History Encyclopedias & Fact Books

Despite what postmodernists would have us believe, the study of history is a more or less concrete discipline. That's not to say, of course, that historians and their friends (archeologists, researchers, and others) don't discover new bits in the puzzle of the past from time to time. It is to say that history is made up of facts, and while interpretations of those facts are as numerous as the interpreters themselves, interpretations can't change the facts.

No one wants to sit down and read a list of facts, though. (Well, maybe some people, but they're....interesting.) This is why history textbooks tend to be so dull—often they're little more than lists of facts strung together with minimal sentences that aren't very well written and spark no interest whatsoever. Encyclopedias and fact books, on the other hand (and somewhat ironically), are often quite interesting, very accessible, and likely to encourage further study.

They also serve an important academic purpose: research. If you really want to know about a period, a group of people, or an event, one book won't tell you everything. Fact books won't necessarily reveal exactly what life was like during a given era, but it can fill out details lacking in big-picture accounts (like overviews, spines, and textbooks). A fact book can also give you a good visual impression of dress, homes, tradespeople, etc., as photographs of artifacts or "living history" actors are labeled for easy reference.

Some of the best books to accomplish both of these goals are those in the DK Eyewitnessseries, which are filled with full-color illustrations (of period artwork, photographs, and living history photos and dioramas), more facts than you can read in one sitting, and solid text that lends a sense of coherence to the mountains of information. Each volume is high-quality, and covers a period of time, a war, a particular type of person (cowboys, sailors, etc.), a culture, or just about any other history-related topic you can think of.

Among our most popular offerings (and also among the best) are the history encyclopedias from Usborne and Kingfisher. Both feature wealths of information and full-color artwork, though Kingfisher tends to include photographs and more realistic illustrations. Usborne also has a variety of fact books that focus on cultural history (how people lived, what they ate, etc.), which make great supplements to books or programs that deal primarily with events.

Other books you'll find in this section include timeline products, trivia guides, Fandex cards,History News books that present facts from world history in the form of frontpage news stories, and much more. Obviously, you can't hope to teach your kids all they need to know about history from encyclopedias and lists of facts (especially if they're largely disjointed lists of facts), but there's a real sense in which you can't really teach history without such resources, either.

