Guest Hollow’s Jr. Geography Curriculum Book and Resource List

Welcome to the Guest Hollow’s Jr. Geography Curriculum Book and Resource List! This list is to give you an idea of what will be needed if you are using Guest Hollow’s Jr. Geography Curriculum along with some helpful tips and other information. For details about the curriculum itself, please click here.
Thank You,
The Guest Family
© Guest Hollow, LLC

Literature-based geography that’s engaging and fun!

In order to use Guest Hollow’s Jr. Geography Curriculum, you will need to obtain the scheduled books and other items separately. You may be able to borrow many for FREE from your local library! Check out the F.A.Q. below for tips on how to save money when using a literature-based curriculum.

Every purchase comes with a printable book list!

Every purchase of Guest Hollow’s Jr. Geography Curriculum comes with a FREE printable book list to help you with your planning and shopping.

The printable version of the book list features:

  • The ISBN number and author’s name
    You can make sure your copy of the book matches the one in the schedule.
  • Notification of when each book or item is used
    You can plan ahead when to check out books from the library. Books used throughout the year are marked “multiple weeks,” so you can decide whether you want to purchase them vs. borrow them.
  • Checklists for planning
    A handy checklist helps you plan if you are going to buy or borrow a book. It can also help you choose the format of your books (physical copy, e-book, or audio book).
  • Consumables are marked
    You’ll get advance notice of which items are consumable, so you’ll know what you may need to purchase and how many copies you may want to get if you are using the curriculum with multiple students.

Here’s an example of the printable book list:

Keep scrolling to see the full online book list (below the F.A.Q. on this page).

We’ve scheduled in lots of colorful, fact-filled, interesting and engaging books for this year’s geography study! Before taking a look at the books and resources, we’ve addressed some common questions:

Book and Resource F.A.Q.

No. Although it’s intended for you to use all (or most) of the scheduled books in the Jr. Geography curriculum, you can use substitutes from your own home or local library. For example: There is a scheduled book about India. If you can’t obtain that book, you can use a different book about India. Keep in mind that the scheduled books were all hand-picked for their content and presentation.

It’s recommended you do NOT substitute books that are used throughout the year. These books are marked with the phrase “multiple weeks” in the printable book schedule.

Make the schedule work for YOU!

We were once homeschoolers, and we know what it’s like living on a budget. We wrote a blog post to help you SAVE MONEY when using a literature-based curriculum. In the post you’ll find handy tips on where to get books, what subscriptions can help out, what some libraries offer for free, where our customers go for used books, and how to find books our customers are selling when they are done. Take a look:

How to Save Money When Using a Literature-Based Curriculum

Our customers frequently resell their used Guest Hollow homeschool curriculum books on our Facebook Groups. Here’s a list of groups you can join and post in! We encourage you to try and recoup some of your investment in books when you are done by posting them for sale in our groups.

You may NOT resell, share, or distribute any of Guest Hollow’s digital products (or printed out copies of our digital products) which includes but is not limited to schedules, workbooks, printables, and other materials.

Every student’s reading ability and interest differs. If you have a reluctant reader or a student whose reading skills are not fully developed, you can do some of the following things:

  • Read books out loud
    You can read some or all of the books to or with your student. This is a terrific way to participate in what s/he is learning, too! Our children loved read-alouds.
  • Use audiobooks
    Audiobooks can be obtained from or a variety of other places. There are some benefits to using audiobooks. They can be listened to in the car, during lunch, while doing chores, while keeping hands occupied (knitting, coloring, etc.), and other times when print books don’t work as well.
  • Don’t overwhelm
    It may not be the best choice to do more than one literature-based program at a time with a student who doesn’t like reading. Don’t be surprised if this reluctant attitude toward reading changes during the course of the program, though. Many of our customers have told us their reluctant readers learned to love reading using our curriculum!

Warning! Preview all materials! I strongly recommend you preview all items to see if they are appropriate for your student. Every family is different in what they find offensive! Additional notes about some of the books are in the descriptions below.

Books and ItemsInformation and Notes
Geography puzzleGeoPuzzle World
This is not scheduled in, but would be a nice addition to your studies. I had the entire set of these puzzles and my son played with them when I read out loud. He learned the location of almost every country of the world this way (along with the geography songs scheduled above). The cool thing about this set of puzzles is that most of the shape of each country (or state if you get the U.S. puzzle) are the actual puzzles pieces themselves! These are high-quality puzzles!

Additional puzzles:
Don’t feel like you have to get any of these. I’m just listing them because we had them and they were a really great addition to our year of learning geography.

