History

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"The life and times of the wealthiest man who ever lived--Jacob Fugger--the Renaissance banker who revolutionized the art of making money and established the radical idea of pursuing wealth for its own sake. Jacob Fugger lived in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century, the grandson of a peasant. By the time he died, his fortune amounted to nearly two percent of European GDP. Not even John D. Rockefeller had that kind of wealth. Most people become rich by spotting opportunities, pioneering new technologies, or besting opponents in negotiations. Fugger did all that, but he had an extra quality that allowed him to rise even higher: nerve. In an era when kings had unlimited power, Fugger had the nerve to stare down heads of state and ask them to pay back their loans--with interest. It was this coolness and self-assurance, along with his inexhaustible ambition, that made him not only the richest man ever, but a force of history as well. Join us Saturday, March 19 at 10 AM.

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There are a number of books that deal with similar stories or events in history that have been adapted for younger audiences. Several other topics are covered by multiple ages for multiple age ranges. Pick one of these for yourself and one for your child, and discuss aspects of history as a family.

 

 

Extraordinary Zoo Stories During WWII

When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw-- and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.

An elephant in the garden by Michael Morpurgo

Lizzie and Karl's mother, Mutti, working at a local zoo in Dresden, Germany, during World War II while their father is away fighting in France, brings home Marlene, a baby elephant that is slated to be destroyed as the Allied bombing grows closer, and when they are forced to flee, Mutti feels they must take Marlene with them, adding even more danger to their journey.

More Documentaries for Black History Month

The abolitionists [videodisc] by written, directed, and produced by Rob Rapley

 

 

Citizen King [videodisc] by a ROJA Productions film for American experience ; in association with the BBC and WGBH Boston

 

 

 

 

The fight [videodisc] by produced by Barak Goodman

 

 

 

 

Jesse Owens [videodisc] by a Firelight Films production for American Experience in association with WDR ; produced and directed by Laurens Grant ; written and produced by Stanley Nelson

 

 

 

 

Letters from Jackie [videodisc]: the private thoughts of Jackie Robinson by MLB Productions

 

 

 

 

20 More Great Reads for Black History Month

Death of a king: the real story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final year by Tavis Smiley with David Ritz

 

 

 

 

 

Children of fire: a history of African Americans by Thomas C. Holt

 

 

 

 

Say it loud: great speeches on civil rights and African American identity by edited by Catherine Ellis and Stephen Drury Smith

 

Stokely: a life by Peniel E. Joseph

 

 

 

 

Across that bridge: life lessons and a vision for change by John Lewis ; with Brenda Jones

 

 

 

 

More non-fiction than fiction, but often a well-written biography or history can be as exciting a read as a good suspense novel.

"The life and times of the wealthiest man who ever lived--Jacob Fugger--the Renaissance banker who revolutionized the art of making money and established the radical idea of pursuing wealth for its own sake. Jacob Fugger lived in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century, the grandson of a peasant. By the time he died, his fortune amounted to nearly two percent of European GDP. Not even John D. Rockefeller had that kind of wealth. Most people become rich by spotting opportunities, pioneering new technologies, or besting opponents in negotiations. Fugger did all that, but he had an extra quality that allowed him to rise even higher: nerve. In an era when kings had unlimited power, Fugger had the nerve to stare down heads of state and ask them to pay back their loans--with interest. It was this coolness and self-assurance, along with his inexhaustible ambition, that made him not only the richest man ever, but a force of history as well. Before Fugger came along it was illegal under church law to charge interest on loans, but he got the Pope to change that. He also helped trigger the Reformation and likely funded Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. His creation of a news service, which gave him an information edge over his rivals and customers, earned Fugger a footnote in the history of journalism. And he took Austria's Habsburg family from being second-tier sovereigns to rulers of the first empire where the sun never set. The ultimate untold story, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is more than a tale about the richest and most influential businessman of all time. It is a story about palace intrigue, knights in battle, family tragedy and triumph, and a violent clash between the 1 percent and everybody else. To understand our financial system and how we got it, it pays to understand Jacob Fugger"--.

NYPD Detective Claire Codella has just won a tough battle with cancer. Now she has to regain her rightful place on the force. she hasn't even been back a day when Hector Sanchez, a maverick public school principal, is found murdered. The school is on high alert. The media is howling for answers. And Codella catches the high-profile case at the worst possible time. As she races to track down the killer, she uncovers dirty politics, questionable contracts, and dark secrets. Each discovery she makes brings her closer to the truth, but the truth may cost Codella her life.

Florida's favorite trigger-happy, shoot-from-the-hip vigilante history teacher is back--and he has a few scores to settle Serge A. Storms is hitting the road. Inspired by the classic biker flick Easy Rider, the irrepressible trivia buff and his drug-addled travel buddy, Coleman, head out on a motorcycle tour down the length of the Sunshine State, on a mission to rediscover the lost era of the American Dream. But going from small town to small town, they discover that some have lost much of their former charm--including one particular hamlet of skeezy rural politicos that is hell-bent on keeping prying eyes out of their ineptly corrupt style of local government. Traveling across the state, Serge and Coleman engage in some high-life hijinks, complete with the state's trademark crop of jerks, lethal science experiments, drug kingpins, double-crosses, unearthed bodies, barbecue and groovy tunes. And when a few innocent newcomers stumble into the mix, the stakes are raised to new back-woods heights.

20 Great Reads for Black History Month

Documentaries for Black History Month

American Experience: The Abolitionists by Artist Not Provided — Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists fought  in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. Part of the PBS series American Experience.

 

 

Africans in America [videodisc]: America's journey through slavery by produced for PBS by WGBH Boston — The story of slavery's birth in the early 1660s through the onset of thr Civil War. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett.

 

 

 

 

4 little girls [videodisc] by an HBO documentary film in association with 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production ; a Spike Lee Joint — When a bomb tore through the basement of a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963, it took the lives of four young girls. This powerful documentary captures a time, a place, and a way of life that would be forever altered by their deaths. Directed by Spike Lee.

 

 

Biographies for Black History Month

The butler: a witness to history by Wil Haygood

 

 

The rebellious life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis

 

 

 

Crusader for justice: federal judge Damon J. Keith by compiled, written, and edited by Peter J. Hammer and Trevor W. Coleman ; forward by Mitch Albom

 

 

 

Dave Bing: a life of challenge by Drew Sharp

 

 

 

A gentleman of color: the life of James Forten by Julie Winch

 

 

 

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