You may have noticed that I love books! I actually set up homeschooling-ideas because I was frustrated I couldn’t find great book recommendations for different subjects.
So I am loving finally compiling book lists for you, like this educational coloring book list.
This time I thought I would talk about kids history books. I don’t mean dry texts. We have used some fantastic books that have brought history to life for us in a fun and interesting way. Immersing your children in living books lets them see what it would be like to live in a different time. It helps to bring history alive and make it real.
Of course history itself covers so much. Not just how people lived in the past, but the history of art and music and science is fascinating. When you tie history to something your children already are interested in then you have a winning combination.
So which ones did we love – here are my top
50 70 living kids history books.
Please note that the image links are affiliate links, which means if you buy I get a (very) small percentage of the sale. If you would prefer not to support this site in that way, just go to Amazon and search for the book yourself.
Ancient history has scope for some fantastic homeschool projects. As well as wonderful story books, we used activity books to rebuild the pyramids, made lapbooks, explored myths (and generally had a ball!).
One of our favorites is Egyptology. This is a beautifully presented book in the form of the journal of Miss Emily Sands, who sets out to Egypt in 1926 to try to discover the whereabouts of the lost tomb of Osiris. Like a real travel journal, it contains lots of postcards, memorabilia and other surprises (in small booklets, envelopes and pockets) – like an inspirational lapbook!
The Tutankhamun books has a press out model of Tutankhamun’s tomb. I also really like the ‘Hands On” activity books. We have the ‘Homes’ one. There is no ‘look inside’ on Amazon so here is an example page.
Even though we are not in the US we still got through quite a few books containing US history.
I especially love story books that give you a ‘feel’ of a time period, such as Little House and Anne of Green Gables. It is a lovely gentle way to introduce your children to history – and there are several activity books you can use alongside them.
The Holling Clancy Holling books are just wonderful – although my favorite is still Paddle to the Sea. They are picture books but they are quite word heavy – we read a little every day over a couple of weeks.
*Becky has commented to say Anne of Green Gables is set in Canada! I am going to leave it here because I love it 🙂 But if you guys can recommend enough books I will add a Canadian History section.
(Edited to add this note from Alison:)
Some great Canadian history books are the Dear Canada Series. They are a diary style book written around historical events like the Halifax Explosion, early settlements and pioneering, the early Canadian wars, the Acadians, the railway expansion and more. Lovely well written books that really evoked a lot of emotion and triggered more learning after we finished each one. The main characters are girls but my sons found them very good as well. I highly recommend them.
Civil War/Black History
If you want to learn more about UK history then the two most popular periods to cover are the Victorians and the middle ages. Again, these are great stepping stones to all kinds of hands on activities or field trips.
I admit we didn’t do a lot of European history, but we listened to audiobook versions of The Count of Monte Christo and the Scarlet Pimpernel! Fantastic introductions to the French Revolution.
The Robert Opie Scrapbooks are not reading books as such, but are large books crammed with memorabilia. We love them and have several – the children frequently spend hours looking through them because there is always something new to notice. Here is an example of the pages:
There are some absolutely wonderful story books covering the wars. The Michael Murpurgo ones are fantastic – but my kids eventually put a ban on them because they are mostly so sad.
My personal favorite from this section (and probably all the kids history books) is Weedflower. I thought it was a wonderful story.
We haven’t done a lot with modern history. So only a few recommendations here 🙂
I find the stories of famous people inspirational and wanted to pass that onto the children. There are some wonderful picture books available. Here is a selection.
Kids History Books
I know I have just scratched the surface here. There are many, many more wonderful kids history books – I just wanted to pull from my own experience where possible. If you have a recommendation too, I would love to hear it. Just leave me a comment or come visit my facebook page.