15 Amazing History Book Series You Need in Your Homeschool

best history book series for homeschool

Do you need to add some fun to your homeschool history curriculum? Try any of these great history book series for homeschool!

History is one of those subjects that can either be amazing – or a complete snoozefest.

In fact, in a recent poll done on The Top Tens, history was ranked as the ninth most boring school subject out of the twenty-five subjects listed.

But whether your kids love it or hate it, there are some fantastic history books series for homeschool that can make it even better.

In this article, you’ll find great history book series listed by grade levels:

  • lower elementary school (grades K-2)
  • upper elementary (grades 3-5)
  • middle school (grades 6-8)
  • high school (grades 9-12)

But keep in mind that these aren’t hard and fast designations. Some middle school books can make great read-aloud books for your elementary school kids. And if you have advanced readers or kids who have a passion for a certain period of history, they may want to read the more advanced books.

Let’s take a look!

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Best Lower Elementary History Book Series for Homeschool

Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne

The Magic Tree House series is the #1 best-selling chapter book series of all time for a reason! Not only are they perfect for kids who are just beginning chapter books, but parents also love them because they make history fun!

In each book, Jack and Annie go back in time to a different era – ancient Egypt or Greece, the Middle Ages, or even the sinking of the Titanic.

Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer

This non-fiction four-book series is an incredible overview of world history – from the first nomadic tribes settling in the Fertile Crescent to the …

The best thing about the Story of the World Series is actually right in its name: history is presented as a story, not as endless paragraphs of facts.

We love this series so much that we use Story of the World and its accompanying activity and test books for our entire homeschool history curriculum!

Related article: 5 Reasons Why You’ll Love Story of the World for Homeschool History

Ranger in Time by Kate Messner

If your kids love animals, they’ll fall in love with Ranger, a specially-trained golden retriever who always seems to find adventure.

There are now 12 Ranger in Time books, covering time periods and topics such as Roman Gladiators, the Oregon Trail, and the D-Day landings on Normandy.

Ordinary People Change the World by Brad Meltzer

This incredible 27-book series tells the personal story of many notable figures in history.

Author Brad Meltzer wrote about this series:

“This is my dream for my daughter. My dream for my sons. These aren’t just the stories of famous people. They’re what we’re all capable of on our very best days. This is our history and, I hope, our greatest legacy.”

With adorable illustrations and engaging text, these are a favorite biography history series in our house!

Here are some of our favorite famous historical figures you can learn about in this history book series for homeschool:

American Story Series by Betsey Maestro

If you are studying American history in your homeschool, these picture books could be a fantastic curriculum by themselves!

There are lots of great titles, beginning with early colonization and ending after the American Revolution.

Each of the books in the American Story series is 48 pages long, so it’s a good idea to divide up the reading over several days to keep your kids engaged.

The illustrations and the level of detail in the writing will help your little ones become real history scholars!

D’Aulaire’s Myths

Learning about ancient civilizations can be really cool, especially when you take time to learn their stories! That’s why these incredible books about the myths of Ancient Greece and the Norse culture made our list of best history book series for kids.

Each book is thoughtfully written and handsomely illustrated. They’re perfect for supplemental storytime – or even for bedtime, too!

Usborne Beginners History 10-Book Set

This is the ideal nonfiction history book series for homeschool elementary students!

The ten beautifully-illustrated books included in the set are:

  1. Stone Age
  2. Iron Age
  3. Ancient Greeks
  4. Egyptians
  5. Celts
  6. Romans
  7. The Maya
  8. Vikings
  9. Castles
  10. Digging Up the Past

Newly published in 2020, this is a fantastic purchase for your homeschool library!

Free Resource Library

If you’re looking for help to organize your homeschool, be sure to join the Free Resource Library here at The Reluctant Homeschool Mama!

It’s filled with printables like curriculum trackers, unit study planners, book report forms, field trip evaluations – and more!

Click right here or on the image below to get access!

newly updated resource library

Awesome Upper Elementary History Book Series

Bringing History to Life Series by Jean Fritz

Newbury Honor author Jean Fritz couldn’t have picked more engaging titles to help get kids interested in American history!

Here are a few of our favorites:

Each book is between 48-64 pages long and offers lots of great details, both in story and picture form.

They’re great read-alouds and are also easily digestible for 2nd-4th graders on their own.

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest … by Mike Venezia

These fantastically funny biographies by Mike Venezia rarely stay on the shelf at our house!

With endearing illustrations and quick-moving prose, there are four different series within the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest lexicon:

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists – There are 47 titles in this series that include Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, and Johann Vermeer to more modern artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and more!

