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Welcome to History Book By Book,
Reading your way through history... one book at a time...

> We are currently recommending a total of (1,068) books, divided into (65) specific booklists on this website.

First Time Here? Check Out: Frequently Asked Questions | How Do I Use History Book By Book (HBBB)?

General Outline

Prehistory Booklist (4,500,000,000-6000 BCE)

  • Stone Age (2,600,000-3300 BCE)

Early Civilization Booklist (6000-3000 BCE)

  • Ancient China (6000-220 CE)
  • Mesopotamian Civilization (3500–500 BCE)
  • Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1900 BCE)
  • Bronze Age (3300-1200 BCE)
  • Ancient Egypt (3100-30 BCE)

Classical Age Booklist (3000 BCE-400 CE)

Early Medieval Booklist (400–699 CE)

High Middle Ages Booklist (700-1399 CE)

  • Vikings (790–1100)
  • Aztec Civilization (1345–1521)

Renaissance Booklist (1400-1599 CE)

Enlightenment Booklist (1600-1699 CE)

Age of Revolutions Booklist (1700-1839 CE)

Industrial Age Booklist (1840-1899 CE)

Modern Age Booklist (1900 CE - present)

See also: American History | African American History | Indigenous American History | Jewish History

List of All Booklists

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Why is HBBB a thing?

I am a list maker. I love organizing booklists, to-do lists, checklists of all kinds. I spend a great deal of my time researching books for my job and I’ve often found it frustrating that there isn’t one reliable resource where I can find an organized timeline of literature. So I’ve created one. I’ve set out to create a resource that will guide you on a literary adventure through history.

You can find books here on just about every time period or historical topic and for any age level. I’ve done my best to research and vet each title to ensure that this list is filled with living books. I’ve noted content warnings when necessary and my daughters and I have reviewed many of the titles recommended. This has been and will continue to be a labor of love, as we continue to build this website and update these book suggestions. I hope you find it helpful!

Thanks and Happy Reading, Emily

Emily's Favorites

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Book Suggestions Published in 2024

See also: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020

Featured Weekly Book Suggestion - 04/08/2024

Industrial Age

One Big Open Sky
Author: Cline-Ransome, Lesa
Buy at Amazon |

Time Period: Industrial Age
Time Frame: 1879
Geographic Area: North America
Country: United States
Topics: Westward Expansion
Genre: Fiction, Poetry
Reading Age: Upper Middle Grade, Young Adult
Format: Chapter Book
Published: 2024

Content Warning
death of a parent

American History > Industrial Age > Westward Expansion

Three women narrate a perilous wagon journey westward that could set them free—or cost them everything they have—in this intergenerational verse novel that explores the history of the Black homesteader movement.

1879, Mississippi. Young dreamer Lettie may have her head in the stars, but her body is on a covered wagon heading westward. Her father, Thomas, promises that Nebraska will be everything the family needs: an opportunity to claim the independence they’ve strived for over generations on their very own plot of land.

But Thomas’ hopes—and mouth—are bigger than his ability to follow through. With few supplies and even less money, the only thing that feels certain is danger.

Right after the war ended/and we were free/we believed/all of us did/that couldn’t nothing hurt us/the way master had when we were slaves/Couldn’t no one tell us/how to live/how to die.

Lettie, her mother, Sylvia, and young teacher Philomena are free from slavery—but bound by poverty, access to opportunity, and patriarchal social structures. Will these women survive the hardships of their journey? And as Thomas’ desire for control overpowers his common sense, will they truly be free once they get there?

Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author Lesa Cline-Ransome’s striking verse masterfully portrays an underrepresented historical era. Tackling powerful themes of autonomy and Black self-emancipation, Cline-Ransome offers readers an intimate look into the lives of three women and an expansive portrait of generations striving for their promised freedom.

Emily's Review

I grew up playing endless rounds of Oregon Trail. I loved seeing all the ways one could die on the journey, but I also loved planning the trip, and doing all the shopping to figure out what we'd need to survive. That game imprinted on me, and I often turn to stories about people journeying out west to start a new life as homesteaders. I haven't read many, however, that feature an all-black cast of characters.

Lesa Cline-Ransome wrote one of my absolute favorite books last year, For Lamb, so I was really looking forward to reading this book. The story begins with a family starting their journey west from Mississippi. We read from 3 perspectives - Lettie, her mother Sylvia, and a young teacher Philomena. I was surprised and pleased at how much depth the author put into this story. Novels in verse don't always work for me, I often find they need more story and can sometimes be hard to follow, particularly when there are three perspectives. But this story was so good I frequently forgot that I was even reading a novel in verse. I loved seeing how resilient the three protagonists were. I can't imagine how hard it would be to leave everything you know to travel across the country (for MONTHS!) to a place you don't know anything about for the chance at a new and better life. Seeing how they were able to overcome so many obstacles and tragedies along the way was inspiring.

I think this would be a great addition to any US History curriculum or pioneering unit. I think it is best for ages 12+

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