History Odyssey: Early Modern Level 2 Study Guide

Required Resources and Alternative Book List

The following books must be obtained apart from the History Odyssey Early Modern Level 2 Study Guide. You may use any version, eBook, or print edition of these books. This list includes both the required books and also alternate options (see the note **).

Disclosure: This list contains affiliate links. If you purchase after clicking one of the links, Pandia Press receives a small commission at no cost to you.

Main Reference Spine: The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (1999 or newer edition)

Optional Additional Reference Spine: The Story of Mankind * by Hendrik Willem Van Loon (optional) There is a free eBook edition of TSOM available at: www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/754.

The History Odyssey Timeline from Pandia Press (or a homemade timeline)

Other Required and Alternate/Additional Books:

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Treviño. This book and Amos Fortune (see below) have been criticized for perpetuating the “happy slave” trope, but I have not found an adequate replacement for I, Juan Pareja.  I suggest doing a research project instead. Research and write and essay or do a project on the impact of the Scientific Revolution (16th and 17th centuries). Developments in science and mathematics during the Scientific Revolution heralded the emergence of new knowledge and thought, and transformed the natural world from one of magic and mystery to one of scientific method and empirical evidence. 

Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates

Alternate/Additional: Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

The Landing of the Pilgrims by James Daugherty

Alternate/Additional: 1493 for Young People: From Columbus’ Voyage to Globalization by Charles Mann and Rebecca Stefoff. This book offers a greater perspective on how the colonization that came after Columbus’ contact with North America changed the whole world. 

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Alternate/Additional: Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (abridged by Puffin Classics)**

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. There is not an alternative suggested for this book.  It can be skipped, if wanted, because of some problematic issues, lacking accuracy and promoting Native American stereotypes. 

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Alternate/Additional: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. Chains centers around an enslaved teen during the early days of the American Revolution. It stands alone, but is part of a trilogy, if readers would like to continue. 

Alternate/Additional: Hamilton and Peggy!: A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliot. A novel about the friendship between Alexander Hamilton and Peggy Schuler, and may delight fans fo the musical. Please note it does have some light romance. 

Alternative/Additional: Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper. The story of an enslaved teen, from her capture in Africa to her life on a plantation. This book is only recommended for older students, as descriptions include mature topics that are difficult to read about. It also features Fort Mose in Florida, the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in the United States. 

The American Revolution by Bruce Bliven, Jr.

Alternate/Additional: The Constitution: A Collection of Historically Important Communications of the United States of America from Bendon Publishing. Contains The Constitution of the United States, The Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris (1783), The Gettysburg Address, The Star-Spangled Banner, The Pledge of Allegiance, and the speech “I Have a Dream.”

Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (optional reading)

Alternate/Additional: Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Captain’s Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe by Roland Smith

Alternate/Additional: Research Project. Most literature on Lewis and Clark is historically inaccurate or incomplete, so Samantha suggests doing some research, especially on Sacajawea. 

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Alternate/Additional: How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story by Tim Tingle. I suggest substitution this book because of problematic issues, lacking accuracy and promoting stereotypes found in the The Sign of the Beaver. 

Additional book that could be added to Early Modern Level Two: Mill by David Macauley. A fascinating look at how the Industrial Revolution created a need for the development and construction of mills. This book highlights both building and management. 

Here is a link to the Alternate Book List including a suggested schedule for placement in the study guide. https://www.pandiapress.com/wp-content/uploads/EM-2-Alternative-Booklist.pdf

**A note from Samantha Matalone Cook, who has created our alternate/additional book list for History Odyssey: Early Modern Level 2:

As the world changes, so does historiography. The approaches and methods used to tell the story of history are rapidly evolving to reflect a more inclusive, holistic view of world history. There are new resources, materials, and research that, even in just the past few years, have revealed how history as a subject has missed, marginalized, or distorted the past for many people and communities.

As I work on writing a new History Odyssey series, my goal is to present middle and high school students with a history education that embodies an intersectional, balanced, global experience that connects them with concepts and skills while underlining the impact the past has had on current events.

In the meantime, I’ve created a list of some alternative books to use with the current History Odyssey Level Two series that are more aligned with the goals mentioned above but still fit within the framework of the existing curriculum.

