History doesn’t have to be boring – I swear!
You can get your kids interested in history in many ways. Although, very few of those ways involve memorizing names and dates.
That’s just not interesting history for most of us.
Games, activities, videos, timelines, maps, and of course, great books. Always great books.
Unfortunately, great books for kids that deal with history aren’t always easy to come by. And they aren’t always secular.
There are a few types of books that can get kids interested. And what you decide to borrow/buy will depend on your child.
- Picture books
- Chapter books
- Historical Fiction
They all have their place in a great history curriculum or study but they don’t all have to be involved. You’ll have to figure out what you and your children respond to best and go with that.
I like to get as many books from the library as possible and keep them around the house. My kids will randomly pick them up and browse through them. So we end up with a little bit of all of them.
But their favorites are almost always the historical fiction. There is nothing like a good book brought to life and when that book involves real history, it’s a great way to learn!
Mesopotamia was an interesting time in history and there are a good amount of books around that time period.
Mesopotamia actually covers a long period of time in which different people were in charge. So you might find great books on Mesopotamia that take place in Assyria, Babylon, and Sumer. But they also might just refer to Mesopotamia.
And now, for the books!
A little P.S. Note first
If you’d like a prehistory book list – I’ve got that too! (And more coming)
If you’d like a full Ancient History curriculum – it’s in the works. Get in on the BETA Version now!
If you’d like the book list in a printable version – yep, we’ve got that too!
And if you’d like to see this more visually on amazon, there’s a super easy to use Amazon list.
Picture Books from Mesopotamia
The Gilgamesh Triology by Ludmila Zemen
This is actually 3 separate books but they all tell the story of Gilgamesh the King. The books are full of gorgeous illustrations that let you into the mythology and culture of the times.
Book 1 – Gilgamesh the King
Book 2 – The Revenge of Ishtar
Book 3 – The Last Quest of Gilgamesh
Legalbanda is based on a story from Mesopotamia that has been passed down over the years. According to mythology, Lugalbanda is actually the father of Gilgamesh. But the story is of Lugalbanda as a child.
Historical Fiction Novels from Mesopotamia
This is a wonderful story of a young boy, Jomar, and his sister, Zefa, who are forced to go into the city of Ur to find work. When Zefa is accused of stealing a precious gem, Jomar has to figure out the truth and protect his sister.
I feel that The Golden Bull offers a glimpse into the culture of life of Mesopotamia.
Ever takes place in Mesopotamia but doesn’t really offer a lot of the history. However, it is an engaging story that features an Akkan god who falls in love with a mortal.
The story discusses a bit of Mesopotamia mythology and a small part of Mesopotamian culture.
Non-Fiction Options for Mesopotamia
At Your Own Risk Books
There are a handful of books that I have not had the opportunity to check out. I like to pre-read books before declaring them secular and good enough to include. However, there are so many books out there and only one me. So I am going to include the books I’ve found but with the disclaimer that I haven’t determined them to be secular.
If you have access to these books and can vouch for their secularness, please let me know! I’d love to be able to move them to the list above.
The Lifeboat that Saved the World by Irving Finkel
Tells a great flood story that originates in Mesopotamia.
Between the River and the Wall by Carolyn Maxwell
Piper is a young girl who can travel back in time. Join her in Uruk with King Gilgamesh.
Ikkibu and the Water Clock of Babylon by Eitan Chamberlin
This sounds like a fantasy style story based on Mesopotamian mythology. Perhaps Percy Jackson meets Babylon?
The Man Who Loved His Dog by Jerry Rondelay
The story of a man who meets a dog in the desert, where they live for many years. The story seems to involve the city of Nimmur (Ancient Sumer).
The Prince of Eridu by Jesse Hudson
This is the first in a 7 book series that takes place in Ancient Sumeria.
Innana: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer by Kim Echlin
A collection of Mesopotamian myths.
Looking for more Mesopotamia Resources?
Play The Royal Game of Ur – a real game from Ancient Mesopotamia!
Do you want a printable booklist?
I like to carry around booklists with me so if I happen across a yard sale, thrift store, or happen to find myself at a random bookstore, I’m already prepared.
Looking for a Secular Ancient History Curriculum?
For a limited time, you can get in on the BETA Version of my secular ancient history curriculum!