Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: The Story of the World: Ancient Times by Susan Wise Bauer

genre: history

The full title of this book is The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child Volume 1: Ancient Times, From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor.


This book was a companion text for the study of ancient history that I did with my 7 year old home-schooled son this year. We began, as did our first civilizations, along the Tigris and Euphrates River, explored ancient Egypt and China, traveled to Babylon and India, fought with the ancient Greeks and ended in Rome. We met Buddha and Gilgamesh, Alexander the Great and Confucius, Caesar Augustus and Tutankhamen. Along the way we learned basic geography and political history, as well as cultural and social anecdotes that enthralled my boy and, let's be honest, me as well. The chapters are short with a lot of subheadings, so you can either read it straight through (as we did) or use the very detailed Table of Contents and Index to just read what you're interested in.

I loved this book.

I don't think it's perfect, sometimes it got slightly long-winded and a few chapters felt a bit out of chronological order (hard to REALLY put things in chronological order, though, when you are doing a history of the ENTIRE ancient world) but in all, it was pretty dang close. I feel like it was written RIGHT on his level, he was engaged and interested, he enjoyed the political history as well as the included folktales and myths. Sometimes he would make me read and read - an hour at at time? A history book? I know not all kids are that into history, but the breadth of this book is pretty incredible and if you are a history buff like my son (or like me) and are looking for a simplified (but not simple) introduction to ancient history, I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Cami said...

So, basically, this was Herodotus and Thucydides. I should have read this instead!

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