Twenty-one Balloons by William Pene Dubois is such a fun story full of all kinds of History and Geography! My kids were not cajoled into reading this book. I merely mentioned it once, never happens here, and they jumped on the opportunity to read this book about Professor Sherman. My purpose for imposing this book upon my kids was to discuss the explosion of the island of Krakatoa in 1883. The Story of the World Modern Age brings up this location and its struggles in Chapter Nine. The fictional story of Professor Sherman's visit to this Dutch East Indonesian location helped my students discuss the historical and political struggles between political powers of the age.
Secondly, Secret of the Andes, however, did not catch my kids attention even once we relayed the information from their Aunt who studies in Lima and travels throughout Peru this fall semester. This book by Ann Nolan Clark was a mysterious read for me several months ago as I pondered my sister's travel to a South American country. But proved too, should I say, deep for my 3rd and 4th graders. The SOTW Modern Age (SOTW4) chapter about Peru and other surrounding countries was Chapter Nine, but I wasn't able to work my kids through the book completely before the moment passed.
More about our successes and failures in history later; more specifically the rate of stories finished per week AND the use of the outline worksheets and notebook map pages included in the study guide materials. These steps are taken deliberately in order to prepare these young children for a new cycle AND method of history study next fall.