GeoPuzzle U.S.A. and Canada
GeoPuzzle Asia
GeoPuzzle Europe
GeoPuzzle Latin America
GeoPuzzle Africa and the Middle East

If you want all 6 puzzles, it’s less expensive to buy this:
Set of 6 Geopuzzles in One Box
World coin kitWorld Coin Collection
Not scheduled – Recommended to use at the beginning of the year.
Most kids are fascinated by world coins. It’s so much fun to look at and collect money from around the world! Any world coin kit will do. Just browse Amazon for an inexpensive kit.
Geography SongsGeography Songs (You Never Forget What You Sing) (Book and CD)
You can also purchase the MP3’s from iTunes!
I used these songs with all of my children. They are an easy and effective tool for memorizing the countries of the world. The music is kind of dorky but catchy and the kind of thing that gets burned in your brain cells, lol. If you want the MP3’s instead of the CD, make sure you purchase it as a whole as it’s less expensive than purchasing the individual MP3’s. The CD set comes with a book that has maps and lyrics that go with the songs. You can substitute the book’s maps with the laminated world map below, if you want the MP3’s (which are less expensive).
Click here for a PDF of the lyrics.
Carson Dellosa – The Complete Book of Maps & Geography for Grades 3–6The Complete Book of Maps and Geography, Grades 3 – 6 – Used multiple weeks
There are 2 versions you can buy new. The version that is currently scheduled in was originally published in 2009. There is another 2017 version. We are sticking with the 2009 book, for now.
I used this workbook with my kids when they were younger. It’s a terrific resource chock full of map lessons and exercises, including cut & paste activities. It says it’s for grades 3-6, but some of the pages are suitable for children as young as 1st or 2nd grade with your help. This is a great resource and one that is the best I’ve found for a variety of ages instead of targeted to just one grade level! I also like that fact that besides teaching a boat-load of map reading skills, there are also some critical thinking and logic exercises as well.
Stories from around the worldStories from Around the World 
Note: This book is currently only available used. I’m leaving it in the schedule for now, as used copies are still quite plentiful.
This is a pretty little book that I scheduled throughout the year to introduce children to the different stories from around the world. Kids are usually pretty familiar with their own culture’s traditional tales, but how about fables and stories from other countries? These stories will give your kids additional insight to other cultures. You can also use it for copywork and narration!
Children Just Like Me: A new celebration of children around the worldChildren Just Like Me: A new celebration of children around the world
This is such a lovely book. Children from all over the world are photographed and readers are given a peek into their lives. My son looked at this book multiple times.
Kids Around the World Cook!: The Best Foods and Recipes from Many LandsKids Around the World Cook!: The Best Foods and Recipes from Many Lands 
My kids loved to cook and they loved trying new recipes from different cultures. I attribute that partially to our year of geography where we cooked up all sorts of multi-cultural goodies – some of which became favorites our kids whipped up time after time.

Give your kids the important experience of learning how to cook as well as tasting foods from different cultures.
Laminated world mapWorld Map
I recommend you get a world map to put up in your school room or area. Your kids should be referring to it every time they study a new country and when practicing the geography songs. Choose whichever one you like.
Geography from A to Z: A Picture GlossaryGeography from A to Z: A Picture Glossary
This is an excellent picture book reference that illustrates LOTS of geography terms like: ford, geyser, atoll, bay, cape, delta, fjord, gulch, gulf, key, marsh, palisade, plateau, sound, strait, tundra and more. All 47 pages are heavily illustrated with definitions that are easy to understand.
Available FREE online at the Open Library
Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and AirInto the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air
Beautiful and detailed illustrations show how parts of our world were discovered through the ages. Older students can read the text, younger students can listen to it as a read-aloud or browse the pictures. Click on the links for previews of some of the pages:
How to Live Like a Samurai WarriorHow to Live Like a Samurai Warrior
“Takeshi joins the other youngsters in a samurai’s castle to train as a noble fighter. Join him in action as he fires arrows while riding on horseback and defeats three foes in bare-handed combat. Take on the samurai’s “way of the warrior” lifestyle and it will make you strong―but always remember that honor can be more important than life.”
The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in VietnamThe Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam
This is a read-aloud (or reader for an older child). Because it’s 15 chapters long, I’ve schedule this book early starting in week 2. You will finish it in week 4, when we learn about Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Preview for deaths of animals and villagers from snake bite & wild boar attack and a mention of opium (be prepared to explain what it is in more depth).
My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Diary about the Best 4 Months Ever!My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Diary about the Best 4 Months Ever!
This is such an awesome book! The illustrations are really kid friendly and there is a ton to explore on each page. Check out the Amazon preview to see just how cool it is. I like that it covers so many different topics in such a visual way.
Japan homeschool printables (mini-unit-study)Japan Mini-Unit / Printables
This is the perfect mini-unit to supplement a study on Japan, or to introduce students to the Japanese culture. Click on the link above for a description, and /or to purchase this printables pack!
All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for KidsAll About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids
“Take the whole family on a whirlwind tour of Chinese culture and history with this award-winning, delightfully illustrated book complete with stories, activities, and games. This Chinese children’s book is perfect for educators and parents wishing to teach kids about this fascinating Asian country. Travel from the stone age through the dynasties to the present day with songs and crafts for kids that will educate them about Chinese language and the Chinese way of life.
You Wouldn't Want to Work on the Great Wall of China!You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Great Wall of China!: Defenses You’d Rather Not Build
You may want to preview this one, as it talks about selling your children as slaves, beheading as a punishment, etc. Otherwise it’s a humorous read about China’s history that most kids will enjoy.
Toy is from ThailandToy is from Thailand
Join Toy, a young boy from Thailand, as he takes you on an exciting cultural tour of his country. From riding in tuk-tuks to eating fried bugs for snacks, it’s a journey you won’t forget.
This is Australia: A Children's ClassicThis is Australia
Learn about Australia’s history, landmarks, animals and more with this charmingly illustrated book.

