Cover of Horrible Histories

Title : Horrible Histories

Author : Terry Deary

Illustrator : Martin Brown

Publisher : Scholastic

Year of Publishing : 2013

Age Suggestion : 9-10

Type : Picture Book, Activity Book



Every history brings us another story. Usually, they are really horrible, terrifying, the things that can put you in the nightmares for weeks! Can’t be helped, there always a bullies in this world, but you can’t just give up, you can learn from histories how to understand their works and face them on! They’re so miserable, you know? Kinda feel distrust the world, so they can’t do anything else but revenge, by being a bully! Not a good feeling!


This book tells us many stories from way long, long time ago, and it’s not a peaceful fairy tales where the princesses get the princes, as well as the kingdom, and live happily ever after. It’s the story about ups and downs of some bullies.



There were some pharaohs in Egypt. Some of them are cruel, some of them, well you know, fighting for power, son killed his own step-mother, or so. Sad but true, it became a normal thing when people got some power. You must be careful if you got too much power too, kids! What amaze me here, there’s a science book – hey, social is scientific, too –  that includes the story of the Gospel and Koran. They actually mention Ramesses II, who died when he drowned, with all his army, by the divine punishment of God. Such a rare!


There are also the stories about how Roman Emperor took over one city, it didn’t end sweet, though, because the famous-seem-wealthy-city turned out near the volcanoes, and when the volcanoes erupted, well you can imagine what happened.


And you can read a thing or two about Shakespeare here. Yes, he’s a famous scriptwriter from the middle ages, and people widely know him as a romantic kind of poet. But, the truth is cruel actually, because in this history book, you can’t see his sweet side as in Romeo and Juliet play. Don’t trust me, you can read yourself in this book.


But, what really interesting about this book is, the explanation about histories isn’t presented with boring narration. There are games, comics, quizzes – sorry, did I say fun? Well, there is no teacher here, so it must be fun, even if it’s quizzes – and many activities, but related to the illustration of every history. There’s even a plague song! Wait…what?


I mentioned earlier that histories can bring you nightmares, and this book especially told you about the horrible ones. But, don’t worry, the illustration is rather cute than terrifying, so it’s not scary at all, despite all the facts. Some illustrations can be funny too, if you don’t get too busy imagining how these bullies beheaded people. Ironic!


Anyhow, this book is excellent if you want to get illustration of the world in many, many years ago. This is the great book to present in your school actually, so pupils will attach to them, but they will learn so many things, too! In a very exciting way!


The book history that doesn’t make you bored? Now, we’re talking!


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