Helene A. Guerber wrote histories for grammar school children in the 19th century. Published in 1896 by the American Book Company, ‘Guerber’s Historical Readers in the Eclectic Readings Series’ were used to introduce children to the histories of the ancient and classical world. Her preface to The Story of the Greeks states her purpose followed in all the subsequent histories:
“This elementary history of Greece is intended for supplementary reading or as a first history text-book for young pupils. It is therefore made up principally of stories about persons; for, while history proper is largely beyond the comprehension of children, they are able at an early age to understand and enjoy anecdotes of people, especially of those in the childhood of civilization. At the same time, these stories will give a clear idea of the most important events that have taken place in the ancient world, and, it is hoped, will arouse a desire to read further. They also aim to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described.”
The engaging narratives that followed are richly detailed accounts of the lives and times of the most important people of the period, arranged chronologically. The people are placed within the context of their times, and their history is presented with interesting background information so that the entire narrative flows as a single, unbroken story. Dates are given in the narrative where they are known; the pronunciation of place and personal names is carefully marked at its first encounter in the text; and illustrations abound. The books includes maps, a comprehensive timeline of all the persons and events encountered in the history, a comprehensive Recommended Reading list of wonderful historical fiction and non-fiction keyed to the chapters; and a complete bibliography and index round out the book.
Please visit the individual book pages linked below for more detailed information about each of Guerber’s Histories available from Nothing New Press. From there, you may also view 2-page spreads, read the publisher’s and author’s prefaces, the table of contents, several whole chapters from each book, customer comments, and more.
We recommend these books as a child’s first introduction to history in grades 1-6 (although we have heard from many moms whose teens study these with enthusiasm). They make wonderful read-alouds, and the Recommended Reading suggestions keyed to the chapters provide additional detail and fascinating excursions into topics introduced in the narrative, often with books children can look at or read on their own.
Guerber’s Histories Teaching Helps
New in 2016: A growing collection of tried and tested teaching helps for each of the Guerber’s histories. Currently Ancient World, Greeks, Romans, and Middle Ages is up, with the remainder in progress, coming soon. Each teaching helps page is linked from its individual book page, or they are also all archived here for easy access.
Story of the Romans New Edition
The new fourth edition of The Story of the Romans has been completely revised. In the keeping with the other editions of Guerber’s histories available from Nothing New Press, the accurate history on the first settlers of Italy, previously only available in the Publisher’s Preface of Romans, has now been integrated into the first chapters. New chapters on the Roman Religion, on Herod the Great and the birth of Jesus Christ during the Augustan era, on the emperor Vespasian, and the siege of Jerusalem and the Destruction of the Temple have been integrated with the existing narrative, and surrounding chapters juggled where necessary to accommodate the new material in a smooth and unbroken style. In addition, new material has been added to existing chapters expanding the growth of the Christian church and the persecutions she suffered, and the final Judeo-Roman war in 135 AD, during the reign of Hadrian, which resulted in the expulsion of the Jews from their homeland. Along with the new and expanded chapters, many more illustrations have been added, along with the new cover.
New Covers on Guerber’s Histories
All Guerber’s histories now have new covers! We have been updating our Guerber’s covers as our time and budget permits. Christine Miller has designed all our new covers, and we are thrilled with the results (pictured above). Thank you, Christine!
Guerber’s Histories Awarded Readers Choice 2016 and 2017
Nothing New Press is honored that the Guerber History Series has been chosen by the readers of Practical Homeschooling Magazine, as one of the top history curricula for both 2016 and 2017. Thank you, Practical Homeschooling Readers!
Guerber’s Histories a 102 Top Pick!
The Guerber history series edited by Christine Miller and reprinted by Nothing New Press has been chosen by Cathy Duffy as a 102 Top Pick Homeschool Curriculum (Guerber’s Histories were previously a 100 and 101 Top Pick Homeschool Curriculum). Cathy’s new book makes planning and choosing curriculum simpler than ever! Use Cathy’s charts to figure out your philosophy of education and your children’s learning styles – the charts show how each of the Top Picks match up with different learning styles, approaches to education (e.g., classical education, unit studies, etc.), as well as practical issues such as prep time, ease of use, and suitability for independent study. Cathy says of the Guerber series: “Guerber writes with a lively style that reminds me of Joy Hakim (author of The Story of the U.S. from Oxford University Press). Christine Miller has retained that same engaging style in her adaptations and additions. … Of particular note is the religious perspective. This series is Christian, and it does a surprisingly good job of fairly presenting both Protestant and Catholic positions. Even in the Renaissance and Reformation volume, we read about the good and bad from both sides.”