Flashbacks Series- accessible historical fiction for children

As we continue to work our way through Usborne’s History of Britain, I find myself returning to a particular supplementary resource again and again – Bloomsbury Education’s Flashbacks Series. Bloomsbury lists the series as:

Dramatic stories set during key moments in history for confident readers.
Strong characters and thrilling plots bring the past to life.

The series is meant to bring history to life for ages seven to eleven. And they really do the job for us.

A great read-aloud, but not for the usual reasons

There are no copywork-worthy quotes in these pages. We have not been transported to another place and time as such, because the setting, character development and plot are pared back to the bare essentials (yes, we skipped a week in the character’s lives as they took what we must assume was an entirely uneventful boat journey from Africa to Italy).

These books are well written. I have not tripped over a poorly worded sentence when reading aloud once. They’re just not meant to be great works of fiction. They are packed full of historical facts in a sneaky, entertaining, pacey way that has you learning without feeling like you’re reading another text book.

Cheerful and cheap

The things I love most about this series, as a home ed mum (and closet resource hoarder), is that the books are short and very affordable. We could read them all and I wouldn’t feel pressed for time or cash!

Each book is roughly 200 pages broken up into about twelve chapters. These can be read in a week. I read Over The Roman Wall in two sittings.

The series was conceived to be books for under £5. The ebooks are closer to £3 from Bloomsbury’s site.

Mister Ten, my history buff, needs no incentive to study history. But the Flashbacks Series has been a welcome addition for Miss Seven. As a visual learner, I think she really appreciates the lack of flowery language and a story that’s right to the point and fills her head with facts in a fun way. We all really enjoy these books and I would recommend them for reluctant history students and history buffs alike.

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