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History Textbooks*

*These are not your traditional textbooks! They are similar because they are all-encompassing books that give you a good overall picture of a particular historical era. The difference is that they have not been written by a curriculum publisher for the traditional school setting. We prefer to call this resource a Source Book.

Generally speaking, the books listed below usually have more color and kid-appeal than a textbook. Use this list to find a "non-textbook" that will fit your study. Use it as your primary guide through history, and supplement with the extracurricular books you choose from the other pages of this website!

  • WORLD HISTORY
  • AMERICAN HISTORY

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How to Use this List

Find a Textbook (we call them Source Books) from the suggestions below to use as your primary guide through whatever history era you choose to study. This book will give you a complete perspective of the time period and help you avoid having any obvious gaps in your history curriculum. After you have this solid base in place, you can launch out and explore with supplementary "real" books. A Book In Time can help you find both your Text and the additional stories and other fun books that will make History the best part of your school day!

If you need more guidance to plan your own history curriculum, our eBook will help you schedule your favorite Textbook with other books, crafts, timelines, maps, and activities to organize and create your own personalized history year.


WORLD HISTORY: All Eras

A Child's History of the World by V. M. Hillyer.

The Complete Book of World History. McGraw-Hill Pub. E-UE

History of the World (Revised Edition) by Plantagenet Somerset Fry. Dorling Kindersley, 2005. UE+

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia Ed. By Kingfisher. UE+
One topic per page, lots of color illustrations, and packed with information in a very readable format. Recommended.

Mystery of History series by Linda Lacour Hobar. See individual titles below. (Volumes I and II are currently available. The entire series will be completed in the near future.)

A Picturesque Tale of Progress: Beginnings I-II, A Picturesque Tale of Progress: Conquests III-IV, A Picturesque Tale of Progress: New Nations V-VI, A Picturesque Tale of Progress: Explorations VII-VIII, A Picturesque Tale of Progress: Index IX by Olive Kennon Beaupre Miller & Harry Neal Baum. 1935. Reprinted in 1963, Dawn Chorus Press.

The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon, ed. by John Merriman. Liveright Publishing Corp., 1999. JH-HS
A bestseller when it was originally published in 1921, this book won the first Newbery Medal. The current edition has been updated by a Yale history professor to include modern times. The electronic text is available free on the internet.

The Story of the World series by M. B. Synge. (The link will take you to a detailed review.)

The Story of the World series by Susan Wise Bauer. See individual titles below.

Streams of Civilization: Earliest Times to the Discovery of the New World (Vol 1), Streams of Civilization Vol. 2: Cultures in Conflict Since the Reformation. Christian Liberty Press. UE+
Not much color or flair, but the choice for a decidedly Christian perspective.

The Usborne Book of World History by Jenny Tyler, Anne Miller, Robin Gee (editor). Usborne, 1985. E-UE
When Usborne came out with their Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, we expected the end of this 1985 edition, but it is still available because it's a good book! It tends spend less time on pre-historical subjects than the newer version. Short, visual chapters describe the people, achievements, wars, and artifacts of the very first civilizations to the early twentieth century.

The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia Of World History by J. Bingham, F. Chandler, S. Taplin. Usborne, 2001 E-UE+
Moves chronologically from pre-history to modern times with lots of color and fabulous illustrations. Internet links guide you to some of the best websites on each topic. Tends to spend more time on pre-history than the Usborne Book of World History (see above).

World History for Kids is a FREE online textbook from KidsPast.com! It has 20 chapters from Prehistory to the French Revolution.



WORLD HISTORY: The Ancient World

The Ancient World: [prehistory-500 B.C.] (Young people's story of our heritage) by V. M. Hillyer. Meredith Press, 1966.

The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome by Susan Wise Bauer. Peace Hill Press, 2007. HS
The author of The Story of the World series (for grade school ages) wrote this volume in greater detail for older students and adults.

International Children's Bible Handbook: Answering Questions Children Ask by Lawrence Richards. Word Publishing, 1986, 1989. *E+
If you want to connect Bible history with the rest of ancient history, this is the source! Easy to understand, with lots of explanation and illustrations. Recommended to use alongside another source of all world cultures.

The Kingfisher Book of The Ancient World : From the Ice Age to the Fall of Rome by Hazel Mary Martell. UE+

Mystery of History, Volume 1: Creation to the Resurrection by Linda Lacour Hobar. Bright Ideas Press, 2002. UE-JH
This is a book and a curriculum combined, and the first of a (future) 5-part set. Engaging text with accompanying activities and helps (including tests) will guide you through your school year with a Christian perspective.

