Homeschool Review Crew: If You Were Me and Lived In. . .Books

Our family loves to learn and read about history.  Even better if the books are so good that they make us feel like we’re back in the historical period that we’re studying.  Such is the case in the series of books, If You Were Me and Lived In. . . brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com.

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As part of this review, we received four Carole P. Roman If You Were Me and Lived In. . . books:

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}

If You Were Me and Lived in…Renaissance Italy (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 2)

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}

If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient China: The Han Dynasty

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}

If You Were Me and Lived in…the American West (Volume 7)

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}

If You Were Me and Lived in…Viking Europe

These are four titles out of eight that were available to review.  Others currently available are:

If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Greece (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 1)

If You Were Me and Lived in… Elizabethan England (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 3)

If You Were Me and Lived in…Colonial America (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 4)

If You Were Me and Lived in…the Middle Ages (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 6)

More About These Books

These books bring history to life and include facts that you don’t often find in history books.  For instance, in the book, If You Were Me and Lived in. . .the American West, you learn that kids went to school in the summer.  School was closed in spring for planting and in fall for harvesting.  Of course, that makes sense, but we rarely hear that kids went to school in the summer.

The books also include interesting details such as what your name might be during that time period (Knut or Ulf if you’re a boy in Viking Europe or Sigrid or Hilde if you’re a girl.)  Readers will also discover what social and financial class you may be in, and what your parents do for a living, just to name a few.

How We Used These Books

img_8415These books can be enjoyed by children as young as five, but even older kids will enjoy them.  When we got the books in the mail, my 12 year old read all four in about an hour.  I read these aloud to my seven and six year olds as bedtime stories.  We read about 20 pages a night, and the kids were always eager to start reading again.

img_8416The books we received ranged from approximately 50 to 80 pages.  Some of the books had just a bit of information on each page, while others, such as Ancient China, were very dense per page.

What We Liked about These Books

I love so much about these books!

  • I love that they transform history from boring facts in a text book to a story that makes you feel like you’re living during that time.
  • I love that there are so many pictures to hold kids’ interest.  (There are pictures on every single page!)
  • I love that the end of the book contains a section, Famous People from (insert the period the book covers).  In the Renaissance Italy book, some of the 12 famous people that are featured include Donatello, Galileo, and Leonardo Da Vinci, to name a few.  This is a great way to further bring history alive for kids.
  • I love that there is a glossary in the back of the book, which is great for younger, independent readers.
  • I also love that the books include some gross facts that kids seem to love.  In the American West book, the boy’s younger sister must collect the buffalo chips when they’re on the Oregon Trail.  Roman capitalizes on the gross factor by writing, “You were glad she had to gather the buffalo chips.  They were a nicer name for buffalo poop.  They could smell nasty, too.”

What We Disliked about These Books

In three out of the four books that we read, the main character was a boy.  Since my girls were listening to the stories, they would have appreciated having more female antagonists.  (In fact, the fourth book we read, If You Were Me and Lived in. . .Renaissance Italy was the one with a female character, and my girls actually cheered when they realized it would be a girl and not a boy.)  However, since I didn’t get the other four books, I don’t know if this is the case with all of the books.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to bring history alive for your children, especially your elementary students, you can’t go wrong with these books!

Keep up with Carole P. Roman for her latest titles via social media:

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I was one of 100 reviewers to review eight different Carole P. Roman books.  To read more reviews, click on the link below:

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
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