And of course we would be remiss if we didn't mention probably the best use of these resources—as rainy day books for kids to flip through. Children regularly exposed to the fascinating elements of history are likely to grow into students of the past who want to know more and to make sense of their knowledge. However you choose to use these types of books, we encourage you to make them available to your kids, and not to lose sight of the goal of all history study: understanding of and fluency in the past.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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147 Items found Print
1,001 Things Everyone Should Know About American History
by John A. Garraty
1st edition from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 9th-Adult
in American History Reference (Location: HISA-REF)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Ancient Egypt
by Robert Nicholson & Claire Watts
from Chelsea House Publishing
for 4th-7th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Ancient Egypt
by Robert Nicholson
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Ancient Greek War and Weapons
by Haydn Middleton
from Heinemann Educational Books
for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Greece (Location: HISW-ANGR)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Ancient Rome
Discoveries Series
by Dr. Paul C. Roberts
from Barnes & Noble
for 4th-9th grade
in Oversized History Books (Location: HISW-OVER)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Ancient Sicily
Monuments Past & Present
by Gaetano Messineo & Emanuela Borgia
from Vision S.R.L.
for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
$27.00
Archaeologists Dig For Clues
Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Stage 2
by Kate Duke
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Archaeology (Location: HISRF-ARCH)
$5.99 $4.00 (3 in stock)
Archaeology Book
by David Down
from Master Books
for 5th-8th grade
in Archaeology (Location: HISRF-ARCH)
$13.59
Art and Civilization: Ancient Rome
Art and Civilization
by Giovanni Di Pasquale & Matilde Bardi
from Peter Bedrick Books
Roman History Reference for 4th-6th grade
in Oversized History Books (Location: HISW-OVER)
$12.00 (2 in stock)
Aztecs
Journey Into Civilization
by Robert Nicholson and Claire Watts
from Chelsea House Publishing
for 4th-7th grade
in Ancient America (Location: HISW-ANAM)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
British Museum Visitor's Guide
by John Reeve
from British Museum Press
for 9th-12th grade
in Ancient History (Location: HISW-ANC)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Children's Encyclopedia of American History
by David C. King
from DK Publishing
for 3rd-8th grade
in American History Reference (Location: HISA-REF)
$20.00 (2 in stock)
Crusaders, Aztecs, Samurai
by Anne Millard
from Usborne
for 4th-6th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
DK Eyewitness: Africa
DK Eyewitness Series
by Yvonne Ayo
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
African History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Africa (Location: HISMC-AFR)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
DK Eyewitness: Ancient China
DK Eyewitness Series
by Arthur Cotterell
from DK Publishing
Chinese History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in China (Location: HISMC-CHI)
$16.99
DK Eyewitness: Ancient Egypt
DK Eyewitness Series
by George Hart
from DK Publishing
Egyptian History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$9.99
DK Eyewitness: Ancient Greece
DK Eyewitness Series
by Anne Pearson
from DK Publishing
Greek History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Greece (Location: HISW-ANGR)
DK Eyewitness: Ancient Rome
DK Eyewitness Series
by Simon James
from DK Publishing
Roman History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
DK Eyewitness: Ancient Rome
DK Eyewitness Series
by Simon James
from DK Publishing
Roman History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
DK Eyewitness: Aztec, Inca & Maya
by Elizabeth Baquedano
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient America (Location: HISW-ANAM)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
DK Eyewitness: Battle
DK Eyewitness Series
by Richard Holmes
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Military & Weapon History (Location: HISV-MILIT)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
DK Eyewitness: Castle
DK Eyewitness Series
by Christopher Gravett
from DK Publishing
Middle Ages History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
DK Eyewitness: Castle
DK Eyewitness Series
by Christopher Gravett
from DK Publishing
Middle Ages History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
$16.99
DK Eyewitness: Cowboy
DK Eyewitness Series
by David Murdoch
from DK Publishing
American History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Cowboys & Cattlemen (Location: HISA-19CO)
DK Eyewitness: Knight
DK Eyewitness Series
by Christopher Gravett
from DK Publishing
Middle Ages HIstory Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
DK Eyewitness: Medieval Life
DK Eyewitness Series
by Andrew Langley
from DK Publishing
Midieval Ages History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
$16.99 $10.00 (1 in stock)
DK Eyewitness: Medieval Life
DK Eyewitness Series
by Andrew Langley
from DK Publishing
Midieval Ages History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
DK Eyewitness: North American Indian
DK Eyewitness Series
by David Murdoch
from DK Publishing
HIstory Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Native Americans (Location: HISA-19NAT)
DK Eyewitness: Presidents
DK Eyewitness Series
by James Barber
3rd edition from DK Publishing
American History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$16.99
DK Eyewitness: Viking
DK Eyewitness Series
by Susan M. Margeson
from DK Publishing
History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
$16.99 $9.00 (1 in stock)
DK Eyewitness: World War I
