Topic | History module 4 book recommendations for High School

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  • Sue

    I am looking over the list of books on SCM’s Curriculum Guide for History Module 4, grades 10-12.  DD17’s upcoming year will be her senior year, and she is primarily studying American history, but she feels as though her study of the Middle Ages/Renaissance was sooooo long ago.  I want to assign her a couple of books to read as extras for history.

    If you have used some of these books for module 4 in high school, which would be your top 3 recommended reading?

    • The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson
    • The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell
    • The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff
    • Men of Iron by Howard Pyle
    • The Second Mrs. Giaconda by E. L. Konigsburg




    We have read all of those in our homeschool except for The Lantern Bearers. My top 3 picks are The Black Arrow, Men of Iron and The King’s Fifth. We enjoyed the Konigsburg book but didn’t love it. Sutcliff is always good but I don’t think she’s on the same level as Stevenson and Pyle.



    I’m curious for my hs student as well.


    Yes, I was curious about Sutcliff’s The Lantern Bearers as well. We have read her book, Black Ships Before Troy, for upper elementary & middle school, but I wouldn’t have used that for high school.

    I am wondering something about Men of Iron. It is on the SCM Curriculum Guide for grades 10-12, and it is tagged in the Bookfinder as grades 10-12 as well. However, under “Additional Details,” the Bookfinder indicates it is suggested for grades 1-5. Is this perhaps a misprint?

    Thanks for your recommendations.


    I would definitely read The Black Arrow!  I read it a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I was just skimming Men of Iron as a possibility for DD (since she probably won’t go through medieval ages again) and it’s in our Yesterday’s Classics books.  I wouldn’t have them read it before 7th grade.  Amazon lists it for ages 12 and up.


    Jim Weiss has done an excellent reading of Men of Iron, FYI.


    Some people use Men of Iron for a read-aloud to children as young as nine but I personally think it is better suited for twelve and up.  My highschoolers are currently reading it but they have had very little exposure to the Middle Ages and I think it does a good job in telling about knighthood and chivalry.


    Sonya Shafer

    Good catch, Sue. Thanks! The grade recommendations for Men of Iron in the CM Bookfinder have now been changed to grades 7–12.

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