Living Books Modern History For Kids

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Modern History Booklist – The Last 50 Years

Modern History book list for kids

Modern History in the Curriculum

The period of history covered in Year 10 of the Australian curriculum is from 1918 to present day. It includes studies on peoples rights and freedoms, the globalisation of the worlds populations, pop culture, immigration and refugees and the environment movement. You do not need to study all of these you can just pick three.

Booklists for this period are:

Australian history is usually covered in primary school but the other topics are not required subjects in primary school. However many children like to study this period of history in their early school years. To use these topics in your planning you can record them as part of your literature, geography and history studies.

Living Books For Kids - Modern History

Missions – Living Books Modern History

Killing Fields, Living Fields – Don Cormack
Cambodia is largely known for the horrors of the Khmer Rouge. This book takes the reader back before that time and shows the amazing work of God in that country, continuing through the killing fields time up to today. Life-affirming and miraculous. Ages 14 yrs – adult

The Heavenly Man – Paul Hattaway
The Book of Acts is still being written in China. This true story of one of the leaders of the Chinese underground church will amaze you and challenge you to a deeper commitment to the cause of Christ. A must-read book. Ages 14 yrs – adult

Through Gates of Splendour – Elisabeth Elliot
The unforgettable true story of five men who braved Auca lances and were martyred for the sake of the Gospel. This edition includes a follow-up chapter that will give readers an update on events that occurred in the aftermath of this seeming tragedy.

Bruchko – Bruce Olson
Bruce Olson knew God Himself had called him to the jungles of South America.Unwilling to accept the long training of the missions organisations, he headed off, regardless — and had immense success. This book challenges traditional missions strategy and will challenge you. It is hard to put it down. Ages I I yrs — adult

Vietnam War

The Lotus Seed – Sherry Garland
In this beautiful picture book for young children, a grandmother recalls her childhood in Vietnam, the abdication of the Emperor to the Communist army, her family’s flight during the war, and her precious lotus seed, taken from the Emperor’s garden. Now she gives seeds from that original seed’s flower to her grandchildren. Ages 4 — I 0 yrs.

Goodbye, Vietnam – Gloria Whelan
A moving and wonderfully told story about a Vietnamese family from the point of view of the 13 year old daughter. Together they leave Communist Vietnam to escape their father and grandmother’s pending arrest, and travel to the coast. Using their last savings for food, they embark in a leaky tub to reach Hong Kong. There they are housed in a warehouse with thousands of others, awaiting their unknown futures. Ages 8 — 15 yrs

The Water Puppets – Clive Gifford (OOP)
A story of how the Vietnam War affected the farmers of Noy Thien village, 13 year old Xuan and his family. Ages 8 — 14 yrs

The Wall – Eve Bunting
A father and his young son visit the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial in Washington D.C. to find the name of the grandfather the boy never knew. Ages 6 – 10 yrs

Korean War

Peacebound Trains – Haemi Balgassi (OOP)
The author’s grandmother, reminded by the whistle of a train passing in the valley below, tells her granddaughter about the escape of herself with her two children from Korea, part of the journey being by train, as the North Koreans advanced on South Korea. Moving. Beautiful watercolour illustrations. Ages 7 —13 yrs

The Year of Impossible Goodbyes – Sook Nyul Choy
A deeply moving autobiography of the author, as she grew up under the Japanese occupation of Korea, lived through the Communist invasion, and fled with her family from their ancestral home in Pyong Yang to the West. Ages 12 yrs —adult.


One More River – Lynne Reid Banks
From the author of the memorable Indian in the Cupboard comes a story of life in an Israeli kibbutz in the 1960s. A modern, worldly Canadian girl and her family immigrate to the new nation of Israel, Lesley’s parents hoping to regain their fast disappearing Jewish heritage. Adapting to kibbutz living (Israel’s attempt at socialism) leads to Lesley’s acquaintance with an Arab boy from neighbouring Jordan. Ending with Israel’s Six Day War in 1967 when the Occupied Territories were won, this book takes a long look at the cause of conflict in the Middle East and the reasons it is not close to ending. Ages 10 — 17 yrs

Broken Bridge – Lynne Reid Banks (OOP)
The sequel to One More River, this book picks up Lesley’s family 25 years after the Six Day War. Now married and with teenaged children of her own, kibbutz life has changed as has Israel itself. A terrorist attack in Jerusalem sucks the whole extended family into facing tough questions about the Middle East struggle. Excellent. Ages II — 17 yrs

Modern History Booklist for kids


The China Coin – Allan Baillie
A realistic story of modern China. Leah and her mother return to China after the death of her father to search for long-lost relatives. An ancient coin, in the family for generations, leads them up through the heart of China where they eventually meet their relatives and experience Chinese life in the provinces under Deng’s brand of Communism. Students are rioting everywhere, and this culminates in the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. (HSC text) Ages II – 17 yrs

Red Scarf Girl – Ji Li Jiang
From age 12 it seemed clear that Ji-Li had a bright future in the Chinese Communist Party. However as the Cultural Revolution begins to hurt her family, she faces the most difficult choice of her life. Told with simplicity and grace, this books transcends politics and shows how one girl survived. True. Ages 11 —17 yrs

The Breadwinner – Deborah Ellis
A story of life in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Parvana’s parents were educated in the West and taught at the local Kabul University. When the Taliban took control, her mother had to stay at home and her father was arrested for his Western ties. Parvana becomes the breadwinner in a place where girls are not supposed to be seen. Based upon true stories of girls the author has met in refugee camps in Pakistan. Sequel: Parvana’s Journey (about life during the War on Terrorism) also available. Ages 10 — 16 yrs

Little Brother – Alan Baillie
A classic story of courage and survival, based on the true story of one Cambodian boy who escapes from the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields to freedom in Australia. Adventure and an introduction to an ancient culture. Winner of multiple awards and translated   into French and German. Ages 10 – 16 yrs

Journey to Jo’burg – Beverley Naidoo
A story of a South African black family which shows the extreme deprivation of living under apartheid. Moving. Ages 8 — 16 yrs.

A Place Not Home – Eva Wiseman (OOP)
Hardship is common but bearable in Communist Hungary. But with the I946 Hungarian Revolution comes a new wave of anti-Semitism, and I3 year old Nelly’s family ‘must leave all they know behind without even saying goodbye to their friends. A powerful story of escape and relocation. Award winning book. Ages 10— l6 yrs

Only A Matter of Time – Stewart Ross (OOP)
A story from Kosovo of two fictional families on opposing sides of the conflict, the background of the fighting and the complicated issues that keep peace away. Ages I I —16yrs

This booklist has been provided by Mary Collis from A Living Education

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