Tag archives for History
BOOK NAME: The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles
AUTHOR: Padraic Colum
Let’s take a journey back in time and encounter Greek gods, heroes, mysterious creatures, and more! Greek mythology is truly interesting and intriguing. When you read The Golden Fleece, the characters and images described are vivid and remarkable.
This is the tale of the hero, Jason, and his quest for the legendary Golden Fleece in Colchis. The legendary, solid gold wool is a fabulous treasure. It takes a powerful warrior to earn and obtain it. Along with his comrades Heracles, Atlanta, Orpheus, and many other warriors, Jason sets out on a long, treacherous voyage aboard a ship known as the Argo. They face many battles, testing both their physical and mental limitations. However, one major obstacle awaits them in their quest to obtain the Golden Fleece. To reach the Golden Fleece, they must first triumph over the magic spells that guard it. Can the heroes ever reach the Golden Fleece and return safely home with their treasure? Along the perilous trek, stories are told of the courageous encounters and battles of Heracles and the Hydra, Theseus and the Minotaur, and Perseus and Medusa.
This book was filled with amazing characters! I particularly was fascinated by Jason’s physical and mental strength. I seldom read books about Greek mythology, but this book captured my interest immediately and makes me want to read more about Greek mythology. I learned a lot about ancient Greek civilization and learned of the gods known as the Olympians and the Titans. The book was well written with elaborate detail. The illustrations were described with such clarity, that I could picture every character and every scene. For example, the author describes the Minotaur as a huge, muscular beast. This creature is half man, half bull, with fangs, a slobbering mouth, thick lips, calloused skin, dragon claws, icy breath, and no blood in its veins. I could definitely picture the true essence of the legendary Minotaur. I enjoy drawing, so I often try to sketch pictures of the creatures based on the author’s brilliant descriptions. Overall, The Golden Fleece was truly a magnificent read!
BOOK NAME: Incident at Hawk’s Hill
AUTHOR: Allan W. Eckert
Imagine if you were stranded in the prairie and your only hope of survival was a badger! That’s what 6-year old Benjamin MacDonald has to live through! After wandering aimlessly away from his home, he becomes hopelessly lost. He finds the den of a badger, and falls asleep. This begins an unlikely friendship between Ben and the badger. The badger brings Ben food, and lets him sleep in her den. Even with the badger’s help, is it possible for a small boy like Ben to survive on the unforgiving prairie, when the only skill he has is the ability to mimic animals?
Incident at Hawk’s Hill is actually based off of a true story that happened in 1870. The story was so amazing that I actually thought that it was a fictional book! For example, I found it hard to believe that a small boy and a badger could fight a huge ferocious dog and survive! That was also my favorite part of the book. I find it interesting that Ben could mimic animals, like badgers, mice, and birds, so well. I like observing animals too. Only once or twice has one ever responded to my mimicking calls. If I’m astounded by the story today, I can only imagine how people must have felt in 1870!
BOOK NAME: Wheels of Change
AUTHOR: Sue Macy
As I read Wheels of Change, the newest book from National Geographic, it really started moving the wheels in my mind. This book takes you through how the bicycle began a chain of events in which women and the general public came to realize that women’s rights, freedoms and expectations were in need of change.
The book starts with a basic history of the bicycle itself with many intriguing facts, images, and short biographies of ladies who led the way. A woman riding a bike back in the late 1800s wasn’t that big of a deal, but when they wanted to become competitive, they realized that the long skirts had to go. Many felt that if women got to wear pants or divided skirts, the whole social system would collapse. Maybe women would even compete with men! In fact, in a race in which a woman challenged a man-she won! This behavior was considered scandalous at that time.
The bicycle aroused wide-spread thinking about women’s rights and their place in society. It opened the way for actions toward equality and women eventually gaining the right to vote. The new freedom that the bicycle gave them opened up the way for different kinds of thinking, a sort of symbol of independence.
I would recommend this book to older readers due to the vocabulary and the topic itself. This book lends itself to have you think about women as activists and their place in society. A pretty heavy topic, but told in an attractive, easy to follow format.
And yes, a big change started with something as simple as a bicycle!
