Not-So-Horrible History

This summer, my daughter and I went to the British Museum. It wasn't our first time there, so we had a very targeted idea of what we wanted to see. Amid all the incredible displays and stunning sculptures, what do you think made my 21-year-old jump up and down like a kid?
Well you're wrong. It was the display of Horrible Histories books in the bookshop.
The first time my daughter was in England, she was a 7-year-old who was just hitting the perfect age for gross-out humor and subversive ideas. She found her first Horrible Histories book at the Tower of London. It was Measly Middle Ages, and she begged for an entire selection of the series. Luckily, they were (and are) very cheap, so we scooped up several for the flight home. I am unashamed to say that I also read them on the plane, and was completely (and literally) engrossed by the time we landed back in the U.S.
The series, written by Terry Deary, is designed to engage and entertain while imparting facts and figures about history. The action is fast-paced and the illustrations by Martin Brown are hilarious. If you have a child who thinks history is boring, I promise you'll change his/her mind with any of these books. Or if you are an adult who forgot everything you once knew, these will make you laugh out loud while you re-learn. Just FYI, they aren't all about England. You'll find plenty of other world events in books like Groovy Greeks and Rotten Romans.
My daughter bought her way around England this summer, acquiring Smashing Saxons, Vicious Vikings, and more (luckily this time with her own money). I haven't yet told her that publisher Scholastic has branched out into new series and genres ― Murderous Maths, Horrible Geography, Horribly Famous, and the one I know will be on her holiday list, Horrible Science.
For more terrible fun, be sure to check out the Horrible Histories website here.


  1. Horrible science?!?! That sounds awesome. Yes, Horrible Histories is one of the best book series ever. They even have surprisingly delicious recipes in the books, like cabbage soup and rosehip pudding (hint hint!).

    Also, my copy of Measly Middle Ages came with a dead plague rat toy. Which, of course, was the bomb.

  2. Oh I forgot the plague rat toy. I was such a good mother. HA!

  3. The perfect stocking stuffer for my 11 year old who is obsessed with knights! Love to slip a little history in with the slimy grossness. He already has the plague rat - I sense a similar parenting style.