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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

All About South Africa

This is going to be the first of many posts about South African history.

Years ago, it was recommended that I get the book All About South Africa to teach my children about South African History. I was able to get an old copy of this book from the library and thought it was a good resource, so a friend & I each invested in a copy. We made a few unit studies from it for our children. At the time I was using KONOS, which is a unit study, so I just slotted in the unit studies we created between the KONOS studies we were using.

I am now using Tapestry of Grace (TOG), which is a classical curriculum that studies chronological history. 

The older version All About South Africa has a list of suggested children's books that the newer copy does not, so I am going to include it below, with permission from Random House Struik.

Most of the books are out of print, but I am trying to get at least one from each section in the book. I have found some from Amazon,, and Bid or Buy, as well as have purchased a few from library book sales. My intentions are to add these books to our Tapestry of Grace studies in the corresponding time periods, as well as have my children read the sections from All About South Africa about that time period.

I am going to do a series of posts about each of the sections in this book that include books I have been able to purchase, including links for you to follow so that you can purchase them, as well.

I was told by a few seasoned South African homeschool moms that if I can get my hands on Jenny Seed books to jump at the chance. She writes children's historical fiction based in South Africa. I will add any of her books that I can get to the appropriate time period in South African History.

Here are a few links to places to purchase All About South Africa:

The San and the Khoikhoi
Men of Men Candy Malherbe
These Small People Candy Malherbe
The New Fire Jenny Seed
The Faraway Valley Jenny Seed
The Nguni Speakers
Zulu Traditions and Cultures Aubrey Elliot
The Xhosa and their Traditional Way of Life Aubrey Elliot
People of the Interior
The Ndebele Art & Culture Aubery Elliot
Abantu Martin West & Jean Morris
The Early Navigators - 1400's
Dias & De Gama Brian Johnson Barker
Early Navigators Philip Gon
Caravel to the Cape Eve Merchant
Early Days at the Cape - 1652
Jan van Riebeeck and the Dutch Settlement at the Cape Brian Johnson
A Musket and Garden Hoe J. Marais Louw
Stowaway to Nowhere Jenny Seed
Slaves at the Cape - 1658
The Cave Peter Slingsby
The Golden Kris M Cassiem D'arcy
Always Working Candy Malherbe
The French Huguenots - 1688
The French Huguenots Francois Theron
The Huguenot Garden Douglas Jones
The Land of the Watching Eyes Juliet Marais Law
Change at the Cape - 1790's
Merino Lesley Beake
On the Move -
Heroes Tales
10 Famous South Africans
Prince of the Bay Jenny Seed
Jock of the Bushveld P. Fitzpatrick
The 1820 Settlers
The 1820 Settlers of Salem A E Meakin
Living with the 1820 Settlers Marian Robertson

