Our twelve year-old son, Alex, has been carrying around a huge science and history book for 3 days, devouring every page of it and talking to anybody who will listen about what he’s reading.
The book is one that I reviewed recently for NetGalley, which I ordered after reading it because I thought it would make a good world history and science resource for our homeschool. It’s been such a big hit that I decided to share it here.
My original review on Goodreads:
After reading through an ARC of this book, I decided to order it as a homeschool resource to use as a science and history read-aloud. I really enjoy “A Little History of the World” as a read-aloud for history (big bang to WWII, as the author wrote it in that time), but this is a much more detailed and science-oriented book and much more thorough. I’ll be reading it to my 8, 12 and 16 y/o’s as they color, craft, build, sketch etc. in the afternoons (they like listening far more when they can occupy their hands). I like that it’s informative enough for older kids while fun enough for younger, and the illustrations and photographs add to the appeal. I’m sure my kids will like Lloyd’s conversational, funny tone, and I appreciate that it is science-based. I’ve noticed several reviews from Young Earth creationists who reviewed it poorly because it discusses evolution, the Big Bang, etc. Yes, it is definitely geared towards secular science instead of creationism.
I’ll update my review when we’ve finished reading it as a family with the kids’ perspectives and report on how well it worked as a homeschool resource.
My update after getting a copy (used, apparently once a library copy) and asking my 12 year old son to read “a bit” of it:
I managed to find a used copy of this at an online site and got the book in last week after liking my ARC so much. On Friday, I handed it to my 12 y/o son and said, “Here, read a bit of this.” He is usually not a big reader (he’s much more of a visual and hands on learner) but he has devoured this book. He has come to find me and tell me facts he learned from it more times than I can count. He takes it with him in the car when we go places and he read it while waiting for youth group at our UU church yesterday. Then he enthusiastically discussed some of the science in it with some adults at the social/snack time after church and showed them some of the illustrations of stuff that particularly fascinated him. He is a huge science lover and already knew some stuff from the book, but he’s devoured the information that is new to him. The book is BIG, like an encyclopedia, and has a ribbon sewn in for a bookmark. He is about half finished with it, having started basically with the Big Bang and now deep into world history. He loves it and I love how much he loves it. I’m updating my review to 5 stars after seeing how much Alex loves it and is learning from it.
(By the way, if you are on Goodreads, please feel free to friend me! I love connecting with other homeschoolers and book lovers there!)
You can look at some of the interior pages by clicking through below:
I managed to find my copy used on Thriftbooks, but it can also be found on Amazon and other booksellers. It is very inexpensive for a huge hardcover book of that size! I’m sure your library can get a copy too, if you think your kiddos can read that much in the short period of time of most library loans (or just renew it lots!).
From the publisher:
Discover how science, nature and history connect in this fast-paced, entertaining and incredibly informative history of the world, from the beginning of time to the present day.
Winner of a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor 2018, a VOYA Nonfiction Honor 2019, shortlisted for the Teach Primary Book Awards 2019 and longlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019, Absolutely Everything! looks set to become a classic.
How was our universe made from a tiny speck of energy? Where did the first trees, plants, animals and humans come from? What happened to the dinosaurs? What was so miserable about medieval times? How were railroads and electricity invented? What are the perils of global warming?
From the Neanderthals to the Wright Brothers, from the Silk Trade to the Industrial Revolution, from dinosaurs to plastic, embark on an entertaining journey across millennia and continents. With photos, illustrations, timelines and maps in every chapter, there is no better way to understand the earth’s entire history than with this captivating book by Christopher Lloyd, author of the bestselling What on Earth Happened?.
Details: Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention (Amazon affiliate link) published 2018 by Christopher Lloyd (Author), Andy Forshaw (Illustrator), 352 pages
Retail price: $21.99 (generally very well discounted on Amazon and can be found used, too)
Have you had educational books that have been huge hits with your kiddos? Please share any of your recommendations in the comments!