10 Best Children’s History Books Reviewed in 2020
School is in and history is our subject! Some children love the subject of history while others cannot stand it. Why not get your child on the right track of loving it with some fun and interesting history books at home? We have found some very entertaining and exciting history books for kids that are the best ones with the most reviews from parents. They are excellent at sparking the interest of the child with topics they have no knowledge of or ones that they are curious about. Each goes into enough detail to satisfy even the most inquisitive kid and give them the answers they are seeking. Full of facts, data, colorful photos, cartoons, games, and puzzles, children will learn as they explore the depths of many historical subjects. We categorize each book according to its design, educational value, age range, and entertainment value for you. Let’s read!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 49 hrs of research
Created by National Geographic Kids
Has 1,200 beautiful pictures
Topics that interest kids
Design is high energy
For the fact-obsessed and the casual browser
- Awesome Facts
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
- Knowledge Encyclopedia: The World as You've Never Seen It Before
- Treasury of Greek Mythology
- Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook
- National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Who
- Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions
- History Year by Year: The History of the World
- Smart About the Presidents
- A Really Short History of Nearly Everything
10 Best Kids History Books Reviewed
1. Awesome Facts
Created by National Geographic Kids
Has 1,200 beautiful pictures
Topics that interest kids
Design is high energy
For the fact-obsessed and the casual browser
Some content a few parents did not think was kid appropriate
Has a cluttered layout said a couple of people
Created by National Geographic Kids, the book of 5,000 Awesome Facts has over 1,100 reviews online and is offered in paperback and hardcover formats.Read more
Fun and easy to read with the spreads of two pages and beautiful photos, this history book for kids has topics that most interest kids and 1,200 pictures. Intended for grade levels of three to seven or those aged eight to twelve, kids will learn 15 facts about peanut butter, 100 facts of oceans, and 50 facts concerning bears. Other topics are chocolate, sharks, robots, games, toys, and reptiles just to name a few. With 224 pages the design is high energy for the fact-obsessed person and the casual browser.
You cannot help but learn something from just browsing through this enchanting volume. The facts and pictures just jump off the page into your brain to make you smarter and wiser.
The two-page layouts of the 224 pages of this children's history book are put in a way that is easy to observe and absorb. The many color photos help with a load of information and make learning fun.
The best part about learning the facts of this book is that they concern common things that most children are already familiar with. They will learn more about these usual objects and know them better. This is why we placed it at no. 1 of our best history books for kids list.
Children of the ages of eight to twelve will most appreciate this fact-filled book of so many topics. It is the age of questioning the world around you and wondering how everything works and where it came from.
2. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
For grade levels of three to seven
Educates about black women pioneers
Great for kids of any background
Perfect for bedtime
Not much original writing
Vocabulary is more for an adult
Little Leaders children's history book is authored by Vashti Harrison and studies forty black women who were very important in history. Perfect for bedtime, this volume has 97 pages accented with gorgeous illustrations.Read more
Available in the reading formats of audio CD, paperback, hardcover, audiobook, and Kindle, this amazing kids history book is great for kids of any background. It introduces the trailblazers of Sojourner Truth the abolitionist, Bessie Coleman the pilot, Alice Ball the chemist, Katherine Johnson the mathematician, Shirley Chisolm the politician, Maya Angelou the poet, and Julie Dash the filmmaker and many more. These black women who made the world much better for girls of generations to come as it educates about black women pioneers.
It is interesting to note that these women mentioned in the book all had prominent roles that advanced women of all colors. All children would be better in knowing of them and how they advanced their fields for women in general.
The format of this history book for kids is quite simple. It is easy to read and organized into the biographies of each African American woman in a great layout.
Children of any background can benefit from knowing about these superb women who boldly stood for what they believed in. it is fun for children of today to know the courage of others before them.
Intended for grade levels of three to seven or two to four-year-olds, this childdren''s history book talks about the women who are role models and heroes who accomplished extraordinary feats.
3. Knowledge Encyclopedia: The World as You've Never Seen It Before
Is in a hardcover format for reading
Has cutaways and cross-sections of topics
Filled with graphics, timelines, statistics, and maps
Has history, science, human body, nature, and earth, and space
Great for public libraries and schools
Science section does not mention the creation of the Earth
History section does not mention Native Americans
The Knowledge Encyclopedia history book for kids is in hardcover for reading and is a graphic book of what other encyclopedias only write about. It is great for public libraries and schools and meant for grade levels of three to seven.Read more
This wonderful encyclopedia has cutaways and cross-sections of topics such as the human body, the planets, galaxies, volcanos, and dinosaurs to show how they work. It is a terrific reference book for those that want answers to common questions, particularly in the age ranges of eight to twelve. Filled with graphics, timelines, statistics, and maps to explain subjects easily, this volume has six groups inside of history, science, human body, nature, and earth, and space.