BOOK NAME: The Great and Only Barnum
P.T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum was considered the greatest showman on Earth and the inventor of the three-ring circus. He was one of the people behind the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, which started more than 100 years ago and I’ve seen in person. This book is about Barnum’s life, which was crazy.
Barnum was born on July 4th, 1810, on the 34th birthday of the United States. He was named after his grandfather who was a comedian and prankster. Barnum, who was called Tale as a boy, grew up to be a performer and tricked people out of their money with a fake lottery. His grandfather even tricked him by giving him five acres of land called “Ivy Island” that Barnum soon found out was useless because it was infested with snakes. However, Barnum traded the land with someone else and eventually opened his first museum of human curiosities.
My favorite part of the book was when they explained the human curiosities like The Highland Mammoth boys, who were three fat guys from Scotland; Anna Swan: a 7-foot, 11-inch giant woman; Madame Clofulia, a bearded lady; Isaac Sprague, who was called “The Human Skeleton” because he was so skinny; and Chang and Eng, the Siamese twins who shared one stomach. Another curiosity that wasn’t in the museum was Charley Strattons, a 25-inch tall man they called Tom Thumb.
This was a very interesting book and what made it most interesting is that it all happened and wasn’t made up.
BOOK NAME: You Wouldn’t Want To…Series
In the You Wouldn’t Want To… series, there are a lot of different kinds of books, like You Wouldn’t Want to Sail on the Mayflower and You Wouldn’t Want to be a Pyramid Builder. The ones I’ve read are You Wouldn’t Want to Sail with Christopher Columbus, You Wouldn’t Want to be in a Medieval Dungeon, You Wouldn’t Want to be a Civil War Soldier, You Wouldn’t Want to be a Roman Gladiator, and You Wouldn’t Want to be an Egyptian Mummy.
In You Wouldn’t Want to be an Egyptian Mummy, the mummies are treated like they’re alive. They’re buried with famous jewels. If a thief steals one, they’d be able to sell it for a lot of money. But most of the thieves are caught, and if they are, they’re killed.
In You Wouldn’t Want to be in a Medieval Dungeon, the book shows you all kinds of different prisons, and how you could even be sent to one. It even shows what it would be like in the prisons. There are lots of bugs and diseases, it’s dirty, it’s cold, there’s nowhere to sleep. If you have to go the bathroom, then just find a corner of your dungeon.
In You Wouldn’t Want to be a Roman Gladiator, there’s barely anything good to eat, and you have to fight to the death! You’d love this one. It was my favorite.
These are cool books because they’re funny and weird. I would recommend them to maybe 5-year-olds to 12-year-olds. My brother Reed (who’s also a DogEared blogger) loves them. And so does my Dad. They have really cool pictures. It’s good because it’s written from the point of view as if you were there.
BOOK NAME: The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor (Revised Second Edition) (Vol. 1)
Susan Wise Bauer
This book is about history. There are stories about all kinds of battles, buildings, empires, Romans, seas, Atlantis, and even gods. There are many cool things in this book.
I’m going to tell you about one story about a kid who wanted to take over the whole world. The boy’s name was Alexander and his horse was named Bucephalus. His dad, King Philip, takes him to get a warhorse and he sees the big beautiful black horse Bucephalus. Nobody could ride it except Alexander, and so his King Philip buys it for him.
When King Philip dies Alexander became the new King. He became known as Alexander the Great. He wanted to take over Persia and he won those battles. He didn’t want to stop there and he conquered the rest of Asia Minor. He wanted to keep on going and take over the whole world. He went south into Egypt and captured a big city and named it after himself–Alexandria. And Alexandria is still in Egypt!
Then he tried to conquer India. He even used Elephants in combat. But a lot of Macedonians died in those battles and so the men said, “We don’t want to die in battle.” And the men then said, “We don’t want to fight anymore, can we go home.” Alexander told them that he was tired and told them that he’d have an answer for them the next day. But he got sick and when he was seen the next day, he could only move his eyes. He died that day. He was only 31 years old.
Some of the other stories I liked were about Romulus and Remus who founded Rome, Odysseus who had to battle a giant Cyclops, and I learned all about Gladiators.
