Need help getting your kiddos interested in the stories of past cultures and places? Good news, today we’re sharing our favorite history books for kids.
It usually starts innocently. I’ll be working on my homeschool lesson plans and come across a book — usually from a series — that works well with the topic we’re covering in history at the time.
In no time at all, my son is hooked. He blows through the entire series because he can’t get enough.
Let’s face it, though, there are way worse things to be dealing with. I’ll gladly take a kid who’s hooked on history and a series of books over the other options.
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Maybe you’re looking for history books for your kids or maybe you’ve just got a series aficionado on your hands like I do. Either way, this list of history book series for kids is full of reasons to make a trip to your local library (or favorite bookseller) if you’re like me and your small-town library can’t always support your kiddo’s book habit).
History Book Series for Kids
Before we jump into the list, here are two things to keep in mind. First, all of the links in the descriptions below lead to Amazon. If you prefer to support local bookstores through your purchases, see this Bookshop.org list. It has several titles from each series so that you can get an idea of what each one offers.
Speaking of the overviews, it is also worth noting that each description contains a link to a single book from the series. Feel free to use that link to “dip your toes in the water” and see if that series is a good fit for your kiddo.
1. Who Was … ?
We’ve turned to the Who Was…? biography series time and time again, and it never disappoints. We’ve used some of these as read-alouds, but both of my kiddos also read them alone. The series covers all sorts of key figures in history, but there are also What Was…? books that cover key historical events.
2. The Childhood of Famous Americans Series
What sets these books apart from other biography books for kids is that they focus on the childhoods of famous Americans. These are some of our favorite biographical history books! Also worth noting, they’re especially good for older elementary students and middle schoolers.
3. Blast to the Past Series
We’ve recently discovered these Blast to the Past books and are loving them! Think fiction meets history, but not in a historical fiction way. Instead, modern characters step back into historical moments and help key figures face various problems.
4. Magic Tree House
There’s no way I could leave Jack and Annie off of a list of history books for kids! Like the Blast to the Past series, Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House focuses on the adventures of modern kids who magically travel to all kinds of places and times.
There are more than fifty of these fun and surprisingly educational books. If your kids are the kind to get hooked on a series, Magic Tree House would keep them busy for a long, long time!
5. Dear America
The Dear America books are journal-style books written from the perspective of a child from various points in history. Worth noting, they’re out of print now but are usually available at libraries.
6. My America
These My America books are considered a part of the Dear America series, but are still categorized separately (or at least they are at all of our libraries!). They’re also journal-style books that help kids step inside the lives of other children throughout history.
7. Magic Tree House Fact Tracker
We love Magic Tree House Fact Trackers! These are non-fiction books that go along with the Magic Tree House adventures and they’ve been a huge part of our homeschool history. They’re not just for supplementing history topics, though! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found my son reading these for fun.
8. If You Were a Kid …
These If You Were a Kid… books are exactly what the title implies: what it was like to live with specific people groups or to live during certain points in history. These are great for early elementary years and are generally easy to find at local libraries.
9. Landmark Books
The Landmark Books series is an older living book series that primarily covers events in American history.
10. The Little House Collection
If you’re looking for a series that highlights life in the American Midwest during the 1800s, there’s no better choice than the Little House collection! That’s not to say that everything in these books is to be idealized. However, they do provide opportunities for meaningful discussion when themes like racism come up in the story.
11. The American Girls Historical Collection
This huge collection is divided into smaller collections based on the fictional lives of the American Girl historical characters. Within each smaller collection, readers get to experience what life was like in the United States during various points in history.
12. You Wouldn’t Want To Be Series
The You Wouldn’t Want to Be books are non-fiction history books for kids who don’t love history (and certainly those who do love it as well)! The graphics are great, the information is engaging, and the overall approach is fantastic. If you haven’t checked into this series yet, you’re missing some fun stuff!
13. Heroes of History
This Heroes of History biography series is told from a narrative perspective and is a favorite among many families I know. If you’re looking for a biography series that appeals to your entire family, this is the one to consider.
14. Adventures in Odyssey: Imagination Station
These Adventures in Odyssey books are some of our favorites. Readers will voyage with Vikings, visit the Roman Colosseum, and even come face to face with one of Herod’s soldiers on the night of Christ’s birth over the course of this series.
This series of history books for kids follows the lives of Christians pioneers all over the world.
16. 101 History Facts Series
I stumbled upon this 101 History Facts series while exploring my Kindle options, but I’ve been surprised by how much we’ve enjoyed it. These books are reasonably priced and have lots of great topical information and resources.
17. For Kids Series
This For Kids series digs into history like no others on this list of history books for kids. Not only does it give biographical information for person or event showcased, it also includes activities and suggestions for further learning and exploration. We love these books!
18. Religious Heritage Series
We started reading these living books from Louise Vernon’s Religious Heritage series when my kids were younger, and we learned so much through them. This historical fiction series is a wonderful way to gain an understanding of the lives of key figures of the Christian faith. They’re particularly helpful if you want to explore the Protestant Reformation and explore the formation of prominent Christian denominations.
19. Ordinary People Who Changed the World
Younger kids don’t have to miss out on the history fun! The Ordinary People Who Changed the World series explores the lives and impact of key figures in history, but does it in a fun and engaging way for little ones.
20. I Survived Series
From Pompeii to events in modern history, the I Survived series gives readers an opportunity to experience significant moments in history from the perspective of a child living through the events.
What are your favorite history books for kids? Do any of these series make your list of favorites?
This list was included in My Joy-Filled Life’s Top 100 Homeschool Posts of 2016.