Horrible Histories

This British series can be laugh-out-loud funny at times, and it is meticulously researched. Between the television series and the book series, Horrible Histories is quite the brandname in England, making it a top-of-the-line name in history entertainment.

A Wicked History

These are stylish books chronicling famous rulers in history who had a wicked streak. The books are thoroughly researched and fully engaging. I think that they are a must for any Social Studies classroom.

You Wouldn't Want to Be...

This is a series for younger readers. However, even older audience will get a kick out of it. The research is solid, and the perspective taken toward history is one that is deflating the mythos that have been built up around certain time periods.

Dead Famous

This series aims for a younger audience and focuses on making informative, introductory biographies. While the series focuses on mainly European and American figures, there are some interesting titles for modern history.

DK Eyewitness Books

This set of sweeping, comprehensive encyclopaedias is as good as it gets. The layouts are visual, and the details are plentiful. The breadth of titles is also impressive. These are my absolute favorite books, because it seems like the publisher was intent on stocking an entire social studies department with middle grades material.

Textbook Supplements

I have come across a few history series that seem useful for supplementing a standard social studies textbook. These include the books in “Everyday Life” series, Holt-McDougal’s regional textbooks, and materials about modern history created by the Zinn Education Project.