A Short History of the World review

We enjoy learing about History and although I try to study individual time periods with the kids we often end up discovering other bits of history during our  learning activities and our trips into the museums. For me it is one of the benefits of living where we do, within such easy reach of the  London museums and attractions like Hampton Court Palace so we embrace and explore all the old wonders whenever we come across them.  But every now and then I do wonder if it becomes a bit mixed up for the kids so I like to try to use resources to discuss the general timeline of events so they are able to slot everything in a rough sequence of events.  We have used and still love our Story of London Book (real little gem this one, it has been read cover to cover and individual sections have been re-read after we have spotted certain landmarks in London).

But I really wanted a world history summary for the kids.  I wanted something that sorted the events into order but something that was kid friendly and not too detailed so they could read it and focus on the order of events.  I spotted the A Short History of the World and I was very intrigued.

Usborne a Short History of the World. A brilliant children's history resource

The book is NOT a detailed encyclopedia of History.  It is a well written, easy to read account of events throughout the history of the World.  They introduce key events that happened and also talk about general shifts in the way that people lived (eg the when towns starting forming in Europe or how cities grew because of new inventions and machines).

A Short History of the World by Usborne. Towns and Guilds start developing

The book itself is not massive (21cm by 15cm ) and it is 160 pages long yet somehow they manage to cover every major historical period.  (I actually really like the fact that they have not made this book big and thick as I think the size means lots of kids will not be intimidated by it).

It is divided into 4 general categories – The Ancient World (includes Ice Age), The Medieval World, The Early Modern World and the Modern World.  Each category covers all continents.

A Short History of the World by Usborne. An excallent summary of the key historical events

We really like the way they have written this book.  The pages are not crammed fill of fact after fact.  They have written it in a style which is just easy to read.  Short paragraphs explaining what happened, how it possibly linked to other areas of the world and any impact it may have had.  They mention key dates and figures but it is so naturally included in the paragraphs that you don’t feel you are getting name after name or date after date.

Usborne's A Short History of the World. The fall of Constantinople

They have also included interesting diagrams throughout the book which help explain key elements.

Usborne A Short History of the World. Ancient Greece

Usborne's A Short History of the World. Building an enpire. Ancient Rome

We really liked these visual summaries that are scattered through the book.

A Short History of the World. European Society

I have been very impressed with this book.  It is a great summary of the key events and written in a way that I think is just right for my ten-year old to read.

This book retails just under £10.

I searched for a world history book that I thought would be appropriate for us to use in our home education and this is the one that I choose.  After I choose it I approached the publishers and asked for a review copy which they kindly sent us. 

About ofamily

Home educating family based in the UK. We try to make learning fun
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2 Responses to A Short History of the World review

  1. another mom says:

    What a lovely review….I am sure the publisher will be pleased, as well as your children. The book will encourage their interest in the facts which are so beautiful displayed.


  2. Camie says:

    I like Usborne books. This one looks great!


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