BOOK NAME: Little House on the Prairie
AUTHOR: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie is a classic book that takes you to the wide-open prairie where a clear sky seems to completely surround you. Now I am sure that many of you have read this book or series before. And the reason you read the series is usually because your mother read it as a kid and insisted that you too read it. When I finally gave it a try, I was intrigued by the story and how it was written by a woman who actually went through these hardships, joys, and events. I was amazed at the little things like how white flour and sugar were such a big luxury when now we use it in everything.
In the story Laura and her family leave their cozy log cabin in the Wisconsin woods to go southwest and live on the prairie. Pa says that the woods are too crowded and they have to leave their family behind including cousins, aunts, and uncles. Can you imagine wondering if you would ever see your family again? Laura has to stand the roughness and boredom of the long journey to the prairie in a covered wagon. Then they face the challenge of building a house, barn, well, and fireplace. They are in Indian Territory so they face a hostile environment, and the prairie fires and illnesses don’t help either. After many disasters and joys they finally have the perfect little house and most importantly, each other. This book is a classic that will continue to be passed down through the generations (meaning that mothers will keep nagging their daughters to read it). And hey, you might even learn something about pioneer life!
On May 18, 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington State erupted. The eruption (which was heard hundreds of miles away) blew off the top of the mountain, destroyed miles of forest, and killed 57 people.
In the 30 years since the eruption, scientists have been able to study how an ecosystem recovers from a volcanic eruption. What was once a desolate, gray blast zone in 1980 is now home to many plants and animals. Although it has not had an eruption of the same size since 1980, Mount St. Helens is one of the most active volcanoes in the United States and could erupt again.
Read more about the potential danger from Mount St. Helens on National Geographic News.
See a gallery of images of Mount St. Helens on National Geographic.
Think you know volcanoes? Quiz Your Noodle and prove it!
Photograph by Peter Lipman, USGS and Gene Iwatsubo, USGS
BOOK NAME: Versus: Warriors
CONCEPT: Hannah Wilson
ILLUSTRATOR: Steve Stone
This is definitely not a regular book. It’s about Warriors…not present-day warriors, but warriors from back in time. For example, one of the warriors is the Knight, who had heavy armor, a long sword and a helmet with a facemask. Knights fought from 800 A.D. to about 1500 A.D.
The book is not a story, but it’s about 10 different kinds of favorite warriors. The warriors are Viking, Samurai, Zulu, Gladiatrix (a female Gladiator), Mongolian, Ninja, Gladiator, Aztec, Knight, and Spartan. In the book they pick two different warriors and they have a battle. They talk about the warriors and then you have to pick which you think would win. One of the pages tells about the different warriors so you can make a choice. The next page tells you who would win and why, and then another page tells you more about the winning warrior and then the losing warrior.
My favorite battle was the Mongolian versus the Spartan. I like the Mongolian and the Spartan and it was one of the closest battles. I’m not going to tell you who wins though.
At the end, there’s one overall winner. And the winner is…
You have to get the book to see who’s the Ultimate Warrior.
BOOK NAME: A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson
AUTHOR: Michelle Y. Green
This is a biography about an African-American girl who wants to play baseball. Her name was Mamie “Peanut” Johnson. Mamie loved baseball so much that people think that she was born with one in her hand! She wanted to play in the higher leagues but they wouldn’t let her because she was African-American. They would yell at her if she tried to go in any training facilities because they are for Whites only. So Mamie tried out for the Negro League and made the team. She played hard with a winning record of 33-8 and a batting average of .284. Mamie is still alive and lives in the Washington D.C. area.
I read this book for a biography book report. I chose her because I was a softball pitcher so I thought that I would like to read a book related to that. Mamie is an awesome baseball player I found out. She even struck Babe Ruth out! I don’t read biographies often so it was cool to learn about someone I hadn’t ever heard of.
If you were to write a biography about yourself than what would you title it? EXAMPLE: Jordan; the Blog-Writer. Leave a comment with your answer.
