The Herstory and Wildlives Collections — Two Must-Buys for Supporting COVID Learning

Are your kids homeschooling or distance learning this fall? If you’d allow me to recommend just one thing to buy to support learning, take my word and buy these two books! Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World and Wildlives: 50 Extraordinary Animals That Made History have been favorites in our house for the last 6 months!

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So what makes Herstory and Wildlives worth owning? Each volume contains 50 incredible true stories of women and animals who did amazing things in the world. You’ve likely heard some of these stories (such as Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, and Rosa Parks, or even Balto, Koko, and Roy & Silo), but many will be new. The volumes are organized into categories, like “Rescue & Protect” and “Believe & Lead”. The stories are told over full-page spreads, are brightly illustrated by Sarah Walsh, and include primary source photographs and documents when available.

Both also include contain back-matter spreads of where the animals were born or when the women were born, which is were we start our readings in the mornings. As you all know, I often read to the girls over breakfast. After we’d read a few picture books or chapters of our read aloud, we’d open to these spreads and each girl would pick and animal or woman to read about that day. By now, we’ve read most of these stories and revisited many of them multiple times.

But even better? The girls have independently started to use these two books as reference books! The other day, when reading The One and Only Ivan, we read about a boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure in a zoo and was saved by one of the gorillas. My older daughter ran to get Wildlives to read us the true story of Benti Jua, the gorilla who did rescue a boy at the Brookfield Zoo in 1996!

Whether your children are learning at home this fall or have the chance to return to school, I encourage you to make these two books part of your home library and visit them regularly. Your children (and you!) will learn a ton, their interest in nonfiction will be piqued, and their research skills will grow.

Now your turn — what one book or material would you recommend parents buy to supplement learning this fall?

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