Booklist: Children's Books

Anglo Saxons

Travel back in time to the invaders and settlers of the Dark Ages and find out more about the intriguing Anglo-Saxon period. From fighting and feasts to riddles and runes, we've picked out some recommended children's books about the Anglo-Saxon topic....

Beowulf (Usborne).png
Beowulf (Usborne)
Rob Lloyd Jones & Victor Tavares
Illustrated short chapter book

Beowulf is the story of monsters, warriors, journeys and battles. The pages of this Usborne version of the Anglo-Saxon classic Beowulf are filled with rich but accessible language and engaging illustrations. This Usborne version is the most accessible version of Beowulf for Years 3 and 4. or reluctant readers in older years. You can also get an accompanying 2-week English planning pack from Ks2history.

Beowulf
Michael Morpurgo & Michael Foreman
Chapter book

The Michael Morpurgo version of the Anglo-Saxon classic Beowulf is a popular choice for upper KS2 or for more confident readers. Morpurgo draws on the style of the original text, using rich, alliterative language but mixes it with modern themes as he retells the story of Beowulf's epic quest to destroy the monstrous Grendel. Morpurgo's excellent version of Beowulf is also brought to life with engaging illustrations by Michael Foreman

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Marcia Williams
Comic style short stories

Delve into the fascinating Anglo-Saxon legends of King Arthur and his knights. The tales are retold in a comic book style, with speech bubbles and many humorous details in both the text and illustrations that pupils will love. Encounter stories of King Arthur, Merlin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad, Excalibur and the search for the Grail.

Anglo-Saxon Boy
Tony Bradman
Chapter book

This exciting story from Tony Bradman is a popular choice in KS2 classrooms and is set just before the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Follow the story of young Magnus and his adventure-packed journey to the Battle of Hastings, as he is forced to contend with vicious family feuds and merciless claims to the throne. Full of excitement, danger and all the gore of the period, this is an action-packed novel brimming with historical details.

The Buried Crown
Ally Sherrick
Chapter book

A gripping historical adventure featuring the Anglo-Saxon hoard that was unearthed at Sutton Hoo during WW2. The story centres on a young Londoner called George, who has been evacuated to the countryside near Sutton Hoo and is intrigued to find out about the Anglo-Saxon treasures discovered nearby. The most interesting of the treasures is a mysterious Anglo-Saxon crown carrying with it an ancient legend. Before long, George finds himself involved in an exhilarating plot to save the crown from falling into the hands of Nazi invaders. Highly recommended for upper KS2.

Men, Women and Children in Anglo-Saxon Times
Jane Bingham
Information book

Men, Women and Children in Anglo-Saxon Times is a handy non-fiction text that allows children to pursue answers to their own questions about everyday life in Anglo-Saxon Times. Topics include what Anglo-Saxon children did at school, what people did for fun and what jobs they did. This is the kind of book that helps young readers to move beyond hard facts and begin to reflect on what life might have felt like for those living in early Medieval times. 

 

The King Who Threw Away His Throne
Terry Deary
Chapter book

From the author of the popular Horrible Histories, this book is part of the 'Saxon Tales' series. The story is about King Vortigern (who may or may not have existed in real life, but many believe that he did) and his servant Mervyn, as they are faced with the threat of invading Saxons and Picts. The text, which is accompanied by fun illustrations, is easily accessible to most pupils in lower KS2) and there are three other Saxon tales in the same series, too.

The Princess Who Hid in a Tree
Jackie Holderness & Alan Marks 
Picture book

The story of Frideswide, a female saint who helped to found Oxford during Anglo-Saxon times. Frideswide is a fiesty young princess who loves climbing trees. After being kidnapped by King Algar of Mercia, she uses her skills to escape. Frideswide went on to found Oxford's first Saxon church, which became Christ Church Cathedral and she is still the patron saint of both the City and University of Oxford. Her story includes adventure, suspense and a few surprises, captured in this picture book with Alan Marks' stunning artwork.

The History Detective Investigates: Anglo-Saxons
Neil Tonge 
Information book

An accessible information text designed especially for the National Curriculum, this is a text pitched for teachers and pupils of lower KS2. Taking an investigative approach to history, The History Detective Investigates Anglo Saxons examines key questions and pieces of evidence from the period in order to shine a light on the period that is sometimes known as the Dark Ages.

Freedom for Bron: The Boy Who Saved a Kingdom
N. S. Blackman
Chapter book

Set in Anglo-Saxon Kent, this book tells the story of a slave boy called Bron, who is drawn into a gripping adventure with warlords, warriors and kings. The story is well researched and makes it easy for pupils to engage imaginatively with the historical setting as seen through the eyes of a child. The book also has an in-depth information section at the end to provide further historical context about the Saxons and the Jutes. A free, downloadable KS2 pack to accompany the book is also available.

