Modern History Portfolio Bibliography Pt. 2 – Recommended Sources

ModernBibliographyPart 1

-Colonization of North America-The Age of Revolution-A New Nation

ModernBibliography Part 2

-Expansion and Conflict-The Civil War

ModernBibliography Part 3

-Crisis in Europe and at Home-The Cold War Era and Beyond

NOTE: Following are “suggested” living books and non-fiction sources to accompany your study. 


Working through a Portfolio will require that you access stories of the people and events indicated in the Portfolio’s Table of Contents and the Teacher’s Guide. But, exactly which books you find, or choose to use, is up to you. No one single book is indispensable. If a book recommended here becomes out of print and outrageously costly, just pick something else.  

Overview Books:

Having either the Kingfisher or Usborne World History Encyclopedia will be a convenience factor for you. Many times, when researching topics indicated in the Portfolio, your students will only need a short text entry with an image to glean the bit of information required. These books are as the title states, history encyclopedias. I highly recommend having one on your home library shelf.  

Access lots of stories within a single volume! The History Portfolios cover history topically, so all people and events closely associated with an era, or movement, are covered in a single chapter. The Story of the World series takes a chronological approach. The two approaches are perfectly compatible. I recommend using SOTW just as you would every other book listed below. When you need to read about a certain person or event, refer to SOTW‘s index or table of contents, and locate the necessary stories. 

NOTE: Several topics covered in the Modern Portfolio can be found within SOTW vol. 3, so if you want to use SOTW, you’ll need volumes 3 and 4. Also, the Modern History Portfolio covers more American History than SOTW

Access tons of stories, and read about history from a Christian world view. There are so many stories in each volume of Mystery of History! Volume IV has stories about 84 distinct topics. As with SOTW, stories are easily located by using the table of contents or the index. If you want to cover history from a Christian world view, and access a narrative history told in a conversational style, this book will be well worth your money and a great convenience.

I have been very impressed by the Houghton Mifflin text books in this series. They are: A Message of Ancient Days, Across the Centuries, and A More Perfect Union. Each volume is full of primary source quotes, maps, charts, and quality images, and even selections from classic literature from which to read. The books are respectful of all cultures and religions and fit well with a classical approach. Units have chapters which are clearly defined with “lessons” divided into clear topics and sub topics that provide perfect note-taking opportunities. Easily pick up a very good quality used book on Amazon.

Expansion and Conflict:

The chapter or unit titled Expansion and Conflict covers the westward expansion launched by the 1803 purchase of the Louisiana Territory from the French. Major events and topics covered in this chapter or unit are: The Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition; The Santa Fe Trail, the Alamo, Texas history, and the War with Mexico; The pioneers along the Oregon Trail, the Great Plains, the California Gold Rush, and the Transcontinental Railroad; plus Native American tribes in all regions west of the Mississippi, Native American art, great chiefs, and the Indian Wars.  


Read more about the Modern History Portfolio here, or about the Unit Study Portfolios here

The Civil War:

The chapter or unit titled The Civil War covers the background to the Civil War through the Reconstruction Era. Major events and topics covered in this chapter or unit are: events leading up to the Civil War beginning as early as 1820, the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the secession of the south; the Union and Confederate armies, battles on land and at sea, and military leaders; a biography of Abraham Lincoln, and a study of the Gettysburg Address; the Reconstruction of the south; Booker T. Washington; plus an opportunity for each student to study his/her own regional history.  


Read more about the Modern History Portfolio here, or about the Unit Study Portfolios here