Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Mackfam
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Posted: May 25 2010 at 1:12pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

I wanted to share a document I drafted to help me catalog, organize, collect, and make use of this great series of books. The Landmark Books are a collection of books originally written by a diverse and talented group of authors in the 50's, 60's, and 70's as part of a subscription program. Rather than being historical fictions, these books are all realistic historical type books, many biographies, and all focused around a significant period or person of history. They're targeted at reading ages between 9 and 12-ish - or late elementary - jr. high, though some are suitable for high school reading. All the books make great read alouds!

This listing from Random House indicates those books from the series which are still in print.

Many of these amazing books are now out of print, but can still be found in libraries and at used book sales, which is where I find mine. We have several of the out-of-print books in this series now and I find them a treasured addition to our home library. I've just put together a World Explorers history program for my rising 5th grader based on the books I've found in this series. Anyway, in doing so, I assembled this list and found it to be so helpful in cataloging and assembling a reading list that I thought I'd share!

Happy booklist building!

2010-05-25_130949_Landmark_Book_listing.pdf

Hat tip to this review which supplied the most complete list I could find online.

Do you have a favorite book(s) from the Landmark Series? I thought this might be a good thread to catalog some reviews of these books! I'll be back later to review some of ours!

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 2:19pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Thanks for the list, Jen! Have you been able to ascertain if the in-print versions are updated or edited or still the original versions?

I was just thinking of doing this, so thanks for the doing the legwork.

Inside the cover of one of my American Landmark I found a complete list arranged by historical period (although I think it was written only up to number 70 of American Landmarks, but it's a good start). Has anyone seen this list online? If not, I'd be happy to type it up.

I haven't read these yet myself. I started collecting for my brother, and his favorite was The Swamp Fox and Daniel Boone.

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 2:30pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

quick browse of my shelf (the kids may have some in the bedrooms) that I only have stuff that's in the 1800's

Robert Fulton & the Steamboat
The World's Greatest Showman: the Life of P.T. Barnum
The Doctors Who Conquered Yellow Fever
The Copper Kings of Montana
Garibaldi: Father of Modern Italy

I haven't read many of them.. mostly I'd heard they were good so when they came my way as giveaways/discards I kept them.

I know my oldest has read some of them.. but I'm not sure which ones.. because we have others.. I just had to pack away the eras we weren't using for my sanity.

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 2:42pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

JennGM wrote:
Have you been able to ascertain if the in-print versions are updated or edited or still the original versions?

I've read conflicting things on this, Jenn. I'm not sure.

JennGM wrote:
Inside the cover of one of my American Landmark I found a complete list arranged by historical period (although I think it was written only up to number 70 of American Landmarks, but it's a good start). Has anyone seen this list online?

This is definitely something I want to add to my list, Jenn! Actually...I was envisioning the list morphing with a table! A table detailing time periods of all the books would be so helfpul! I have a dust jacket I was planning to use that covers up to #77 of the US Landmarks and also covers the beginning of the World Landmark books.

If anyone knows of an extensive list with ALL of the Landmark books cross referenced with their period of history, please say so...before I reinvent the wheel!

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 2:52pm | IP Logged Quote Angel

Ok, I just have to say... did you see who wrote the Landmark book on the Barbary pirates???

CS Forester! (of Horatio Hornblower fame)

Must track that one down!

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 3:09pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

There are so many AMAZING authors in this series!!! That's what makes it a great series of *living books*! Authors like Thomas Costain, Jim Kjelgaard, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Sterling North...so many! The idea (I believe) was to enlist an author with a passion for the topic and have him/her write a children's book on the subject.

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JennGM
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Posted: May 25 2010 at 3:23pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Mackfam wrote:
JennGM wrote:
Inside the cover of one of my American Landmark I found a complete list arranged by historical period (although I think it was written only up to number 70 of American Landmarks, but it's a good start). Has anyone seen this list online?

This is definitely something I want to add to my list, Jenn! Actually...I was envisioning the list morphing with a table! A table detailing time periods of all the books would be so helfpul! I have a dust jacket I was planning to use that covers up to #77 of the US Landmarks and also covers the beginning of the World Landmark books.

If anyone knows of an extensive list with ALL of the Landmark books cross referenced with their period of history, please say so...before I reinvent the wheel!


This is what I have, Jen...inside a dust jacket. Are you already proceeding to type it up? I don't want to duplicate, either.

I often refer to this site: Marys Books, lists of series:

Lists of Series

Catholic Lists of Series

And what I want to do is merge into one big master list all my saints books and history series into chronological order or eras. Wouldn't that be fun? Vision books and other series merged with Landmark? Surely this has been done. it's like taking Reading the Saints up a notch.

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 3:31pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

JennGM wrote:
And what I want to do is merge into one big master list all my saints books and history series into chronological order or eras. Wouldn't that be fun?

SO MUCH FUN!!!!

JennGM wrote:
Vision books and other series merged with Landmark? Surely this has been done. it's like taking Reading the Saints up a notch.