The Story of the World, Volume 1: On the Shores of the Great Sea by M. B. Synge. (The link will take you to a detailed review.)

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition by Susan Wise Bauer. Peace Hill Press, 2006. E-UE
Kids will like the storytelling style of each chapter, although it has few illustrations. Ideal grade range is 1-4, but adaptable for all elementary. Accompanying The Story of the World: Activity Book One: Ancient Times, Second Edition also available.

Usborne Time Traveler by Judy Hindley. Usborne Books. E-UE
This fun, colorful book covers daily life of 4 civilizations: Ancient Rome and Egypt, and the Viking & Medieval Ages. Great supplement to your text! Please be aware some illustrated backside nudity is included in a chapter.

TruthQuest History: Ancient Egypt & Ancient Greece and TruthQuest History: Rome by Michelle Miller. Truth Quest History. E-UE
History from a Biblical point of view. Adaptable for all grades.

The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of the Ancient World UE+
Comprehensive, with stunning photographs and vivid pictures. Also includes internet links.



WORLD HISTORY: Middle Ages -- A.D. 400-1400

The Medieval World (Young people's story of our heritage) by V. M. Hillyer. Meredith Press, 1966.

The Middle Ages (Cultural Atlas for Young People) by Mike Corbishley. Viking, 1993. UE+

The Middle Ages: A Watts Guide for Children (Reference) ed. William Chester Jordan. UE+
Wide scope, covering many world cultures of the time and not just Europe.

The Mystery Of History, Volume 2: The Early Church and the Middle Ages by Linda Lacour Hobar. Bright Ideas Press, 2004.
A textbook and a curriculum in one! Includes accompanying activites and helps (including tests). Written from a Christian perspective.

Story of the Middle Ages by Michael J. McHugh & John Southworth. Christian Liberty Press, 2002.
Spans from the end of the Roman Empire until the beginning of the age of exploration and written from a Christian perspective. Includes questions on each chapter and maps. The Test Packet provides accompanying tests (no answers), and the Answer Key gives test answers and additional help for the chapter questions and activities.

The Story of the World, Voume II: The Discovery of New Worlds by M. B. Synge. (The link will take you to a detailed review.)

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 2: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer. Peace Hill Press, 2003. E-UE
Kids will like the storytelling style of each chapter, although it has few illustrations. Grade range is 2-5. Accompanying The Story of the World: Activity Book Two: The Middle Ages also available.

Usborne Time Traveler by Judy Hindley. Usborne Books. E-UE
This fun, colorful book covers daily life of 4 civilizations: Ancient Rome and Egypt, and the Viking & Medieval Ages. Great supplement to your text! Please be aware some illustrated backside nudity is included in a chapter.

TruthQuest History: Middle Ages by Michelle Miller. Truth Quest History. E-UE
History from a Biblical point of view. Adaptable for all grades.



WORLD HISTORY: Age of Discovery
(Renaissance & Reformation) -- A.D. 1400-1700

Rats, Bulls & Flying Machines: A History of the Renaissance & Reformation (Core Chronicles Series) by Deborah Mazzotta Prum. Core Knowledge Foundation, 1999. UE-HS
With enough color to keep a younger student's attention, but a wealth of information suitable for upper grades, this book is a treasure. Recommended.

The Story of the World, Volume III: The Awakening of Europe by M. B. Synge. (The link will take you to a detailed review.)

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern Times by Susan Wise Bauer. Peace Hill Press, 2004. E-UE
Kids will like the storytelling style of each chapter, although it has few illustrations. Grade range is 3-6. Accompanying The Story of the World Activity Book Three: Early Modern Times also available.

TruthQuest History: Renaissance/Reformation/Exploration and TruthQuest History: Age of Revolution I (1600-1800) by Michelle Miller. Truth Quest History. E-UE
History from a Biblical point of view. Adaptable for all grades, and includes detailed booklist.



WORLD HISTORY: 1700 - The Present

427066: The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations (1455-1707) Student Reader, Volume 3The Mystery of History, Volume 3: The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations (1455-1707) by Linda Lacour Hobar.


The Story of the World, Volume IV: The Struggle for Sea Power and Volume V: Growth of the British Empire by M. B. Synge. (The link will take you to a detailed review.)

