Gr 8 Up—Each book features a somewhat off-topic foreword that does little to help introduce the series and a useful pictorial time line to show important events that are later explained in detail. The volumes on the ancient and medieval world work well as a set, delineating a single geographic region's development over a specific era. Holocaust covers a much narrower period but provides context to the events of World War II that reach back to the anti-Semitic writings of Martin Luther. Decade of the 2000s is U.S.-centric, though it covers major events of violence and natural disaster across the globe, and does an excellent job of providing information, in brief, on politics, pop culture, and science and technology. The pair on the Middle Ages are written with enthusiasm for the time period, making a supposedly dark period of history more intriguing.