Story of Civilization Vol. 2: The Middle Ages – Book List, Literature Guides, and History Dates

This year we are once again delving into the Middle Ages. This is my favorite time period in history because we witness the blossoming of Christendom despite barbarian invasions, the spread of heresies, the Crusades, a devastating plague, and division in the Church. Indeed, we can see the hand of God guiding the Church through all of this turmoil, raising up great saints to spread the Gospel. I just looove the Middle Ages.

Since we enjoyed Vol. 1 of Tan’s Story of Civilization, this year we are continuing with Vol. 2: The Middle Ages.  My boys particularly appreciate the audio CDs.


Of course, I had to go and make a list of historical novels and picture books that match up (more or less) with each of the chapters in the text. As I’ve said before, nothing makes history come alive as well as an excellent historical novel. So for those of you who are like-minded, here is the book list:

Story of Civilization Vol. 2 Book List

Sue one-upped me, though. She made literature guides for some of our very favorite historical novels about the Middle Ages. The boys read or listen to three chapters a week from a novel and then discuss the questions over a FaceTime meeting. Here they are:

Augustine Came to Kent

The Hidden Treasure of Glaston

The Trumpeter of Krakow

Adam of the Road

Otto of the Silver Hand

And forgive me for putting in a plug for two of my daughter’s books that take place during Medieval times:

Joan’s Quest, with a  free study guide here,

The Red O’Reilly

How many of you make your kids memorize history dates? Some years I make my kids memorize dates and some years I don’t. Last year I didn’t make the boys memorize dates because, frankly, I was in sleep-deprived-mama-with-new-baby survival mode. But this year, we’re back to memorizing dates. It’s an excellent way to train the memory, and it gives kids a sense of  how important historical events relate to each other time wise. Quizlet is a great way for middle schoolers to practice memorizing vocabulary and history dates — and it’s free online.

Each week, Feisty has been adding history dates from The Story of Civilization, Vol. 2. to Quizlet. Your kids can practice them here:

Medieval Dates for Story Of Civilization

I hope you find these to be useful supplements to your history curriculum!

p.s. Studying Ancient History? Check out Story of Civilization Book List and Pictures.

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12 thoughts on “Story of Civilization Vol. 2: The Middle Ages – Book List, Literature Guides, and History Dates

  1. Just curious, did you gather any pictures for this book, as with the previous one?

    We use this as a read-aloud with all our kids (ages 5-12), with our older kids taking notes as I read, and the younger ones coloring the coloring page from the activity book. But there aren’t coloring pages for every chapter, so I need to supplement.


    1. You’re so welcome! We also just finished Mission to Cathay by Madelaine Polland…. another wonderful book that takes place during the Middle Ages. Enjoy!


  2. Amazing booklist! We’re just finishing up SoC volume 2 and will move on to volume 3 in the fall. I am just beginning to think about which book selections to add in, and I feel like it may be more of a challenge since I generally pull titles from the RC History syllabus and lesson plans. Will you be using volume 3 as well?


    1. We are not, this year. We’ll be using Sea to Shining Sea for American History, and my rising 4th grader will start with Tan’s Ancient History.


  3. Love this! We used a lot of your suggested resources this year with Ancient History, and I am so happy to find this list for our coming year. Thank you!


    1. Hi Renee,
      Joan’s Quest takes place during the Mongol (TarTar) invasions of Poland, which began in 1240 and continued on and off until 1506. So, a good time to read it would be during/after ch. 16 and beyond. It would probably fit best with Ch. 19 alongside The Trumpeter of Krakow, which was the inspiration for Joan’s Quest. Here is a link to a study guide for Joan’s Quest:
      Hope this helps!


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