Studying different cultures can be exciting, especially for younger children. We received 4 books to review from Carole P. Roman: If You Were Me and Lived in Scotland, If You Were Me and Lived in Germany, If You Were Me and Lived in Viking Europe and If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Europe. Each book was engaging and conveyed a lot of info for children studying different cultures.
- Prices vary on each book. They can be purchased on Amazon (see links for each book in the intro paragraph).
- Soft cover books (also available on Kindle)
- Full color books with awesome illustrations
First, let me tell you a bit about the author. Carole P. Roman is a children’s author who has written over 50 books and won over 100 awards. In addition to her individual books, she has several series:
- Captain No Beard
- If You Were Me and Lived in …. Country Series
- If You Were Me and Lived In…Ancient Times Series
- Oh, Susannah
How We Used Our Books
I read through each of the books we received. I found them to be educational, a little whimsical (as far as the illustrations), and engaging. But, the information was very interesting!
Both of the books If You Were Me and Lived In … Viking Europe and If You Were Me and Lived in … Ancient Mali Empire are a little more in-depth than the other two books we reviewed. These two are geared more towards middle school students.
The Viking Europe book gave a pretty thorough overview of what life would be like as a Viking during the 9th century. From the beginning of the book Ms. Roman brings the reader into life in 890 AD. She leads you through the work life of both men and women, their home life, how the houses were built, how they gathered food and fed their families. It’s a combination of social studies, culture, lifestyle, currency, trading, and so much more. I can see this being used for middle school students.
The Ancient Mali Empire is based on the year 1332 and what life would be like to live during that time. Taking you back in time, the reader is a young child who’s father is very wealthy and a commander of the king’s army. There are lots of definitions and pronunciations (which is true for all the books I read for this review). In particular, considering that this is Mali, there is some discussion of Islam and Muslim religions. It’s approached more in an educational way than anything else. There is also mention of worshiping other gods (which was encouraged by the king in this book) and that one of the trades the young boy learned is creating idols for worship. The young daughter in the book is also prepared for marriage at the age of 12. I point this out because these may be things that you can address with your children as you read this book. These are based on what was happening in Mali around 1332 – just keep that in mind. Aside from these things, the book itself is informational. As with the Viking book, currency, culture, traditions, and more are discussed and addressed. There are a list of actual names and important people from this time listed at the back of the book along with a glossary.
The other two books I reviewed are: If You Were Me and Lived In … Germany and If You Were Me and Lived in … Sotland. These would be good for students in elementary and are geared more towards life in a particular country, not just a period of time. In fact, they are more relevant to today’s world. They each discuss popular cultural names, geography, currency, types of food, and so much more. If using these books as part of a cultural series, you might consider making some of the meals mentioned in the books. In the Scotland book, you’ll find dishes with names such as tattie scones, cullen shink, or stovies. Why not Google these dishes and make one so that your children can taste a traditional Scottish meal? It’s a great hands-on learning experience.
I thought these books would be well suited for elementary or middle school students. As a homeschooling mama, if I were to use these books as part of any social studies course, I would consider adding a short paper, maybe finding a recipe or two that would fit these cultures, or even a short lesson or two on any of the subjects she mentions inside the books (currency values between those cultures and ours, clothing, etc.). There are many ways to add to these books to create a full social studies program or even a history program by adding a few of these books together or using them as additional resources for a curriculum you’re already using.
Connect with Carole P. Roman on social media!
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolePRomanAwardWinningAuthorAndBooks
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/caroleproman
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroleproman/
- Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5854108.Carole_P_Roman