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I know, you’re probably thinking, “What in the world are these Who Was books she’s going on about, and why is she addicted to them?” Welllllll, the collection also includes What Was and Where Is and What is the Story Of books too. It is a series of over 250 books dedicated to the most important people, events and places in world history and culture, right up to present times.
Some examples include “Who Was Cleopatra,” “What Was The Boston Tea Party,” and “Where Is Easter Island.” Plus a WHOLE lot more ranging in topics from scientists to artists to athletes to wonders of the world–all significant in understanding the world.
I’ve added several to our shelves this year, but I started my collection several years ago. I love them because they teach important things about the world in a way that’s easy for kids to understand.
Each book is solely focused on the topic at hand–though they do include extra information that is relevant to the time and place that helps explain the person or thing or place. For example, “What is the Constitution,” gives a brief history of what was happening at the time, and what led up to the creation of the Constitution. Then it talks about some of the men who wrote it and how it was ratified and became the law of the United States of America.
Whenever there is a person or a topic I think my kids should know about, I have them read one of these books. Written at about a 2nd or 3rd grade level, depending on the child, they’re great to read together or alone. The print is pretty large, and there are lots of pictures. Each book is broken up into chapters and runs about 70-90 pages depending on the topic. And adult can read one in about an hour, maybe two.
As we study each home school unit, I gather all of the books pertaining to our unit and include them in our reading. For example, right now we’re studying space, so I’ve added these to our reading list:
Where is Our Solar System
Who is Neil Armstrong
Who is Sally Ride
Who is Galileo
What is NASA
When we did our American Government Unit, I included
What Was the Boston Tea Party
What Was the Declaration of Independence
What Was the Constitution
Who Was Thomas Jefferson
Who Was Alexander Hamilton
Who Was Benjamin Franklin
What is a Presidential Election
Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.
Who Was Rosa Parks
Who Was Harriet Tubman
What Was the Underground Railroad
What Was the March on Washington
Whew…that was A LOT!
The kids (and I) learned soooooo much! They really made the things we were learning in our lessons stand out, while giving all of our topics even more context.
I am not going to list all of the books we’re going to be reading during our Europe Unit, or the ones we read for North America, because that would be even longer, but you can check out the full list at the Who HQ.
And, like I said before, they aren’t just history books. They cover popular bands like The Rolling Stones, authors like J.K. Rowling and artists like Dr. Seuss.
If you want easy to read chapter books that cover important subjects in pop culture, history and geography, I can not recommend these books enough!