Best children african history books according to redditors

We found 44 Reddit comments discussing the best children african history books. We ranked the 8 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Children's African History:

u/A_Wooper · 22 pointsr/AskHistorians

Finally a question about West Africa. My answer will mostly be centered around the Mali Empire.

Now, in 1444 the Portuguese arrived on the Senegambia coast and began slave raids on the coastline, the people of Mali where surprised by the European's Caravel vessels and the white skin of the sailors within them. Now between 1444 and 1456 small naval scrimmages took place between the Mali Empire and Portuguese until, in 1456, the Portuguese sent coutier Diogo Gomes to establish peace with the Mali Empire, and by 1462 peace was established and Portugal switched its intent in Senegambia to trade rather than conquest. This was when the first real knowledge West African rulers had of Europe began.

Keep in mind the Mali empire had no written text, so there is no direct source to say "the west africans knew of the Europeans.". But we can do some estimation on the matter. Mansa Musa, famous ruler of Mali took his pilgrimage to Mecca (The Mali Empire is primarily islamic) so they know the teachings of the Quran and in turn know quite a bit about the middle eastern regions. Simply because it is unknown if the Mali people knew of Europe, it is safe to say the Europeans knew of the Mali Empire.

In 1375 the Catalan atlas was released, stemming from Catalonia it was made by a Jewish book illuminator, Cresques Abraham, who was self described as "The master of the world as well as compasses". All of this seems fairly useless until you realize that in the Catalan Atlas, their is depictions of Mansa Musa on his holy pilgrimage to Mecca and much of the West African coast charted and identified.

Another source is Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan explorer, who arrived in Mali in 1351 after his extensive travels to as far as China. Before his trip to Mali he traveled on the North African coast and took detours to Sardinia and Moor controlled regions of the southern Iberian Peninsula. Though I have not read the Rhila (Ibn Battuta's book telling the story of his travels), and do not know whether it says this but it is safe to assume he shared some of his knowledge with the people of the Mali Empire and of his time in Europe.

Another thing that could point to knowledge of Europe by West African rulers is the fact that the Mali empire is a key part on the Saharan trade route spanning from West Africa, to North Africa, The Levant and, you guessed it, Europe. It is likely European goods, news and knowledge spread from trade along this route and allowed West African rulers some insight into the happenings, and knowledge of Europe. Likely the same way knowledge of Mansa Musa made it's way onto the Catalan Atlas.

So overall, it is quite likely there was knowledge of Europe by West African rulers, what that knowledge is is unknown (because they had no written texts) but the fact that there was knowledge of Europe is a fairly clear "Yes, West African rulers had, though limited, some amount of knowledge on Europe"

Outside of the Mali Empire is a bit iffy. the Berbers of Morocco definitely had extensive knowledge of Europe, but if you go south of the Niger river it is possible the knowledge only came from the few sailors who dared go down there, and those where few and far between.



[The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa | by Patricia McKissack and Fredrick McKissack] (

Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali | by P. James Oliver

u/philosopheratwork · 16 pointsr/worldnews

This didn't happen in Botswana, and the boy isn't Tswana. In fact neither is referenced in the article at all.

It happened in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, and the boy was most likely Xhosa.

This may help in future.

u/Jim-Jones · 10 pointsr/atheism

Protection as she grows up.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No (LINK)

by Dan Barker

In today's media-flooded world, there is no way to control all of the information, claims, and enticements that reach young people. The best thing to do is arm them with the sword of critical thinking.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No is a charming introduction to self-confidence and self-reliance. The book's ten-year-old heroine, Andrea, is always asking questions because she knows "you should prove the truth of a strange story before you believe it."

"Check it out. Repeat the experiment. Try to prove it wrong. It has to make sense." writes Barker, as he assures young readers that they are fully capable of figuring out what to believe, and of knowing when there just isn't enough information to decide. "You can do it your own way. If you are a good skeptic you will know how to think for yourself."

Another book is "Me & Dog" by Gene Weingarten.

And Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story : Books 1, 2, 3

Here Comes Science CD + DVD

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

Bang! How We Came to Be by Michael Rubino.

Grandmother Fish: A Child's First Book of Evolution


Greek Myths – by Marcia Williams

Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs – by Marcia Williams

God and His Creations – by Marcia Williams

"I Wonder" by Annaka Harris

"From Stardust to You: An Illustrated Guide to The Big Bang" by Luciano Reni

"Meet Bacteria!" by Rebecca Bielawski

See also Highlights for Children - this has materials for younger children.

Atheism books for children by Courtney Lynn

"It Is Ok To Be A Godless Me", "I'm An Atheist and That's Ok", "I'm a Freethinker", "Please Don't Bully Me" and "I'm a Little Thinker" etc.