Thanks for choosing History Odyssey,

Samantha Matalone Cook, MAT


*The Story of Mankind: Due to the polarizing nature of The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Van Loon, it is optional reading in this level two course. It should be considered a possible resource for gathering information. If students choose not to read TSOM, they might need to seek out other resources on the Internet or at a library in order to complete some of the lessons.

Lesson 1. Review of Europe and the Stuarts


The Worst Jobs in History: The Stuarts. This amusing series of documentaries explores unpleasant jobs throughout history.  This focuses on the time of the Stuarts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7Pkgw5Bs18&feature=emb_logo

A timeline of the Kings and Queens of Britain, specifically on this page- The Stuarts: https://www.projectbritain.com/monarchy/stuarts.html

Kings and Queens of England: Episode 4: Stuarts. Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR8JUQVbaEg&feature=emb_logo


Lesson 2. The English Civil War

Crash Course video about the English Civil War: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyk3bI_Y68Y&feature=emb_logo

10 Minute English and British History: The English Civil War: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0Ycp3SiOLw&feature=emb_logo

Horrible Histories English Civil War: Very amusing video about the English Civil War complete with a large song and dance number: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJqXsqJmDnk&feature=emb_logo

Good overview of the English Civil Wars: https://www.britannica.com/event/English-Civil-Wars


Lesson 3. The Thirty Years' War and Religious Warfare
Lesson 7. I, Juan de Pareja

Here is the painting of Juan de Pareja by Valázquez: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_de_Pareja_(Velázquez)

Links to paintings by Juan de Pareja: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/juan_de_pareja.html

Here is a video about one of Velázquez’s Portrait of Philip IV being cleaned in 2010: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5wLoirY5ow&feature=emb_logo

Lesson 8. Spain

History of Spain.17th-Century Overview.


Interesting article about an exhibit at Madrid’s Instituto Cervantes about Spanish authors, playwrights, and printers in the 17th century: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/madrid-exhibit-highlights-forgotten-women-writers-17th-century-spain-180975725/

Documentary about Philip III (in Spanish with English subtitles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bIdkY_quSo&feature=emb_logo

Lesson 9. Spanish Succession
Lesson 10. 17th Century Art and Architecture

Links to paintings by Velázquez: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/velazquez_diego.html

Links to paintings by Juan de Pareja: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/juan_de_pareja.html

Biographies and paintings by many artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, Velázquez, Caravaggio, and Van Dyck: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/

Christopher Wren: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/wren_christopher.shtml

Christopher Wren including photos of many of his buildings: https://www.famous-architects.org/christopher-wren/

More about Christopher Wren: https://www.thoughtco.com/sir-christopher-wren-rebuilder-of-london-177429

Baroque Architecture: https://www.thespruce.com/baroque-architecture-4797911

Baroque Art: http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art/baroque.htm

Baroque Music: https://www.baroque.org/baroque/whatis

Lessons 11-12. Scientific Revolution or The Age of Reason
Lessons 13-14. Evaluating Resources

Link to Chapter 60 in The Story of Mankind, The Age of Science:  https://www.gutenberg.org/files/754/754-h/754-h.htm#link2H_4_0062

Lesson 15. Galileo

Lots of extra information about Galileo: http://galileo.rice.edu

When Galileo stood trial for defending science: https://www.history.com/news/galileo-copernicus-earth-sun-heresy-church

Lesson 16. Early American Settlers

Crash Course video about the relationship between the English and Native Americans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTYOQ05oDOI

The official website for Jamestown has lots of great information: https://historicjamestowne.org

 This page of the Jamestown website is about John Rolfe: https://historicjamestowne.org/history/pocahontas/john-rolfe/

Wall Street Journal video about the discovery of some graves of some of the early leaders of the English colony at Jamestown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2KL9XbkaSE&feature=emb_logo

TED-Ed Crash Course When is Thanksgiving? This is a quick overview of English colonists including the pilgrims: https://ed.ted.com/best_of_web/lOrzfPGq

Collection of videos about Jamestown archaeology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkqmiVU58uw&list=RDCMUCVtdK0zt6-tj4FlWOEHfJiw&index=2


