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What Really Happened ? History Book Series

Historical Biographical Fiction Stories Homeschool HistoryRecently we purchased the set of three “What Really Happened?” books from Terri Johnson to add to our history program.  We use MapTrek, which we love, and I thought these historical, biographical fiction stories would be a great addition as well.  I am so glad I got them – we really love them as well!


Each book has a nice layout and includes maps and portraits of the historical figures.  The maps in the books are just like the ones from the MapTrek series, so they’re a perfect blend with our history studies.  The Middle Ages book also includes a glossary and timeline of characters – which is extremely helpful.  I wish that the others also included at least the timeline because of its content value, but it certainly doesn’t take away from their quality without it.  Also included are Bible verses, footnotes, dates and other historical facts where relevant, which make excellent teaching notes.


The stories themselves are very well-written and a joy to read to my children.  One of the things I really appreciate is that all the stories and illustrations are written and drawn by other homeschoolers and moms who have a great deal of knowledge and have clearly done their research on history.  Being written from a Christian perspective also adds greatly to their value for us too.  They are a perfect blend of history, adventure, drama and comedy that are suitable for all ages, both boys and girls, when being read aloud.  For reading on their own, the suggested reading level is ages 8-14.  Of all my children, the one who asks for me to read them continually is my four year old daughter, so we end up reading a lot of the stories “outside” of school-time too. It seems she prefers them over the many colorful children’s books we have that are geared toward her age.

Four Year Old - Favorite Stories - Homeschool History


Additionally, anytime I’m looking for one of the books and can’t find it – I look around and it’s in my husband’s hands – he seems to be thoroughly enjoying them as well.  In fact, as soon as he heard me reading one of the stories to our 4-year-old, he hasn’t put them down since, and reads a story before or after work every day. So we all really are enjoying them!


From all the stories I’ve read, I think the only one I dislike is the first story in the Ancient Times book about Eve.  It seems a bit too fictional for being from the Bible. Other than that I’ve really enjoyed all the other stories.  I just skip over that one for the younger children and the older ones have read it to themselves and we’ve discussed the creative, fictional value that it contains, which at their age they understand quite well. So, for us, it’s not really a big deal.


I really like adding historical fiction, such as Douglas Bond’s books, and biographies, to our homeschool studies and these books are a perfect addition.  For me, I like that it’s a collection of short stories instead of chapter books or novels, because it makes it easier for me to add them to our history studies individually.  In that, the layout is a lot like the Famous Men history series, which I’m glad that it’s not a duplicate work of – instead it complements that series as well.


Historical fiction and biographies are really enjoyable for all of us in our homeschool studies. It gives the kids a taste of reality during the given time period and gives them something closer to remember.  Through these stories all of their senses will be awakened and history will have more meaning to them because of it.  We would really enjoy more books added to this series.


What Really Happened in Ancient Times?

What Really Happened in Ancient Times History Book Pages

What Really Happened in the Middle Ages?

What Really Happened Middle Ages History Book Pages

What Really Happened in Colonial Times?

What Really Happened Colonial Times History Book Pages