History of Just About Everything, A: 180 Events, People and Inventions That Changed the World


From Buddha and Muhammad to King and Mandela, from the discovery of fire to the invention of the World Wide Web, and from Romeo and Juliet to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, this is a thorough and thoroughly entertaining compendium of important people and events.
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From Buddha and Muhammad to King and Mandela, from the discovery of fire to the invention of the World Wide Web, and from Romeo and Juliet to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, this is a thorough and thoroughly entertaining compendium of important people and events.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Selecting 180 significant events, people, and inventions between the appearance of early human ancestors over six million years ago, and continuing through 2011 is no small feat. However, MacLeod and Wishinsky make a good case for their selections. Sidebars, entitled "Ripples" provide further explanation (or the ripple effect) of why a particular piece of history is included. The book is arranged chronologically, and occasionally a piece will reference another event, providing the relevant page number for further exploration by the reader. Taken as a whole, the book offers a walk through human history. Occasionally, there is some personal information about a scientist or explorer that points out a difficulty or obstacle the person had to overcome. Readers will get a good sense of cause and effect, so important in understanding history. I discovered one error: On page 52 the authors state that, "The War of Independence ended in 1781 at Yorktown, New York." Actually, the British surrendered at Yorktown, VA. A table of contents can be perused for an overview of history. An index allows readers to look up individuals, events, inventions, and more. Wonderfully helpful is the timeline, which is divided into "Inventions & Discoveries," "Science, Mathematics & Medicine," "Arts, Architecture & Language," "History, Politics & Religion" with a corresponding range of dates. This is a useful tool for students who are selecting research projects. It may also encourage readers to find out what was happening in the world at the time of each of these selections. Recommended for the classroom, but also for a child's personal library. Each article is brief, and can be read independently of the others. Clearly written, interesting and informative (despite the aforementioned error), this book just might be the impetus for a child to engage in history. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This book's time line encompasses a lot of history, 6,000,000 BCE through 2011 (and beyond), and the 120-odd pages do a great job of briefly introducing 180 important historical events. Touching on landmark events (first humans appear, fire is discovered, language and farming are developed, the wheel is invented, Hitler's rise, the Moon landing, the collapse of communism in Europe, 9/11), this is a good place to start when introducing world history to young students. Cartoon illustrations are a softly hued and slightly humorous distraction at times, but more often they help to clarify the text. Colored sidebars titled "Ripples" offer further information or explication. For example, while readers learn about the Magna Carta, the side box explains that King John had no intention of honoring this agreement, but that it "changed England and much of the world forever." A handy chronology divided by subject areas and a complete index round out the presentation. Compact and surprisingly complete, this volume is a superb introduction.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine PublicLibrary, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Unusual for its ambition if nothing else, this selective encyclopedia of "world" historical, cultural and scientific highlights offers at least a few unexpected choices but rarely looks beyond Europe and North America. Arranged in chronological order, the 180 entries begin with the appearance of the first humans ("descended from apes," as the authors inaccurately put it) about 6 million years ago and end with the 2011 earthquake near Japan. In between, they cover inventions from the plow to MP3 files, people from Confucius to Barack Obama, and events of diverse scale, from the "Rise of Greece" to the publication of the first Harry Potter book. Entries fill up a third of a page to a full spread; each features a date (with "BCE" appended for all before the year 1, justified by the optimistic claim that "it is acceptable to all peoples"), and most include both an informally drawn watercolor illustration and a quick, boxed comment on historical "ripples" that spread from the event or invention. This Canadian publication's focus on its own national history is so close (not to mention Eurocentric: "1608: Champlain establishes permanent settlement in Canada") that the American Civil War gets just two quick mentions--which is more notice than most African, Asian and Indian histories or cultures receive. Satisfying fare for the culturally myopic. (index, no bibliography) (Nonfiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554537754
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Pages: 124
  • Sales rank: 368,421
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth MacLeod has written many children's books, including nine titles in the Snapshots Biography series, numerous titles in the Kids Can Read, Kids Books Of and Kids Can Do It series, Why Do Horses Have Manes?, What Did Dinosaurs Eat?, and Monster Fliers. She lives in Toronto.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The book starts in 6,000,000 BCE when the first humans appear an

    The book starts in 6,000,000 BCE when the first humans appear and goes through 2011 with the earthquake in Japan.  

    The stories are not your normal boring history lesson. The reading is kid friendly and full of fascinating facts that kids will be intrigued by therefore making learning their history lesson "fun".

    Included in the book are "Ripples" which include facts on how humans have changed the world. These facts are very interesting to me as a lover of history, but I think they will also appeal to my students.

    This is definitely a must have for my classroom!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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