Living Books History - Trade and Empire 1600-1707

Using Living books as a basis for a homeschool history curriculum is not only simple, but yet, extremely effective in developing a love of learning, an understanding of the historical time period and knowledge of different cultures. (and a great way to build a life-long library)

This page has my TOP TEN lists of my favourite living books history books the Trade and Empire time period. More selections of books such as reference books, teacher's books, history spinebooks for the 1600's can be found at the Homeschool History Curriculum - Trade and Empire page. You do not need to read all these books - choose ones that interest you and appeal to the age of your family.

Trade and Empire Living Books


Also check out the Explorer Unit Study (1400-1600) on the Renaissance and Reformation History Living Books - Top Ten page.

New World explorers include: Samuel de Champlain, Henry Hudson, Abel Tasman,


  • Artists in the period include: Dutch/Flemish - Rembrandt, Rubens, Hals, Van Dyck, Brueghel, Vermeer; Spanish - Velazquez; Baroque style 1630-1680

Early Colonies in America

  • Pilgrims - Early Colonies in America
  • Puritans

Using some spines such as The Story of Liberty, Sweet Land of Liberty or Light and the Glory, The: 1492-1793 (God's Plan for America); Also comes in The Light and the Glory for Children : Discovering God's Plan for America from Christopher Columbus to George Washington with Activity book, you can easily create your own unit study on the landing of the Pilgrims.

Add in some creative activities using a book such as: Colonial Days: Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes (American Kids in History Series) for fun as well as deepening your understanding of life back in time!

Native American Indians

Don't forget you will find many of the history resources you need for Native American Indians at your library. (Dewey Decimal #970)

Thirty Years War

  • Thirty years War (1618-1648) was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. We have enjoyed reading both of the G.A. Henty books listed here. They are available as public domain books, in a Kindle version, and also an abridged version. ( I haven't listened to the abridged version but I do love Jim Weiss' readings)

Puritan Revolution / English Civil War

  • Puritan Revolution / English Civil War 1642 ; We have not read all of these books, but especially recommend all Henty books as well as those by Captain Marryat.


  • Trade
  • You will find many great resources on trade at this time in your library. Some topics to explore: French and English Fur Trade, Bank of Amsterdam set up in 1609, Stock Exchange set up in Amsterdam, 1612; First Anglo-Dutch War starts over trade, Dutch bring first tea to Europe, 1610; Dutch boom in tulip-growing collapses, 1630; Hudson's Bay Company set up in London, 1652; Exports such as sugar, tobacco; Slave Trading; Dutch East India Company.

Scientific Discoveries

  • Scientific Discoveries - Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Leeuwenhoek, Galileo
  • We really enjoyed the History of Medicine which is a fascinating history of medicine written in an excellent narrative style.

French Kings pre Revolution

  • Louis XIII
  • Sun King, Louis XIV
  • Louis XV

Life in England

  • London - Plague, fire

Great Writers 1600s

  • Great Writers - John Bunyan, John Milton, John Locke - some difficult authors here, but important for older students to be familiar with these authors and read some of their works.


  • Pirates plagued the seas at this time. Much of their criminal activity is glossed over in the children's books.

How do you teach history? Add your idea here.

What have been your favourite read alouds in History? Share it with us.

More TOP TEN History Living Books Suggestions:

Here is also a list of all the G.A.Henty Books according to time periods.

Who is G.A.Henty? If you have boys (and even if you don't) you MUST read this! G.A.Henty Historical Fiction

Some curriculum providers which teach history in a living books approach are

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