Lesson 20. India

The website for the Taj Mahal with lots of information, history, and photos: https://www.tajmahal.gov.in

Akbar, Emperor of Mughal India: https://www.thoughtco.com/akbar-the-great-of-mughal-india-195495

Aurangzeb: https://www.thoughtco.com/aurangzeb-emperor-of-mughal-india-195488

Crash course on the Mughal Empire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbuM0aJjVgE&feature=emb_logo

Lesson 21. East India Trading Companies
Lessons 23-24. African States

Kingdom of Oyo: https://thinkafrica.net/oyo-empire/

The Kingdom of Dahomey, a major power on the Atlantic coast of modern-day Benin until French conquest: https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/article/section/pre-colonial-history/the-history-of-the-kingdom-of-dahomey/

Lessons 26-27. Mercantilism and Trade

Mercantilism and Its Effect on Colonial America: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-mercantilism-104590

Mercantilism and how it compares to capitalism.  Along with how it is relevant to our world today: https://www.thestreet.com/world/what-is-mercantilism-14776819

Lesson 28. Japan Isolates Itself from Trade
Lesson 29. Trade and Opium in China
Lessons 31-32. Colonial America
Lesson 34. Russian Expansion

There is a little bit of language in this video, but it is a good summary about how Russia got so large: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1R_ycU_fS4&feature=emb_logo

The Rise of Russia and Prussia (with a good deal about Peter the Great to keep in mind for your next lesson as well): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBzRaxLdjZE&feature=emb_logo


Lesson 37. The Great Northern War


Lesson 38. Trade and Rebellion Around the World
Lesson 39. What is a Revolution?

Some information about Oliver Twist while you read: https://www.thoughtco.com/oliver-twist-review-740959

Oliver Twist Overview

Summary and also the full text of Oliver Twist: https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/oliver/

Lessons 46-48. Kidnapped

Summary and Full Text of Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson: https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/kidnapped/

Free audio book version of Kidnapped: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRsrDTpU0YY&feature=emb_logo

Lesson 59. Thomas Paine
Lessons 61-65. The American Revolution

American Revolution

Overview of the American Revolutionary War: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/overview-american-revolutionary-war

Smithsonian National Museum of American History, American Revolution exhibition: https://americanhistory.si.edu/american-revolution

Lots of information about George Washington and virtual tours of his home, Mt Vernon: https://www.mountvernon.org

Thomas Jefferson and his home, Monticello: https://www.monticello.org

The Townshend Acts: https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/townshend-acts

Benjamin Franklin: https://www.fi.edu/benjamin-franklin-faq

John Adams: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/john-adams/

Also, if you can find it, the mini series John Adams from HBO is great: https://www.hbo.com/john-adams




John Hancock: https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/john-hancock

Captain Preston, John Adams, The Boston Massacre: https://www.thoughtco.com/john-adams-captain-preston-boston-massacre-103943

Captain Preston’s account of the Boston Massacre (also includes several other primary sources from the American Revolution): http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1751-1775/captain-prestons-account-of-the-boston-massacre-march-5-1770.php

Lord Fredrick North: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/biographies/lord-north

Paul Revere: https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/paul-revere

General Gage: https://www.thoughtco.com/general-thomas-gage-2360620

Benedict Arnold: https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/benedict-arnold


Lesson 69. The Bill of Rights
Lesson 75. The Napoleonic Wars

Information on the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars: https://www.thoughtco.com/french-revolutionary-and-napoleonic-wars-2361116

Lesson 77. The Congress of Vienna
Lesson 79. Nationalism and Revolution in Europe
Lesson 84. Lewis and Clark


Sacajawea: https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/sacagawea

The Ken Burns film, Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery is also very good if you are able to access it: https://kenburns.com/films/lewis-clark/

TED Ed video about Sacajawea: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-true-story-of-sacajawea-karen-mensing

Suggested Books for Further Reading

-This page is still being created.  Check back later as we get more recommended resources added.-

Recommended Resources and Additional Reading


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin





Scientific Revolution

Industrial Revolution

The Enlightenment

France and Spain

Native Americans and European Settlement of America

The American Revolution

North American Exploration


Writing and Grammar


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