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I’m looking for a good spine for high school American history. I see that SCM has 10-12th-graders read America: The Last Best Hope – would this be considered a spine book? Any opinions on this book? Also, I see that Sonlight uses the series by Joy Hakim titled A History of US – has anyone read these books and did you find them to be living books? I worry that a series of ten books will be too much and not allow time for enjoying the other living books we want to use. Anyway, any advice on those two options would be appreciated, or I’m open to other suggestions. Thanks!momto3blessingsParticipant
I recently just ordered the new book from Wallbuilders. It’s called The American Story: The Beginnings by David Barton. It goes from Columbus to about the 1850’s or so. I am still waiting for it to get here, but from what I hear the Wallbuilders company strives to put forth history as accurately as possible. We had the series by William Bennett, but it was just way too wordy and frankly, boring. I am always on the lookout for good history spines. It seems that finding good ones for American History for high school age is a bit tricky. I also just got A History of the United States and Its People by Edward Eggleston. It looks pretty decent. I don’t know if that helps or not. 🙂
Thank you so much – that is very helpful info. I have seen some other posts saying the William Bennett books are pretty wordy, so your opinion confirms that. I’m still considering the History of US books – but I am going to check out the book by David Barton – I wasn’t aware of that one, and we have enjoyed some of his other works. Thanks!Tamara BellModerator
We encourage parents to read through some of the US books by Joy Hakim. She has a strong “slant” in her writings.
I agreed with Tamara. Hakim actually mischaracterizes her opposition’s arguments. I say opposition, because she does not write in a neutral way.
One of her books would be good for studying while comparing with writings from the different groups she is talking about and seeing if that is what they are actually arguing. It is certainly ok to read from different viewpoints but I’d prefer to hear each author’s viewpoint not an explanation of how other people think according to the author who dislikes them. Hope that makes sense.
That does make sense, and I appreciate your perspective. I have started reading one of the early books and haven’t found this so far, but I’m sure there is much more opportunity for it in the later stories. I just don’t have time to read the whole series . . . Is there any chance you could give me an example of a particular topic or story that I could look at to see how she displays a bias? Thank you so much!
Oh boy, it has been 6 or 8 years since I got rid of them. I was all excited to find a whole bunch of them at the library sale and I always allow for a few differences or mistakes. I actually like reading from many different perspectives but I just remember after the third, “Some people think” type statement I was getting irritated. It may have been the specific volume I had too. I can pick up a couple next time I’m at the library (I go all the time anyway) and give you specific examples.
Every book will have them. Most providential type books will have a ton of them too as no book is unbiased. Perhaps that is why my oldest two ended up without a spine. 😁Tamara BellModerator
My personal experience is with A History of Us: All the People: Since 1945. It is book 10 of the series. Specifically, events in more recent history.MissusLeataParticipant
I haven’t used the book yet, but my son will be doing Notgrass American History this next year at our co-op. It comes with great recommendations.
I’ve heard a lot of warnings about Hakim’s books. IMO, Barton slants things too far his way reinterprets history, and I couldn’t even finish reading (and neither could my son) The Light and The Glory. And I’m a conservative. American history is apparently something people have very strong opinions about. 🙂
I did put a couple on hold but I’m not sure they are the ones I read and it will take a little while to get them.
Probably the most basic fact based things are history encyclopedias if only because they don’t make it much of a narrative and focus on facts. They can still sneak bias in there but it is less obvious. That also makes them boring though. If you really love the writing though, it is good to simply ask questions. Is this a fair summary of what another group believes? Read a book from the opposing view point and see.
It is so very kind of you to put time into helping me figure this out – thank you!!! Perhaps I can keep up with his readings enough that we can have some good discussions about bias – I do find that the first perspective they hear can be so influential, though, so that is what makes me nervous. In the end I may end up going without a spine at all :-/ Again, thank you so much for all of your time and input!
Lol – it does seem like there strong opinions and big differences. Perhaps it is because what you believe about our history has so much bearing on how you approach current issues. So I do really want to get this right – I think it’s going to take a lot of discussion no matter what route we choose!retrofamParticipant
Robinson Curriculum uses a lot of autobiographies and first hand accounts. I plan to use some.
Well, the couple I put on hold are still out so I might give up but I was actually going to do what I said I’d do. Someone is probably using them for school. 😁retrofamParticipant
Heritage-history dot com has some offerings.
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