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers – This 14-book series features biographies about Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and other old masters to more contemporary composers such as George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, the Beatles, and more.

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Scientists and Inventors – The 15 books in this history series include titles about Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Marie Curie, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, and more modern inventors such as Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Goodall.

Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents – A fun biography series about each of the U.S. Presidents.

Every one of these biographies offers a fantastic look at the history of the time as well. If your kids like to laugh, and you like when they learn, these Mike Venezia books will be a great fit for you!

You Wouldn’t Want to Be Series

These books are perfect for the 7-12-year-old set and feature lots of written and illustrated tongue-in-cheek humor.

With titles such as You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Great Wall of China, You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy, and You Wouldn’t Want to Be an American Colonist, these books present all of the difficult and disgusting facts about that time period – which kids love!

At present, there are more than 50 books in the series, covering nearly every time period you could imagine!

And there’s definitely a reason why there have been over 6 million You Wouldn’t Want to Be books sold: kids love them and parents love to see their kids learning.

Who Was? / What Was? Series

Each Who Was? book is a biography or a biographical sketch of a historical event.

With over 200 easy chapter books in this history book series for kids, it feels like there’s been no historical stone left unturned for our kids!

Because there are so many books in this series, it’s a good idea to see if your kids express a lot of interest in a specific historical figure or event, and then look to see if there is a Who Was or What Was book about it. (Chances are, there will be!)

For example, when we were studying Ancient Egypt, my son was interested in the story of King Tutankhamen.

We looked to see if we could find an age-appropriate biography about King Tut, and we found Who Was King Tut?

In just over an hour, he devoured the 112-page book and quickly became the world’s newest King Tut authority!

Horrible Histories by Terry Deary

The Horrible Histories series is another fairly irreverent and humorous look at history that kids really enjoy!

These chapter books are written with the dry wit and irreverence common to British culture, so they may not be for everyone. (Our boys loved them!) They’re listed for the 8-12-year-old age range, but in our experience, we’d recommend them for a little bit older audience.

Some of the funny titles included in this 16-book boxed set are Awesome Egyptians, Groovy Greek, Ruthless Romans, Measly Middle Ages, Vicious Vikings, Smashing Saxons, and more.

Flashback Four by Dan Gutman

This cool new historical fiction series is centered around four very different kids who are challenged to go back in time and collect photos of various historical events.

The four books in the series are The Lincoln Project, The Titanic Mission, The Pompeii Disaster, and The Hamilton-Burr Duel. With fast-moving action and lots of real history, these books are a win-win for parents and kids!

I Survived: Ten Thrilling Books by Lauren Tarshis

The I Survived history series is a great way for kids to experience drastic events in history as if they were really living it themselves!

This box set is a great collection of these historical events:

  • Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
  • Shark Attacks of 1916
  • Attacks of September 11, 2001
  • Nazi Invasion, 1944
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
  • Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005
  • San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
  • Japanese Tsunami, 2011

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history book series for homeschool

Best Middle School History Book Series

10 True Tales by Alan Zullo

Each 10 True Tales book features ten different true stories from people who lived or experienced a specific event in history.

Some of our kids’ favorites have been World War II Heroes, Vietnam War Heroes, and Titanic: Young Survivors.

These books can be read by upper elementary kids too, but because the stories are real, we feel they’re best for kids who a bit more mature.

While kids can learn a lot about history from many outside sources, reading true stories shared by those who experienced the event can make an even bigger impact.

Guts and Glory series by Ben Thompson

These fun books have kept our kids’ attention for hours on end! And they’re so engaging that they’ve read them multiple times each.

The four-book series includes The American Civil War, The Vikings, The American Revolution, and World War II.

Final thoughts about these history book series for kids

There are so many great history book series for homeschool that are readily available!

Whether you’re studying ancient history, colonization, the American Revolution, or a specific historical figure or event, you can find a great history series to complement your history curriculum.

Of all of the history book series for homeschool listed in this article, some of our family favorites are the Ordinary People Change the World series, You Wouldn’t Want to Be books, the Jean Fritz books, the Guts and Glory series, and the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest books.

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Related articles about teaching history: 

11 Best History Board Games for Middle and High Schoolers

How to Create Homeschool Unit Study

What are some of your favorite history book series for kids?

15 Amazing History Book Series You Need in Your Homeschool15 Amazing History Book Series You Need in Your Homeschool15 Amazing History Book Series You Need in Your Homeschool15 Amazing History Book Series You Need in Your Homeschool

Hi there! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Jen, a former reluctant homeschool mom who is ready to help you actually enjoy homeschooling too. Read more here…

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