Is there an alternative to book in Middle Ages Guide?

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  • michellehebert

    We would really like to use the Middle Ages history guide this coming ear, however, I am preferring an alternate book to Jean Fritz Around the World in a Hundred Years.

    Does anyone have experience in trading this out or know of another option?


    Tamara Bell

    Hi Michellehebert!

    To date, we do not have an alternative to Around the World in One Hundred Years however Sonya addresses some of the controversy concerning this book in a review that I would like to share:


    “I enjoy Jean Fritz and use her books a lot. Her Around the World in a Hundred Years book is great for studying explorers and geography.

    However, you need to know that she does not approach things from a pro-Christian perspective. She tries to be ‘neutral,’ and thus, ends up presenting some interesting tidbits for discussion. For example, here are just a couple of sentences from the first chapter of Around the World in a Hundred Years: ‘Then suddenly all this wondering and figuring [about the earth’s shape and world maps and such] stopped. Christianity was a new religion, fighting for survival, and in A.D. 391 Christians burned the city of Alexandria and its famous libraries, which contained, along with many ancient treasures of scholarship, the work of Ptolemy. Christians did not believe in scholarship. They thought it was sacrilegious to be curious. Anything people wanted to know, they said, could be found in the Bible.’

    Now, the thing is, unfortunately, many Christians did hold that view; however, Fritz lumps them all together into one generalized statement. Not all of her books bring up the topic of Christianity, but when she does, it is not usually complimentary. She has a wonderful style of writing, and I do recommend her books. Use them, by all means; enjoy them. But I wanted you all to be aware of her ‘bent,’ especially those of you with young children.”

    Sonya doesn’t recommend that the parent hand the book over to the child to read on their own and suggests that the statements above either be edited out or used as a discussion starter.  We also skip the first 2 chapters in our lesson plans because A Castle with Many Rooms already covers the material.

    I hope this helps in your decision to look for an alternative or give Fritz’ book a try.

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