.  Students learn about popular names for boys and girls in the time, what they would have eaten, what their home life looked like, and how the children were educated, as well as many other topics.

I really liked how each book was told mostly about a particular child that you meet at the beginning.  "Your name could have been Clarence or Ethan if you were a boy.  Your parents could have picked Lucy or Minerva for your sister's name."  From that point on, the book is specifically about this boy and his family.  Two of the books were given a sort of "if you were this boy" feel and the other two I received featured a girl.  All the books talk about the lives of boys and girls in each location, usually as siblings.

Another nice feature of this series is the inclusion of a sort of phonetic spelling of some of the more unusual words.  "Athena (A-thee-na) was the goddess of courage and wisdom." and "Over that was a linen tunic (too-nick) that fell to his knees."  We still have some guys who struggle with sounding out some words, so this was really handy.

Ancient Greece - 54 pages, illustrated by Mateya Arkova
In addition to all the parts that are included in all the books, Ancient Greece ends with a list of Greek gods and goddesses and then a glossary of words and names from the book.
  • Back to Homeschool Resource Award winner
  • Summer 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner - Best Book in the Category of "Children's History"
Renaissance Italy - 54 pages, illustrations by Silvia Brunetti
This volume has a nice added segment about the importance of Renaissance art in addition to a list of famous people from the time period.  This list includes a paragraph and photograph covering some artists, scientists, and noble people who strongly influenced the era.  It concludes with a glossary with pronunciations and definitions of words used in the book.
  • Back to Homeschool Resource Award winner
  • IAN Book of the Year Awards 2016 - "Children's Non-Fiction" Finalist
  • IAN Book of the Year Awards 2016 - Outstanding "Children's Non-Fiction"  Winner
The Middle Ages - 97 pages, also illustrated by Mateya Arkova
Another list of famous people is included, followed by the glossary.  There are a lot of years to cover in the middle ages, so I'm guessing that's why this particular book is so much longer than the others.  Merrick especially enjoyed looking through this book.  He would look at the pictures and tell me stories about the people in them.  Mateya's illustrations (here and in Ancient Greece) are a little more vague and dreamy than some of the others and Merrick seemed to really be drawn to that.

  • Back to Homeschool Resource Award winner
The American West - 54 pages, illustrated by Paula Tabor
Everyone from Sacajawea to Annie Oakley and Geronimo to Wyatt Earp are covered in the Famous People section.  Mal and Xav thought it was hilarious that the sister's job on the trail included picking up buffalo "chips" for the fire to cook the evening meal.  If you aren't sure what they are, consider yourself lucky!

  • Back to Homeschool Resource Award winner
  • Summer 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner - Best Book in the Category of "Children's American History"
A nice bonus for these books is included on Carole's blog.  Most of the books in this series have a set of questions for discussion and even writing prompts for deeper thinking.  I found these very helpful on the second read through of the books. 

Other If You Were Me and Lived in... history books include titles about Elizabethan England, Colonial America, Ancient China, and Viking Europe.  I'm really interested in getting the rest of these books!

Carole P. Roman has authored more than 35 children's books and series which include
  • If You Were Me and Lived in... (cultural studies series)
  • Captain No Beard (pirate tales)
  • Rocket-Bye
  • Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?
Carole's books have, collectively, won over 100 awards.  She started writing on a dare and began the Captain No Beard series, in which the captain and his crew learn to navigate relationship issues like patience and bullying. 

You can find Carole P. Roman on social media.
Good Reads 

The rest of the Crew read some of the other books in this series.  You can check them out through the button below.

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

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