What Was? books: for children of moms who were just so-so in history

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Sometimes the universe knows what you need before you do.

Just as I was becoming completely exasperated at the endless series of “Farty McPoopy and the Burpy Butt”- type books that my 8- and 10-year-old boys were reading…

Just when, after watching Lincoln only confused them, my boys stumped me by asking me for serious details on the Civil War…

a present from heaven arrived on our doorstep: a selection of the brand-spanking-new What Was? series of books from Grosset & Dunlap.

Seriously, the boys were pretty psyched about this. They’ve already read most of the Who Was? series at school, and can wax eloquently about everyone from Rosa Parks to Steve Jobs as a result. In the great Kenneth C. Davis tradition, these books really do make history fun. Here’s 10-year-old Connor’s review:

 This is a great series from what I’ve read so far. These books tell you a lot about interesting historic events! What Was the Battle of Gettysburg? tells you every detail of this bloody battle. It gives you the whole backstory of preparing for the battle, how the Civil War began, and ended. It explains each general of both sides, Abe Lincoln’s election, and tells the story of life as a soldier. This awesome series relates to the WHO WAS? books, so if you like the WHO WAS? books I would recommend this series.

If that sounds too good-for-you for your own Farty McPoopy readers, try this edited version:

“…Bloody! …Awesome!”

That’s right: the What Was? books are engaging, intelligent, bloody, and awesome. And now my kids know way more about the Boston Tea Party than I do.

 

Financial compensation was not received for this post. Penguin Young Readers provided sample books for review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

 

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