American History

History / Bible / Literature 100
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Age Range: 13-15
Grade Range: 8-10
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Uncover the rich treasures of American History, live the thrilling story of America, from before Columbus to modern times.


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Uncover the rich treasures of American History

  • Live the thrilling story of America, from before Columbus to modern times.
  • Guide your children with confidence; this program provides daily plans and complete materials for the entire year.
  • Examine events, people and debates that have molded the United States.
  • Cheer on patriots who stood for freedom and justice ... and evaluate America's missteps with open eyes.
  • Watch your children read, write, discuss and grow as students with this American history curriculum.
  • Purchase this US history book package and you'll get free shipping (lower 48), a one-year guarantee and other perks.

Overview of the History

Instructor's Guides

We've formatted History 120 for independent study, if desired. Your History and Bible Parent Guide and separate History and Bible Student Guide weave materials together cohesively to direct your students with confidence each day.

The Parent Guide mirrors the Student Guide, but also includes answers and extra notes. So you can discuss their reading, check their progress, and bolster their academic and spiritual learning.

American History

Sonlight's 120 American History course offers a fascinating look at the ups and downs of the nation's past. As your children transition to independent learning, they will examine the events, people, and debates that molded the United States.

This course builds on the foundation of William J. Bennett's bestselling trilogy our nation's history—condensed into an epic one-volume edition America: The Last Best Hope. In this riveting volume, Bennett covers America’s greatest moments in breath-taking detail.

The spine of the course is stellar. But to expand on Bennett, the Instructor's Guide includes extensive notes and articles. With America: The Last Best Hope (One-Volume Edition) and the IG combined, you have an extraordinary tool to help your children think about, and understand, American History.

And there are 17 more history books to enjoy!

Some expand on a time: Before Columbus explores what America was like before Europeans arrived; The Yanks Are Coming offers wonderful details of WWI; Colonial America offers a closer look at how some of the major British colonies were formed.

Some are about specific people: Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold tells the story of the most famous turncoat in American history. The Lions of Little Rock tells the story of two girls willing to take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring in order to stay friends. David Wilkerson left a comfortable suburban pastorate to minister to gangs in New York. Cameron Townsend wondered how much more effective he would be as a missionary if the people had the Bible in their heart-language.

And some are about specific events: the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, life in a Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth; writing the Constitution, fighting the battle of Gettysburg, and building the Panama Canal.

This course offers a wide range of perspectives, nationalities, and locations.

After their children have worked through Sonlight's 120 course, some parents have their children take the CLEP exam (the College Level Examination Program test that counts for college credit at some schools). These students pass.

Even though many of the Sonlight books are not "challenging" in their reading level, the quantity of titles, the memorability of the books, and the incredible range of topics, make the whole a thorough, enjoyable study of American History.

Biblical Studies

Teach your children to live out their faith. The Bible 110 program includes Scripture reading and practical lessons in how to study, interpret and apply the Scriptures in everyday life. Help your students build their theological framework, explore the evidence for our faith and develop discipline in prayer. Help you raise children who love God and know what and why they believe.

Estimated daily time for American History: Student: 45min.

Our high school courses are separated by subject to allow customers maximum flexibility. Feel free to buy either the History or the Literature, or both, or to mix-and-match with the History and Literature of other Sonlight courses.

Overview of the Literature

Instructor's Guides

Your Literature 130 Instructor's Guides (IG) weaves all your materials into one exciting and cohesive program. Starting in this upper-level program, you receive both a Literature and Language Arts Parent Guide and a separate Student Guide.

The Parent Guide mirrors the Student Guide, but also includes answers, provides extra notes and allows you to check their progress and discuss their reading. This format allows you to be as engaged or as hands-off as you and your students like.

American Historical Literature

Sonlight's 130 Literature moves roughly chronologically through American History. The books are in a variety of genres, including lyric poetry, short story, novella, novel, memoir, science fiction, historical fiction, and travelogue. There is a novel told in vignettes, a novel told from multiple points of view, an epistolary novel, and a novel-in-verse.

The setting of the books is also varied across the United States: Alaska, California, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Michigan, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Also a covered wagon trip from Arkansas to Oregon, and a car road trip from Chicago to Texas.

You'll read a book about each of our North American neighbors: Elijah of Buxton takes place in Canada and My Heart Lies South takes place in Mexico.

The male and female authors are Caucasian, African-American, Abenaki, and Korean-American.

The Literature includes several mature works. The poetry book, for example, contains collections by six of America's top poets, including Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, and Sandburg.

You probably know the story of Rip Van Winkle, who went to the mountains and ended up asleep for twenty years. It's a classic American short story. The author has a scintillating vocabulary, which makes the simple story quite a challenging read.

Jack London's Call of the Wild, about a California dog kidnapped to the Yukon during the Gold Rush, explores how deep our "civilization" really runs. What does life look like without external moral boundaries?

And the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favorites, looks at racial tension in the South, with a bit of courtroom drama (and who doesn't love that?).