Photograph by Lisa Poole, AP
Daylight saving time ends for most of the U.S. on November 1. But why do we change our clocks by one hour in the spring in the first place? “In the early 19th century … localities set their own time,” said Bill Mosley, a public affairs officer at the U.S. Department of Transportation. There was no standardized time until train travel became common. The U.S. railroad industry established time zones with standard times in 1883, and Congress made the railroad’s system a law in 1918. The next year, the decision of whether or not to observe daylight saving time was left up to individual jurisdictions.
Some places, like American Samoa, Hawaii and most of Arizona, don’t mess with Father Time. For those places that do observe it, though, the law says that people must set their clocks back to standard time at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. This Sunday, the sun will set an hour earlier. The switch to daylight saving time again on the second Sunday in March “adjust[s] daylight hours to when most people are awake and about,” Mosley said. During daylight saving time months, there’s less light in the morning and more light in the evening. Although more light in the evening isn’t helpful to everyone (like farmers), research shows that longer daylight hours decrease traffic accidents and crimes.
When updating legislation in the 1980s, Congress noted that daylight saving time has many benefits, including “more daylight outdoor playtime for the children and youth of our Nation.”
Read more about daylight saving time on National Geographic News.
Read about atomic clocks on National Geographic News.
Spend your extra hour this weekend reading a book! Get recommendations from other kids on the DogEared Books Blog.
Read about an invention that wakes you up with bacon on National Geographic Kids.
BOOK NAME: Mummies (National Geographic Kids)
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Carney
Mummies is about how mummies are made, and some famous mummies and different kinds of mummies. If a person is buried in a bog, they will be protected and can turn into a mummy. A mummy’s hair color can even stay if it’s buried in a bog.
Other mummies are wrapped in linen. It’s a special kind of cloth. They put them in a giant box called a sarcophagus. They stay in there for a long long time. You can find them in deserts, caves and other places. But you mostly see them unburied in museums like in Washington, D.C.
Two hikers found a very famous mummy named Otzi. Scientists found an arrow in his back and they think that’s how he died 5,300 years ago.
The book also tells you how Egyptians made mummies:
1. You take out the organs.
2. You take out the brain with a long hook and stick it up his nose and pull his brain out of his nose.
3. You wash his body and put salt on him.
4. You let him dry for 40 days.
5. You rub special oil on the body.
6.You wrap him up with linen and then put him in the sarcophagus.
In 1922, King Tut was found in a cave. He was 15 years old when he died and he was a king 3,300 years ago. Sometimes they find special gold and money where mummies were buried. You can see King Tut in his cave where he was found.
There can also be animal mummies. There can be dogs, cats, monkeys and even crocodile mummies!
I liked this book a lot. It was a really good book for my age.
Photograph courtesy NASA
July 20 is the 40th anniversary of humankind’s first steps on the moon. On July 16, 1969, the world watched as the Apollo 11 rocket Columbia lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. The trip to the moon took three days, and on July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped off of the Eagle, Apollo 11′s lunar module. People back home on Earth watched the astronauts take their first steps on the moon, and heard Neil Armstrong say “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The astronauts spent a total of 21 hours on the moon before the Eagle returned to the Columbia for the trip home.
The Apollo 11 crew safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. NASA plans to send another mission to the moon within the next decade.
Get the story behind the moon landing on National Geographic News.
Check out the Man and the Moon features on National Geographic Channel.
How much do you know about the moon? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
So far this expedition has been unbelievable to say the absolute least. I’ve longed to travel to and explore Peru since I was five years old and National Geographic has given me the opportunity to fulfill that dream. This country is drop-dead gorgeous and amazing. It has been so breathtaking to explore Lima, Sacred Valley, Cusco, and now Machu Picchu.
There are no words to describe the feeling of walking on the same stones the Incas trekked nearly 600 years in the past. Now I see why the “Lost City of the Incas” was recently dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I still can’t believe we just saw this breathtaking “city in the clouds.”
This morning, after packing our bags, shooting group photos, and checking out of the Inkaterra Hotel, we all grabbed our seats on a bus, slipped on our motion sickness bands or took motion sickness medicine and anxiously peered out the windows as we zig-zagged on 14 switchbacks up the mountain.
Once we finally reached the peak of the mountain, we gathered at the gate of the path that leads to Machu Picchu and all sprayed on the thick layer of sunscreen and foul smelling bug spray.
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