More ideas...
Click each book cover to view on Amazon.
Anglo-Saxon Pack
Life in Anglo-Saxon Britain (A Child's History of Britain)
Anglo-Saxons and Vikings
Anglo Saxons
Saxon Tales: The Witch Who Faced the Fire
Anglo Saxon Britain
Anglo-Saxons
Beowulf Planning Pack
Kings and Warriors
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Beowulf: DragonSlayer
Anglo Saxon Activity Books
Smashing Saxons
Arthur High King of Britain
The Sword in the Stone
Anglo-Saxon Book Pack
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Beowulf (Usborne) Rob Lloyd Jones & Victor Tavares The pages of this Usborne version of the Anglo-Saxon classic Beowulf are filled with rich but accessible language and engaging illustrations. Beowulf is the story of monsters, warriors, journeys and battles. Many primary teachers report high-quality writing stemming from the use of this text and we have found that this Usborne version is the most accessible version of Beowulf for Years 3 and 4. You can also get an accompanying literacy planning pack from Ks2history. Buy on Amazon Beowulf Michael Morpurgo The Michael Morpurgo version of the Anglo-Saxon classic Beowulf is a popular choice for upper KS2 or for more confident readers. Morpurgo draws on the style of the original text, using rich, alliterative language but mixes it with modern themes as he retells the story of Beowulf's epic quest to destroy the monstrous Grendel. Morpurgo's excellent version of Beowulf is also brought to life with engaging illustrations by Michael Foreman. Buy on Amazon King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Marcia Williams Delve into the fascinating Anglo-Saxon legends of King Arthur and his knights. The tales are retold in a comic book style, with speech bubbles and many humorous details in both the text and illustrations that pupils will love. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is guaranteed to capture young imaginations and is a very good alternative to Beowulf if you are looking for an Anglo-Saxon text. Buy on Amazon Illustrated Tales of King Arthur Sarah Courtauld & Natasha Kuricheva There are lots of available collections of the stories of Arthur and his knights but we think this is one of the most suitable ones for KS2 due to its accessible text and colour illustrations. These stories are never for the faint-hearted but this is a comprehensible version that is well pitched for a primary school audience. Buy on Amazon The Buried Crown Ally Sherrick The Buried Crown is a hugely exciting adventure featuring the Anglo-Saxon hoard that was unearthed at Sutton Hoo during WW2. The story centres on a young Londoner called George, who has been evacuated to the countryside near Sutton Hoo. George befriends Kitty, a Jewish girl whose grandfather is an archaeologist and it is from him that George finds out about the Anglo-Saxon treasures discovered nearby. The most interesting of the treasures is a mysterious Anglo-Saxon crown carrying with it an ancient legend. Before long, George finds himself involved in an exhilarating plot to save the crown from falling into the hands of Nazi invaders. A gripping read highly recommended for upper KS2. Also featured on: Reading for Pleasure Blog WW2 Topic Buy on Amazon How To Be an Anglo-Saxon in 13 Easy Steps Scoular Anderson This is a fun and informative take on the Anglo-Saxon topic. This non-fiction text tells you everything you need to know to become a fully qualified Anglo-Saxon, including how to build your house, how to fight off a Viking and how to take your possessions on to the afterlife. Buy on Amazon Anglo-Saxon Boy Tony Bradman This exciting story from Tony Bradman is likely to become a key text in KS2 classrooms. Follow the story of young Magnus and his adventure-packed journey to the Battle of Hastings, as he is forced to contend with vicious family feuds and merciless claims to the throne. You may also like the other text in this series by Tony Bradman, Viking Boy (click to see on Amazon). Buy on Amazon The King Who Threw Away His Throne Terry Deary From the author of the popular Horrible Histories, this book is part of the 'Saxon Tales' series. The story is about King Vortigern (who may or may not have existed in real life but many believe that he did) and his servant Mervyn, as they are faced with the threat of invading Saxons and Picts. The text, which is accompanied by fun illustrations, is easily accessible to most pupils in lower KS2 (book band grey). You may also like the other tales in this series: The Witch Who Faced the Fire, The Shepherd Who Ate His Sheep and The Lord who Lost his Head (click titles to view on Amazon). Buy on Amazon Freedom for Bron: The Boy Who Saved a Kingdom N. S. Blackman Teachers looking for a novel to use with their Anglo Saxon topic will warmly welcome this exciting new book. Set in Anglo-Saxon Kent, it tells the story of a slave boy called Bron who is drawn into a gripping adventure with warlords, warriors and kings. The story is well researched and makes it easy for pupils to engage imaginatively with the historical setting as seen through the eyes of a child. The book also has an in-depth information section at the end to provide further historical context about the Saxons and the Jutes. ​ Also featured on: #bookpost Buy on Amazon Men, Women and Children in Anglo-Saxon Times Jane Bingham Men, Women and Children in Anglo-Saxon Times is a handy non-fiction text that allows children to pursue answers to their own questions about everyday life in Anglo-Saxon Times. Topics include what Anglo-Saxon children did at school, what people did for fun and what jobs they did. Buy on Amazon Alfred the Great and the Anglo Saxons David Gill A non-fiction text all about Kind Alfred and the key part his legacy plays in Anglo-Saxon history. The easy-to-read text is accompanied by photographs, maps, illustrations and project ideas. Buy on Amazon You Wouldn't Want to be an Anglo-Saxon Peasant! Jacqueline Morley & David Antram Humorous and appealing, 'You Wouldn't Want to be an Anglo-Saxon Peasant' is presented in a fun cartoon style and gives an overview of life and culture for common people during Anglo-Saxon times.

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