Apart from these, most of the books are not challenging reads. Some of the topics are more mature than I'd prefer for elementary school children. For example, Keeping Score includes a character who returned from the Korean War with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after he witnessed war crimes. This is not comfortable history, though told gently. Rules of the Road's main character is a teen who has to figure out what it looks like to have a relationship with a drunk, deadbeat dad. Bonanza Girl, despite the incredible charm of the story, deals with intense racism in an Idaho gold-mining town.

None of these books focus on dark things. But they all include it, making this, I believe, an excellent transitional course, for upper middle school and lower high school.

Overall, this is a charming collection, diverse, interesting, enjoyable, and thought-provoking.

Life Skills

The counter-cultural view presented in Dating With Integrity challenges your children to stop and think about how they view dating. It also provides a great opportunity for you to discuss positive, healthy interaction with members of the opposite sex.

Language Arts

Fully integrated with the Literature, this year's Language Arts builds on past years and continues to develop literary analysis, creative writing, research, and essay skills, with weekly writing assignments in a range of lengths and topics.

Estimated daily time for American Literature: Student: 45min.

Prefer to build your own course of study?

Create a complete course of study by mixing and matching individual high school courses. Visit to get started.

Instructor's Guide
  • History 120 Parent Guide
    Complete lesson plans and teaching helps you need to effectively teach Level 120, History, Geography and Bible for the entire year.
    Retail: $64.00
  • History 120 Student Guide
    The daily schedule and tools your student needs for Level 120, History, Geography, and Bible for the entire year.
    Retail: $37.00
  • Literature 130 Parent Guide
    Complete lesson plans and teaching helps you need to effectively teach Level 130 Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.
    Retail: $64.00
  • Literature 130 Student Guide
    The daily schedule and tools your student needs for Level 130, Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.
    Retail: $37.00
  • Why Pray
    Provoke your prayer life to impact the world. This devotional offers a 40-day journey "from words to relationship" with God.
    Retail: $7.99
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    Yancey confronts key sections of the Hebrew Bible (Job, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and the Prophets) in search of a deeper understanding of Jesus and the central human issues He saw answered in...
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    Retail: $22.99
  • America: The Last Best Hope (One-Volume Edition)
    American greats like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan leap off the pages of this gripping account. From the Revolution to the Civil War; progressive to civil rights reforms; the fall of the...
    Retail: $29.99
  • Constance: A Story of Early Plymouth
    Runner-up for the National Book Award for Children's Literature in 1969, Constance is a classic of historical young adult fiction, recounting the daily life, hardships, romances, and marriage of a young...
    Retail: $12.95
  • Before Columbus
    A beautifully illustrated, scholarly look into the civilizations before the time of Columbus in America. Focuses on three main questions: Was the "New World" really new? Why were small groups of poorly...
    Retail: $13.99
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    The book Sacajawea Joseph Bruchac, Sacajawea, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark come to life in a beautifully told narrative. This book for 6th grade has chapters that alternate between Sacajawea and...
    Retail: $7.99
  • Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
    This US Constitution book gives students a foundation for understanding the people, events, debates and decisions that produced the Constitution of the United States.
    Retail: $8.99
  • The Yanks Are Coming
    A gripping account of how the United States joined WWI and helped turn the tide of the entire war. This fascinating narrative brings the war to life and reveals how the US mobilized industry, trained...
    Retail: $13.95
  • Cameron Townsend
    The exciting, thought-provoking and true story of Cameron Townsend-- founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators--and his mission to translate the Bible into every language.
    Retail: $11.99
  • The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming
    High-spirited young Jane is excited to be part of Mr. Mercer's plan to bring Civil War widows and orphans to Washington Territory but life out west isn't at all what she expects.
    Retail: $8.99
  • The Lions of Little Rock
    Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Out of Left Field
    A story about the fight for equal rights in America's favorite arena: the baseball field!
    Retail: $9.99
  • The Cross and the Switchblade
    Modern classic about a pastor who gives up a comfortable life in the countryside to minister to gangs in New York City. Gripping.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Colonial America: A Captivating Guide to the Colonial History of the United States
    Dive into this exciting period of history, and learn more about how the United States became what it is today.
    Retail: $13.99
  • Dragon's Gate
    When he accidentally kills a Manchu, a Chinese boy is sent to America to join his father, an uncle, and other Chinese working to build a tunnel for the transcontinental railroad through the Sierra Nevada...
    Retail: $7.99
  • Farewell to Manzanar Book
    The Farewell to Manzanar book is based on a true story of one Japanese American family's attempt to survive forced detention, and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow...
    Retail: $10.99
  • Moonshiner's Son
    This historical fiction for young readers is a stunning book about the clash of two cultures--the culture of whiskey makers in Prohibition-era backwoods Virginia, and the culture of an anti-whiskey Christian...