NOTE: You only need to choose ONE of these books about Australia. (This is Australia or Australia, Everything you ever wanted to know). Check out the previews on Amazon to see which one your child would like better.
Australia: IllustratedAustralia: Illustrated, 2nd Edition
“Australia. Big. Beautiful. Diverse. From the First People to washing lines and crocodiles, football and sunshine, koalas and akubras, skyscrapers and beaches that squeak, this 96-page picture book is a glorious tribute to this wide brown land and its rich and varied multicultural communities. Vibrantly illustrated with watercolour, ink and mono-printing, Australia Illustrated not only celebrates the more ‘typical’ Australian flora, fauna and landmarks, it also showcases the everyday quirks and idiosyncrasies that make Australia unique: the many types of rain, Greek street food, Sydney ferries, cattle breeds, the plants of the Daintree. Even the quokka selfie epidemic is featured! Divided into Australia-wide entries as well as state and territory specific elements, readers will learn more about the endemic plants, animals, foods, landmarks, sports and oddities that make the regions around Australia special.
HeidiHeidi (Dover Children’s Evergreen Classics)
Heidi was a favorite of mine as a child and it was a book I read out loud to all of my children. It became one of my son’s absolute favorite stories of all time. We found out that my great-grandmother had read it out loud to my grandma and it was a favorite of theirs too! If you haven’t read this book before, I consider it a must-read.
This is an adapted and beautifully illustrated story of a mongoose taken in by a family of British colonials in India. Preview for violence.
The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred CowThe Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow
This book was illustrated by a Pixar animator and it shows. Hindu deities are “cute” and the text explains them in a story-book fashion. We take time to learn Greek “gods & goddesses” for cultural reasons. Why not learn the Hindu counterparts? Get a better understanding of the Indian culture with this fun book.

Note: This book contains: a mention of how Brahma had “unnatural desires” for his daughter (no other details), a lingam stone is sometimes seen as a phallic symbol (p. 35), Sita’s chastity was questioned (p. 47), etc. I would say it’s rated PG because of these minor references.
India bookIndia (True Books)
This is an easy to read book that talks about a variety of subjects like daily life in India, monsoon weather, Bollywood, Indian food, history, etc.

2nd option:

India (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries) – I can’t find this for an affordable price on Amazon, so if you want it I’d recommend you check your library system or find another source where it’s less expensive.
Peter the GreatPeter the Great
In this welcome reissue of Diane Stanley’s acclaimed picture book biography, her meticulously researched text and sumptuous illustrations capture the fabulous world of seventeenth — and eighteenth-century tsarist Russia and the greatness of its larger-than-life leader — a man of huge stature and tremendous spirit whose impatience and vision, insatiable curiosity and boundless energy transformed half a continent.
RussiaRussia (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
This series of books is colorful, informative and has beautiful photographs. Click here for a Google preview.
Note: I’ve linked to quite a few of the Blastoff! readers because they are easy, colorful and informative. Even if you have an older child, s/he will learn plenty from these books without getting bored. The photographs make the information memorable and help things stick – one of my big goals for this year!
The publisher states that the series was developed by literacy experts for students in grades three to seven and introduces young people to the geography and culture of each country.
Poland book for geographyPoland (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Poland, the largest country in central Europe, has a tumultuous past. Its people have faced times of war in between periods of great cultural growth. Today, the Polish are known to enjoy classical music and hearty meals. Learn about the daily life, culture, and landscape of Poland, the heart of Europe.
Italy geography bookItaly (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Sticking out into the Mediterranean Sea, Italy has some of the nicest weather in Europe. It is famous for its art, architecture, and cuisine. Readers will discover the physical geography of Italy through descriptions of the landscape, waters, and coasts. They will also learn about the cultural geography of Italy, reading about Italian schools, businesses, and communities.
This is RomeThis is Rome: A Children’s Classic
This is Rome, first published in 1960, traces the history of Roman civilization to bring to life the Rome of the 60’s. Sasek navigates Rome’s busy, winding streets to visit such glorious historical landmarks as the statues of Michelangelo, Vatican City, the Pantheon, and the Fontana di Trevi-and to show us the eccentricities of modern Roman life, from its colorful trains, trams, and taxis to its chic espresso bars and pasta houses”
What Was Pompeii?What Was Pompeii?
The morning of August 24, AD 79, seemed like any other in the Roman city of Pompeii. So no one was prepared when the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted, spouting ash that buried the city and its inhabitants. The disaster left thousands dead, and Pompeii was no more than a memory for almost 1,700 years. In 1748, explorers rediscovered the port city with intact buildings and beautiful mosaics. This easy-to-read account is gripping and includes photos of the ruins.
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek MythsD’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
I remember pouring over this book when I was a kid and loved it. I also used it with my kids. Learn about the ancient Greek gods and the stories associated with them. A must for cultural education.
This is GreeceThis is Greece
This is Greece captures the flavor and tradition of the birthplace of Western civilization. There’s Athens, with its spectacular views of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, temples, theaters, and marketplaces; architecture-renowned Corinth; Mycenae, inhabited since 3000 B.C.; Olympia, home of the gods; Delphi, famous for its legendary oracle; and the beautiful isles. There’s also modern-day Greece, where life is lived on street corners, in squares, and at tables amid reminders of the past.

