An engaging, inclusive history of the world for children, where feelings, curiosity, and facts blend together
Big Ideas from History is the story of what has happened through time - in a voice that speaks directly to a child's growing mind, helping them make vast connections between time and place, and their own place within history.
What might the dinosaurs or the ancient Egyptians, the Aztec warriors or the Enlightenment thinkers of the 18th century tell us that could be interesting and useful to hear now? This book is a big history of the world, from the beginnings of the universe to now, which places the reader at its center. It encourages children to think about how they experience the world and offers a helpful perspective by placing their thoughts and feelings in the context of our history and evolution.
Big Ideas From History asks the reader to imagine a world they would like to live in. What might they learn from self-knowledge? How can they grow, develop and create their own place in history? Charming, thoughtful, and written with warmth and intelligence, this is the perfect gift for the curious child.
BIG IDEAS FROM HISTORY: Spanning the ages in an easy-to-follow way, this latest edition to the "Big Ideas" series covers Prehistory, Ancient History, The Middle Ages, Industrialization, The Modern World and The Future.
KIDS WILL LOVE ENGAGING WITH THIS BOOK: As one example, readers young and old alike can ponder items like "What the ideal school would be like" or "How to teach people to be great at telling jokes" in the section titled "Big Questions We Don't Know the Answer For (Yet)".
WRITTEN FOR KIDS: Makes history fascinating and relevant to children and renders complicated material accessible to a younger audience without condescension.
CONVERSATION WILL FLOW BETWEEN CHILDREN AND THEIR GROWN-UPS: An engaging way to open up conversations between adults and children about thoughts and feelings.
BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANNA DOHERTY: We see two characters traversing the history of the world, bringing it vibrantly to life.
FOLLOW UP TO THE BEST-SELLING BIG IDEAS FOR CURIOUS MINDS
The School of Life is here to help you learn, heal and grow. We are devoted to bringing you calm, self-understanding, better relationships, deeper friendships, greater effectiveness at work and more fulfilment in your leisure time.
We do this via our books, our app, our films, our therapeutic services and our corporate offering.
The School of Life Press brings together the thinking and ideas of The School of Life creative team under the direction of series editor, Alain de Botton.
Anna Dohertyis an author illustrator living in Cambridge, UK, whose work grabbed the attention of publishers at her Children's Book Illustration MA graduation show. Her final year project on Ada Lovelace was picked up by Wren and Rook and was transformed into the successful Fantastically Feminist series. Since then, Anna has enjoyed working across a range of projects featuring illustrations that are full of warmth, humour and adorable characters. Awards include Winner of the 2023 Derby Children’s Picture Book Award (2023), Books for Topics' Book of the Year in the EYFS (Ages 3-5), Best Children's Favourite (2021), English 4-11 Picture Book Awards (2020), Non-fiction 4-7, What are Kids Reading Awards (2020), Quiz Writers’ Choice Award Shortlist.
"An entertaining and insightful history exploring what our children can learn from the past." - Dan Jones, bestselling author and historian
"Big Ideas From History features a selection of interesting and significant historical events that help us consider how we can learn from the past. The gorgeous illustrations by Anna Doherty blend appealing contemporary images with prints of artefacts and photographs. This book is ideal for a classroom, library or as a very special gift. Starting with prehistory and moving through the ages to the future, it is a book which presents information in a very easy-to-read way to help children develop an understanding of the world." - The Scotsman
"This history book takes an innovative approach. It asks what history is for, and answers that question by explaining how understanding history helps you in your own life [...] The text is accurate, clear, and friendly and accompanied by illustrations and photos, making this an attractive and genuinely inspiring book." - Andrea Reece, Love Reading 4 Kids
"Thorough, in-depth, enticingly illustrated, and thought-provoking, Big Ideas from History covers a diverse selection of civilizations and cultures. It doesn't simply explain the where, who and when; it focuses on the how and the why; and prompts children to think critically ... this is the perfect 'big' book present for a curious upper primary or lower secondary-aged child." - School Reading List
"The School of Life comprises people from all over the world and it really shows here - the writing offers a variety of opinions presented with sensitivity and inclusivity" - The Little Literary Society
“Presents life lessons to consider... The history lessons connect the reader from the past to present…a title for history-minded readers, for those beginning a research project, or for use as supportive material to a history book. Recommended." - School Library Connection
“A great gift book for inquisitive children….I love how books like Big Ideas From History show us how, more important than dates, learning why things happened is extremely important....The scopeis impressive….History might be a behemoth of a topic, but this book places it on a personal level that all young readers can identify with.” - Robin Brooks, GeekDad
"An impressive compendium of historical events and personalities written and presented so as to be thoroughly effective for children ages 9-12…. especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, middle school, and community library history collections for young readers." - Midwest Book Review
"…a title for history-minded readers, for those beginning a research project, or for use as supportive material to a history book. Recommended." - School Library Connection
"This book is awesome! As someone who loves history, I think every person should read this while growing up. It really gives a broad but concise view [of] the major moments in history. While everything isn't mentioned, nor should it, since I think this book gravitates towards children. This book honestly gives a more basic and honest look at the world and its cultures, events and people than most college text books that I have read." - Edelweiss review
"This book does a good job of covering several topics in a short amount of time. I particularly enjoyed when the book discussed evolution and how slowly the process went. Another great part was the explanation of how the physical features of people have changed over thousands of years, based on the journeys that they made from their original families and locations. Students will be able to learn a great deal from this book, as it clearly defined terms that they may be unfamiliar with." – NetGalley review
"I’m blown away by the scope and quality….the best history textbook for kids I’ve ever seen. This history book is AMAZING!" — @dadsuggests
“A book that will interest just about everyone….an entertaining journey through time, guided by two children, that encourages questioning and further reading.” — @kidsreadtheworld