I know!! Perfect!

JennGM wrote:
Are you already proceeding to type it up? I don't want to duplicate, either.

Have at it, Jenn! I'm finishing up my plans for the year here, so I had to sort this into a project-to-be-tackled-soon-but-not-today pile. IF you're thinking of big lists merging - don't forget to check out the great books in the Signature series, too!

JennGM wrote:
I often refer to this site: Marys Books, lists of series:

Y'know...I love Mary's Books and go there frequently and had never come upon this list! Thanks! It's a very good listing!

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 3:43pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

If you wanted to do your master list in excel.. I have a timeline for books already in that.. and I could share that with you.. then instead of my columns for ages.. you could do columns of series. But it would give you the timeline already set up.

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 10:11pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Jodie, I'd love to see your Excel. I always think in Tables, so Excel is wonderful.

I remember a while back reading about Landmark, and how, besides the American series and World Landmarks, and Landmark Giant, there was also some younger aged books.

I couldn't find that site, so maybe I imagined it. But I've been confused by the list of reprints from Random House because the titles and ages don't match the original Landmark descriptions.

I figured out the answer. They are labeling some of the old "Step-up" books as Landmark, so the "Meet..." are from the Step-up books. (I've also heard the new ones are changed.) These are well-loved and well-read here.

I did some sleuthing and found a few places for lists of Landmarks:

::Landmarks listed alphabetically by title

::Landmark Chronological List, both World and America

::Landmark listed by author

::Reading Well cover pictures of Landmark (also lists)

::Landmarks by Publication Dates

======================
Some further interesting links:

::Review of World Landmark Guide by Karen J. Thiessen. This looks very interesting; has anyone seen this?

::Flying Point Press is another source for reprints of some of the Landmark books.

::Signature Books

::Interesting newspaper article from 1953 that talks about series.

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 10:33pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM


I typed up the list inside my dust jacket, and merged the other titles to fit the periods. This contains all the books, but some time periods do overlap, so some books fit into some categories twice.

I didn't mark all the dates for each book, as that would take some time. I did take some information from other lists I have above to compile a little more information. This is a Word doc, and it's easily tranferrable into a .txt file and convert into Excel.

This list doesn't exactly correspond to the chronological list above, but some books are ranges of dates, so they fit in the time period, but aren't in perfect timeline order.

2010-05-25_223049_Landmark_Books_american_historical_period. doc

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Posted: May 25 2010 at 10:44pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Angel wrote:
Ok, I just have to say... did you see who wrote the Landmark book on the Barbary pirates???

CS Forester! (of Horatio Hornblower fame)

Must track that one down!


Yes! I saw that was being republished by Flying Point Press.

Mackfarm wrote:
There are so many AMAZING authors in this series!!! That's what makes it a great series of *living books*! Authors like Thomas Costain, Jim Kjelgaard, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Sterling North...so many! The idea (I believe) was to enlist an author with a passion for the topic and have him/her write a children's book on the subject.


As I was typing up the list I was stunned by seeing "Robert Penn Warren" included in this list. I know most recognize his name for All The King's Men but I also enjoyed reading him and the other Southern agrarians in I'll Take My Stand.

For more, see Ten Books that Shaped America's Conservative Renaissance

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Posted: May 26 2010 at 7:00am | IP Logged Quote Angel

JennGM wrote:


I couldn't find that site, so maybe I imagined it. But I've been confused by the list of reprints from Random House because the titles and ages don't match the original Landmark descriptions.

I figured out the answer. They are labeling some of the old "Step-up" books as Landmark, so the "Meet..." are from the Step-up books. (I've also heard the new ones are changed.) These are well-loved and well-read here.



Do you know how they've been changed, Jenn? The older ones are better or...?

I have a few of the "Meet the..." books, but they are the newer ones, labeled "Landmark".

I went looking through my shelves yesterday, and I don't have too many Landmarks of any kind. I think this is probably because I don't get out much too to go used book store browsing.



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Posted: May 26 2010 at 7:25am | IP Logged Quote DianaC

We recently were at a little re-sale shop that had a set of 9 of these books for $15. They were editions from the 1950s and I was really leaning towards purchasing them, but they were somewhat yellowed and musty smelling and that bothers me. How do you book collectors get around this? Is there a way to freshen them up?
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Posted: May 26 2010 at 8:14am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Jenn,
I AM ABSOLUTELY CHOMPING AT THE BIT to sit down with all of your links and your doc!!! WOW!!

DianaC wrote:
We recently were at a little re-sale shop that had a set of 9 of these books for $15. They were editions from the 1950s and I was really leaning towards purchasing them, but they were somewhat yellowed and musty smelling and that bothers me. How do you book collectors get around this? Is there a way to freshen them up?

Diana,
I usually just allow my *musty-ish* smelling books to sit out open in the sun for a day and they air out just fine. Even some of the stronger smelling ones do air out. But there are a variety of tips and techniques for getting smells out of old books that I've found on the internet that involve an airtight bin, activated charcoal, or baking soda. The musty-old smell comes from moisture generally, and leaving a book out in the sunshine and breezes airs it out while the sun bleaches any mold. There was a thread here a long time ago that linked some resources for getting the smell out of old books...I'll have to see if I can find it.

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Posted: May 26 2010 at 8:49pm | IP Logged Quote Michiel

Thank you ALL for this list and the work you put into it! My ds, 11, will be so grateful! I'm printing it out for him now.

The musty smell question: I love to buy books used. I read a tip once to first zap in the microwave the books you get just in case there are any bugs in it. To be honest, I don't always, but thought I'd throw it out there.

My MIL, who is also an inveterate used book buyer tackles musty books by setting the books open outdoors in the sunshine and periodically turning the pages. Open book, put something on it to hold it open, and next time you go outside, open to a new place. It seems to work.

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Posted: April 07 2011 at 5:08pm | IP Logged Quote AmandaV

bumping this thread since it was brought up...

So if I run into a Landmark book at a store used, or on a swap, should I assume its good and just get it for future use? With my almost second grader reading at least 4th grade level I want to get some good quality free reading for him, plus more historical books. Thanks!

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Posted: April 07 2011 at 5:11pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

AmandaV wrote:
So if I run into a Landmark book at a store used, or on a swap, should I assume its good and just get it for future use? With my almost second grader reading at least 4th grade level I want to get some good quality free reading for him, plus more historical books. Thanks!


In a word, Yes. I will put a caveat, as there are World Landmarks, and the ones that treat religious persons (Jesus, St. Paul, Luther) need to be pre-read. They probably won't match the Catholic vision. And Jen, how did they treat evolution? I think you mentioned that earlier in this thread or elsewhere?

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Posted: April 07 2011 at 6:09pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

JennGM wrote:
AmandaV wrote:
So if I run into a Landmark book at a store used, or on a swap, should I assume its good and just get it for future use? With my almost second grader reading at least 4th grade level I want to get some good quality free reading for him, plus more historical books. Thanks!


In a word, Yes. I will put a caveat, as there are World Landmarks, and the ones that treat religious persons (Jesus, St. Paul, Luther) need to be pre-read. They probably won't match the Catholic vision.

I would agree. If I see Landmark, I know it's going to be good, literary writing and good subject matter, and I generally try to build our collection.

I would also agree with Jenn's caveats. There are a few books in the World Landmark series that touch on religious subjects/themes.

Jesus of Nazareth, The Life of St. Paul, and Martin Luther were all written by a Baptist clergyman, Harry Emerson Fosdick.

The Life of St. Patrick was written by Quentin Reynolds, a journalist and war correspondent, and, I believe, a Catholic. (I'm not entirely sure of this though...and I don't own this book...so I'd still advocate pre-reading for the treatment of St. Patrick, esp legend vs. miracle and his great Catholic faith.)

The final title that catches my eye, St. Joan of Arc by Nancy Wilson Ross, we have. I find that it treats St. Joan of Arc's life, her visions, the trial, and her condemnation and martyrdom fairly. I even find that it treats her Catholic faith with great respect. However, I did find it lacking in the fullness we often speak of...it's hard to put a word on it. I don't have a problem with the book, but I would follow it up with something written from a Catholic perspective so that perhaps the great depth of St. Joan of Arc's faith in God and fidelity to the Church is the undercurrent and guiding principle of the book, rather than writing from a more historical perspective. Does that make sense?

In general, I find that Landmark seeks to find someone that can speak/write with passion and conviction on their subject matter, so I have no doubt that these books are probably quite good, but like Jenn, I'd probably pre-read these selections first in light of our faith.

JennGM wrote:
And Jen, how did they treat evolution? I think you mentioned that earlier in this thread or elsewhere?

Both of Anne Terry White's books, Prehistoric America, and The First Men In the World contain evolutionary content. (Her other book, Will Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre is excellent, and, as you might imagine, contains no evolutionary content!! ) The introduction of evolutionary content, and how that material is introduced to children, is a prudential matter for individual families to discern. Just be aware in your discernment that these books treat evolution as fact, not theory.

Hope that adds a bit more information for your consideration!!

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Posted: July 09 2011 at 10:59am | IP Logged Quote AmandaV

I guess I never got back on this thread and thanked you both for your insights - so sorry! Thanks, that was very helpful!

I think it was that third trimester tiredness kicking in...

Well, I'm due any day and my parents visited and brought us Leonardo da Vinci by Emily Hahn, which was my mother's as a child. So neat! Its in very good shape. I guess I saw it as a girl at our home, and others, but didn't remember that they were Landmarks. I'm going to preview it before giving to my 7 year old or reading aloud, but do you know off the bat of any concerns? He's currently very interested in flight, gliders, Wright Brothers, etc. after reading Childhood of Famous American's Neil Armstrong, so I think he'd be interested in the flying machine da Vinci designed.

And apparently my grandfather bought quite a few of them when their kids were little, so she's going to look around on the shelves for more. I'm very excited!

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