Originally published in 1998, these fun books for kids offer bizarre facts, quirky characters and a creative format sure to appeal to primary school aged readers.
There are many historical periods and legends that hold an enduring fascination for modern audiences. Roman and Greek mythology, Bible stories, the legend of King Arthur, Shakespeare’s England, Celtic mysteries and many other significant stories and characters from history continue to capture the imaginations of readers both young and old.
10 Best Arthurian Legends Ever (Scholastic, 1998, 2009) by Margaret Simpson and 10 Best Bible Stories Ever (Scholastic, 1998, 2009) by Michael Coleman contain an interesting selection of information presented in a variety of entertaining formats suitable for young readers.
10 Best Arthurian Legends Ever
The royal love triangle between King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, the mystical sword Excalibur and powerful magician Merlin, the daring Quest for the Holy Grail, Camelot and the mysterious Lady in the Lake are all familiar figures from one of the world’s most enduring legends.
Arthur, Merlin and the legend of Camelot are part of the fabric of the modern perception of British history to such an extent that historian Robert Lacey included the mythical Arthur in Great Tales from English History, his summary of significant real-life historical figures and events in British history.
For young readers familiar with the Harry Potter novels and movies, the primary attraction of the Arthurian legends is most likely to be the stories of wizards, spell, enchantments and other mystical happenings.
The legends are presented in a variety of forms including comic strips, interviews, transcripts of TV sports broadcasts, fact boxes, letters, scripts and newspaper articles. Stories of the many loves of Guinevere and Lancelot, the adventures of Camelot’s Knights of the Round Table, Merlin’s legendary magical powers and, of course, the legend of King Arthur are interspersed with Fantastic Facts sections offering backgrounds on prominent characters, events and customs.
10 Best Bible Stories Ever!
Following a similar format to the 10 Best Arthurian Legends Ever!, 10 Best Bible Stories Ever! alternates between well-known Bible characters and Fantastic Facts about Biblical times, customs and terminology.
Using the same mixture of creative formats, Bible Stories focuses on the Old Testament characters Adam and Eve, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samson and Delilah, David and Goliath, Jezebel, Jonah and Daniel.
The stories and Fantastic Facts segments offer children an interesting overview of Old Testament customs and culture. Some Bible references are included and the introduction acknowledges that both Judaism and Christianity consider the Bible as a God-inspired history of the Hebrew, or Jewish, people.
While the author discusses significant characters, symbolism and events throughout the Bible and includes Bible references where appropriate, this is not intended to be a serious introduction to the Bible for children and focuses instead on the more dramatic, bizarre and intriguing characters and events of the Old Testament.
10 Best… Ever! Series
After more than a decade, the 10 Best… Ever! books have been republished by Scholastic, offering a new generation of readers a journey through time to learn more about historical figures and legends.
In addition to the titles mentioned above, the series also includes:
- 10 Best Greek Legends Ever! by Terry Deary
- 10 Best Shakespeare Stories Ever! by Terry Deary
- 10 Best Irish Legends Ever! by Margaret Simpson
- 10 Best Viking Legengs Ever! by Michael Cox
According to the ace writers, the format of these books is extremely engaging and confident readers aged 9+ are sure to be entertained by the amusing and intriguing collection of information each book contains. Amusing illustrations on most pages compliment the stories well.
Readers who enjoy these books might also be interested in the Horrible Histories series, with titles by various authors covering a variety of historical events and cultures.