DK Eyewitness Series
by Simon Adams
from DK Publishing
History Reference for 4th-8th grade
in World War I (1914-1919) (Location: HISA-20WW1)
DK Eyewitness: World War II
by Simon Adams
from DK Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in World War II (1939-1945) (Location: HISA-20WW2)
$9.99
DK History: The Definitive Visual Guide
by Adam Hart-Davis (Editorial Consultant)
from DK Publishing
for 6th-Adult
in History Encyclopedias & Fact Books (Location: HISRF-ENC)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
DK Revealed: Ancient Rome
by Peter Chrisp
1st edition from DK Children
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Early Civilization
Usborne Illustrated World History
by Anne Millard & Jane Crisholm
from Usborne
Ancient History Reference for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient History (Location: HISW-ANC)
$4.00 (2 in stock)
Egyptian Mummies
by Delia Pemberton
from Harcourt Children's Books
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Egyptian Mummies - Pop-Up Book
by Milbry Polk, Roger Stewart
1st edition from Dutton Children's Books
for 4th-6th grade
in Oversized History Books (Location: HISW-OVER)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Egyptian Pyramid
by Fiona MacDonald & Mark Bergin
from Peter Bedrick Books
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Encyclopedia of Preserved People
by Natalie Jane Prior
1st edition from Crown Publishers
for 4th-9th grade
in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: ZCLE-HIS)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World
by David Sacks
from Facts On File
for 8th-Adult
in Ancient Greece (Location: HISW-ANGR)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Everything You Need To Know About World History Homework
by Anne Zeman & Kate Kelly
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in History Encyclopedias & Fact Books (Location: HISRF-ENC)
$4.50 (2 in stock)
Excavating the Past: Ancient Greece
by Christine Hatt
from Heinemann Educational Books
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Greece (Location: HISW-ANGR)
$8.99 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Explorers News
The History News
by Michael Johnstone
from Candlewick Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Exploration (1450-1900) (Location: HISA-16EXP)
$6.99 $4.50 (3 in stock)
Famous Presidents
Eyes on America
by Philip Koslow
from KidsBooks, Inc.
for 2nd-4th grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$2.00 (4 in stock)
Fandex Family Field Guides: American Indians
by Steven Aronson
from Workman Publishing
for 3rd-6th grade
in Native Americans (Location: HISA-19NAT)
$12.95 $7.00 (2 in stock)
Fandex Family Field Guides: Civil War
from Workman Publishing
for 3rd-6th grade
in American Civil War (1860-1865) (Location: HISA-19CW)
$10.95 $7.00 (1 in stock)
Fandex Family Field Guides: First Ladies
from Workman Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$12.95
Fandex Family Field Guides: Presidents
by Steven Aronson
from Workman Publishing
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$12.95
First Book of America
by L. Somerville
from Usborne
for 1st-5th grade
in American History Reference (Location: HISA-REF)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
First Facts About American Heroes
by David C. King
1st edition from Scholastic Inc.
for 3rd-6th grade
in American History Reference (Location: HISA-REF)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Gladiators
by Minna Lacey & Susanna Davidson
from Usborne
for 3rd-6th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Great Pyramid
Wonders of the World
by Elizabeth Mann
Reprint from Mikaya Press
for 2nd-5th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$14.95
Greek News
The History News
by Anton Powell & Philip Steele
from Candlewick Press
for 5th-8th grade
in Ancient Greece (Location: HISW-ANGR)
$4.50 (2 in stock)
Greek News
The History News
by Anton Powell, Philip Steele
from Candlewick Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Greece (Location: HISW-ANGR)
$7.99 $5.50 (2 in stock)
History News: Explorers
by Michael Johnstone
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-8th grade
in Oversized History Books (Location: HISW-OVER)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
History of the World
by Plantagent Somerset Fry
from DK Publishing
for 5th-9th grade
in History Encyclopedias & Fact Books (Location: HISRF-ENC)
$39.99
History Songs with CD
Audio Memory CDs
by Larry Troxel
from Audio Memory
for 2nd-6th grade
in American History Reference (Location: HISA-REF)
$15.95
Howard Carter: Searching for King Tut
by Barbara Ford
from W. H. Freeman and Company
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: ZCLE-HIS)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt
by Geraldine Harris & Delia Pemberton
from Peter Bedrick Books
for 5th-7th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
Into the Mummy's Tomb
by Nicholas Reeves
from Scholastic Reference
for 4th-8th grade
in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: ZCLE-HIS)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Kingfisher Atlas of the Medieval World
by Simon Adams
from Kingfisher
for 3rd-6th grade
in Oversized History Books (Location: HISW-OVER)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
from Kingfisher
for 3rd-7th grade
in History Encyclopedias & Fact Books (Location: HISRF-ENC)
$20.00 (1 in stock)
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
3 Rev Upd from Kingfisher
for 2nd-8th grade
in History Encyclopedias & Fact Books (Location: HISRF-ENC)
$34.99
Knights & Battles
by Richard Tames
from Silver Dolphin
for 4th-6th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Life in Ancient Mesopotamia
by Shilpa Mehta-Jones
from Crabtree Publishing
for 3rd-6th grade
in Ancient Mesopotamia & Persia (Location: HISW-ANME)
$8.95 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Look-It-Up Book of Presidents
by Wyatt Blassingame
Revised from Random House Books for Young Readers
