Dorothy Mills wrote The Book of the Ancient World in 1923 as an introduction to ancient history for middle school students. Her text was accessible, heavily researched, and covered all the important points of the major Near East civilizations. Her text isn't narrative history, but it's fun to read and informative for students of any age.
This Memoria Press edition includes the text of Mills' book as well as handsome black and white photos, drawings and maps that contextualize and bring into focus the people and events explored. Together with the Student Guide and Teacher Guide (also published by Memoria Press) your middle school student has a full ancient history course that needs no preparation or prior knowledge of the era.
The Student Guide is set up similarly to the Memoria Press Literature Guides in that students read a portion of the main text and complete written exercises in the consumable workbook, most of them vocabulary and comprehension oriented. Answers to all exercises (except the drawing assignments) are included in the Teacher Guide, as well as reproducible tests/quizzes with answers.
Students will appreciate the easy-to-comprehend style of The Book of the Ancient World. Parents will appreciate the wealth of factual information included in its pages, and Christian parents will especially appreciate the chapter on the Old Testament in which Mills treats the events and people of the Bible as established historical realities. This shouldn't be the last word in your students' ancient world studies, but it is an excellent place to start.