I was browsing through the clearance section at Half Price Books a while ago when I happened upon a copy of The Rotten Romans by Terry Deary on sale for $.50. At the time, I had no idea what the Horrible Histories series was about, so I paged through the book a little bit, and then, since I'm not one to pass up a bargain — especially a book bargain — I bought it.
After I got home, I quickly read through the book and was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it — and how much I learned. There was a lot more meat in the book than I had thought there would be, especially in the numerous cartoon illustrations spread throughout the pages.
Since then, I've picked up The Groovy Greeks and The Awesome Egyptians, and Jerah has eagerly read all three. We're studying ancient history right now with the Beautiful Feet curriculum, and I can't tell you how many times we've been reading something from one of our history books when Jerah suddenly pops up, runs across the room, picks up one of the Horrible Histories books, and leafs through it until she finds what she's looking for. And sure enough, there in the book it's talking about exactly what we are reading about, only the subject is presented in a much funnier way — usually through some kind of cartoon.
I've really been amazed at how memorable the books are and how they really are a great way to introduce different periods of history to kids, especially kids who are a little resistant to the study of history.