    Retail: $7.99
  • The Panama Canal
    A fascinating, colorful look at the Panama Canal, the idea behind it, how it was built, the men who built it, how it operates . . . and a whole lot more.
    Retail: $7.99
  • The Slopes of War
    A young soldier from West Virginia faces the Battle of Gettysburg knowing his two cousins may be fighting him.
    Retail: $11.99
  • Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold
    A study of the life and character of the brilliant Revolutionary War general who deserted to the British for money.
    Retail: $7.99
  • Bonanza Girl
    Fast-paced story of a widow and her two children who try to make their mark in an 1880s Idaho gold-mining town.This is a fun read-alone chapter book.
    Retail: $14.00
  • Elijah of Buxton
    Newbery winner by author Christopher Paul Curtis. An inspiring coming-of-age story set in a settlement of runaway slaves who have escaped to Canada.
    Retail: $7.99
  • My Heart Lies South
    This work is a delightful true story of an American woman journalist who moves south of the border and marries a Mexican man in the 1930s.
    Retail: $14.99
  • They Loved to Laugh
    In the 1830s, a young orphan with grave blue eyes heads to a new life in North Carolina. As she learns to adapt to her new Quaker surroundings, her new family and friends wonder if this solemn girl will...
    Retail: $14.95
  • Keeping Score
    From the author of the Newbery-winning A Single Shard comes a carefully researched read aloud book about the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers, the Korean War and the very real ups and downs of life.
    Retail: $7.99
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    Famous tale of a boy's life in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River as told by author Mark Twain. Pb.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Rules of the Road
    Jenna is a gangly, gutsy 16-year-old who sells shoes after school. When Jenna drives Mrs. Gladstone (the elderly, crusty president of a chain of shoe stores) on a cross-country "road trip", the two learn...
    Retail: $9.99
  • Children of the Longhouse
    This educational reading book tells a great tale about doing the right thing, even in the face of opposition.
    Retail: $7.99
  • Peace Child
    The Sawi cannibals of Irian Jaya think Judas is a hero for "fattening Jesus for the slaughter." This is the amazing story of how God prepared a tribal culture to receive the Good News of Jesus Christ.
    Retail: $16.99
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man
    Born the son of an African king, Amos Fortune was captured by slave traders in 1725, brought to America and sold at auction.
    Retail: $7.99
  • A Long Way from Chicago
    Set in pre-Word War II America, this charming collection of short stories recounts the visits of a brother and sister to their eccentric grandmother in a small town in rural Illinois.
    Retail: $8.99
  • A Wrinkle in Time
    One of the most spellbinding space adventure and time travel books. Winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal.
    Retail: $8.99
  • When You Reach Me
    This story takes place in the real world of New York City, but holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart. Winner of the Newbery Medal and a New York Times bestseller, When You Reach Me by author Rebecca Stead...
    Retail: $8.99
  • Bound for Oregon
    With only a guide book to show them the way, the Todd family sets out from their Arkansas home on a two thousand mile trek to claim uncharted Oregon Territory.
    Retail: $7.99
  • Bud, Not Buddy
    It's 1936 in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy who never knew his father, but Bud's got a few things going for him.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Call of the Wild
    The "Call of the Wild" book is gripping tale of a heroic dog who, thrust into the Alaska Gold Rush, faces a choice between living in man's world or returning to nature.
    Retail: $6.99
  • The View from Saturday
    Four friends from a class of social outcasts attempt to win an Academic Bowl with the help of their encouraging teacher.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw
    Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary is an astonishing story about growing up, about love and disappointment.
    Retail: $9.99
  • Indian Captive
    Delightful Newbery Honor story of what happened to a twelve year old white girl who was captured by Seneca Indians in 1758.
    Retail: $9.99
  • Maniac Magee
    After his parents die, Jeffrey Magee awes his friends with unbelievable feats.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Out of the Dust
    Billie Jo, a 14-year-old girl caught in the Oklahoma dust storms of the 1930s, reveals the grim realities of a life lived in that time and place.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Rip Van Winkle
    The full text of Washington Irving's classic accompanied by black-and-white renderings of illustrations by Arthur Rackham.
    Retail: $5.99
  • Stink Alley
    Adventuresome and feisty 12-year old Lizzy Tinker has to learn how to fit in with her community, 17th century Puritans in Holland.
    Retail: $16.00
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    The unforgettable story of a young girl whose father stands up for principle in the face of deadly prejudice.
    Retail: $16.99
  • A Treasury of Poetry for Young People
    This book of classic poems for students is a treasury of more than 150 works by six of America's finest poets.
    Retail: $29.99
  • Year Down Yonder
    Mary Alice, a middle-class high school girl from Chicago, leaves the big city to spend 1937 in rural Illinois with her rough-around-the-edges and unconventional grandmother.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Dating With Integrity
    Offers a practical Biblical model of male-female relationships based on our status as sons and daughters of God.
    Retail: $20.00
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Take up to one year to use your curriculum. If you don’t love it, return it! Complete details here.

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Available 7am-5pm MT Mon-Fri.