This collection of books is included in History / Bible / Literature E. If you don't need notes or a schedule, but are just looking for some excellent supplemental reading to share with your children, this superb collection is for you!
Across Five Aprils is absolutely unique in children's literature: It focuses on the western front during the five Aprils of the Civil War. (Did you even know that there was a western front?) Seen through the lens of one family's experiences, one of the most powerful scenes occurs when two brothers decide, both according to conscience, which side they must fight for&mdashand they pick opposite sides. I love that this introduces nuance into what sometimes is a very cut-and-dried narrative of South = bad, North = good. Real history, like real people, and real problems, is far more complex than that.
The Great Turkey Walk tells of how a young man walked 1000 turkeys from Missouri to Denver in 1860. This sounds wildly improbable, but is based on actual drives. (Proving once again that, yes, fact is stranger than fiction.)
There's a book about the common New England practice of making maple syrup, and the almost superhuman attempt to build the first enormous Ferris Wheel at the Chicago World's Fair.
These books include good topics for discussion, such as racism in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (described as "life-changing"); shell-shock; the Great Depression; the challenges of immigration. You'll read funny books (General Butterfingers is literally laugh out loud funny), and poignant books (Little Britches will touch you deeply).
A wonderful, wonderful collection of reading.