Category Archives: History

Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia by Zu Vincent

Catherine the Great schemed her way from being a minor princess to empress of Russia. She had lots of ideas, some that she never was able to carry out, and could be pretty ruthless when it came to dealing with enemies. This Catherine the Great Wicked History book tells her story and asks if she really was wicked or just did what she had to do to achieve her goals. I highly recommend this book to kids learning about Imperial Russia.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 77
Pages Read in 2018: 18,268
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under History, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia, never really learned how to be a tsar and never really wanted to be one either. While he preferred to hang out with his little family, his wife, four daughters, and hemophiliac son, rebellion was starting among the common workers of Russia. The Family Romanov discusses Nicholas’s reign, Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution, the Romanov family, and the end of Imperial Russia. Scattered throughout the book are writings by regular Russians showing what life was like under Tsar Nicholas. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the events of that time period.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 75
Pages Read in 2018: 18,033
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under History, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West by Roger Crowley

In 1453, Mehmet led his Ottoman army to Constantinople and began a siege against the city that ultimately ended in the fall of the Roman Empire in the east on May 29, 1453. 1453 briefly covers the centuries leading up to that fateful year and then covers the months leading to the final battle in detail. Parts were quite interesting while other parts dragged a bit. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about the decline of the Byzantine Empire and particularly about its very end.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 59
Pages Read in 2018: 14,399
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under History, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose

A group of teenage boys in Denmark created the Churchill Club. Their purpose was to sabatoge the Nazis through grafitti, destroying things, and stealing weapons. Most of the boys were eventually caught and sent to jail, but they inspired other Danes to create an underground network to undermine the Germans. The boys were brave and a bit crazy like only teenagers can be. The story is told with lots of quotes from Knud Pedersen, one of the Churchill Club leaders. It’s a pretty quick read. I highly recommend reading The Boys Who Challenged Hitler to anyone teenager and up who is interested in World War II.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 43
Pages Read in 2018: 10,070
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Columbus: Lies of a New World by Alexander Kennedy

Columbus: Lies of a New World tells the story of Christopher Columbus, both the good and the bad. It is pretty fair in its assessment of both. It’s pretty short and to the point so it reads fast. As far as content, it’s a solid 4. However, it is in very bad need of an editor. Random words that don’t belong are scattered throughout and that is very distracting. The formatting could use some work. The eighth chapter repeats quite a bit of what was said previously. For the content, though, I still recommend reading it.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 37
Pages Read in 2018: 8688
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under History, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

Intelligence Was My Line by Ralph W. Hauenstein

Hauenstein was an intelligence officer in World War II. Intelligence Was My Line is his story of that period of time in his life. Though he repeated himself quite a bit, there was a lot of interesting stuff in there. Included are pictures. I recommend this book to anyone interested in World War II or intelligence gathering.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 5
Pages Read in 2018: 1246
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under History, Memoir, Reason: Birthstone Bookology

Where Do You Think You’re Going, Christopher Columbus by Jean Fritz

Where Do You Think You’re Going, Christopher Columbus? tells the story of Christopher Columbus. It is made a bit gentle for kids, but does not shy away from things like capturing natives and sending them to Spain to be sold as slaves. Like all books by Jean Fritz, it’s easy to read and understand. I highly recommend this book for kids learning about Christopher Columbus or the opening of exploration of the new world by Europe.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 118 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 32,426
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Fritz for This School Year

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Filed under Children, History