Usborne Book of World History

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Lisa r

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, June 10, 2008
  • Grades Used: K - 5
  • Dates used: 2002 - 2006
I am afraid I have to disagree with Laura Q. This book has been a wonderful supplement to our homeschool library. Our family has tried to cover world history in a three year cycle. For elementary ages we felt it important to build a history foundation in broad strokes rather than in fine detail. This book helped us to do just that.

All of my kids are strong visual learners. The vivid and accurate renditions on each page helped to give them a good "feel" for each nation and period of history. The text is strong at highlighting the main points. I felt that my kids were able to come away with at least two or three main points from each page. If you add that up for the entire book, that is an amazing amount of history learned by a child in elementary school!

In addition, for my ADD son with little patience for history, the weblinks (there are usually several for each page if you buy the web-linked edition) helped each subject come alive.

As a main text this may not be what you are looking for. If you're looking for a teacher guide, work pages, etc., you won't find it here. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend this as a resource book for your homeschool!

em & d's momma

  • Reviewed on Sunday, May 13, 2007
  • Grades Used: Sonlight Core 1+2
  • Dates used: Nov. 2006 -
I agree with Grace4all - and I don't believe the intent of the publisher is to present this book as comprehensive.

We use Hillyer's CHOW as our primary resource, with additional reading from the UBofK. Unlike the experience of one of the other reviewers, my daughter has retained a great deal from her leisurely reading of this book.

One caveat - if you don't approve of culturally/historically accurate presentations of clothing and behavior (nudity, bloodshed) this book is not for you. Nothing a mom or dad with a black Sharpie couldn't fix, though...

We like this book and will continue to use it in our formal studies as well as recreational reading.



  • Reviewed on Saturday, March 24, 2007
  • Grades Used: 2
  • Dates used: 2006-2007
Usborne World History is a book that covers a large period of time. I believe it is meant to give a very general overview of history, as it covers nothing in detail.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, June 29, 2003
  • Grades Used: 1-12
  • Dates used: 2002-2003
We used this as our basis for studying the Ancients ala WTM because we didn't yet know about SOTW. My daughter (7) and I both found this book to be dull and dry. Sure, there are bright, colorful, even cartoon-ish pictures all over every page. This does not make something interesting, though.

The cartoon pictures were uninspiring, and not nearly as interesting as photographs of actual artifacts would have been (which we tracked down in various library books). The text snippets are so short and broken that the books are hard to read. Just following them in order is often confusing and difficult, even for parents. We mostly abandoned this text by the end of the year, and did most of our History studies from Hillyer's Child's History of the World and library books.

The text is dull and dry, and therefore any useful information it contains would not be readily retained by students. The true test of how good a text is, in my opinion, is not how much information it contains, but rather how much information the reader tends to retain. By that standard, this text failed.