2nd option:

Greece (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Greek and Latin RootsGreek and Latin root cards
By playing this fun memory match-up game, students can learn a set of 8 seasons related words along with some Greek and Latin roots.
This game comes with a set of instructions written for students, and 4 pages of additional printables that feature 16 cards.
Students match the Greek & Latin roots to the words with their definitions. This is a great way to learn some seasons related vocabulary. The Greek and Latin roots add depth and also help build retention.
Welcome to Israel!Welcome to Israel! 
“Reading Welcome to Israel, children meet Israeli kids their own age, who show them Israel from Tiberias to Eilat and teach them about Israel’s history, geography, politics, and culture. Children also see the day-to-day lives of their new Israeli friends, who write e-mails in Hebrew and go hiking in the footsteps of their biblical ancestors. Creative and interactive features of Welcome to Israel keep children fascinated by the wonders of Israel. These engaging elements include probing questions that stimulate critical thinking, map-reading activities that teach Israel’s geography, key Hebrew words with English translation, and discussions of Jewish values. Full-color photos, maps, and whimsical illustrations make the excitement of Israel come alive. 
Kings and Carpenters: 100 Bible Land Jobs You Might Have Praised or PannedKings and Carpenters: One Hundred Bible Land Jobs You Might Have Praised or Panned
“Life was tough in Old Testament times. People had to cross deserts on foot, grow food on parched land and deal with earthquakes, drought and disease.
Had you lived then, you might not have wanted to be a water hauler. That would have meant walking for miles with a heavy jar full of water on your head. Perfumers had a more pleasant job, concocting sweet-smelling fragrances their customers used to mask the smell of unwashed bodies — and to keep flies away.
A fact-filled introduction, detailed timeline and thorough index make this book perfect for research projects, while the humorous illustrations and snappy text provide an entertaining read. Kids will look at history in a whole new way thanks to this unique approach.”
Saudi Arabia geography bookSaudi Arabia
Lush landscapes may be scarce in Saudi Arabia, but oil and sacred sites are not. Oil has made Saudi Arabia one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and the cities of Mecca and Medina regularly draw faithful Muslims. Travel to a country rich in natural resources and religious devotion in this engaging title. Click here for a Google preview.

Note: Don’t pay extra for the library binding. You can order this book new for less money on Amazon from other sellers. Just click on the links underneath the main price.
Cultural Traditions in Egypt (Cultural Traditions in My World)Cultural Traditions in Egypt
“Egypt’s culture is a fascinating mixture of ancient traditions passed down by the native peoples, as well as the traditions and cultures of countries such as Britain and Greece, who ruled Egypt in different periods of history. This interesting book describes how ancient traditions, beliefs, and rituals combined with modern influences into the festivals celebrated today.” 

2nd option:
Egypt (Paperback) (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and PharaohsAncient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs
“In this retelling of nine tales of ancient Egypt, Marcia Williams uses her signature comicstrip style to capture the rich mythology and early history of this great civilization. Rami, Ra’s beloved cat, highlights Egypt’s many cultural and technological advances along the way. An instantly engaging, accessible introduction to an ancient civilization, this collection of stories is sure to fascinate and inspire young Egyptologists”
Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African SavannaFacing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna
*Recommended as a read-aloud
Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton gives American kids a firsthand look at growing up in Kenya as a member of a tribe of nomads whose livelihood centers on the raising and grazing of cattle. Readers share Lekuton’s first encounter with a lion, the epitome of bravery in the warrior tradition. They follow his mischievous antics as a young Maasai cattle herder, coming-of-age initiation, boarding school escapades, soccer success, and journey to America for college. Lekuton’s riveting text combines exotic details of nomadic life with the universal experience and emotions of a growing boy.
I read this book out loud to my son when he was a 3rd grader and we both really enjoyed it and learned so much about the Maasai culture. You will want to preview this book as it discreetly mentions Lekuton’s circumcision ceremony as a young teen.
Kenya (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries) (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries: Level 5Kenya (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Travel to Kenya and see if you can spot giraffes, elephants, lions and other African animals! Dinosaur bones and giant crocodile fossils discovered in Kenya reveal that the country has been home to a variety of wildlife for millions of years. Learn more about Kenya’s wildlife, and explore Kenyan culture and the diversity of people that call this beautiful place home.
Click here for a Google preview.
South Africa (Countries Around the World)South Africa (Countries Around the World)
South Africa offers complete coverage of this fascinating country, including sections on history, geography, wildlife, infrastructure and government, and culture. It also includes a detailed fact file, maps and charts, and a traceable flag.
Click here for a Google preview.

