Who says history is boring?! Check out these totally NOT boring history book series for kids, including fiction and non-fiction that vividly bring the black and white pages of history books to life.Disclaimer: Some of the following links are affiliate links. I make a small commission from some of the links on this site. You can read my full disclosure here.
Secrets of American History Series (Early Readers)
A fun and action-packed series chock-full of interesting factoids that will hold the attention of even younger readers. These are great for early elementary students.
You Wouldn’t Want to Be! series by Fiona Macdonald
A series of humorous accounts of people you wouldn’t want to be! These picture books teach young readers about the hard-knock lifestyle that came with being an American colonist, a pyramid builder, a pioneer, and more!
Epic Fails! Series by Ben Thompson
This hilarious book series recounts the failures and flukes that some of history’s greats experienced on the long and winding road to greatness. Readers will discover how several of the most influential innovations of the past came to be only after multiple bad breaks.
Who Was? book series introduces readers to prominent people of the past in an engaging, easy-to-read format. A wonderful set of books for introducing students to biographies and research on significant historical and modern-day figures.
Weird but True! by National Geographic
Did you know Abe Lincoln was a gifted wrestler? Readers will discover a plethora of fun and little-known facts about the past in this series by National Geographic. After devouring this series, students will be able to impress their friends with extraordinary anecdotes about important people and places of the past.
Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn’t Tell You by Ken Sheinkin
This incredible series pulls in readers by recounting historical happenings in a humorous tone told with lightning-speed. The stories simultaneously supply the reader with action, drama, and facts seemingly stranger than fiction.
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales Series by Nathan Hale
Experience American history (and biographies) like never before in this graphic novel series that’s sure to excite even reluctant readers.
Guts and Glory Series by Ben Thompson
Battles, blood, bullets and more in this series that will make you forget you ever thought history boring. A full-on frenzy of mesmerizing stories retold in epic ways that bring both the key and lesser-known moments to life for its audience. I love Thompson’s memorable writing style.
Horrible Histories by Terry Deary
An interesting series that effortlessly combines entertainment and education, Horrible Histories seeks to lead readers to a better understanding of history while also causing them to examine their own motives and develop critical thinking skills.
Heroes of History by Janet and Geoff Benge
Heroes of History is a biographical series that brings to light the striking true stories of some of the most prominent people of the past. The books include captivating narratives about George Washington Carver, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Milton Hershey, and more.
Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries by Ammi Joan Paquette
Incredible accounts of historical events, places around the globe, and human innovation–it’s your job to determine which two are true, and which one is false. A fun way to practice reading between the lines and develop critical thinking skills.
Women Heroes Series by Kathryn Atwood
This series will captivate readers with narratives of inspiring heroines that made their mark on American history. Each book (Vietnam War, World War I, World War II, WWII Pacific, and more) is filled with short stories of courageous women. I own several of these books and have always loved them.
The Greatest Stories Never Told by Rick Beyer
This isn’t a series, but I love this little book that tells 100 little-known stories of history. They’re short and often offer so much that needs to be explained! Each story is about a one minute read. I’d recommend it for grades 6+.
Fiction – Early Elementary
Horse Diaries and Dog Diaries Series
Travel through history and around with world through the eyes of several spunky horses and loyal canine friends. This series, aimed at elementary readers, introduces historical events in an engaging format that is perfect for animal lovers everywhere.
Adventures in Odyssey: The Imagination Station
Enjoy speeding through time with cousins Patrick and Beth as they experience various cultures and historical events. Fans of the audio series will love these quick reads aimed at readers aged 7 and up.
Ranger in Time by Kate Messner
Ranger, a lovable golden retriever, becomes an unlikely hero in this series about a time-traveling canine. Readers will be transported to historical places and events with humor (squirrel!) and action.
In this delightful series, readers delve into the lives of American girls just like them that lived at various points in our nation’s history. Young girls will be immersed in the daily lives of a child working on a plantation under the yoke of slavery, a Native American navigating the effects of colonization, a revolutionary-era preteen, a Swedish immigrant, and much more.
Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osbourne
Follow Jack and Annie as they experience time travel in their magic treehouse. Together, the siblings navigate harrowing and exciting adventures, completing missions at the direction of Morgan Le Fay and living through significant moments in history.
Girls to The Rescue Series by Bruce Lasky
While not directly a historical series, the Girls to the Rescue series are a series of short tales about courageous and clever girls around the world. I LOVED these stories when I was younger and learned a lot about different cultures from this series. This series is also great for late elementary students.
Fiction – Middle-Grade Chapter Books
I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis
I Survived is a series that will grip you from the moment you turn the first page. Each book drags readers into a moment in time with fast-paced dialogue and action-packed scenes.
I Survived Series (graphic novels) by Lauren Tarshis
Readers will be effortlessly transformed into history buffs with this exciting series in graphic novel form. Each novel transports readers back to interesting points in history with drama and suspense.
Written in an intriguing diary-style format, Dear America helps the modern-day reader understand what life was like during key moments in our nation’s past. The series does not mince words or leave out details, helping to transport the reader to the exact time and place of the diary’s setting.
A series aimed at older kids, My Name is America follows fictional teen boys at pivotal moments in history. The books are written in journal-style prose that is gripping and engaging.
Each of the books in this series is composed of a fictionalized diary of a woman who grew up to become an important royal in history. Readers will learn about royal women from all over the world and all throughout time as they grow up and change into world-influencers.
American Girl History Mysteries
American Girl History Mysteries are preteen novels of suspense that cover time periods not touched in the original American Girl series such as the advent of World War I, the implementation of the Pony Express, the frenzy of the California Gold Rush, and much more.
Young Adult Editions
This isn’t a series, but there several bestselling adult memoirs that have young adult versions. These stories are often interesting and engaging. Some of my favorites are Unbroken, The Boys on the Boat, and The Sound of Silence.
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