The six main topics listed in this history book for kids are vital for a basic understanding of our world and the things that are in it. with this knowledge, kids can take their educations further and deeper into these very subjects.
Any encyclopedia can educate a child through reading, but this one does so with large colorful graphics, cutouts, and 3D images to show how things work and what makes them tick.
You will notice that the topics of this incredible book are all the usual ones that children ask a million questions about. They want to know how things began and how they work. This children's history book has the graphics to show them.
Those of the years of eight to twelve will benefit the most from reading this encyclopedia and referencing it often. It is written for this age group to explain all the things that most kids want to know about.
4. Treasury of Greek Mythology
Available in hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook
Timeless stories in a wonderful new volume
Has lyrical text and stunning artwork
National Geographic has embellishments for topics
Includes a character page and a family tree
Some buyers felt the stories were not told in their true context
Terminology may be over the heads of children
Illustrated by Christina Balit and written by Donna Jo Napoli, the Treasury of Greek Mythology history book for kids is 192 pages long and made for grade levels three to seven.Read more
Available in hardcover, Kindle, audiobook, this children's history book tells the tales of Greek mythology heroes such as Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite, and Zeus and the monsters of Medusa, Perseus, and Helen of Troy. These are timeless stories in a wonderful new volume with lyrical text and stunning artwork for ages eight to twelve. National Geographic has embellishments for each topic to explain the stories better. Included are a character page and a family tree of the characters.
Kids benefit from stories in general, but these legends are classics that are handed down to generations of children. They learn the characters and the importance of the tales as they read.
Not only do you get the lovely stories of these mythical characters but also maps, a family tree, and a page of characters to let you know who is who and where they fit into the stories.
This history book for kids is perfect for bedtime stories or sleepovers, these incredible tales that are timeless classics are perfect entertainment to spark the imaginations and dreams of kids and adults.
Older kids will be the most interested in this volume of Greek mythology. They are of the age of learning of the main characters and many adventures of the heroes and villains in them.
5. Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook
Paperback reading format
Is part of a series of educational books
Each topic is summarized and simple to read
Main ideas are highlighted for you
Has definitions, quizzes, and mnemonics
Some books were received damaged
Not enough details for several readers
Covering many topics of American history including Native Americans all the way to the Iraq War, this American history children's history book is in a paperback reading format of 528 pages.Read more
Edited by Philip Bigler and written by Lily Rothman and Workman Publishing, this history book for kids is part of a series of educational books that cover World History, Science, Math, and English Language Arts. Children can learn of the Revolutionary War, Colonial America, the expansion to the west, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, the Depression, and the Civil War. Each topic is summarized and simple to read with the main ideas highlighted for you.
Almost every single event of major happening that has occurred in this country from the start is described and illustrated in this colorful volume. This history book for kids is a great reference book for those that want to know.
As one of the kids history books in a series of educational home books, this one on American history covers plenty of time periods in a concise format. Most of the topics are summarized without a lot of details.
It has definitions, quizzes, and Mnemonics for remembering concepts to enhance the knowledge gained. Learning is fun if the books make it fun with the chosen format and wording.
Grades six to eight or ages eleven to fourteen will find this history book for kids particularly enjoyable for learning. The subject material is too complex for little kids, but older ones will be able to read this book on their own.
6. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Who
Formats of Kindle, paperback, and hardcover
Colorful with plenty of photos
For pre-kindergarten to third grade
Ages four to eight-years-old
Author teaches writing and has written other children’s books
Explanations of things are lacking
Not enough details – more for older kids
The National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Who is offered in the reading formats of Kindle, paperback, and hardcover and consists of 128 pages.Read more
Written by Jill Esbaum for grade levels of pre-kindergarten to third grade or ages of four to eight-years-old, kids will explore many great characters that have influenced our lives and the face of history. It discusses such personalities as Martin Luther King, Amelia Earhart, Leonardo Da Vinci, Jackie Robinson, and Abraham Lincoln just to name a few in the large colorful pages with a myriad of photos of the subject people. This author teaches writing for kids and has written several other children’s books.
All of the great people that have made their mark in history are in this simple volume for little ones. It is a great start or beginning to their world of history at a very young age.
Written in a way that is fascinating for the younger crowd of kids, this book from National Geographic will be a hit in your family. It is colorful and well-planned to be fun and enjoyable.
Favored personalities can be quite entertaining for children who want to know about the important role models in history. Having their pictures and reading about their lives is very exciting.
The littlest of children will be able to look at the photos in this history book for kids and learn the names of these great people who were once a part of our world. They may not be able to read the words but will enjoy the book along with parents.
7. Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions
In paperback, school & library binding, and Kindle
Covers forty inventions that are familiar and their evolution
Cartoons illustrate the ideas and concepts
Discusses patent and generic inventions
Includes sketches, recipes, anecdotes, and fun facts
Not interesting for some kids
Could have used more kid-specific language
This 82-page volume of Mistakes That Worked history book for kids is best for ages eight to twelve and grades of three to seven. It is in the reading formats of paperback, school & library binding, and Kindle.Read more
Authored by Charlotte Foltz Jones and illustrated by Ho John O’Brien, it covers forty inventions that are familiar and tells how they evolved. This wonderful book discusses patent inventions and ones that are generic too. Fun cartoons illustrate the ideas and concepts of Coca Cola, popsicles, Silly Putty, cheese, donut holes, bricks and many more. Included are sketches, recipes, anecdotes, and fun facts to entertain kids and get them to enjoy the subject material.
Just looking at the topics of this children's history book has us curious and wanting to read it ourselves! It is fascinating to know where things started and how they came about to better appreciate them.
With cartoons, sketches, and fun facts in this history book for kids, children will discover how some fairly common items we have today were almost not invented at all. It may inspire them to get creative on their own.
Some of our very favorite products are included in this book of mistake inventions. It is interesting to know their histories as we enjoy them every day and not realize their greatness.
The middle range of children that are not too young to understand but not too old to already know are the best candidates for this interesting read. They will be amazed at some of the facts.
8. History Year by Year: The History of the World
Includes over 1,500 colorful images
Has a “child of the time” segment
Helps connect events of history around the globe
Has a time ribbon in the middle of all pages
Runs from 3.5 million years prior to 2012
Could have more details
Presents topics and time periods in a vague way
Covering the world’s history from the initial Stone Age to the current Digital Age, History Year by Year is a Smithsonian volume available in hardcover format for reading.Read more
Including over 1,500 images to bring the facts to life, it explores the history of humans and runs from 3.5 million years prior to the year 2012. In the 320 pages, it uses a detailed timeline to help kids visualize history as it really happened. There is actually a time ribbon in the middle of all pages that branches off for various events and happenings. Featured is a “child of the time” segment that tells of the kids of certain time periods, such as the French Revolution and the Renaissance period.
As a huge timeline, it will be easy for children to put events and time periods in order in their minds. So much has happened that kids have a lot to learn in a short time period with such creative books.
The entire book is like one giant timeline that runs the span of all the pages. Right down the middle center, you will see the events unfold and know at a glance when they occurred.
This is a browser-friendly history book for kids that is meant to be consumed a little at a time. The multitude of information is too much for a single sitting, as it is as entertaining as it is informative.
Best for ages nine to twelve-years-old and grade levels four to seven, this fabulous children's history book helps connect the events of history all around the globe from beginning to end.
9. Smart About the Presidents
Is a cartoon illustrated book
Style is easy to read for kids
Tells a bit of the personal lives too
Has a variety of fonts and artwork
Will interest children in the presidency
Has some wording errors
Could use some censoring for little kids
Smart About the Presidents is offered in the reading formats of library binding and paperback and written by Jon Buller, Maryann Cocca-Leffler, and Dana Regan.Read more
Updated to the year 2017, this cartoon illustrated history book for kids of all the US presidents is written in a style that is easy to read for kids. It tells a bit of the personal life of the president before he became the nation’s leader and has a variety of fonts and artwork. This volume will interest children in the presidency of this country with its 64 fun pages. Best for ages five to nine or grades from kindergarten to fourth grade, it has appendixes for first ladies, White House kids, a bibliography, and a map of the presidents’ birthplaces.
Meant for the youngest of learners, this volume can educate kids before they even study the presidents in school. Your child will be a whiz when the subject comes around because of this book.
Easy to read because of the simple format of a president on a page, this kids history book will be a favorite for children. It is not busy or cluttered to confuse or disinterest kids in the leadership of this nation.
Learning about the presidents can be challenging and fun for kids and adults with this book of cartoon likenesses. This history book for kids is interesting to read about their personal lives too before their marvelous role.
Once children become aware of the president of this country, then they will want to know of the others before the current one. It is at that age that they will be interested in this great history book for kids.
10. A Really Short History of Nearly Everything
Offered in hardcover and paperback
Tells of the universe’s mysteries
Answers many common questions
Presents all topics in the form of a story
Kid-friendly and packed with facts
Could use more details
Seems like bits and pieces of the author’s other books
Authored by Bill Bryson and offered in hardcover and paperback, A Really Short History of Nearly Everything history book for kids tells of the universe’s mysteries and answers many common questions that puzzle kids.Read more
It presents all topics in the form of a story that explains who, how, why, and when of each subject. The 169 pages of this children's history book are best for grade levels three to seven or ages eight to twelve. Kid-friendly and packed with plenty of facts and information, it discusses such topics as if meteors will hit us, the size of the universe, why oceans are salty, and where did the dinosaurs go. Children will love the format and the various subjects that they may have never even thought of yet.