2nd option:

South Africa (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Known for its cultural diversity, South Africa has eleven official languages! The country also contains a variety of landscapes, with more than 200,000 different plant species found throughout the country. Pack your bags and explore the South African landscape, the people, and the many cultural activities enjoyed throughout the country.
Who Was Nelson Mandela?Who Was Nelson Mandela?
My son enjoyed this series of books.
“As a child he dreamt of changing South Africa; as a man he changed the world.  Nelson Mandela spent his life battling apartheid and championing a peaceful revolution.  He spent twenty-seven years in prison and emerged as the inspiring leader of the new South Africa.  He became the country’s first black president and went on to live his dream of change.”
Mary Slessor: Servant to the Slave (Trail Blazers) Mary Slessor: Servant to the Slave (Trailblazers)
*This is a Christian book.
Mary Slessor worked with Africans in the Calibar region (Nigeria). We’ve read and enjoyed several of the Trailblazer books. It’s a fun series for Christian families.
Africa Is My Home: A Child of the AmistadAfrica Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad
Inspired by a true account, here is the compelling story of a child who arrives in America on the slave ship Amistad —and eventually makes her way home to Africa.
Morocco (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)Morocco (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
A crossroads between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, Morocco is a country of great diversity. Throughout its history, people have migrated to the country from every direction. They’ve brought a variety of beliefs and ways of life. In this book, young readers will discover that Morocco is a land of blended backgrounds.
Click here for a Google preview.
Not For Parents Africa: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (Lonely Planet Kids)Not For Parents Africa: Everything you ever wanted to know
In this book you’ll hear fascinating tales about Dogon warriors, fearless explorers, Nollywood film stars, crazy coffins, Egyptian tombs and witch doctors. Check out cool stories about Tuareg nomads, the world’s biggest diamond, killer crocodiles, and eccentric dictators. You’ll find thumb pianos and mummified monkeys, camel caravans, a golden death mask, a seriously tough desert race, and history galore.
Spain (Paperback) (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries) Spain (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Ever feel like you need a nap in the afternoon? Spain is famous for its cultural tradition of the siesta. For a few hours every afternoon, people go home from work to nap! Kids will learn about the land and water features of Spain and the traditions, cuisine, and everyday life of its people.
Adventures of Don Quixote (Dover Children's Thrift Classics)Adventures of Don Quixote (Dover Children’s Thrift Classics)
Easy-to-read retelling of the hilarious misadventures of Don Quixote, the idealistic knight, and his squire, Sancho Panza, who set out to right the wrongs of the world. Abridged version.

