History Books: Ancient Times

In December we just finished Story of the World: Ancient Times. We greatly enjoyed this curriculum. However, it was sublimating it with other great literature and resources that made history come alive for Big Buddy. The curriculum took us almost a year and a half to finish because we enjoyed digging deeper into some areas. Below is a list of some of our favorite books and other resources. A few of these are recommendations from Story of the World's Activity Book: Ancient Times. If you do decided to use Story of the World as your history curriculum I can't recommend the workbook highly enough; it's filled with additional literature suggestions, coloring pages, maps, and learning activities.


  1. Kid's Animated History with Pippo: 16 Ancient Cultures - short videos introduce children to different ancient cultures is a humorous and engaging manner. These videos can be watched for free on Hulu.
  2. DK, Ancient Civilzations - brief look at several ancient civilizations with lots of pictures of ruins and artifacts. 
  3. Battlezone, Warfare in the Ancient World  - one of Big Buddy's favorite books, it gives a comprehensive look at ancient weapons, armor, and fighting methods. 
  4. Time Warp Trio - video series about three boys who travel through time. It's a bit silly but all my kids enjoy it and they do glean some facts from it. 
  5. Warriors: All the Truth, Tactics, and Triumphs of History's Greatest Fighters - this book is packed full of informations and interesting illustrations  It does also cover a few warriors outside of ancient times. 
  6. The Kingfisher Atlas of the Ancient World   - if you kids' enjoy maps this book is a must. 
  7. Ten Kings and the World's they Ruled  - this book also covers some kings outside of ancient times. The illustrations are gorgeous. 


  1. DK, Mesopotamia  - we really enjoy these eyewitness books. They are jammed full of facts and many of the illustrations are pictures of artifacts, ruins, or art. Big Buddy usually sits for an hour or two soaking in all the details of the pictures. You can also find DK Eyewitness Books on ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and ancient Egypt.
  2. Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War: An Epic Tale From Ancient Iraq by Kathy Henderson - a beautiful tale accompanied by detailed watercolors.
  3. The Golden Bull by Marjorie Crowley - a suspensive tale of a brother and sister, this really brought Mesopotamia to life. 
  4. Gilgamesh The King by Ludmila Zeman - a kid friendly retelling or one of the world's oldest stories. The illustrations are beautiful and engaging. 
  5. Revenge of Ishtar by Ludmila Zeman
  6. Last Quest of Gilgamesh by Ludmila Zeman


  1. The Shipwrecked Sailor: An Egyptian Tale with Hieroglyphs by Tamara Bower - a heartwarming tale. Certain parts of the story also appear in hieroglyphs
  2. Croco'nile by Roy Gerrard - two talented Egyptian children travel the Nile. This book also contains hieroglyphs
  3. Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki - description of how and why the Egyptians made mummies. 
  4. Ancient Egypt: An Interactive History Adventure by Heather Adamsom
  5. Ancient Egyptian God and Goddesses by Christopher Forest - great introduction to Egyptian mythology. 
  6. Pyramid by David Macaulay - we are huge fans of David Macaulay. His books are jammed packed full of information and accompanied by exquisitely detailed drawings - seriously, you could get lost in these illustrations. You'll also want to check out his book,  City a Story of Roman Planning and Construction
  7. You Wouldn't Want to be Tutankhamen! by David Stewart - "You Wouldn't Want to be...." books offer a humorous yet informative take on history.
  8. We're Sailing Down the Nile by Laurie Krebs - this is short book, great for young children or a quick read. Introduces children to the Nile and several Egyptian artifacts. 
  9. Ms. Frizzle's Adventures Ancient Egypt by Joanna Cole - humorous story jammed pact with easy to understand information. 
  10. Muti's Necklace: The Oldest Story in the World by Louis Hawes - touching tale that follows a young Egyptian girl from childhood to adulthood. 
  11. Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers: One Hundred Ancient Egyptian Jobs You Might Have Desired or Dreaded by Kristin Butcher - a comical but informative look at life in Ancient Egypt. 
  12. Pyramids!: 50 Hands-On Activities to Experience Ancient Egypt by Avery Hart - a great collection of activities to help bring Ancient Egypt to life. 


  1. The Hero and the Minotaur by Robert Byrd - this was our favorite version of Theseus story. 
  2. How Would You Survive as an Ancient Greek by Fiona Macdonald - an interactive book where kids can choose there own journey through ancient Greece. There are several other versions   (Egyptian and Roman) including in this series.
  3. Aesops Fables by Charles Santore - Santore's whimsical and opulent illustrations have made this our favorite Aesop's Fables Book.
  4. The First Marathon by Susan Reynold - a fictionalized account of the first marathon. 
  5. King Midas and the Golden Touch by Charlotte Craft - stunning illustrations accompany this impressive retelling of this classic tale. 
  6. Alexander The Great by Demi - a short biography with striking illustrations. 
  7. Ancient Greeks by Stephanie Turnbull - a easy reader non-fiction book full of bright engaging illustrations. 
  8. Black Ships before Troy: The Story if 'The Iliad' by Rosemary Sutcliff - a retelling of The Iliad for younger readers. The rhythmic prose and watercolor illustrations make the book captivating. This tale may be too intense for young readers. 
  9. The Adventures of Odysseus by Hugh Lupton and Danile Morden - a kid friendly retelling of The Odyssey with bright and attractive illustrations.
  10. D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths - if you only get one book on Greek myths this should be the one. It gives and extensive yet detailed overview and the illustrations are astounding. 
  11. Greek Warrior by Deborah Murrell - provides a intricate look at Greek warfare - including training, weapons, armor, and battle tactics. 
  12. Atlantis: The Legend of the Lost City by Christina Balit - Splendid illustrations and clean prose quickly draw the reader/listener in to this tale. 


    1. Ancient Rome by Peter Ackroyd - this book provides very thorough and detailed look at ancient Rome
    2. G is for Gladiator: An Ancient Roman Alphabet by Debbie Shoulders
    3. Roman Myths by Andrew Masters - a retelling of 10 Roman myths with charming illustrations.
    4. Roman Army - a comprehensive look at the Roman military. 
    5. Cleopatra by Diane Stanley - This was my favorite biography on Cleopatra; it was kid friendly and the illustrations were unique and stunning.
    6. Tales of The Dead Ancient Rome by Stewart Ross - follows a father and two children as they struggle to survive in Ancient Rome. This is an engaging fictional story but also filled with lots of interesting facts about Roman life/culture. There are also books on Ancient EgyptAncient China, and Ancient Greece in this series. 
    7. Hannibal by Robert Green - A concise but well written biography. Green has also written a biography on Julius Caesar
    8. Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld - follows a group of boys around Rome as they work together to solve a mystery. 
    9. Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans by Terry Deary - a humorous and sometimes gross look at Roman history.
    10. Vacation Under a Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne - Jack and Anne are on a mission to find and save an artifact before Pompeii's volcano erupts.  If you read this book you should also check out Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #14: Ancient Rome and Pompeii
    11. The Charioteer's Son by Stephanie Baudet - set in Roman occupied Britain this is a short engaging chapter book that will shed some interesting light on Roman occupation. 
    12. Julius Caesar: The Boy Who Conquered and Empire by Ellen Galford - an illustrated and short biography - perfect for a young child who are curious to no more about Julius Caesar. 
    Check out our homeschool page for more resources and ideas. 

    1 comment:

    1. My goodness! You really did enjoy the history! This is quite a list of books. Thanks.

      ReplyDelete

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - you make me smile :)

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