We’ve shared a lot of books lately that are really resonating with our history-geek kids. Books like Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Little Guides to Great Lives, and HERstory, each tell the stories of important figures, past and present, in a compelling way for kids. And of course there are so many biographies we’ve shared that help our kids discover new and fascinating stories about everyone from Josephine Baker to John Newbery to Frederick Douglass to the builders of the Golden Gate Bridge.
So when I got a copy of Famous Family Trees, I knew that kids who really get into the details of historic figures — timelines and birth lines and interesting connections — would be hooked.
CMP is an rstyle affiliate
Vivien Mildenberger’s quirky cool illustrations throughout the book grabbed me and my children right away; all three of my young readers were immediately flipping through the illustrated family trees on each page. But it’s my history-buff son who really couldn’t put it down, reading through Kari Hauge’s descriptions of each family tree, eagerly tracing the connections between generations with his finger.
After a good half-hour with it, he stopped to ask me if I’d get him a book about the Hapsburgs so he could learn more. Success!
Like most thoughtful books we’re seeing lately, there’s lots of diversity in the subjects covered. You’ll find 25 family trees of a broad array of men and women throughout history: Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Mary Shelley, Mahatma and Indira Ghandi, The Bronte Sisters, Nelson Mandela, Maria Tallchief, Martin Luther King Jr, and plenty more.
While I think this book is best for kids who are really into history or who get excited about organization and charts, it is a great stepping off point for any kids who wants to learn more about famous figures in history or even discover some they didn’t yet know. For my own kids, I’ll be using it as a terrific homeschool resource, encouraging them to browse the book and choose one family that they can research further.
I am definitely excited to see my son’s upcoming report on the House of Hapsburg.
You can find Famous Family Trees by Kari Hauge and Vivien Mildenberger at our affiliate Amazon, or pick it up at your local library or independent bookstore.