Getting to Know France and French Getting to Know France and French
Enjoy a guided tour of France, with French landmarks, culture, history, foods, and much more. The text is in English, but many of the illustrations are bilingual–and the last six pages present an introduction to French words and phrases.
Horrible Histories Special: FranceHorrible Histories Special: France
My son loved these books! They are a great mix of cartoons and text with lots of interesting info presented in a humorous way. Preview for violence /grossness.
Even if you are going to study world history later (or already have before), your child won’t learn as much as about France’s history as a book dedicated entirely to it.
The Greatest Skating Race: A World War II Story from the NetherlandsThe Greatest Skating Race: A World War II Story from the Netherlands
In 1941 Piet, a young Dutch boy from Sluis, gets the assignment of a lifetime: He must skate along the frozen canals of the Netherlands and across the Belgian border, in order to guide two neighborhood children to their aunt’s house in Brugge, where the children will remain for the duration of World War II. Their father has been taken by German soldiers, and the children are no longer safe in Sluis — but the journey with Piet, past soldiers and enemies, is fraught with danger.
Cultural Traditions in the NetherlandsCultural Traditions in the Netherlands
“This interesting book describes the holidays and traditions in the Netherlands that celebrate important dates in history, religion, royal ceremonies, and changes in the seasons. Young readers will discover the unique traditions of the Dutch people as they celebrate familiar holidays such as Christmas and Easter, and family occasions such as weddings and birthdays.”
This is BritainThis is Britain
This is Britain, first published in 1974, encompasses the nation’s many facets, from the mystery of Stonehenge to the monuments of the British Isles. Among his stops are the White Cliffs of Dover; Brighton’s Prince Regent’s Royal Pavilion; the castles and Tintern Abbey in Wales; and Scotland’s four Royal Palaces and long lochs.
Horrible Histories Special: EnglandHorrible Histories Special: England
This hideous Horrible History reveals the awful truth behind the rebellions, riots and rumpuses that have made England what it is today (whatever that is). From the cruel Celts right up to the terrible 20th century, it’s a tale to make you quake. Want to know: which monk tried to pinch the devil’s nose with a pair of tongs? Why some people in the Middle Ages ate dove droppings? Which English king was accused of being a werewolf? Mull over the miseries of Middle Ages monarchs, discover ten ways to die down a Victorian mine, and find out which dreadful days in history we celebrate as holidays. Whether it’s plague, fire and civil war, or roast beef, fish and chips and a cup of tea, if it’s anything to do with England, you’ll find it in this book!
This Is IrelandThis Is Ireland
This is Ireland, first published in 1964, brings the Emerald Isle to life, where the shamrock grows and a leprechaun stands at the end of every rainbow, guarding a crock of gold. There’s Dublin with its bustling crowds, tall steeples, and Trinity College; there’s Clonmacnois, the burial place of kings; there’s the Blarney Stone to kiss for eloquence, and much, much more in this verdant, friendly land filled with enchanted lakes and mountains that fall steep to the sea.
Horrible Histories Special: IrelandHorrible Histories Special: Ireland
Ireland. A land full of horrid history, built on centuries of dreadful deeds. What better setting for a Horrible Histories book to make you shudder? From cruel Celtic chieftains, savage sieges and foul famines to the wretched rebellions of the troubled 20th century, there’s plenty in here to make you say “eeeek”! So find out: why wax models were captured and made prisoners of war; which wild warriors went into battle naked; how to make yourself invisible the Irish way!
The Story Of ScotlandThe Story of Scotland
I LOVE this book. It’s lavishly illustrated in a kind of comic book style and covers the history of Scotland in a way that’s easy for kids to understand and retain. This is such a great book to understand this country!! Because this book is so visual, if you read it out loud, you’ll need to have your child sitting next to you.
*Note: This book mentions millions of years in the beginning on page 3.
Children of the NorthlightsChildren of the Northlights
From the beloved authors of D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths and other classics comes a new edition of one of Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaires’s most beguiling children’s books. Long out of print, Children of the Northlights introduces readers young and old to siblings Lise and Lasse and to the captivating Sami people and culture of northern Scandinavia. At times mischievous and at others quite courageous, Lisa and Lasse, and their Sami culture, are brought brilliantly to life in the d’Aulaires’ illustrations.
2nd option:

Ola is the enchanting story of a dauntless Norwegian boy who goes skiing one day and has many unusual adventures before returning home. He meets new friends, joins a merry wedding party, encounters a howling dragon, and learns bits of folklore from fishermen in the far north while pulling codfish from the icy waters.
D'Aulaires' Book of Norse MythsD’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths
The Caldecott medal-winning d’Aulaires once again captivate their young audience with this beautifully illustrated introduction to Norse legends, telling stories of Odin the All-father, Thor the Thunder-god and the theft of his hammer, Loki the mischievous god of the Jotun Race, and Ragnarokk, the destiny of the gods. Children meet Bragi, the god of poetry, and the famous Valkyrie maidens, among other gods, goddesses, heroes, and giants. Illustrations throughout depict the wondrous other world of Norse folklore and its fantastical Northern landscape.
Norway (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)Norway (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Most famous for its fjords, Norway’s land features are very diverse. Visitors come every year to see the high mountain peaks, the green, rolling hills, and the deep grooves of the fjords. Eager readers will explore this beautiful European country and find out what life is like for the people who call it home.
Click here for a Google preview.

2nd option:

Norway (Country Explorers)

3rd option:

Finland (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries: Level 5)
Weird But True Canada: 300 Outrageous Facts About the True NorthWeird But True Canada: 300 Outrageous Facts About the True North

“Calling all Canadians and Canada-philes: Get ready to be amazed and delighted by wacky facts, stats, tidbits, and trivia, eh? Did you know that the Royal Mint once created a coin weighing more than 90 kg and valued at over $1 million dollars? Or that Canada was the first country to build a UFO landing pad? Maybe you’d be amazed to discover that Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world? It’s all weird–and it’s all true…Canada style! In this latest and greatest edition of Weird But True, you’ll read all about the wacky wilds, bizarre bites, and strange scenes of Canada!”

Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across AmericaOur 50 States
Lynne Cheney and Robin Preiss Glasser take you on an unforgettable tour of America — from the Everglades of Florida to the grasslands of Kentucky to the Sierra Mountains of California.