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 4: The Modern Age: From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR by Susan Wise Bauer. Peace Hill Press, 2005. E-UE
Kids will like the storytelling style of each chapter, although it has few illustrations. Grade range is 4-8. Accompanying The Story of the World Activity Book Four: The Modern Age: From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR also available.

TruthQuest History: Age of Revolution III (1865-2000) by Michelle Miller. Truth Quest History. E-UE
History from a Biblical point of view. Adaptable for all grades.



AMERICAN HISTORY: Overview

All American History, Vol. 1: The Explorers to the Jacksonians, Student Reader by Celeste W. Rakes. Bright Ideas Press. UE-JH
Reads like a story, with hundreds of images and dozens of maps. Geared for grades 5-8, but adaptable for younger and older students. 32 weekly lessons. A Teacher's Guide and Student Activity Book are also available. Note: The upcoming Volume 2 will cover the Civil War to the Present.



A Child's Story of America, 2nd Edition. Christian Liberty Press, 1998. UE (Suggested for Grades 4-5)
American History from a Christian perspective and written especially for the homeschool. Approximately 20 chapters is easily covered in a year.

Children's Encyclopedia of American History (Smithsonian). Dorling Kindersley Publishing. E+

The Complete Book of U.S. History. McGraw-Hill Pub. E-UE
This inexpensive book has bright colors and short chapters to appeal to the younger student.

A History of US (10 Vol. Set) by Joy Hakim. Oxford University Press. JH+
These are textbooks that are not textbooks! All the facts are here, but the human interest stories and the volume of pictures and illustrations keep interest level high. Recommended. Note: With access to a well-stocked library, a homeschooler could conceivably just borrow these volumes throughout the year.



The Landmark History of the American People (Two Volume Set, Newly Revised and Updated) by Daniel J. Boorstin. Random House, 1987.

A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror by Larry Schweikart and Michael Patrick Allen. Sentinel HC, 2004. JH-HS
American history from a Christian, conservative point of view.

The Story of Liberty by Charles C. Coffin. Maranatha Publications, orig. pub. 1879. JH-HS
Starts with John Lackland, and continues on until the Pilgrims, defining the meaning of liberty, and showing the hand of God in history. Sequel, Sweet Land of Liberty, spans from Columbus to the American Revolution.

TruthQuest History: American History for Young Students I (Exploration-1800). Also, TruthQuest History: American History for Young Students II (1800-1865), and TruthQuest History: American History for Young Students III (1865-2000) by Michelle Miller. Truth Quest History. E-UE
History from a Biblical point of view. Adaptable for all grades.


AMERICAN HISTORY: Civil War

Fields of Fury: The American Civil War by James M. McPherson. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002. E-JH
Each 2-page spread includes description of a major theme or battle on one side, with a full-page illustration or photo on the opposite page. Takes you from beginning to end of the war, giving a good overall picture.

BOOKS THAT SPAN THE AGES -- Not Source Books

The Light and the Glory for Children: Discovering God's Plan for America from Christopher Columbus to George Washington and From Sea to Shining Sea for Children: Discovering God's Plan for America in Her Half-Century of Independence 1787-1837 and Sounding Forth the Trumpet for Children by Peter Marshall & David Manual with Anna Wilson Fishel UE-JH
Written as stories, these 3 books span American history from the time of Columbus to Abraham Lincoln, offering a decidedly Christian perspective. Not complete enough to be used alone, but can be companions to another Source. Corresponding Activity Books also available: The Light and the Glory: Children's Activity Book, From Sea to Shining Sea: Children's Activity Bookages 5–8, Sounding Forth the Trumpet Children's Activity Book

A Street Through Time by Dr. Anne Millard. Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 1998. E+
Well done! A fictional street in Europe changes on every two–page spread, beginning with the Dark Ages and ending in today´s era. Recommended.

The Search for Lost Cities (Treasure Hunters series) by Nicola Barber, illus. Mark Stacey
Richly illustrated, and featuring cities from the ancient world up until early Armerica.

Then and Now: The Wonders of the Ancient World Brought to Life in Vivid See-Through Reproductions, by Stefania Perring & Dominic Perring. Macmillan, 1991. UE-HS
See how famous places, now in ruins, may have once looked with the help of brightly painted clear overlays. Accompanying text details the significance and history of each. Includes ancient & medieval sites.


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