HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Investigate World History
Authors: Anita Ganeri, Hazel Mary Martell, and Brian Williams
Publisher: Parragon, 2000
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 10-14
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Ganeri, Anita; Martell, Hazel Mary; and Williams, Brian. Investigate World History (published in 2000 by Dempsey Parr, an imprint of Parragon, 4 Queen St., Bath, BA1 1HE, UK). Someone gave us a copy of this book as a gift for the tenth birthday of our older son Mark. We used it with both him and later our younger son Jeremy as a basis for each one’s fifth grade study of world history. The book begins with The Ancient World and covers Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, Megalithic Europe, China, early America, Greece, the Celts, Rome, Africa, and India. The section on the Middle Ages begins with Byzantium and ends with the Hundred Years War. Next is the Age of Discovery beginning with the Renaissance and including the Reformation. There follows The Age of Revolution and Industry, and it ends with The Modern World.
Each opening tells the story of one aspect of world history, with attractive illustrations and a time line to see where that particular aspect fits in with other events. Unfortunately, the first few pages about ancient humans, the beginnings of tools and art, and life in the so-called Ice Age are all very evolutionary and had to be heavily edited (we just skipped over some of it!). Otherwise, it has a lot of interesting information arranged in a suitable fashion for middle grade students. We didn’t use it so much as a “textbook” as a skeleton or outline of world history and supplemented it with historical atlases, world history map exercises, and historical fiction, and we made our own timeline of history based on the events mentioned in the book.