I bought this book for my son and LOVE the detailed illustrations. You can spend days just pouring over the pages and learning about the different states.
Click here for an example of a page spread.
Mexico (Paperback) (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)Mexico (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Mexico has almost 6,000 miles of coastline. It borders both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Readers will discover the diverse physical features of Mexico, the variety of wildlife it boasts on land and in water, and what everyday life is like in both urban and rural settings.
What Is the Panama Canal?What Is the Panama Canal?
Before 1914, traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast meant going by land across the entire United States. To go by sea involved a long journey around South America and north along the Pacific Coast. But then, in a dangerous and amazing feat of engineering, a 48-mile-long channel was dug through Panama, creating the world’s most famous shortcut: the Panama Canal!
Tropical Rain ForestTropical Rain Forest
Bats and big cats. Armies of ants. Squawking parrots. Strangling figs. From the ground up to the tree tops, the tropical rainforest teems with life. Stunning drawings, step-by-step experiments, fun-to-do activities, and fascinating facts abound in this magical exploration of an essential ecosystem.
Costa Rica (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)Costa Rica (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Costa Rica, which means ‘Rich Coast,’ is aptly named. Its long coastlines, bordering the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, have some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Young readers will learn about Costa Rica’s booming ecotourism, the daily life and cuisine, and the peaceful, laid-back nature of its people.
A Kid's Guide to South AmericaA Kid’s Guide to South America
The easy-to-read book takes readers on an exciting adventure to the 12 counties that make up the South American continent, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It includes dramatic, full-color photographs of the people, the places, and the wildlife of those countries and of the continent. Designed for recreational reading, this informational text is also a great resource for in-school writing assignments and geography projects.
BrazilBrazil (Paperback) (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest and most populated country in the world. The Amazon Rainforest in Brazil has the greatest biological diversity of any ecosystem on the planet. Students will learn all about Brazilian culture and get a glimpse into what kids do for fun in Brazil, especially discovering the country’s love for soccer.
Click here for a Google preview.
Peru (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)Peru (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Many different civilizations have lived on the land that is now Peru. Today, tourists travel to this South American country to see Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca site. Learn more about Peru, its people, the Amazon Rainforest, and much more in this exciting title!
Click here for a Google preview.
You Wouldn't Want to Be an Inca Mummy!You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Inca Mummy!: A One-Way Journey You’d Rather Not Make)
These are fun book that teach using humor.
Lost City: The Discovery of Machu PicchuLost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu
Caldecott Honor-winner Ted Lewin takes readers on a thrilling journey to the wilds of Peru in this story of Hiram Bingham, who, in 1911, carved a treacherous path through snake-filled jungles and across perilous mountains in search of Vilcapampa, the lost city of the Incas. Guided the last steps by a young Quechua boy, however, he discovered not the rumored lost city, but the ruins of Machu Picchu, a city totally unknown to the outside world, and one of the wonders of the world.
Spotlight on ArgentinaSpotlight on Argentina
This book is for 2nd-3rd graders but still has enough good info in it to be appropriate for your older students to read through quickly.
Introduces children to Argentina, a country in South America, which stretches from Bolivia to the southern tip of South America.

2nd option:

Argentina (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
Buried Alive!: How 33 Miners Survived 69 Days Deep Under the Chilean DesertBuried Alive!: How 33 Miners Survived 69 Days Deep Under the Chilean Desert
This is a true story that features problem-solving, community and real-life heroes of Chile. Inspiring and interesting! 
Where Are the Galapagos Islands?Where Are the Galapagos Islands?
*This books describes evolution, as you would expect it to since it’s a book about the Galapagos Islands and mentions Charles Darwin. We are Christians who don’t believe in evolution, and yet I’m scheduling in this book. Why? First, I think it’s important that kids understand “the other side” to some extent. Charles Darwin is a very important historical figure and his work had a huge impact on scientific belief. I wanted my kids to understand what Darwin did and the things he discovered as well as our own beliefs about those discoveries.
What's Great about Hawaii?What’s Great about Hawaii?
What’s so great about Hawaii? Find out the top ten sites to see or things to do in the Aloha State! We’ll explore Hawaii’s popular beaches, whale-watching adventures, gorgeous parks, and unique history. The Hawaii by Map feature shows where you’ll find all the places covered in the book.
Volcanoes (Smithsonian-science)Volcanoes
Volcanoes don’t always look like mountains; they aren’t always full of fire. Some are holes in the ground; some form under the sea. And despite their reputation for destruction, volcanoes produce new mountains, new islands, and new soil. Visit some of the world’s most remarkable volcanoes in this masterful introduction from Seymour Simon. It’s an extraordinary—and unforgettable—trip.
My son loved the Seymour Simon series of books. They are full of beautiful photographs!
What Was Pearl Harbor?What Was Pearl Harbor?
“In a compelling, easy-to-read narrative, children will learn all about a pivotal moment in American history.”
This is yet another series of books my son really enjoyed.
Call It CourageCall It Courage
 A boy tries to overcome his fear of the sea in this treasured classic and winner of the Newbery Medal.
Maftu was afraid of the sea. It had taken his mother when he was a baby, and it seemed to him that the sea gods sought vengeance at having been cheated of Mafatu. So, though he was the son of the Great Chief of Hikueru, a race of Polynesians who worshipped courage, and he was named Stout Heart, he feared and avoided tha sea, till everyone branded him a coward. When he could no longer bear their taunts and jibes, he determined to conquer that fear or be conquered– so he went off in his canoe, alone except for his little dog and pet albatross. A storm gave him his first challenge. Then days on a desert island found him resourceful beyond his own expectation. This is the story of how his courage grew and how he finally returned home. This is a legend. It happened many years ago, but even today the people of Hikueru sing this story and tell it over their evening fires.

