It took ages to choose a world history reference book, and am really pleased with the one we have. And it turns out it is a less well known book, rather than one of the big publishers.
A good reference book forms the backbone for studying history, not only do they provide information but they also provide a starting point from which to branch out in search of other books, Youtube videos, documentaries and crafts.
Our favourite World History reference book is:
History of the World: 4 Million Years to the Present Day
Published by Bounty Books
What drew me to this book in the first place was the apparent coverage and the layout. We were doing ancient history and having trouble finding anything on the Phoenicians, despite their importance to the development of the ancient Mediterranean world. But here we found a good half page covering the basics. Over time most of what we have chosen to look at (we tend to explore the less travelled path) has been covered to some degree by the book – whether it be a small box-out on Great Zimbabwe or a double spread on the Thirty Year’s war, and Suleiman the Magnificent.
The illustrations are attractive, and full of people. The timeline on most pages helps to fill in details, and place events in time. I really like the way the pages make use of illustrations, captions and boxouts. Some pages are thematic, and revisited through the book as time progresses. The text is quite accessible, and not too complex for my daughter, but with enough details to be a good starting point for further research.
You might also try:
- The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (Usborne Internet-linked Reference)
- Oxford Children’s History of the World
I would really love to hear about your favourite World History reference book.
Which one do you use and what do you like about it?