100 Best Books for Children ~ Hale

We move on to geography with four titles in the Family Flight series by Edward Everett Hale and his sister Susan Hale. These four books are numbers 91-94 on the Hundred Best Books for Children found in The Book-Lover by Baldwin.

Edward Everett Hale is likely best known for his book The Man Without A Country. He was a licensed minister and became Chaplain of the United States Senate in 1903. He was a child prodigy and social reformer, taking up the anti-slavery cause among others. His father was the nephew of Nathan Hale, whose last words were, “I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Susan Hale was a teacher and artist who traveled extensively to study art. She wrote a series of four books that describe her travels in story form to a younger audience. Together with her brother, the books were published as the Family Flight series:

  • A Family Flight Through France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.
  • A Family Flight Through Spain.
  • A Family Flight Around Home (by which is meant the United States).
  • A Family Flight Through Mexico.

The books follow the Horner family on their travels.

And now about the heads of the Horners, came tumbling avalanches of advice, suggestion and warning. Guide-books and maps poured in, as it were, at the doors and windows. Experienced travellers talked to them by the hour of what Mary must and must not do, as if the future of the American nation depended upon the arrangement of her plan of travel. Long before they had really begun to think what she should do, or where she should go, or how long she should stay, all these things had been discussed and decided by friends and relatives, far and near, who thus had themselves all the pleasure, and none of the anxieties, of planning the trip.

A Family Flight Through France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

Following the travelogue genre of the time, you will encounter some historical background, many landmarks, travel methods of various locations, and geography. The illustrations abound.

Of course, from our point of view these books paint a historical picture and not an accurate picture of what one would encounter today.

For so it was. The wandering days of the Horners were over. The parents were growing old; of this there could be no concealment. Their children were now all men and women, fitted, by travel and careful education, to take their own places in life, and with a tolerable knowledge of other countries, capable of becoming good citizens of their own.

A Family Flight Through Mexico

Free eBooks

A Family Flight Through France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland

A Family Flight Through Spain

A Family Flight Around Home

A Family Flight Through Mexico

  • Each book has 40 chapters. If you cover one chapter each week, you will have a year of geography / history studies (with room for holidays and vacations). At this pace, you will have four years of studies!
  • Another option is to cover two chapters each week. Then you will use two books for two full years of history / geography.
  • Have a map and/or globe handy to follow the travels of the family.
  • If you print out a map of the location in the book your student can trace the routes followed.
  • In some cases, it might be a good idea to look for current information about a location or people.
  • Younger students can provide oral narrations after a reading; older students can provide written narrations. These can be included in a “Family Flight” notebook.
  • Considering the wide variety of information covered, there are many options for rabbit trails to follow. If your child shows a particular interest, take time to follow it up. As one example of dozens, Chapter 38 of Family Flight Through Mexico takes a side trip through Kansas.

Additional Resources

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Use this free set to create an author notebook for our 100 Best Books for Children series.

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children

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