I read this out loud to my kids, and they enjoyed it.
John Williams: Messenger of Peace (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) John Williams: Messenger of Peace (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
*This is a Christian book.
The thousands of islands scattered across the Pacific Ocean were home to fierce warriors and cannibals who sacrificed their children to the many gods they worshiped. A few islands had been dramatically transformed by the gospel, but thousands more were waiting for someone to come and teach them about the one true God.
John Williams dedicated his life to bringing the message of Christ’s love and peace to these brutal islands. In the face of constant danger, he discipled and inspired Polynesians to go as missionaries to their neighbors, ultimately giving his life to see the gospel spread across the vast Pacific.

We read a lot of these books over our homeschool years and enjoyed them. Older kids can read it themselves. You may want to use this as a read-aloud for younger children.
Mutiny on the Bounty Great Illustrated ClassicsMutiny on the Bounty Great Illustrated Classics

“Betrayal at Sea! Captain William Bligh recorded the most famous mutiny in sea history when a group of his men, led by Fletcher Christian, forced him from his ship onto a small launch and cast him adrift into the sea. Was Bligh a harsh sea captain whose vicious cruelty forced his men to mutiny? Or was Fletcher Christian greedy for power and unjustified in taking command? Sail with Captain Bligh, on the Bounty and then follow his incredible quest for survival when cast adrift. It’s a timeless tale of man’s heroic struggle to survive against all odds!”

New Zealand (Blastoff Readers. Level 5)New Zealand
New Zealanders love to play, and their country is their playground. This South Pacific island comes equipped with snowy mountains for skiing, swift rivers for rafting, and deep valleys for bungee jumping. Adventure waits in this introduction to life in New Zealand.

2nd option:
New Zealand (Country Explorers)
Pack your bags! We’re headed to New Zealand. On this whirlwind tour, you’ll learn all about the country’s landscape, culture, people, and more. We’ll explore New Zealand’s active volcanoes and narrow fjords, see the kiwi and kakapo birds, watch a rugby game, and taste a special feast called the hangi.

Kiwi stuffed animal
A Question of Yams: A Missionary Story Based on True EventsA Question of Yams: A Missionary Story Based on True Events
*This is a Christian book.
Kuri knows that spirits make the yams grow.
But his father prays to the God of the Bible.
Will the yams fail? Will they taste bitter? 
It's Disgusting and We Ate It! True Food Facts from Around the World and Throughout HistoryIt’s Disgusting and We Ate It! True Food Facts from Around the World and Throughout History
How about a nice dish of Colonial Squirrel Pie with a side of milkweed shoots? If that doesn’t grab you, you might think about trying some Garbage Stew, just like they made in medieval England. But if you’re feeling a little tired and need a boost, your best bet is roasted spiders. They’ve got three times the protein of cooked beef. (Is your mouth watering yet?)

Illustrated by the wildly-creative Eric Brace, It’s Disgusting and We Ate It! is a fascinating look at culinary creations from all over the world!

This was one of my son’s favorite books that he read multiple times. Highly recommended.
Edible insectsChocolate covered insects 
These are scheduled for week 35 to go with the It’s Disgusting but We Ate It book, so you may want to wait to order them. Choose any from Amazon. We had chocolate covered crickets as well as larvets. They were surprisingly good and a huge hit with my kids.
Alila, Our Little Philippine CousinAlila, Our Little Philippine Cousin
This is a free book that was published in 1902. It’s very sweet and quite interesting.
Philippines, The (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)Philippines, The (Blastoff! Readers: Exploring Countries)
An archipelago of over 7,100 islands in Southeast Asia, the Philippines sits near the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area often affected by earthquakes and volcanoes. With a long coastline and many rain forests, the country contains a variety of plant and animal life. Children will find out what else makes the Philippines unique in this informative title!
I didn’t schedule the following books in (with the exception of the book for the Philippines). However, they are lovely stories and a delight to read. They are free so you can download them onto your e-reader and let your kids read as many as they wish. Some of the geographical information may be outdated, but kids can still get a feel for the cultural history and customs of these different lands in the early 1900’s.
The Children of all lands series of books for homeschoolOur Little Cousin series:


The Children of All Lands Stories

Little Greta of Denmark
Mitz and Fritz of Germany
Little Tony of Italy
The Wee Scotch Piper
The Little Spanish Dancer
Little Eric of Sweden
The Little Indian Weaver
Little Philippe of Belgium
Little Jeanne of France
Shaun O’Day of Ireland

Peeps at Many Lands:

Pinecone hedgehog

The terrific materials listed above are for Guest Hollow’s Jr. Geography Curriculum! We invite you to check it out!
Thank You,
The Guest Family
© Guest Hollow, LLC

Guest Hollow's Jr. Geography Curriculum

Guest Hollow’s Jr. Geography Curriculum Schedule


We’ve hand-picked fantastic books, links, videos, and projects to take students on a journey around the world! Ignite your children’s curiosity, help them develop empathy and understanding for other cultures, and create treasured lifetime memories of your homeschool.

Leave a Comment