History After Story of the World

Many of us have enjoyed A Child's History of the World, or the Story of the World series of books to introduce children to world history, but once the series has been read, what's next?

These books lay the foundations for further in-depth history study. Mentally, world history timelines begin to form and major events become connected with geographical locations. The next logical step in a history study is to cover a geographical region's history in more detail. By systematically focusing on new regions and time periods, more of the timeline which began to form with the living history books gets filled in. But, there are so many countries and time periods to study that selecting a few can seem overwhelming. America, India, Australia, China, Greece and Rome, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, South America, Mexico, South Africa and so many more places have stories of their own. Basic knowledge gained by reading the stories can help in selecting a region. Personal interest and family history can focus studies.

The history stories of many regions begin with the people learning to farm and forming communities. The communities grow and eventually rulers such as Kings emerge. There are times of war with neighboring lands, conquering, periods of peace, civil wars, and golden ages. Further, there are periods when outsiders mix with natives and periods when great changes occur. There are many cycles which repeat themselves in different cultures and time periods. By selecting any one geographical region to study and following the study with new regions, empires and time periods, these cycles become evident. Knowledge of multiple historical time periods increases the predictions of how actions and events of our politicians will influence future outcomes.

Fortunately, the format of learning history through stories is not new. Though the Story of the World is very popular today, there are many other history story books which cover specific regions and/or time periods. Here is a list of books which can serve as history spines for covering one geographical region or time period. They are all written in a story format. I have read several of the books on this list, but not all of them. Many are on our future history read list.

Author H.E. Marshall
Germany - The History of Germany
United Kingdom - Our Island Story
United Kingdom - Through Great Britain and Ireland with Cromwell
England - Our Empire Story
Scotland - Scotland's Story
Europe - The Story of Europe
America - This Country of Ours
France - The Story of Napoleon

Author Mary MacGregor
The Netherlands
Stories of the Vikings
The Story of France
The Story of Rome
The Story of Greece

Author Eva March Tappan
Middle Ages - European Hero Stories
Middle Ages - Heros of the Middle Ages
Greece, Rome and Persia - Old World Hero Stories
Greece - The Story of the Greek People
Middle Ages - When Knights were Bold

Author M.B. Synge
Europe, Reformation - The Awakening of Europe
Explorers from Babylon to the South Pole - Book of Discovery
From Romans to Spanish Conquest - Discovery of New Worlds
Europe - Middle Ages - Brave Men and Brave Deeds
England - Great Englishmen 
England - Great Englishwomen
England - Growth of the British Empire
Mediterranean Sea (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, etc) - On the Shores of the Great Sea
European Colonization - The Struggle for Sea Power
England - The Reign of Queen Victoria
England - The Tutors and the Stuarts

Author Robert VanBergen
The Story of China
The Story of Japan
The Story of Russia

What have you done for history studies after Story of the World or A Child's History of the World? Have you read similar books not on this list? If you have recommendations for history story books especially those on Egypt, Australia, India, Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, South Africa, or Africa. Please leave me a comment.


  1. Great list - thanks! We just started Story of the World, so I have time to work out "what next".

  2. We love many of the books on your list, too. We get them through Heritage History. Have you ever looked at their stuff?

  3. Yes, great list! I love reading books like that to my kids instead of using a particular curriculum for history.

  4. Thanks for putting this together, Julie. We are so slow working through SOTW that we may actually still be reading it when the children leave home, but we do read extra books along the way! We've read Our Island Story but I didn't realise she'd written others. I shall check them out.


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