for 3rd-6th grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
Lost Wreck of the Isis
A Time Quest Book
by Robert D. Ballard
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: ZCLE-HIS)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
Marco Polo and the Medieval Explorers
by Rebecca Stefoff
from Chelsea House Publishing
Biography for 4th-8th grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$7.00 (2 in stock)
Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions
from Merriam-Webster
for Adult
in World Religions, Cults and Sects (Location: XAP-WRCS)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Monuments Past & Present: Italy
by Giorgia Kapatsoris
from J. Paul Getty Museum
for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
$19.00
Mummies & Their Mysteries
by Charlotte Wilcox
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-7th grade
in Ancient History (Location: HISW-ANC)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Mummies, Tombs, and Treasure
by Lila Perl
from Houghton Mifflin
for 3rd-6th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$8.95 $5.00 (2 in stock)
Mummies, Tombs, and Treasure
by Lila Perl
from Houghton Mifflin
for 3rd-6th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Mummy
by James Putnam
First Edition
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Egypt (Location: HISW-ANEG)
$8.00 (2 in stock)
New Big Book of U.S. Presidents
by Marc Frey, Todd Davis
from Courage Books
for 3rd-6th grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Pastfinder Berlin 1945-1989
by Maik Kopleck
from Ch. Links Verlag
for 7th-12th grade
in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: ZCLE-HIS)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
People, Places, Things, Ideas - 4 Volume Set
from Hawthorn Books, Inc.
for 9th-Adult
in Vintage Nonfiction (Location: VIN-NFIC)
$32.00 (1 in stock)
Pictorial Encyclopedia
by Richard Haddon, Charles Harvey, E. S. Wolff (editors)
from Samson Low, Marston & Co.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Vintage Nonfiction (Location: VIN-NFIC)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Pictorial Encyclopedia of American History Volume 7
from Unknown Publisher
for 4th-7th grade
in Vintage History & Biographies (Location: VIN-HIS)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
Polar Exploration
by Martyn Bramwell
from DK Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in 20th Century Exploration (Location: HISW-20EXP)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Pompeii: City of Ashes
by Sarah Pitt Kaplan
from Children's Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Presidency From A to Z
by Kathryn Leventis-Molesa & Helen L. Hess
from Univ Editions
for 2nd-5th grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$3.00 (3 in stock)
Pyramids
by Anne Millard
from Kingfisher
for 3rd-6th grade
in Oversized History Books (Location: HISW-OVER)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Pyramids of Ancient Egypt
by John D. Clare, ed.
from Harcourt
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: ZCLE-HIS)
$4.00 (2 in stock)
Roman News
by Andrew Langley, Philip De Souza
from Candlewick Press
for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
$7.99
Romans
by Anthony Marks & Graham Tingay
from Usborne
for 5th-12th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Scholastic Encyclopedia of the North American Indian
by James Ciment
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Native Americans (Location: HISA-19NAT)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Scholastic Encyclopedia of the North American Indian
by James Ciment & Ronald Lafrance
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Native Americans (Location: HISA-19NAT)
$8.00 (2 in stock)
Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times
by David Rubel
First Edition from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Scholastic Encyclopedia of the United States
by Judy Bock & Rachel Kranz
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-8th grade
in American History Reference (Location: HISA-REF)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Scholastic Encyclopedia of the United States at War
by June A. English & Thomas D. Jones
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-8th grade
in American History Reference (Location: HISA-REF)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Scholastic Encyclopedia of the United States at War
by June A. English & Thomas D. Jones
Updated from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-8th grade
in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: ZCLE-HIS)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents
by Cormac O'Brien
for 9th-12th grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Secrets of Vesuvius
by Sara C. Bisel
from Hyperion/Madison Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: HISW-ANRO)
$3.50 (3 in stock)
Ships, Sailors and the Sea
Usborne Beginner's Knowledge
by Caroline Young, J. Miles
from Usborne
for 3rd-7th grade
in Ships, Boats & Submarines (Location: HISV-NAUT)
Silk Route
by John S. Major & Stephen Fieser
from HarperCollins
Asia History Reference for 2nd-4th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
$6.99 $4.50 (1 in stock)
Smart About the Presidents
by Jill Weber, Jon Buller, Susan Schade
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 2nd-3rd grade
in American Presidency (Location: HISA-PRE)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Step Into the Celtic World
by Fiona Macdonald
from Lorenz Books
for 4th-8th grade
in Oversized History Books (Location: HISW-OVER)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Step Into the Celtic World
by Fiona Macdonald
from Hermes House
for 4th-8th grade
in Middle Ages (Location: HISW-MID)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Story of the First World War
by Paul Dowswell
from Usborne
for 3rd-6th grade
in World War I (1914-1919) (Location: HISA-20WW1)
12