If your child learns about all of the subjects in this volume, they will be quite up on the workings and events of where we live. It is true life reading that will benefit them throughout their lives.
This terrific history book for kids asks the question of the world that possibly children have not discovered or even pondered before now. When they see the questions in print, then they will want to know more.
Children will be addicted to the pages of this cartoonish children's history book that reveals the secrets of their world in detail. It makes for a wonderful read because it is not just a list of facts but a story for each topic.
Once kids start to know about their world, then they will begin to question it. This is where history books for kids like this one come in to save the day with its load of answers and pictures to show them.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
History is one of the vital topics in all grades of education that must be understood and learned well. We spend many years in school learning about all of these covered topics, so it is best to get a head start for your child’s education with these incredibly entertaining history books for kids. Having an understanding of history subjects already before confronting them in class will make the learning much easier for kids. Each one of these volumes has much to teach and explore in a wide variety of history topics.
All of these volumes of history books for kids are designed and written for children, so they can be introduced to moments in history or help them understand them better. None of them go into great detail, but they do illustrate the facts well and present them clearly for terrific reading. The formats are easy enough for older kids to read and browse the pages on their own, but smaller children will have to rely on parents to help them with the material. All are full of information for the questioning child who wants to know more.
History can be quite entertaining depending on how it is studied and presented. With most of these volumes, there are fun things to do or puzzles to do that help with the gaining of the knowledge within. Parents can also make the learning more enjoyable by reading along or with the child and playing games or quizzing each other of recent readings. The child will be more inclined to learn if they know they can win a game about the facts or pictures.
While some of these books are geared toward the very young with cartoon images, fun games, and puzzles, most of them are for the older child of about eight to twelve years in age. These contain the most facts and details of history, people, and places to further their already acquired knowledge of these subjects. For the little ones, the kid-friendly books will spark their imaginations and introduce topics that they know nothing about. These are great beginner books of historical facts and fun.
Parents can get kids excited about reading with spending just ten minutes a day with them reading a book to them if they are still very young or letting them read to you if they are older.
Reading helps improve the communication skills, imagination, and vocabulary talents of children. when they read to others or listen to stories read by others, they also can discuss the story as it is told to develop their social and listening abilities too.
Other Factors to Consider
As kids discover facts about people, places, and things, they will want to tell you. It is in these informal discussions that they will learn most of their social skills of talking with others, listening, learning, and taking turns in speaking. These skills begin early with reading to them and letting them read to you as often as possible. At young ages, children gain these abilities rapidly and use them out in the world on others. books such as these listed can begin this process for your child.
Having history books at home that are written for kid specifically are very much needed to get them up to speed for school. Classes tend to skip over vital parts or go very fast with the subject material, so it is beneficial for the child to have supplementary education at home. In this way, the child gets the full picture of the events or people being studied and not just the shortened version of it. Thus, a home library is quite valuable for your child’s education and understanding.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are some tips to get kids to read more and faster?
You could try making a specific time to read together each day or a certain number of times a week. They will be more inclined to read if you let them pick the books. Visiting the library more often for books and events will encourage reading as well as trying audiobooks too. Read with them and act out their favorite parts of books. It takes a special interest on the part of the parent or guardian to encourage reading at an early age, but it will pay off in the end.
q: What is the age level of these history books for kids?
These volumes vary for age level but a good time to begin would be about age five or six. You will have to introduce the topics ever so gently as history is not going to be their favorite subject at first. As they question things around them, then you can show them the history books to explain what they are wondering about plus a lot more.
q: When should kids start learning about history?
Whenever you can find history books that are at their age and reading level is a perfect time. You do not want them to miss out on anything at their reading level. For the topic of history, the age of six-years-old is a great time, to begin most of these books.
q: Are any of these children's history books told through stories or are they just books of facts?
Some of them tell the stories of people and places and their histories. It all depends on what you want to study. The majority of them are fact books that are short and to the point. They do not read like a storybook would for bedtime reading.
q: How do you get children interested in history topics especially at a young age?
Show them the books that you would like them to read and begin looking through it with them to get their interest started. Reading some of the topics to them could get them started. Start with books that are at their age level of reading and do not try to go over that level. Books they cannot understand will just bore them and make them not want to read.
q: What are some negative aspects of history books for kids discovered by parents?
Some of the vocabularies could be over the head for some kids depending on age and reading level, so that is a big problem that parents have with a few of these books. Another issue is that authors tend to not tell all of the details about something and describe it fully. A good example is that one of the sections on the history of people in this country left out Native Americans entirely. This is not accurate and not fair to Native Americans to be left out of American history.