The Great Trek - 1836
The Great Trek Brian Johnson Barker
Black Sheep Maretha Maartens
The Message John Coetzee
The Warrior King - 1815
Shaka Warrior King of the Zulu Lynn Bedford Hall
Voice of the Great Elephant Jenny Seed
Wars in the Eastern Cape - 1779, 1789, 1799, 1811, 1818, 1834, 1846, 1850, 1877
Nongqawuse's Prephecy Karen Press
Conflict in the East 1834-1879
Joseph Zulu Bert Schroeder
Boer versus Briton 1880-1902
The Spy Hill Jenny Seed
Ring Around the Moon Maretha Maartens
South Africa's Rainbow People
Jakey (1994) Lesley Beake
Caravel to the Cape Eve Merchant
A Time to Scatter Stones Jenny Seed
Black Nationalism 1910-1990
Cry the Beloved Country Alen Paton
A Time to Scatter Stones Jenny Seed
Government Policies
The Day Gogo Went to Vote
Milestones of the 20th Century
Illustrated History of South Africa Reader's Digest
Traditional African Crafts
Tribal Dress Aubrey Elliot
Art in South Africa
150 South African Paintings Lucy Alexander and Evelyn Cohen
The Public Library Zirkea Ellis
How a Book is Made Aliki
Books Diane McClymont
10 Famous South Africans
Homes and Houses
A Concise Guide to Cape Dutch Houses Phillida Brooke Simons
Charley's House
Musical Medley
Sing Africa Patricia Schonstein
Stop Those Children Jenny Seed
Sport and Recreation
The Allied Book of Sports Facts & Records SASBOR
Towns and Cities
The Strollers (1987?) Lesley Beake
Hurry, Hurry Sibusiso Jenny Seed
Rescue Services and Road Safety
Road Safety Loiuse Landsberg
Caring for Others
Nursing Anne Hugo
A Cageful of Butterflies Lesley Beake
A Star Spangled Sky
Night Skies Peter Mack
Halley's Comet Peter Mack
Keeping in Touch
The Post Office WA von der Linde
Lighting up the Land
The Orange River Carmen Welz
The Orange River Project JC de Korte
Transportation Melane Basmon
The Journeys of Josephine Siegfried Stander
Arms and Armour
South Africa At War Peter Joyce
The Armed Forces Helmoed-Romer Heitman
Mining Gold and Minerals
Gold Carmen Welz
Struben's Golden Valley John Coetzee
Gold in South Africa Ted Scannell
Turning our Wheels
Oil & Gas Jacqueline Dinen
Coal BJ Stuart
South African Mining Anthony Hosking
Diamond Mining
Diamonds in Southern Africa Peter Joyce and Ted Scannell
Canvas City (1866) Jenny Seed
South Africa at Work
South African Industry Tony Koenderman
Killing our Planet
Nature in the Balance Rob Marsh
Nature Conservation JN Steyn
Working the Land
Erosion Suzette Bosmon
Food for Thought G Standning
Stock Farming
Merino Lesley Beake
Crop Farming
From Wheatland to Bread EAG Styne
Money and Banking
Money in SA CL Engelbrecht
Fun with Money Louise McDermott
Our Coasts and Oceans
Stormy Seas at Clearwater Bay Pieter Pieterse
Seashore Life
Marine Life Along Our Shores Pauline Harding
Encounters With Sea Life Lynn Hurry
Shells Diedre Richards
Explore the Sea Shore of South Africa Margo Branch
Seashore Life Charles and Roberta Griffiths
Water for a Thirsty Land
The Orange River
The Orange River Project
River & Dams Martyn Bromwell
Mountains and Caves
The Building of the Berg AR Wilcox
Dragon's Wrath RO Pearse and James Byron
Land of Wonder
The Singing Grass Freda Linde
Flint and the Red Desert John Coetzee
Soil Conservation JC de Korte
Grasses, Grains & Conservation Joan Munday
The Weather and Climate
The Weather John Earle & Denis Bagrall
Soil R Thomas
Forecasting the Weather
Air J. Williams
Natural Disasters
Earthquakes Piet von Rensburg
Grasshoppers & Locusts William de Villiers
The Dove Dianne Stewart
Preserving Our Country
Nature in the Balance Rob Marsh
Bush School Lex Hes
Nature Conservation JN Steyn
A Bushveld Safari Nadine Clarke
Endangered Wild Life
Question & Answers: Endangered Wildlife of South Africa J. Conrie-Greig
Discovering Our Mammals
Question & Answers: Mammals of South Africa D. Richards
South African Animal Adventures Jay Heale
The Cat Family
The Cheetahs of De Wildt Anne von Dyk
Encounters with Wildlife L. Hurry
Land Mammals of South Africa Reay Smithers
Antelopes and Buffalo
Signs of the Wild Clive Walker
Jock of the Bushveld
Curious Creatures
Mammals J. Skinner and Penny Meakin
The Wildlife of South Africa Paul Rose
Bush School Lex Hes
Question & Answers: Snakes and Reptiles of South Africa R. Patherson
Pond & River Eyewitness Guide
Discovering Amphibians FAC Tiedt
Freshwater Fish
Freshwater Fishes of South Africa M. Bruten and P. Jackson
The Fresh H20 Fishes of the Kruger National Park U. de Villiers Pienaar
Aquaculture T. Hecht
Sea Fish
Common Sea Fishes Rudy von der Elst
Fish DR Schreuder
A Guide to Common Sea Fishes of SA Rudy von der Elst
Whales, Dolphins and Sharks
Question & Answers: Mammals of South Africa D. Richards
When Wales Go Free Dianne Hofmeyer
Venomous Creatures
Venomous Creatures Gerry Newlands
Things that Sting Eric Worrell
Spiders Gerry Newlands
Incredible Insects
Insects E. Holm
Harmful Instects AJ Schoeman
Grasshoppers & Locusts William de Villiers
Field Guide to the Butterflies of South Africa I. Migdoll
Birds of Prey
Birds of the National Parks of SA T. Campbell
Question & Answer: Birds
Birds of Prey I. Sinclair
Our Coastal Birds
Question & Answer: Birds
Birds Around You
Backyard Wildlife L. Hurry
A Beginners Guide to Our Birds Jo. Oliver
Birds of Southern Africa Ian Sinclair
Where they Grow
Nomaqualand Brian Johnson Barker
Explore the Cape Flora Margo Branch
Common Trees E. & G. Moll
Flowers and Trees
Tree D. Burnie


  1. This looks wonderful Mary, I look forward to seeing more about it. I have a lot of these books, which I love, and Jenny Seed is my favourite! I also love Ring around the Moon.

  2. wow! What a fantastic list! I'm bookmarking it for we are doing SA history at the moment and I need some more inspiration to add to what we are doing. Thank you for sharing! :-)

    If you don't mind the personal plug, my book Seekers of the Lost Boy (Taryn Hayes) is also a worthwhile SA read. It teaches a lot about the Group Areas Act and forced removals from District Six, as well as life on the Cape Flats and other local areas in Cape Town. Time period extends from 1960s-2010. :-) You can get it locally. ISBN: 978-1-920654-04-7

    1. I don't mind at all, Taryn! I was actually thinking today that I needed to find out where your book would fit in! :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for sharing your findings. Our SA community is so small when I see the great offerings for history of America and Europe. I would also encourage you to look through some novels, which are historical pieces in their own right!! I am thinking, for example, "The Farm in the Karoo" by Mary Carey-Hobson, published 1883, or Thomas Reid's "The Bush Boys" published 1856 or E.A.Kendall's "The English Boy at the Cape" published 1835. The English used and the culture of the time is a study in itself, and will open some very interesting discussions about how our view of the world and people have changed over time, and what has brought about those changes... living history indeed!
    Digitized versions are avaliable here:

    1. Thanks, Joy! I am so grateful for the input! What ages would you recommend these books for?

  4. I have added some new links. Check it out!

  5. I do enjoy your postings. Thank you for sharing!