Courtney Lynn has a couple more for grown ups as well.

Grandmother Fish, free in PDF form online

A child's first book of evolution.

15 Holiday Gift Ideas for Secular Families

Bedtime Bible Stories by Joey Lee Kirkman - for mature teens only

Coming up: TINY THINKERS is a series of books introducing popular scientists to children, by telling their stories as if the scientists themselves were kids!

u/RisamTheCartographer · 7 pointsr/worldbuilding

Hey, I've been on a similar hunt in recent months myself. It isn't easy. But there are three books at least I can recommend you, and from there hopefully you'll find more that might interest you.

The first is a novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James. Its pretty popular, and though I haven't picked it up yet it tends to be mentioned whenever I discuss trying to find more books about African inspired cultures or Africa itself. The Goodreads blurb contains the following;

>In the first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.

>Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written an adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf explores the fundamentals of truths, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all.

I cut out the actual plot blurb there, so by all means look it up yourself if you're interested.

The second book is between novel and history, in that its a cultural epic along the same vein of the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Secret History of the Mongols. Works written by a culture about that culture's mythical past can tread the line between history and legend, and that's definitely what the Sundiata Keita does. It tells the tale of Sundiata, the legendary founder of the Mali Empire, and how he rose to power and fame. Its a great read, and definitely gives a glimpse into West Africa and how this particular region of it can be the focus for grand tales of heroes and villains, kings and princes and sorcerers.

The last rec is The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa by by Patricia McKissack, which is a rather short but historically-focused book on the kingdoms of Western Africa. The blurb from the Amazon page reads;

>For more than a thousand years, from A.D. 500 to 1700, the medieval kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay grew rich on the gold, salt, and slave trade that stretched across Africa. Scraping away hundreds of years of ignorance, prejudice, and mythology, award-winnnig authors Patricia and Fredrick McKissack reveal the glory of these forgotten empires while inviting us to share in the inspiring process of historical recovery that is taking place today.

You can pick it up here if you're so inclined, but it could serve as a pretty solid primer on West African culture. Or, at least, a guideline for where to begin, by introducing you to concepts and terms you might not otherwise be familiar with, and helping you to narrow down your search.

Hope this helps!

u/jubornabbey · 3 pointsr/ThingsCutInHalfPorn

Looks to me like the DK eyewitness book series.

u/uncletravellingmatt · 2 pointsr/atheism

>Teaching children about your religious views when they are young seems to me to show a lack of confidence in your beliefs and your kid.

I'd agree that trying to surround your kid with one-sided indoctrination or shield them from other views would be going too far, but I wouldn't agree that simply teaching or sharing your own views was bad.

When my kid gets old enough to ask about such things, I'll be as honest in answering her questions about what I believe as any other parent. I expect that, like other kids, there will come a time when she starts coming home from school having heard other kids say things like "Your parents didn't make you, God did." or "God was the one who made the world." and she might hear similar things from more religious relatives. I see no reason to censor myself or avoid mentioning my position on these issues as soon as she's old enough to ask about them, and I think that censoring my perspective and letting her get raised only with one-sided promotion of the religion that's most popular in our area would do her a dis-service.

>I don't think any such book needs to exist

I don't know if there are any good ones. I have a great book about stories from the Bible and some other mythology that I bought for her already, so when she's a little older she can learn about those, and I hope I can find a good overview book on world religions (haven't seen one that seems right for young kids.)

I don't mind that my daughter might love the Narnia books even though C.S.Lewis wrote them with evangelism as his goal. Likewise, I wouldn't mind if there were great stories (as long as they were great, engaging stories) that came from a non-believing perspective. Probably "The Wizard of Oz" is the all-time champ of that kind of story, but there could be others.

u/Sentient-Jello · 1 pointr/autism

I think for a lot of us, we just learn what is the polite thing people expect us to say and stick to the script.

But I remember those books from when I was a kid! They were really fun! There was this whole series of books always titled “(something)ology”. Most were fantasy themed like my favorites, Dragonology and wizardology, but they had one on Egypt too. They were these big books full of info, pictures, fun things like little envelopes you could open, etc. Your son might like it

u/KT421 · 1 pointr/AugustBumpers2017

I wasn't able to find a single series that I liked. The one that comes up first on Amazon is the National Geographic "Treasuries" series, but those bring a strong western bias, talks down about the 'barbarians' who believed those things, and ultimately tried to reconcile the myths of other cultures with Christianity. Which totally defeats the purpose of teaching mythology in the first place. So I ended up curating my own collection of books that were a bit more objective and unbiased.

Here's a couple that I settled on: