Summer Read-to-Learn

All summer I’ll be sharing books for kids of all ages on topics that will interest them or offer them a new interest to learn about. Most of the time these will be nonfiction books, but sometimes we can learn how to be better people or learn empathy from fictional stories too.

So, I hope you will stay tuned to these posts. They will always have Summer Read-to-Learn in the title and in the tags. There will be books from some of my favorite publishers like National Geographic, plus, some from independent publishers.


Magnificent Monarchs, Notorious Nobles, and Distinguished Dudes Who Ruled the World

By: Caleb Magyar and Stephanie Warren Drimmer

Published: November 12, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books


Just like in THE BOOK OF QUEENS, this book is full of men that have ruled over their countries, their careers, their history, and their armies. In eight categories including Empire Builders, Military Masterminds, Rulers in Revolution, Lords of Legend, Kings of Creativity, Aristocrats of Action, Kings of Change, and Kings of Knowledge various men from history and current times are celebrated for their excellence. Short biographies along with the amazing National Geographic photography make this an informative and fun read for kids and adults.

The various crowns of Kings around the world are creative and showcase the extravagances of that particular country. Moctezuma II, a 16th century Aztec emperor likely wore a massive headdress with over a thousand plumes from various birds including 500 long green tail feathers from the quetzal, a bird sacred to the Aztec.

In the arts, Lin-Manuel Miranda is given a full-page spread for his dedication and contribution to the arts including his many successes before and after Hamilton on Broadway. I had no idea he had written music for Disney’s Moana and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Your kids might be excited to learn about the man who created Minecraft, Markus Persson. He created Minecraft as a hobby, sold it on indie platforms in 2009 and in 2014 sold his game and company to Microsoft for $2.5 billion. Other creative kings featured in the book include B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Kwame Alexander, George Lucas, and many other writers, artists, and musicians.

Don’t worry sports fans, kings in that area are featured too including James Naismith, the Baron of Basketball, Joseph Merlin, the inventor of roller skates, Lionel Messi, the best football (soccer) player, Richard Petty of NASCAR, and Usain Bolt, the Sultan of Speed.

One king that I found most interesting was Jadav Payeng, the Forest Man of India. Every day he bicycles an hour and then rows from the mainland of India to a small island in the middle of a river to begin his work. He works every day to help save this island from flooding after the monsoons erode more and more of the island away and make it dangerous for the 160,000 people that live there. He has been planting trees there every day since he was 16. He is now in his mid-50s. There is now a thriving ecosystem where was once a barren desert, that stretches 1,400 acres.

These are the kinds of things I love learning while reading a National Geographic book like this. Even as an adult, I learn something every time I read one of these book and am in awe of the amazing people that make up our world.

Among all the Kings, various amazing women are featured too from warrior women of the Amazons to commanding queens, queens in athletics, and acting queens.

I could go on and on with all the amazing things I’ve learned while reading this book. No matter what your child is interested in, there is a section about the kings in that area. Kids will learn that being a “king” is hard work and takes dedication, leadership, and being willing to keep learning. Maybe your child will develop some type of life-saving technology, the newest game-craze, be the first to explore a new land, do something that makes the public laugh, or lead by example that helps everyone see the world in a new light. Who knows, but this book is full of inspiration for kids to be and do their absolute best!

To purchase a copy of THE BOOK OF KINGS, click the photo below:

Other books you might like:

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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