Learn about European history through these vivid European history books for students! Explore Europe with these books for kids.
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European History Books By Country
Learning about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart might just change the way you look at music. You’ll learn more about his first composed piece and more in this “Who Was” book.
Unique to history in European history, The Habsburgs were a ruling dynasty in Europe that stretched across many countries.
12-year-old David has spent the majority of his life in a concentration camp and knows nothing of the outside world. When given the chance to escape, he seizes it – on a mysterious mission to Denmark. He has only a compass, a map he can barely read, and the distant memories of a friend to guide him on his journey. I Am David is poignant, memorable, thought-provoking, and the best children’s novel I have ever read. Grab the book guide here.
The Danish Resistance during WWII saved the majority of its Jewish population. With courage, resistance, and teamwork, Denmark’s role during the Holocaust played a pivotal role in history that more students should know about.
Number the Stars was one of the first books about the Holocaust I remember reading. Instead of focusing on the horrors of the war, we learn about prejudice, racism, courage, and resilience from the point of view of Annemarie and her Jewish friend Ellen. This Newbery award-winning classic is highly recommended for all students. Grab the book guide here.
Who Was? Series
- Who Was Galileo?
- Who Was Jules Verne?
- Who Was Joan of Arc?
- Who was Marie Curie?
- Who was Marie Antoinette?
- Who Was Jacques Cousteau?
This vivid Caldecott award winner mixes text with beautiful illustrations as we dive into the life of Hugo, an orphan living in the walls of a Parisian train station. Hugo believes he is receiving a hidden message from his deceased father and is determined to find the meaning. There’s also a movie.
The Family Under the Bridge is a Newbery Honor award winner about an old man living in Paris. He is living under a bridge when a mom and her three children came into his life, changing it forever.
Life can change in the blink of an eye and it easily did for eleven-year-old Isabelle, the lacemaker in the town of Versailles, France. After meeting Marie Antoinette, Isabelle receives a new job: a companion to the queen’s daughter.
Allies tells the story of D-Day through multiple perspectives – a Canadian paratrooper, a girl in the French resistance, an American soldier, an African-American medic, and more. It emphasizes the importance of teamwork, especially in a time of war. Grab the book guide here.
The “Journal” series is a “boy” companion to the Dear America series. In this story, Scott Collins is an American soldier who shares his story of the Battle of Normandy, D-Day.
If there was ever a book that revealed the truth of history in France, this book is it! All of the “Horrible Histories” books are perfect for kids who think they don’t like history. 🙂
Learning about France has never been so easy. This travel guide for kids will help them learn about tidbits from France.
Who Was? Series
Beethoven was a deaf composer whose works have remained classics for centuries. Although this book isn’t just about him, this is a fun introduction of classical composers for younger students.
Set in Berlin, this book will take you on a fun adventure. Emil has the time of his life as he races through Berlin and teams up with a few detectives.
The fictional Percy Jackson series has been loved by millions and serve as an introduction to Greek mythology. Riordan’s written many sequels and spin-offs to this multi-faceted series.
Set during the siege of Troy, this book has plenty of battles, duels, and characters than ever before. What an awesome European History adventure to go on in Greece.
This series talks about how Greece made war and worshiped their very own Gods. The illustrations in this book are amazing!
Most of us have heard of Anne Frank. This book is a firsthand look at what life was like for a young girl in hiding during World War II. Because of some content issues, I’d recommend it for middle school students and up.
Originally written for adults, The Hiding Place is a classic that is appropriate for middle school students too. Corrie ten Boom and her family sheltered several Jews during the Holocaust. Although she and her sister are sent to a concentration camp, their faith never waivers.
God’s Secret Agent is about Andrew Van Der Bijl from the Netherlands smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain. His story of faith and resilience makes this one of my favorite Christian memoirs. I’d also recommend his memoir, God’s Smuggler.
Who Was? Series
Join a curious and energetic child doing sheep round-ups in Iceland and explore the landscape and all the country has to offer.
I loved Nory Ryan’s Song and its sequel Maggie’s Door as a child. Told from the perspective of 12-year-old Nory growing up during the Irish Potato Famine, this is a story of adventure, survival, and hope. Maggie’s Door shares Nory’s story as she and her family emigrate to America to her sister Maggie’s home. The covers are somewhat outdated, but these were some of the best-written works of historical fiction I’ve read.
Imagine all of the food we have available today. This wasn’t always the case. It is so interesting to read about Black Potatoes and discover the blight attacks on potato crops in 1845 in Ireland. Losing friends and starving was common for a while, but Irish people found a way to overcome it.
History wasn’t always pretty. Horrible Histories of Ireland tells us of some of the wars, famines, and sieges.
Who Was? Series
One minute Robert is heading off to the movies and the next minute he’s in a brutal work camp. There is a lot of tragedy but triumph in this story.
No one knew how WWII would impact Norway. However, this is an amazing story of how about nine million dollars passed through the hands of the Nazis thanks to a young boy. This book is set during WWII but is not graphic or violent in any way. Instead, it is a tribute to a group of courageous children.
Striking the blow to an atomic bomb in Norway, this story involves letters, diaries, and a secret document to help tell this story.
European History wouldn’t be complete without this book about vikings. Vikings are an intricate part of Norway’s history. This series is great for ages 8-12 and is great for reluctant readers.
Life began in Norway for Erik Thorvaldsson, known as Erik the Red, but he ultimately helped the world to discover Greenland.
The Great Tarnov Crystal has caused quite an issue in medieval Krakow, Poland. Joseph needs to be able to protect the crystal from plundering Tarters. This story received the Newbery winner in 1928.
This book tells of the amazing history of three siblings during World War II in this adventure. This book has been published under two titles, Escape From Warsaw and The Silver Sword.
Breaking Stalin’s Nose received a Newbery Honor book in 2011. Set in the 1940s, six-year-old Sasha has a fascination with Stalin. His world view changes after his father, a loyal Communist, is arrested. Dark history from the perspective of children is always interesting and this book does a great job with introducing communism to younger readers.
I would really only recommend this for grades 7+ because of some content, but I did find this a unique story worth telling. During Russia in the late 1800s, Jews suffered many anti-Semitic attacks (pogroms) in Eastern Europe. The country’s czar was forcibly kidnapping young Jewish boys for his army, and most didn’t survive. This is the fictional story of two “survivors” – who are both sworn enemies and must work together to survive. Although both boys survive, they never do really make amends.
Who Was? Series
In this beloved children’s classic, Heidi is a young orphan sent to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. There are also several movie adaptions that can be watched afterward.
Children of the Alps is an older story that might be hard to find. There are 3 stories in this book. Each story is interesting and has a few layers of history in them.
Miscellaneous Titles For Your Study Of Europe
Have you ever imagined living in a castle? This DK Eyewitnesses book breaks down the history of European castles by country.
The Middle Ages ran from the end of the Dark Ages to the Renaissance in the 15th century. DK Eyewitness Medieval Life offers an in-depth look at life during that era. It covers several different perspectives from both the town and the country and for the peasants and the aristocracy of the era.
Want Even More Resources For Studying Europe?
Check out this Europe Unit Study! This comprehensive, 240-page unit study goes in-depth to the culture, languages, geography, history, landmarks, and tourism of five different European countries: England, Germany, France, Italy, and Russia.
Each of the five unit studies included are highly interactive and contain book, movie, person, and topic resource lists so your students can learn through several different forms of media. All five studies also have 8-9 different subjects, allowing students to explore the country through its music, art, animals, geography, and more! To tap into students’ artsy side, the interactive notebooks provide a creative way to learn some fast facts about the country. STEM projects engage students who love to learn in a hands-on and memorable way. This unit study also includes two picture book study guides and some cheat sheets to help students remember things about the country. As a bonus, 10 pages of guided research sheets are also included. Your students are sure to enjoy the Europe Unit Study.
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